Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Smoked Soy Curl Vegan Mac and Cheese Sandwich

Week 12 Browns vs. Texans

Mid-November and the Browns were in first place. Notice I said were in first place. A dismal performance on the field did not have a chance to ruin a spirited tailgate in just above freezing temperatures. While the team let us down, Clevelanders proved once again that we know how to tailgate (and vegan tailgate at that).


This sandwich was inspired by the famed vegan BBQ food truck Homegrown Smoker out of Portland, Oregon. Their Twitter and Instagram accounts are a must follow for those of us who don't live in the Pacific Northwest. They are always coming up with mind-blowing and universe-altering creations. One thing they do frequently is put Mac and Cheese on sandwiches and burritos.  I know what your thinking... isn't that gonna be a huge mess? Yes, yes it is a huge mess. But stuff that sandwich full and grab a fork to eat what's left behind. This is not for the faint of heart.


Soy Curls are made with soaked soy beans and then cooked. They are dried at a low temperature and ready for you to rehydrate them and add a multitude of flavors. In addition to a dry rub marinade in which I let the rehydrated curls sit overnight, I smoked them using indirect heat and a cast iron smoker box in my grill.  The result are crispy ends, tons of BBQ flavor and people begging for seconds.  The finished product looks a bit like pulled chicken but is packed with way more flavor because the curls absorb spices so well. 


The Mac and Cheese recipe here is a refined product from the previous Mac and Cheese recipes posted on this site (here and here). It uses roasted/sautéed/cooked veggies, cashews and a bit of nutritional yeast for creamy texture and taste. I made it the night before, put it in a foil pan and warmed it on the grill.


The sandwich is complete with grilled peppers and onions, pickles and a grilled bun. Feel free to top with your favorite BBQ or hot sauce. Enjoy!

Soy Curls
  • Two packs Soy Curls
  • Hot water to cover
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp. Chili Powder (I used a new variety called Guajillo)

  1. Pour hot water over the soy curls. Soak for 10 minutes and drain, pressing out addition water from the curls.
  2. Add the spices and let sit for an hour or over night.
  3. Prepare the grill for indirect heat. Place the smoker box on the coals.
  4. Throw the curls in a grill basket and set on the grill away from heat. Let smoke for 30 minutes. The curls should have burnt ends and turn a darker color. 


Mac and Cheese

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onions, diced
  • 2 roasted red peppers, skins peeled
  • 1 head garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for at least an hour
  • 4 cups vegetable broth 
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste, divided
  • 2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 lb macaroni noodles

  1. Boil a big pot of water and add the noodle. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté the onions for a minutes.  Add garlic and sauté a minute more. Then toss in the potatoes and carrots and cover with veggie broth.  Bring to a boil and simmer until soft (about 10 minutes).
  3. Drain the cashews and add the to the blender with the veggies (do not drain!), cornstarch, nutritional yeast, peppers, 2 tablespoons of the tomato paste, and spices.  Blend!
  4. Mix the cheese into the noodle. Store in a foil container and warm on the grill for 15 minutes at the tailgate


Now for the Sandwich!

  • Buns
  • 2 green peppers, cut in strips
  • 1 onion, cut in strips
  • 2 jalapeños
  • Sandwich pickles
  1. Toss the peppers and onions in the grill basket after the soy curls are done. Grill over direct heat for 7-8 minutes
  2. Then grill the buns
  3. Assemble the sandwiches by placing soy curls, mac and cheese, peppers and onions and pickles. Use a little hot sauce of BBQ sauce if you wish. 


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Grilled Vegan Cheesesteaks


Week 9 Browns v. Bucs

The vegan tailgate is going strong! Not to be confused with the Bucks of Ohio State, the Browns took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past weekend in Cleveland. Perfect football weather made for perfect tailgate conditions. And the Brown won! The Browns have a winning record and this recipe was quite the crowd pleaser. 

This is another seitan recipe, so if you follow the blog you are basically an expert by now! It is my take on Philly Cheesesteaks, inspired by the Vegan Zombie. Everything, except the buns, is made from scratch, so you'll need to set aside a few hours the night before the game to make everything. Also, this doesn't have to be made in the parking lot and can be made at home very easily. Great for away games!

The key here is the tender, thinly shaved seitan and homemade herbed cashew cheese.  They pair together very well with grilled marinated peppers, onions and mushrooms. Load these sandwiches up the brim and expect a mess. We used a little BBQ or Sriracha on top and served alongside a roasted cauliflower and peanut salad with peanut dressing. Enjoy!

Ingredients



Seitan dry ingredients:
The seitan after baking for 90 minutes in homemade stock


1 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp turmeric



Seitan wet ingredients:



1 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp liquid smoke

2 cloves of shredded garlic

Ground pepper to taste




Stock for seitan:
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 diced onion
4 smashed cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1/4 agave nectar
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 bunch of fresh thyme
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp molasses
2 cups water



Herbed cashew cheese:
Herbed cashew cheese block

1 cup cashews raw
1-1/2 cups water (and more if you need to soak your nuts)
2 tsp agar agar powder OR 2 tbsp agar agar flakes (this can be hard to find but most health food stores carry it)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp smoked salt (or just regular salt)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 cup fresh herbs (I used basil and oregano)


Veggies:
3 bell peppers
2 medium onions
8 oz. mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. Fresh herbs (I used thyme and oregano)
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tbsp. rice vinegar



AND:
8 Hoagie rolls

Directions
-Preheat the oven to 375
-Combine the wet and dry ingredients and form a dough. Roll into a log and place in a covered casserole dish (I used a roasting pan)



-Bring all the ingredients for the stock to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes


-Pour the stock in casserole dish to cover seitan. Cover and bake 375 for 45 minutes (Note: baste the seitan if it didn't quite cover it every 20 minutes or so). Then flip seitan and continue to cook for 45 hour uncovered.
-Meanwhile make the cheese: Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan and add the agar agar. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Turn down the heat to simmer and cook another 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the agar is dissolved completely.
-Put the cashews into the blender with all the remaining ingredients. Pour in the agar mixture and Blend on high until very smooth.
-Pour into a glass dish or non-stick pan (if you think it will stick then spray with vegetable oil.) Refrigerate until firm. Remove the cheese by running a knife or spatula around the edge and it will pop out of the container.
-For the veggies, slice the peppers, onions, mushrooms and garlic and place in a sealed bag or container. Add lime juice, soy sauce, agave, rice vinegar and herbs and let marinate until ready to grill.
-Once the seitan is done, let cool and wrap up in foil, along with cheese, until its tailgate time.
-Grill the peppers, onions and mushrooms until charred. Set aside
-Shave the seitan using a grater or sharp knife. Grill in a grill pan or cast iron skillet.
-Grate this cheese using a box grater. toss on the seitan in the last few minutes to soften.
-Toast the buns on the grill and assemble the sandwiches to your liking









Marinating the veggies the night before









Grilled veggies


Shredded seitan
I used my cast iron skillet on the grill
The sandwiches can be served with your favorite side dish
Ready to take a bite!

















Monday, October 13, 2014

Avocado Stuffed Black Bean Burger Sliders

Week 6 Browns vs. Steelers

The entire city of Cleveland is riding high. The Browns trashed their bitter rival on a perfect October day and it was a long time coming. Years of frustration alleviated by a hometown hero, leading the team he grew up watching to a winning record. It just doesn't get much better.


Perfectly grilled stuffed sliders
Actually, it does get better if you were able to join us at the muni lot today and sampled these stuffed veggie burgers. The creamy avocado center took it to another level.

The recipe for the burgers has been in development for a little while now. I made very similar patties for a memorial day cookout and they were gone in a flash. Its a combination black bean and seitan base so it holds up very well on the grill. The last thing you want it a mushy veggie burger falling through the grill grate.

The roasted corn and red pepper provide the necessary "veggie" to the mix. The roasting unlocks the special flavor in any vegetable and those two rank right up at the top.
Chrispy is hungry!

And stuffing a burger? I mean, everyone likes a little surprise inside of things, right? You wouldn't expect to find avocado in a grilled burger but you'll be blown away at how well it works. Don't be afraid to experiment with other fillings too.
Toss a half slice of Daiya cheese on top and you have one creamy, hearty slider. I served them alongside pulled BBQ Beyond Meat sliders and grilled sweet potato wedges. Enjoy!

An avocado surprise!



Ingredients

  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 flax eggs (3 tbsp warm water. 1 tbsp ground flax = one egg)
  • 1 cup corn, frozen or fresh
    Roasted corn and red pepper
  • 2 red peppers, halved and deseeded
  • 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (just double if you don't have Worcestershire)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 avocados
  • Juice of one lime
  • 6 slices vegan cheese (I used Daiya cheddar)
  • 12 slider buns
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Place the corn and red pepper in the oven for about 20 minutes. Watch the corn, you don't want to burn it! 
  2. Meanwhile, mash, blend or process the beans. They should be mushy but with some chunks.
  3. Add the beans, flax eggs, Worcestershire and soy sauce to a large bowl. Mix well.
  4. Then add the wheat gluten, bread crumbs and spices. Knead well, about 3 minutes. 
  5. Once the pepper is cool, peel the skin (here's a primer on roasting red peppers. Or you could just buy the jarred stuff) and chop into small piece. Fold the chopped pepper and corn in with the burger mix
  6. Mash the avocado with the lime juice
  7. Now comes the fun part. Make a small patty in your hand, Put a small spoonful of the mashed avocado in the center and set it down on a plate. Make another small patty and carefully seal the two patties around the avocado (take a look at the pictures below!)
  8. Keep the stuffed patties until ready to grill. Once the grill is ready, grill each side until browned. Toss the cheese on to melt. Serve on a slider bun.

Flat patty ready for filling


Add the avocado


Get ready for patty #2


Seal the edges


Burgers on the grill with Pulled Beyond Meat




A plate full of goodness, including grilled sweet potato wedges





Take a bite



Thursday, October 9, 2014

A "Bloody" Vegan Burger & the Growth of Plant Based Food

When news broke yesterday of Stanford Professor Patrick Brown's company Impossible Foods, my jaw hit the floor. It wasn't just the appearance of a burger nearly indistinguishable from one made from cows that shocked me (although clearly I need to get my hands on this product ASAP, even if it currently costs $20/patty), rather it was the amount of money invested in the company. $75 million to make the perfect veggie burger and other plant based foods. That's right, $75,000,000.00.
Look at the Burger!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Teriyaki Tempeh 'Ritos

Week 3 Browns vs. Ravens

Momentum was in the Browns favor after the big upset win last week and the weather held off for another perfect tailgate. Unfortunately, the Browns lost in typical Browns fashion despite being the better team. The vegans really ended up winning the day with amazing eats and you can find the recipes below.

Tempeh, much like tofu, absorbs flavor really well. I allowed the tempeh to marinate in a homemade teriyaki for 36 hours before tossing on the grill. Tempeh holds up quite well on the grill even when soaked with a marinade.

I paired the tempeh with grilled portobello and pineapple. I simply glazed them with the leftover marinade from the tempeh. The beauty of not using meat! The marinade can be reserved and used for other purposes.

Also, the burrito is a great vessel for the grill. It crisps up nicely. Erin, the wrapping queen put these together and loaded them peanut slaw, more teriyaki and peanut sauce. Enjoy!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BBQ Smoked Vegan Brisket

Week 2 Browns vs. Saints

Vegan BBQ never looked so good
It feels good to be back! The Browns decided to show up this week and bring home a win. The weather was perfect for grillin and we got down.

The vegans took over the muni lot with an outta this world vegan tailgate. Cowboy Caviar, Mac and Cheese, Green Beans and more. This brisket recipe requires a bit of advance prep. Form and boil the brisket the night before and coat with a dry rub.

On game day, use your favorite BBQ sauce or make your own (I will post my BBQ sauce recipe later this week). I went ahead and put the brisket, along with a simple cole slaw, on grilled Texas toast for a loaded sandwich. I drew inspiration from my two favorite vegan food trucks, Homegrown Smoker in Portland and BBQ Revolution in Austin. They are worth following and be prepared to drool at every post!

Now onto the brisket! Smoking can be accomplished in many different types of grills. I used the simplest method in my new horizontal grill. By sprinkling the charcoals with soaked wood chips and using indirect grilling, you can smoke the brisket "low and slow." This recipe will knock the socks of your guests. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chipotle Sausage Stuffed Cabbage with Creamy Chipotle Tomato Sauce

2014-07-22 21.21.21It's been too long! I've neglected posting but have been blogging over at Field Roast and Fresh Fork.  I figured, why not share those awesome recipes over here!  Football season is coming up soon so it's time to get thinking about what to cook.  Enjoy!
The first step to stuffing cabbage is steaming the head and peeling off the leaves one by one.  Fill the leaves with flavorful mixture or vegan sausage, brown rice, onions, garlic and spices.  Meanwhile, whip up a creamy, spicy tomato sauce.  Once the sauce is done and a cabbages are rolled, let simmer and prepare to be amazed!