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Grilled Quinoa & Summer Ratatouille in Banana Leaf

quinoa_openerBy Mackenzie Taylor

I know, I know, usually when you think summer BBQ you think meat. But contrary to popular belief it is actually possible to do up some interesting and tasty vegetarian dishes on the grill (and by interesting, I don’t just mean that old standby of a portobello mushroom burger).

Organic quinoa is available in most grocery stores and health food stores. Banana Leaves are inexpensive and available in Thai food stores and many health food stores.

Get everything ready

Par cook  1 cup quinoa in 2 ½ cups of vegetable stock.

Combine with:

1      peach (preferably locally grown) cut into 1/8s

2      plum (preferably locally grown) cut into 1/4s

1      small Bermuda onion cut into 1/8s

¼    cup almonds crushed

1      tbsp fresh ginger smashed

¼     cup coconut cream

1      tsp sesame oil

¼      tsp  sea/kosher salt

¼      tsp cracked pepper/chillies

Blanche your Banana leaves.

Prepare your bundles

Careful, this part is a little tricky:

Spread your banana leaves (2 should do it, overlapped of course) out on a clean board, spoon your ingredients into the centre of the leaves.  Fold your ends in, then the sides.  Okay so you’ve got this neat little bundle of deliciousness now.  What do we do with it?

Over to the grill

Preheat BBQ to 350 F.

Place your bundle seam side down on directly on the grill.

Reduce heat to low.

10 minutes flip GENTLY!

10 minutes more.

Remove bundle from grill, CAREFULLY!

Place bundle seam side down in the centre of your plate. Cut bundle open with a sharp serrated knife in a cross. Peel back all four flaps. Inhale the amazing aroma of your vegan creation…wow you’re good.

Garnish with a daub of mango chutney (available at most grocery stores), sliced green onion (slice on an extreme bias {angle} for the ultimate ‘a chef cut these’ look), fresh grated coconut, and a sprig of fresh cilantro.

Bon Appetit


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