Irini's Veg Souvlaki Salad Sticks & Red Pepper Dip

Salad sticks are a fun, attractive and engaging way to get kids more excited about veg! Perfectly portable, they are great for summer campouts, travel, picnics, lunchboxes and BBQs. Get the kids making these salad sticks this summer - it's as fun to make as it is to eat. Why not come up with your own favourite combinations and share them with us on social, tagging @VegPowerUK and #SaladSticks.

Method

(When making souvlaki, it is important that all individual components are of similar size to ensure same level of cooking all round. Marinating the vegetables in a little oil and herbs for 30 minutes before cooking adds a lot of flavour and helps caramelisation during the cooking process.)

Cut the aubergine in rounds 1.5cm thick and then each round slice into bite sized squares. Put the aubergine pieces in a colander and sprinkle with some sea salt. Leave for 15 minutes for the salt to draw out any bitterness and excess moisture. After that time, rinse well and squeeze the pieces as dry as you can.

Trim the courgettes and cut into 1.5cm round slices. Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth to remove any soil. Cut the onions into quarters and separate each quarter into two pieces. Put all the chopped vegetables in a bowl, drizzle with the olive oil and the juice of half a lemon, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with some oregano and the zest of the whole lemon. Massage with your hands and leave to marinate.

To make the dip, put all the ingredients in a small blender and blitz. Season with some salt to taste and adjust the heat by adding more chilli if you like your food really spicy.

If using wooden, put the BBQ skewers in a shallow dish and cover with water.

When ready to grill or BBQ, thread the vegetables on the skewers and cook under a hot grill, on a griddle pan or a BBQ turning around so as to cook all over.

Serve with the dip.

Kids in the Kitchen

Kids can really take charge here, which is part of why salad sticks are so popular with them! Make sure to prep any chopped ingredients for them, and keep an eye on their fingers around the sharp end of the skewer, but otherwise let them build it themselves. Help them with any harder ingredients, then cook. Let kids help you make the dip, too.