Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hold the Pigskin Unveils New Logo

Cleveland, OH - With the goal to "honor tradition and provide modern edge," the vegan tailgate blog HoldThePigskin.com revealed a new logo today on the eve of training camp 2015.

The likeness of Brownie, the famed elf, is mashed with Popeye the Sailor Man, the spinach guzzling cartoon whose physical strength immediately becomes superhuman upon eating leafy greens.

While the website didn't undergo an expansive (and expensive) "two-year revamping project," the new logo drew rave reviews from fans of the site.

A proud father, Adam, Erin and Chris enjoying a vegan sausage
"That logo is AMAZING!" said Nick Harper of Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Harper also happens to be the creative brain trust behind the name "Hold the Pigskin."

"That is the coolest thing I've ever seen! When can I make it my background?" chimed Chris Sheeks, a game-day regular.

Requests have poured in for t-shirts, aprons and other memorabilia with the new logo and should be coming soon. Those who want merchandise should fill out this form to be included in the first batch.

Other intricate details of the logo, drawn by Cleveland artist and designer Shawn T. Gray, include a carrot football with green leaves protruding from the bottom of the "carrot skin" and a flaming grill to symbolize the epic tailgates.

We went a little further than this!
Unfortunately, this logo rollout didn't come with huge party at the convention center or utilize focus groups and surveys, but the impact on the brand is unmistakable. "This is a total game-changer," said website operator and head chef Adam Rosen. "Hold The Pigskin is now firmly on the map as a vegan destination event for plant-based tailgaters around the world."

The vegan tailgate season opens Sunday, September 20th in the Muni Lot when the Browns take on the Tennessee Titans. Expect some other exciting additions to the tailgate this year in addition to the new logo. Stay tuned! #btlerie


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Jo Jo Potato Poutine, The Akron Vegan Way

Part of me wishes I had tried poutine before taking the vegan plunge 4 years ago. Then again, the amalgamation of deep fried potatoes, brown gravy and cheese curds probably wouldn't have sat well with me. I didn't even know what poutine was until my little brother made several trips north of the border and came back raving about it. Since I had been thinking about veganizing the Canadian specialty for a while, a vegan Super Bowl party in Akron seemed like a perfect time.

What makes this poutine different from all other poutine? Well aside from the fact it's vegan, made with Field Roast Chao cheese and Vegan Sausage Gravy (see recipe below), it is also a special type of French fry known only to Akronites and Summit County Ohio dwellers as Jo Jo potatoes. Ok, the potato wedge isn't exactly unique to Akron, Ohio, but I can almost guarantee you that Jo Jo Potatoes have never made their way into vegan poutine before this. And now it's time to share with the world. 

The recipe is not hard to put together. To mimic the deep fried, egg covered Jo Jo's found in pizza and chicken shops in my hometown, I parboiled potato wedges and coated them in cornstarch, spices and a little olive oil before roasting them. The result is a crispy outside and a moist steamy inside. The poutine is assembled in separate bowls topped with the savory sausage gravy and a sprinkle of fresh sage. You can serve as an app, side or main dish. Enjoy!

Ingredients


  • 4 large russet potatoes (2.5 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Gravy Ingredients:
  • 1 small onion, chopped, about 1/2 cup
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 2 Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage sausages, crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup plain soymilk or almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cubed Field Roast tomato cayenne chao cheese (or other vegan cheese of choice)
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped fine 

Directions

Jo Jo's: Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes and cut them, lengthwise, into 10 to 12 even wedges.

Place the sliced potatoes into a large bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let them soak for 10 minutes (aka parboil).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry thoroughly with a clean tea towel or paper towels. Evenly toss the potatoes with the cornstarch, than add the oil, salt and pepper.

Arrange the fries in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip them. Continue to bake until the fries are golden and crisp, about another 20 minutes longer. In the last 5 minutes, remove the pans and add the cheese on top. Allow to melt before removing. Time serving so these are hot!

Sausage Gravy: Heat a skillet over a medium flame. Add the onions and cook for three minutes, until starting to soften. Add the crumbled sausage and cook for five minutes, until starting to brown. Add the flour and stir well. After two minutes, add the remaining ingredients, whisking well to combine. It will thicken and be ready rather quickly. 

To serve: Place fries in a bowl or on a plate and sprinkle with cheese. While still warm, pour gravy over fries and cheese. Top with fresh sage and enjoy!



Parboiled taters in cornstarch
Coated taters ready for the oven
Crumbled sausage
MMMMM graaaaavyyy

Jo Jo's
The final product



Monday, February 2, 2015

Weeknight Vegan Mac and Cheese

The football offseason is officially upon us but that doesn't mean we should stop making epic foods! I understand many people, including myself, are crunched for time after work. Easy and delicious recipes are tough to come by, especially those with a wow factor.

This recipe comes together in about 30 minutes and will blow you away with how good it is.  Here is where it definitely pays to have a Vitamix or else you'll need to soak the nuts and work at it in a regular blender. Pair this with some bbq seitan cutlets (that I like to keep in the freezer) and a steamed veggie side. While similar to past mac and cheese dishes found on this website (Tailgate Mac and Cheese and Chili Mac and Cheese), this version is much simpler without losing any of that creamy delicious flavor. 

If you don't have sunflower or sesame seeds feel free to use all cashews. If you a nut allergy, use all seeds. Gluten intolerance? Use your favorite gluten free pasta as this sauce is naturally gluten (and soy) free. You can make everyone happy this week for dinner, enjoy!

Prep 10 mins ∙ Cook 20 mins ∙ Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Water or veggie broth to cover
  • ⅓ cup raw cashews
  • ⅓ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ⅓ cup raw sesame seeds or tahini
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 16 oz whole wheat pasta of choice
  • 1 jalapeño chopped and quickly sautéed (optional)
  • A handful of greens, chopped (optional)

Directions

1. Toss the sweet potato, carrots, onion and garlic in a small pot and barely cover with the water or broth. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minuted or until soft.
2. Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water and cook the pasta according to the directions. I like to add a large handful of greens during the last 5 minutes of cooking to make it more healthy!
3. In a vitamix (if not using a high speed blender, please soak your seeds/nuts accordingly) add the cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, spices and the contents of the veggie pot, including water or broth. Blend until creamy.
4. Mix together the cheesey sauce and drained pasta. Toss the jalapeño if you want so kick or serve with your favorite hot sauce.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

We Are Vegan Meats!

My friends at Field Roast have outdone themselves with a new commercial that parodies the Arby's meat commercials, some of which had poked fun at us vegans for eating "twig and berry sandwiches." Clearly, the folks at the fast food chain have never had any Field Roast products or visited this blog!  The Field Roast rebuttal shows a massive 4 patty burger and an extra sloppy chili dog while touting the juicy vegan meats "meant for football and tailgating."
I hated those Arby's commercials and am glad Field Roast came up with something better. Their products are fantastic and I can' wait to visit them this fall when the Browns play in Seattle. In the meantime, pick up some Field Roast for your Super Bowl party and you won't be disappointed. Remember, we are VEGAN MEATS!!

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