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!