Barbecue with quinoa salad and refreshing coconut water drinks

Nothing tastes more like summer than a good barbecue. This summer got off to a late start and the barbecue has been standing there, idle. A friend was coming over, she currently lives in a flat and I thought it would be nice to do the full barbecue for her and spend as much time in the garden as possible.


Barbecue in our house is a bit of a traumatic tradition and each time, without fail, it goes something like this, once the barbecue is lit and about ten minutes before the charcoal is perfect M shouts from the garden that we need to start the barbecue now or it won’t be hot enough. As flames are still licking the cooking grate I usually pretend I couldn’t hear him. Once the flames dies down I can hear M muttering something about it being to late and that the food won’t cook, I am sure he wants me to hear this as I always do. The charcoal is by then just perfect and the barbecue usually turns out great.


I think no barbecue is complete without at least sweetcorn and mushrooms, sometimes vegetable kebabs as they get a great smoky flavour. I got some chicken and apricot sausages from the market, what barbecue is complete without sausages?!




This is by far not enough, I had a quinoa salad, just filling enough and great with barbecue. The quinoa can easily be replaced by bulgur wheat or lentils if you prefer.


Quinoa salad for the barbecue

preparation time 10 minutes 

cooking time 45 minutes 

serves 4


  • 1 dl or 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 dl or 1 cup of water
  • lettuce
  • watermelon
  • feta cheese
  • cooked beetroots
  • parsley
  • mange tout
  • French beans
  • spring onions

The dressing

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • the juice of a lemon
  • a pinch of sea salt

Boil the quinoa according to the instructions on the package. Chop the vegetables and crumble the feta. Chop the parsley fine and mix everything with the quinoa. Last mix the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. I haven’t put any amounts here as just use as much or litgtle as you like of everything. The addition of watermelon works really well as it adds a slight, sweet and refreshing crunch, perfect with a barbecue.




Usually we stock the fridge with beer and wine to go with the barbecue but this time I had an idea.

Do you drink coconut water? It has a multitude of benefits and replenishes faster than water. I drink some when I am really thirsty and it always helps. Vita Coco approached me to create some recipes and I thought it would be a great idea. We had some very hot days and a cool and refreshing drink seemed just perfect. I did some thinking and and when I had some ideas I decided to try them on my friend to see what she thought about my latest creations, this was no time to keep things to myself, cocktails are more fun when shared!

I couldn’t think of a good name so I am just calling it muddled strawberry.


The muddled strawberry 

preparation time 5 minutes 

cooking time 0 minutes 

serves 6


  • 1 punnet of strawberries
  • 10 cl/white rum/person
  • coconut water
  • fresh mint
  • champagne

Crush the strawberries with a pestle and mortar.




Divide the muddled strawberries between glasses, gently crush mint leaves and add ice, rum and coconut water. Give the drink a stir and top with champagne before serving.




I loved the coconut water in the drink, it was very refreshing and perfect with a barbecue. I was very pleased with my cocktail and then I had a thought that perhaps Vita Coco hadn’t intended for me to do an alcoholic drink, oops! I had a look and I had a large amount of nice and sweet gooseberries.




I made some gooseberry reduction with just enough raw cane sugar to take the edge of the tartness of the gooseberries but without being too sweet. I mixed the reduction with coconut water and added pomegranate.It was a lovely drink and again the coconut water made it a truly refreshing drink.





I had a courgette and I thought this would be destined for the barbecue as well. I did scewers with courgette, chicken marinated in lemon thyme, the zest of a lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil and mushrooms.


Marinating chicken 11July_MarinatedChicken




The garden and the allotment are amazing at the moment and I managed to pick a kholrabi as well. I prefer to eat them raw and grated it with some cucumber. I squeezed out the water from the cucumber and mixed it with low fat yoghurt, a crushed garlic clove and a pich of salt for a taziki.




It was one of the evenings when there wasn’t a breeze in the air and it was still warm late at night. We lit the fire pit and talked about everythign and nothing, just enjoying being.




I can’t believe we haven’t had a barbecue before now and I hope there will be many more evenings like this to come this summer and it is always worth the little barbecue “trauma”!






9 Responses to “Barbecue with quinoa salad and refreshing coconut water drinks”
  1. Angie says:

    Can’t find your email address so I’m going to ask you here if you’ll be able to co-host FF78 which starts this Friday? I think I had scheduled you for an earlier date but the last couple of weeks we haven’t been following our regular programming, so to speak 😃 And I love coconut water now, especially when it’s extra cold.

    • petra08 says:

      hi Angie, I have to admit I prefer coconut water mixed with something or super cold! I have sent you a message through your blog with my e-mail! 🙂 xx

  2. The quinoa looks great!

  3. I love quinoa! This recipe looks so fresh and I’ve never tried those combinations before. Can’t wait to try 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      hi Sarah
      This salad went straight being my favourite and it is so easy to make! I have made it twice since I wrote the blog already! I hope you will like it 🙂 x

  4. nancyc says:

    Thanks for sharing all these great recipes! 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      hi Nancy
      Am glad you like it, I always go a little overboard when it comes to barbecue but then that is what it is for isn’t it?! 🙂

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] pretty certain Petra,  (Food Eat Love), is a London girl, but she can cook.  Here’s her barbecue with quinoa salad and refreshing coconut water drinks.  (You know what?  I’ve never eaten quinpa ~ I must get out […]

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