Let me start off by saying that I miss the “real” world! I’ve been out here in Indio for two weeks and am so insanely busy. I have more and more posts saved up for you, but no time to get them up! And, cooking is out of the question, so I have almost 2 more weeks until I’m back in my kitchen at home and cooking up awesome dishes.
For those of you that didn’t hear, I’m on the inventory team in the merch tent for Coachella/Stagecoach, so I’m pretty much stuck in the desert for an entire month. What IS a relief is that I have some really great vegan options when it comes to show-day eats. Right now, there’s a Brazilian vegan booth with some great combo plates (including plantains!), a vegan Indian booth with lentil dahl, savory chutney and saffron rice, plus a RAW VEGAN booth! Pretty incredible to see veganism grow to change your typical food court booths, and even better to see it being a popular choice; even with Ruth’s Chris’ booth only a couple of stops over.
You may have heard that National Grilled Cheese day was this past Friday, and this here sandwich is my contribution to all of the great posts from that day. I tried out a new, vegan cheese substitute with this one and loved how it turned out. Plus, I absolutely adore buffalo anything, as long as it’s vegan; so this ended up being a magical combination. To make it slightly healthier I added some kale to the sautéed tempeh, which also adds great color and texture contrast. Don’t you love it when food looks as good as it tastes?
This recipe really comes together in almost no time at all, save for the sauteing of the tempeh. It’s pretty flexible as well; you can switch out the kale for almost any other green, and adding some diced red onion may just take this sandwich to another level! Maybe you prefer sourdough over seedy wheat breads, which sounds so good, or adding some tomato and avocado. Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my keyboard.
Today, I am tired. Don’t ask me why, I really couldn’t tell you. So, I’m not feeling like my talkative ol’ self right now and will keep this relatively brief. This post was inspired by some mail that I received today, and I felt that making a sandwich of my own was highly appropriate. I looked around my fridge feeling a tad uninspired, when I spotted a block of tofu in the back! My first thought was smoky, but I feel like that’s all this blog has been lately so I went in another direction.
Marinated and baked tofu atop a little arugula, with a pile of sautéed onions, peppers and mushrooms on top. I added a little mashed avocado with garlic salt, but hummus would be great, too. Or, you could get a little weird (like I did) and lightly dunk your sandwich into the remainder of your marinade. It’s delicious, I promise.
Nicer weather is here again, after a couple of days of drizzly, sticky humidity, and I really couldn’t be happier. It’s the perfect weather for being outside, taking care of my garden, getting out of the house and being inspired to try out some new flavors. I have many green onions growing in my garden, just waiting to be trimmed, plus I just harvested my first two jalapeños (which I’m super excited about). Now, I’m just waiting for my corn to fully develop and maybe I’ll grill those, too!
A little garden friend has made himself at home on one of my stalks, as you can see above. It was the tiniest little spider that disappeared once it saw me approaching with my large camera, hoisting himself up and away from his intricate web; I’m always in awe of the beautiful creations that these creatures make.
Another outdoor activity that I’ve obviously been doing a lot of is grilling! This sandwich was inspired by the “grilled” cheese sandwiches that she made for my sisters and I when we were young. She always added a little Miracle whip (obviously not vegan) to the cheesy insides for an interesting tang; I’ve translated this into a delicious vegan aioli that has a spicy kick from my homegrown jalapeños. Other than preparing the aioli, this recipe is easy to prepare and can be customized to fit your palette with different fillings.
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.