As awesome as grilling season is, I think most of us get put in a less-than-stellar situation when going to family and friends’ BBQs. Unless your entire group of friends and lots of your family are vegan or vegetarian (if you have that going on, I’M SO JEALOUS), you’re probably going to find yourself at a backyard grillin’ party surrounded by racks of whatever, roasts in smokers and if you’re lucky, a shitty boca burger.
This whole situation came to mind when I was browsing a food magazine and found the idea for foil meals. I’ll be the first one to say that this is a pretty wasteful way to cook meals, but when you’re in a tough situation, these foil packs can be a life saver! Not to mention, they are insanely easy to put together. I actually recommend getting them together the night before, so that the flavors meld together more and you don’t have to worry about rushing them the next day.
These meal packs are so versatile that you can make tons of combinations; include some protein in there by marinating tempeh in liquid aminos and throwing it in with the veggies before going on the grill. Foil also keeps your fresh veggies from touching whatever crap is stuck on your friend’s grill! (So important) An easy way of putting these together is thinking about what you like to put on kabobs; for me it’s mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, and a few others.
But, before I get to the recipe I just want to mention that I had an awesome time, last night at Golden Road Brewing. This is where Randy Clemens celebrated the release of his new cookbook, The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook! I got to meet Randy –who is totally awesome– and take a couple of pictures with him after enjoying some dishes from his book. I have thumbed through most of the book and the recipes look fantastic AND easy to make.
It seems as though, lately, I have been somewhat of a grilling machine. I just can’t stop! With this month’s love bloghop theme being #tomatolove, I knew right away that the first recipe would involve grilling them; but, I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to use them after the preparation. I have a few different ideas, but I’ll make them later this month once I’ve made a few trips to the farmers market.
First off, these stacks may look a little fancy, but they are super easy to make and put together. They make for a great appetizer for an outdoor dinner party or BBQ, and as I experienced last night, people will be pretty impressed by their presentation (just make sure to not relay how easy they were to make ;)). As you can see, you can interchange the veggies to whatever you prefer most, as long as you can cut it into somewhat of a circular shape.
I was able to use some more zucchini from my garden, thankfully; I’ve been giving these damn things away! Before this recipe, I had never tasted grilled avocado, but now I feel like this will be a common occurrence for the rest of the season. All of these grilled veggies paired with a little homemade BBQ sauce and a light, smoky almond cream make for a winning combination.
That extremely special day is upon us, tomorrow, June 30th is Vegan Pizza Day! You want to talk about a holiday that I can celebrate? This day is definitely one of them and I plan on having plenty of vegan pizza tomorrow, much to my waistline’s chagrin. But, I couldn’t go into this weekend without providing you with an awesome pizza recipe, plus a few from the archives.
Of course, I didn’t want to make the pizza for only myself, so I called my darling friend and loyal taste-tester Amanda over for a pizza experiment. Her and I both agree that grilling a pizza is really freaking fun, interesting and super tasty. In fact, it’s going to be just a little hard to bake my next homemade pizza in the oven, although it may be just a teeny bit easier.
The recipe and ingredients for this pizza are super simple, but the key points that make it go above and beyond your pre-made pizzas are a homemade crust and homemade BBQ sauce. No, this isn’t my delicious Strawberry BBQ sauce from a couple of months back, this is a more traditional, savory BBQ sauce with a kick.
A great recipe for homemade BBQ sauce and grilled pizza that will make your taste buds cheer!
¼ Cup Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
1½ Tbsp. White Vinegar
2 tsp. Molasses
2 tsp. Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
1½ tsp. Yellow Mustard
½ tsp. Onion Powder
½ tsp. Garlic Powder
½ tsp. Liquid Smoke
¼ tsp. Ancho Chili Powder
¼ tsp. Paprika (or Smoked Paprika if you have it)
¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
Salt & Pepper to Taste
½ Cup Beer (Preferred: Golden Summer Ales or Lagers)
1 Tbsp. Rapid Rise Yeast
½ Cup Warm Water
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Agave Nectar
1¼ Cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Dried Cilantro
¼ tsp. Onion Powder
¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
Cornmeal for Sprinkling
1 Small Package of Gardein BBQ Shreds
Galaxy Foods Vegan Mexican Shreds
½ Cup Fresh Pineapple, Chopped
¼ Cup Red Onion, Sliced into Slivers
2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro
Put every ingredient from the tomato paste to the beer into a blender and puree until completely smooth, you may need to add a little water depending on how thick you like it.
Pour the mixture into a small pan and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take it of the heat and pour it into a jar or cup for easy application.
Save the pan and saute the Gardein shreds in it for 5 minutes over medium heat. Set them aside until you top the pizza.
Clean and preheat your grill to roughly 350-400°F. Mix the yeast with the lukewarm water until the yeast is dissolved. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
Mix the salt, onion powder, garlic powder, olive oil, and agave nectar into the yeast mixture. Combine the flour and dried cilantro, then add the wet mixture to the flour. Knead dough until it is fully mixed, adding flour if the dough is too tacky.
Roll dough into a ball and let sit in an oil coated bowl for 20 minutes. Afterward, roll out the dough roughly ¼” to ½” thick over cornmeal and place on pan or stone that has cornmeal sprinkled over the top (it helps with sliding the dough off).
Bring the crust out to your grill and carefully place it over the heat (be careful of hot spots). Grill for 3-4 minutes on one side, you’ll see that it starts to bubble up; then flip over and grill for 2 minutes.
Bring the crust back inside and slather a layer of the BBQ sauce on top. Sprinkle the Mexican shreds over the sauce, arrange your BBQ Shreds, pineapple, red onion and cilantro on top.
Lower your BBQ’s heat to around 300°F and grill the pizza for 4-6 mins. make sure that you do not burn the crust (like I did, ha ha). Once the cheese is melted, and the crust is browned on the bottom, carefully take the pizza off of the grill and serve!
The BBQ Sauce recipe is a little more than what you’ll use on your pizza (depending on your preference). If you want more for the rest of the summer, double the recipe.
Now you can surprise your family and friends with a pizza made in an nontraditional way. If pineapple and BBQ sauce aren’t your thing, try out a Seitan Sausage Crumble pizza; or a Rustic Flatbread made with zucchini and arugula (perfect for summer!). Say you’re trying to eat a little healthier and want to forgo the crust, this Pizza-Stuffed Spaghetti squash is a great solution and insanely good. There are tons of options for you!
So enjoy your vegan pizza day! Tell me, what are your favorite pizza toppings?
I had never really thought about making my own BBQ sauce before last September. The thought was implanted in my brain by the wonderful Sherri (co-founder of Urban Food Crawl), when I purchased some vegan Worcestershire sauce for bloody maries and she said that she used it to make her own BBQ sauces. For whatever reason, that little suggestion came to the front of my brain a couple of weeks ago, maybe the warmer weather? Either way, I decided to try to make my own; it sounds kind of funny, but to start I just looked at the back of a Lucille’s BBQ Sauce bottle at the main components and went on my merry way.
My first attempt was a success, as I had a few friends over that night to try it out on some grilled tofu, but it was more your semi-traditional Kansas City variety. I’ll be making that again and posting it, but my second attempt at BBQ is something special. Knowing that tomato paste is pretty sweet and inspired by this month’s bloghop theme, berries, I decided to get a little creative with my next batch. Why not use strawberries?
I have to say, I spent a little more time trying to get the seasonings right with this one; I didn’t want to completely smother the flavor of the strawberries, but I still wanted it to be savory. After having a couple more people taste-test this without knowing what exactly it was at first, I think I’ve made something pretty delicious and super easy to make.
This is a vegan food blog, run by Jackie Sobon, that covers everything from indulgent desserts, to healthy dinners, and even raw recipes! I also write up restaurant reviews and am sort of a beer snob. You'll find that there is something for everyone, here!
If you would like me to contact me about photography jobs, testing out a recipe, review your restaurant or just have a question you'd like me to answer email me at: [email protected]!