Peruvian Grilled Tofu

Trevor has become quite the grillmaster this summer! While barbecuing veggies is wonderful and gives them that unmistakable, smoky richness you can only get from the grill, cookin’ up slabs of tofu on the grill is a wholly satisfying experience as well.  He made this crazy-good Peruvian-style tofu the other day that was so unbelievably juicy, and just…amazing. Please definitely make this and make sure you use FROZEN TOFU! I used to be big on freezing and thawing my tofu as it creates this entirely new texture in the tofu…it’s so meaty and chewy.  I forgot about that for a while, but I’m back to always keeping a couple blocks in my freezer for impromptu chewy-tofu needs.

Vegan Peruvian Grilled Tofu

Peruvian Style Grilled Tofu

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp ketchup or tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 block of frozen extra firm tofu, defrosted (it’s important that it’s been frozen!  It gives it a really meaty, chewy texture)

Combine everything but the tofu in a shallow dish, mix and set aside.  Cut your tofu up into 8 slabs (cut the whole block in half width-wise, then each half in half again, then  each quarter in half), pat dry with a papertowel (squish it a bit to remove as much water as you can) then soak in the marinade for at least an hour but up to overnight.  Reserve leftover marinade.

Clean and oil your grill, get it up to a nice heat and then slap those tofu babies on there.  Minimize how much you flip it, baste it along the way, and get a nice grill on both sides.  Serve with leftover marinade on top for some extra juiciness + rice + greens (Our garden was overflowing with Swiss chard so we sauteed some up with raisins — raisins in savoury things is typical of the region and this worked well!).

 

BBQ Tofu, Smoky Mac and Cheese and Collard Greens

The closest I’ve been to anything remotely Southern US-like is driving through Tennessee and Georgia on our way to Florida when I was 8 years old.  So it’s a pretty far stretch to say I know anything about culture in those parts.  What I do know is that I love adapting the flavours of what I think a good old Southern meal should have and making it vegan.  This was a quick, weeknight version of a comforting Southern-style meal.  Another great thing is, while you may think of Southern food as being high on the heart-attack-as-soon-as-you-finish-your-meal scale; this one wasn’t.  Totally cholesterol free (like all vegan food), and low in fat.  
The smoky mac and cheese is whole wheat macaroni, smothered in the Easy Breezy Cheezy Sauce from Appetite for Reduction (with an added 1/2 tsp liquid smoke stirred in when the sauce is finished cooking).  So good!  So quick!   
Since our little barbecue is covered in a foot of snow right now, the tofu was cut into triangles and then dry-fried in a pan until it was golden with some nice charred bits.  Then it was doused in a generous bath of some locally made BBQ sauce we found at the farmer’s market – smoky, sweet and hot.  Yum.  It was left to bubble and thicken on the tofu for a while before serving.

The collards were made using a recipe from Appetite for Reduction, the Ye’abesha Gomen (Ethiopian Collards) recipe. Regardless of it being called Ethiopian Collards, the recipe produces tender, soft collards that complement the heartiness of the rest of the meal.

Also, last Sunday we went to try out The Early Bird, a new diner/greasy spoon place that just opened up and is run by one of Trevor’s oldest and dearest friends.  They have a vegan soup option each day, and a couple of sandwiches on the menu which can easily be made vegan by removing the dairy element and replacing it with some nice, grainy mustard.  I had the Ginger Beer Battered Tofu Sandwich with a bowl of Ginger Carrot Soup.  Good stuff!  It’s always great having new places to go and get something to eat.

Show posters everywhere at The Early Bird 

– Crystal

Seitan Sausages, Grilled Corn and Ranch-Dressed Salad

We were going to have a nice dinner on the balcony tonight but while we were barbecuing it started to rain, so we cooked everything as quickly as we could and brought it inside!

Grilled corn on the cob, garden salad (with vegetables from my balcony garden!) dressed with the Sanctuary Dressing from Appetite For Reduction, and a seitan sausage with mustard and sauerkraut.  

The sausage recipe is from the PPK blog, but I can’t find the entry right now (I had it copied to a text file) so I’m just going to post it here.  I like to make a batch of these and freeze them to use up on the grill, a couple at a time.

The recipe is also incredibly versatile and the spices can be changed up depending on what you want it to taste like.  I change it up and add garlic powder instead of microplaning garlic, I use navy beans instead of pinto because it’s easier for me to find them, and I never add fennel seed because I don’t love fennel.

Ingredients
– 1/2 cup pinto beans, rinsed and drained
– 1 cup cold vegetable broth
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 2 tablespoons soy sauce
– 2 cloves garlic, grated (with a microplane, or very finely minced)
– 1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
– 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
– 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed
– 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano
– Several dashes fresh black pepper

Method
1. Before mixing your ingredients, get your steaming apparatus ready, bring water to a full boil. The rest of the recipe comes together very quickly.
2. Have ready 6 sheets of tin foil. In a large bowl, mash the pinto beans until no whole ones are left. Throw all the other ingredients together in the order listed and mix with a fork. Divide dough into 6 even parts. Place one part of dough into tin foil and mold into about a 5 inch log. Wrap dough in tin foil, like a tootsie roll. Don’t worry too much about shaping it, it will snap into shape while it’s steaming because this recipe is awesome.
3. Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 40 minutes.  Now they are ready to use in a recipe or put on the grill.

– Crystal

Portabello Burgers

Barbecuing doesn’t have to be something you give up as a vegan.  We haven’t had grilled portabello mushroom on a bun (portabello “burgers”) in a long time, so we decided to have that tonight.  Topped with caramelized onions and a thousand island dressing (equal parts vegan mayo and ketchup + chopped pickles and a dash each of lemon juice and soy sauce), this was so delicious.  And what’s barbecue without grilled corn and vegetable skewers.

– Crystal