Friday, November 29, 2013

Vegan Tailgate Chili Mac and Cheese

Week 12 Browns vs. Steelers

Chili Mac and Cheese
Nothing says tailgating quite like a bitter rivalry and bitter cold.  It might have been hard to watch or move your extremities at times, but the food was the highlight of the day.  You've got to enjoy some quality tailgate grub and talking about the draft for next season.

My tailgate mac and cheese is one of my favorite recipes on this blog.  As I discuss in the post, vegan mac and cheese can be quite the adventure.  After experimenting for the past few years, I've settled on cashew based recipes, whole wheat noodles and lots of added flavor.  Unlike dairy mac and cheese, where the milk does all the work, vegan mac requires some creative flare.

On a cold day, you need some warm comfort food like chili.  Mac and cheese is not too far behind.  So why not combine the two, put it in a grill pan and throw it on the hot fire?  This recipe uses quick and simple TVP chili without beans, although a few legumes wouldn't be a bad idea.  Mix it all together the night before and then just bring to the tailgate ready to grill.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Field Roast "Cooks in the Field" Recipe Contest Winner

I'm a Grill Master! Well, at least according to Field Roast, the artisan grain meat company.  A few weeks ago I submitted this recipe for Field Roast stuffed boomers to the Field Roast Cooks in the Field recipe contest.  My friend Holly encouraged me to sign up given my love affair with the succulent vegan sausages.  And low and behold, I won! I am excited to participate with the other contest winners, the "Urban Foodie" Joy Martin of the blog Braisen Woman and the "Healthy Homemaker" Sarah Creighton of the blog Veggie Kids.

A preview of my shipment (Photo from @fieldroast)
According to the contest terms and conditions, as Grill Master I will create 10 new recipes (2 per month for the next 5 months) using Field Roast products.  Field Roast will post the recipes on their blog to share with the vegan masses all over the world.  This week, I will receive my first shipment of grain meats from Seattle.  Over the course of the next few months, I will receive Field Roast coupons, a Field Roast swag bag, another shipment of Field Roast products, "exposure and Field Roast fame!"

Field Roast has really been stepping up the recipe section on their website and this contest is another stellar effort to engage their customers.  Last winter, I declared Field Roast as "the best vegan tailgate food," in an ballad to the company based in Seattle, Washington.  Keep tabs on their blog for full bios, photographs and recipes coming soon.

(Update: Here is my Cooks in the Field Spotlight)

Here is my quote from their website:
“I really got into cooking after college and like many guys, my favorite thing to do was grill. Combined with my love for football, tailgating came naturally. 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 it’s 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!”
I can't wait to share more of the delicious details with you all.  If you are lucky, you may be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor in the test kitchen!  Thank you for all your support of Hold the Pigskin.  The past couple of months have been the best ever for the site and the future is bright.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Garlic Smothering Defense: Spicy Roasted Garlic Wing Sauce

Wings from the Asian grocery
A tasty, versatile sauce can be the MVP of any tailgate.  We put it on everything at the tailgate, tofu scramble burritos, vegan wings and veggie burgers. Sure, you can buy the bottled stuff or even grab a bottle from your favorite restaurant, but making your own sauce makes a big statement.  You control the flavors, spice and consistency.

I like to mimic some of my favorite sauces and try to improve on them.  This week I went after one of the most popular wing sauces at Buffalo Wild Wings, Spicy Garlic.  Great flavor and sneakily spicy, this sauce brings the hammer.  

For this sauce, I used garlic from my friend's garden and roasted it for an hour or so.  Then I cooked down the vinegar base with a ton a spices.  Instead of oil, I used a flax egg and corn starch to thicken. When it was cooking down, I added water as needed and I don't think it took away from any of the flavor.  This yields about 16 oz. so feel free to double it if you need more.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Veggie Burger Off 2014: Beet Bacon Cheeseburgers

Week 9 Browns vs. Ravens

The last time the Browns beat Baltimore I was a senior in college.  11 straight losses and a Super Bowl win later, the Ravens came to town in a much-hyped matchup. A 4:30 game meant the tailgate had "bonus hours."  Add that to a bonus hour from daylight savings time and we had a recipe for an amazing tailgate.  A great time to hold the annual Veggie Burger Off, where I ask all vegans to bring their best veggie burger to grill.

Last year's edition of the Veggie Burger Off ended in bitter disappointment for me, as my friend Rob stole the show with his Spicy Bean Burgers.  This year I was determined not to drop the ball.

Many people in Ohio and beyond claim that Northstar Cafe in Columbus has the best veggie burgers.  They are made with beets, black beans and brown rice for a meaty texture and unbelievably simple and delicious flavor.  My intention for the veggie burger off was replicate it and then take it to another level.  Instead of just black beans, I used red kidney beans.  I also topped it off with some tempeh bacon and melty daiya provolone cheese slices.  A recipe for success... Enjoy!