Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Smoked Eggplant Dip

It's officially the tailgate offseason.  But have no fear! There are plenty of tailgate adventures that don't require a parking lot and all of these recipes can be used at your favorite tailgate.

Smoked Eggplant Dip
My mom loves eggplant.  Any excuse she has for me to make it is good enough for her.  There is something about eggplant that just begs to be grilled or smoked.  Its dark texture, fleshy inside, stubborn skin are best utilized when slow cooked over a long period of time. 

This recipe can be made entirely in a parking lot and is easy to do if you pre-chop all the herbs and spices.  Smoking big eggplants takes some patience, especially when cooking the entire aubergine.  I really enjoy studding the entire eggplant with garlic prior to cooking.  This way, the garlic imparts great flavor inside and cooks at the same time.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 17, 2012

An Ode to Field Roast: The Best Vegan Tailgate Food

Sorry for the hiatus, law school exams will do that to you.  But I am back now and will be posting regularly, even through the offseason.

I did make it down to the tailgate two weeks ago on bike.  A quick trip to the muni lot is better than skipping it altogether.  I brought a tupperware of cucumber/tomato salad and Sara had a package of Chipotle Field Roast

sausages.  That's it. Nothing creative or off the wall, but still so good!

When in a pinch the number one vegan tailgate food is Field Roast sausage.  There is no debate.  From the real ingredients to ancient traditional recipes, Field Roast are a hit at tailgates.

I have used Field Roast in a number of recipies here on this blog (chili dogs and stuffed boomers) and in past blog posts over on Love Your Leftovers (lentil soup).  The chipotle is perfect in paella or any pasta dish.  The italian is great in wedding soup or pasta fagole.  The possibilities are endless.

Here are the top 5 reasons why I love Field Roast:
  1. Real food, made by real people.  And they're growing.
  2. It's better than all the competitors, which are usually soy based. 
  3. They are served at Safeco Field in Seattle.  How cool is that?
  4. They don't just have weiners, they also have roasts and deli slices.
  5. 25 grams of protein per sausage.  Where do YOU get YOUR protein?!
Photo Roll (after the jump)!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Onside Dip-Off: Grilled Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

Week 13 Browns v. Raiders

Going in for the kill
A winning streak? Unheard of!  That's right, the Browns have won 2 in a row for the first time since September of last year.  What a better way to celebrate than posting a recipe from one of my favorite vegan chefs, Cupcake Wars champion and stunning beauty Chloe Coscarelli.

There are plenty of tailgate dips that are "vegetarian" but are often loaded with cheese, sour cream, mayo, cream cheese, yogurt and just about every dairy product under the sun.  If it looks creamy at a tailgate, then it probably isn't vegan.  But who's to say a great creamy dip can't be plant based?  Chef Chloe is not one to mess around veganizing things, so her spinach artichoke dip was a must for the tailgate.

In the standard spinach artichoke dip, the cheesey creaminess presides over the flavor of the vegetables.  The creamy texture here comes from the soft tofu and nutritional yeast, but the garlic, artichokes and spinach stand out. I added a little Daiya cheese on top and bam! It was a winner with everyone at the tailgate.  If I didn't say anything, no one would've known it was plant-based and nearly fat free.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Kabob Blitz: Tempeh Veggie Skewers with Mango-Black Bean Quinoa

Week 12 Browns vs. Steelers

There is nothing quite like a rivalry game.  There is really nothing like two rivalry games in one weekend.  And winning them both? Unheard of!

These kabobs are dangerously good
After attending the OSU/Michigan game in Columbus the day before, I set out for the Muni Lot in Cleveland for the Browns/Steelers matchup.  The tailgate had to come together quickly as we only had Saturday night to prepare.  I bought of bunch of veggies and tempeh, made a marinade and put together this tasty entree of tempeh kabobs alongside some mango-black bean quinoa.

Kabobs are a unique method of grilling.  The smaller pieces and ability to separate items that cook differently enable you to perfectly grill the food.  For instance, cherry tomatoes can be taken off before they get too soggy, while the tempeh can be left on to get a crisp outer crust. The marinade is best left to soak overnight and the veggies and tempeh really absorb the flavor.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Vegan Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is about two things: food and football.  I debated doing a Thanksgiving post because its usually eaten indoors and not in a parking lot, but the distinctions from tailgating end there.  You gather around with friends and family to eat a lavish meal, watch football, drink a few drinks and have a good time.  Just like a tailgate! 

I'll be the first to confess that this is my first vegan Thanksgiving.  Last year I made an exception to the rule and ate turkey and all the fixins.  But this time around I was determined to give it a go plant based.  Plus I had a road game Sunday in Dallas (nothin says Thanksgiving like an almost win against the Cowboys) to allow me to cook from home and test out some new recipies.   

I pulled recipes from one of the most respected and creative vegan chefs around to create a complete feast.  Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a personal hero of mine for her endless pursuit of delicious food.  Her show, Post Punk Kitchen, spawned a book, which spawned a blog, which spawned many more books, is an inspiration to vegans everywhere.  Here's the menu: Seitan Roast Stuffed With Shiitakes And Leeks, Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potatoes with Golden Gravy (from Chef Chloe) and Pumkin Pie (from Kathy at Lunchbox Bunch.  This Thanksgiving post has nothing on hers).  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Field Roast Sausage Stuffed Boomers


Thank goodness the Brownies had a bye week, we all needed a week to recharge.

Stuffed boomers
Anyone who knows me knows of my love for the Field Roast.  Established 15 years ago in Seattle, they trace their roots back to 7th century China and a recipe used by Buddhist Monks.  It hands down beats all other vegan sausages and they also have a number of other fantastic products.

This recipe is adapted from The Barbecue Bible, an award winning book by Steven Raichlen.  Even though the book's over 500 recipes mostly contain meat, there are several vegetable and vegetarian sections and adaptable recipes   The grilling technique chapters alone are worth a read.

This recipe is rather simple, but it will wow people.  Appetizers are an underrated part of the tailgate experience especially if you can use the grill to make something special.  This will turn heads and get your tailgate off to a great start. Enjoy!

Monday, November 5, 2012

BBQ Tempeh Sammies with Carrot-Cayenne Slaw

Week 9 Browns vs. Ravens

As the product on the field gets worse and worse, our tailgates seem to step it up a notch.  Everyone starts to hit stride as evidenced by our newest addition to the tailgate, the fire pit.  The food also is more elaborate as the year goes on the and the creative juices get flowing.  This week was no exception with this killer recipe from Byrant Terry's "Vegan Soul Kitchen."

Tempeh is a soy product similar to tofu in that it absorbs flavor wonderfully.  It is minimally processed using fermented soy beans and an ancient method from Indonesia.  It lends itself well to southern cooking because it has a grittier, more meat like texture, perfect for marinating and grilling.

This recipe starts with a delicious homemade marinade that I'd use for any BBQ grilling.  There aren't too many funky ingredients and it beats store bought BBQ everytime.  This meal has a special feel, perfect for a crowd.  We had the sammies along side some creamy hummus-based potato salad for a complete tailgate feast.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Vegan Chili Cook Off

Week 8 Browns vs. Chargers

Chili, a myriad of colors
Chili is one of those comfort foods that some meat eaters prefer vegetarian.  The mix of beans, veggies and spices lends itself well to any palate.  It warms you up, through the heat of the food and the heat of spice.  We needed something warm on a cold rainy day in Cleveland.

For a tailgate, chili is extremely versatile.  We decided to make breakfast burritos and chili cheese dogs for a nice breakfast/lunch combo.  Often we dont eat anything but appetizers for the first few hours, so the though of a hearty breakfast burrito is appealing.  A key to keeping the chili warm throughout the day is either to plug in a crockpot or bring a pot to heat on the grill.

There are two kinds of vegan chili as defined by the Long Star Veggie Chili Cookoff: traditional and all veg.  “All Veg” chilis are made with only vegetables, while the “Traditional” chili contain a meat analog or substitute like seitan or tempeh.  I opted to make a traditional chili with seitan and TVP, and my buddy Chris made the multi-bean and roasted veggie chili (recipe coming later this week).  I'll also include my recipe for tofu scramble for the breakfast burritos. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Veggie Burger Cook Off: Bobby's Spicy Bean Burgers

Bobby has a burger press, a wise investment
Here is the other veggie burger recipe I promised from the cook off last weekend.  These burgers were a big hit with the meat eaters and vegetarians alike (some even voted for these as the "winner" over mine). The taco seasoning gave them an added punch. There is little prep time, which makes for a great recipe in a pinch.   Enjoy!

Monday, October 15, 2012

VB (Veggie Burger) Sneak: Lentil-Mushroom Burgers with Peanut Butter Relish Slaw, Roasted Garlic Aioli, and Whiskey BBQ

Week 6: Browns vs. Bengals

Veggie Burger Cook Off, 2012 edition (Note: There were two other entries into this year's cook off and I will have one of the other recipes posted later this week).

I wouldn't sneak a veggie burger or any vegan dish on anyone.  But I think this recipe is so good that meat eaters will have no idea they are eating a burger made entirely of whole, plant-based foods.  It comes from Scott Jurek, a vegan ultramarthoner and author of Eat & Run.  He is role model for all vegan (and non-vegan) athletes who look for an extra edge by eating a plant-based diet.

The most common question I get is "what holds this together?" Scott's recipe holds up well on the grill, which is key for any homemade veggie burger recipe.  A lot of cooking is trial and error.  Just like athletic events or anything challenging in life, if you fail, dust yourself off and try again.  The Browns winning today after dropping 11 in a row is a testament to that.  Making a veggie burger is similar, and you might fail the first couple of times.  However, if you follow the directions below, it will stick together very well on the grill.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tailgate Mac and "Cheeze" (with greens and jalapeños)

Week 3: Browns vs. Bills (part 2)

In addition to the traditional tailgate ribs I made for week 3, I wanted to bring a little more southern BBQ to the table.  Nothing says BBQ like mac and cheese next to a plate of ribs, greens, and baked beans.  But being a vegan doesn't mean you have to forego any of these things.  Mac and "cheeze," as many cookbooks and chefs call it, can be made a variety of ways without any cheese.  Common ingredients include:
This recipe again comes from Alicia Simpson's Quick and Easy: Vegan Comfort Food.  I wanted something in a casserole dish that could be easily heated on the grill.  I added a few additional ingredients, such as the collard greens (from the last CSU farmer's market of the season) and jalapeños. Enjoy!

Monday, October 1, 2012

BBQ Seitan Ribs

Week 3: Browns vs. Bills

When I tell people I'm grilling they usually smirk and make some comment about veggie burgers or portobello mushrooms.  But vegan grilling is so much more that frozen soy patties.   Seitan is an ancient meat-like substance made with the protein portion of wheat.  When combined with liquids, it can be formed and molded then baked, fried or grilled.  With added spices the possibilites are endless.  It may sound a little strange at first, but it the taste and texture are very much on point.  

This recipe for Seitan Ribs comes from Susan Voisin at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.  Its simple to make and can be prepped ahead of time, wrapped up and made ready to throw on the grill in the parking lot.  If you really wanna take it to the next level, make your own BBQ sauce.  My tailgate menu for the Bills game was pretty jam packed, so I just purchased the sauce to brush on while grilling.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 28, 2012

7-Layer Taco Dip

Week 1: Browns v. Eagles

In honor of the delayed suspension of Scott Fujita, our tailgate crew set out to have a "Fujita" Bar.  Naturally, Hispanic cuisine lends itself to the vegan palate.  In addition to crock pot red beans and rice and grilled veggies, I wanted something to share with everyone.

This recipe comes from "Quick and Easy: Vegan Comfort Food" by Alicia Simpson.  I added a 7th layer of nacho cheeze sauce to her six-layer dip .  Its easy to assemble and feeds a crowd.  Grab a large pyrex or one of those disposable foil tins and start layering!


I'd like to think this blog is one of a kind.

For the first 25 years of my life I ate like everyone else. I really got into cooking after college and like many guys my favorite thing to do was grill. (Check out my Facebook album "Chef Adam" for proof) But eating meat 2-3 times per day wasn't sitting well with me. It didnt seem healthy or sustainable. So my new years resolution for 2011 was to try going vegan for 28 days with the help of the Rip Esselstyn's Engine 2 Diet. My last meal? Pizza and chicken wings for  Ohio State's win over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.

I felt great.  So it just kept going.  With the support of family and friends, my life has changed for the better.  Despite a few "vegan meltdowns" along the road, I am here today committed to a plant-based diet.

The Grove at Ole Miss
So lets get to the point of this blog.  Tailgating is a right of passage.  Walk through any pre-game at a college or pro football game and see the displays put on by veteran tailgaters.  There is so much pride in what they do, one could argue its the ultimate eating experience in America.  Meat often takes center stage. Unless you feel like eating chips and salsa, vegans are left out in the cold.  I'm here to say it doesn't have to be that way!

Last season was the start of my vegan tailgate escapades in the muni lot outside Cleveland Browns Stadium. It was a little rough around the edges, but it got the job done: field roast sausages, refried beans and grilled peppers, and a veggie burger-off (the 2012 version is coming soon!).  This year I plan on taking it to a whole 'nother level.  Along the way I'll share recipes, photos and other vegan tailgate related items with the rest of the vegan tailgate world.  There have to be some of you out there right?!  Even if you're not using the recipes in the midst of drunken football loving savages, they are sure to please a crowd.  The idea isn't to produce the healthiest most well rounded meal, but rather one that everyone at the tailgate will enjoy (and not make fun of).

So here goes... welcome to "Hold the Pigskin: A Vegan Tailgate Blog."