Vegan Grilling

So you’ve got a cookout to go to and no idea what to take?  Good!  This month’s article is basically a bunch of vegan grilling recipes I have found online.  Not only is it too hot to cook indoors, it’s too hot to write more than is absolutely necessary!  Just remember – even when there is no “author” identified, these recipes are not written in my voice – they are from several different sources.  If you are looking for vegan recipes online, I recommend http://www.vegweb.com.

By the way, remember that a lot of folks up north who don’t know any better call cookouts “barbeques” and talk about “barbequeing” food on a “barbeque grill” when they MEAN grilling food on a gas or charcoal grill.  Oh, well…We can still love their recipes anyway.  I’ve edited these just enough to make them understandable to those of us from below the Mason Dixon Line.  Happy Cookouts and Family Reunions! Happy Summer!

Ideas for Veggie Kabobs

I usually take shish kabobs with me to picnics, if there’s going to be a grill near by. The night before a cookout, I chop lots of veggies (red peppers, portabella mushrooms, etc) and some Tofu Lin (soy boy brand) baked tofu, or something like that. I put all this stuff in plastic containers in the fridge. I put the kabob spears in a container of water to soak overnight. Then when you’re ready to go to the cookout, get everything together, and go! At the cookout, the other guests can assemble their own kabobs with what they like.

People usually like it, and some even try the tofu without much convincing!

PS- you soak the skewers so that they don’t burn on the grill. And this can also be done in the oven, if there’s no grill, so it depends on what cooking method is available to you. I usually bring our camping grill to cook up ours, because no meat has ever touched it.

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Jamaican Jerk Skewered Vegetables

Serves: 4 , Preparation time: 1 hr.
Vegetables:
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 8 pieces
8 large white button mushrooms
8 broccoli florets
1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
Marinade:
6-8 scallions (green and white parts), diced
1 onion, diced
1-2 Scotch bonnet peppers or jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 T chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice or ground

Vegetables: Thread the vegetables onto 4 barbecue skewers,  alternating cherry tomato, bell pepper, mushroom, broccoli,  and onion.  Place the skewers in a casserole dish. Marinade: In a food processor fitted with a steel blade,  process the marinade ingredients for 15 to 20 seconds.  Pour  over the skewers and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours, spooning  the marinade over the vegetables occasionally. Preheat the grill until the coals are gray to white.  Remove  the skewers from the casserole and place them on the grill.  Grill until the vegetables are cooked but not burned, about  4 to 5 minutes on each side.
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Tasty Tofu Kabobs
Extra firm tofu (Firm will do if it’s all that’s available)
Red peppers (cut into chunks)
Green peppers (cut into chunks)
Red or yellow onions (cut into wedges)
Zucchini or Squash (1″ slices)
Any other veggies you want to put on the kabobs (cut into chunks or 1″ slices)
Cherry Tomatoes
1 or more bottles of Italian dressing (NOT CREAMY)
Soy sauce
Kabob skewers

Freeze and thaw the tofu if you like that texture. Either way, remove it from its container  and slice into approximately 2″ cubes.  Now make the marinade.  Start with the bottle of dressing and add a tablespoon of soy sauce.  Taste and adjust soy to your tastes.  Put tofu cubes into marinade (if you need more marinade, mix up another bottle of dressing and soy, you’ll  need some more after you make the kabobs)  make sure the  tofu is covered in marinade and refrigerate for 1-24 hours  (depending on how far in advance you have planned to make  these.  Given a large amount of time, the taste has time to settle into the tofu, but it will work given a minimal marinating time, just not as well).

After marinating tofu, remove from refrigerator, and cut up your veggies.  You want the peppers to be in 2.5″ – 3″ squares or triangles, the onions just cut in wedges of 2″ at the outside edge, and the  zucchini in 1″ thick slices. You basically want everthing about the same size so that the kabob is a uniform thickness.  You also want to soak your skewers in water if they are wooden, so that they don’t char on the grill.  Taking a skewer, make your kabobs.  I always use a piece of zucchini or pepper at one end, putting on a cube of tofu for  every 2 or 3 veggies I put on, and I put a cherry tomato on  the pointy end of the skewer.  Make all of your kabobs.

Now, put them in a) gallon size plastic bags or b) a baking pan a  couple inches deep.  I prefer method A as I can roll the bags to get marinade everywhere with less.  Put marinade in the bags or pan (just an inch deep or so in the bag), maybe deeper in the pan.  Let these soak as long as you like, turning them to coat in marinade.  When you’re ready, grill for 8-10 minutes over medium high heat or until the vegetables are done to your preference.  Now sit down and enjoy!
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Portabella Cap Mushrooms
Preparation & cook time: Approx. 10 min.

2 portabella caps per person
olive oil
Italian seasoning

This recipe is so delicious that you would want prepare two per person.

Purchase just the caps of portabella mushrooms.  If you purchase the ones with the stems, make sure that you trim the stems completely off the underside of the mushroom.   Don’t throw the stems away because the upper part of the stem can be sliced into medium sizes pieces and fried in olive oil.

Brush off any loose dirt and if needed use a damp paper towel to remove remaining dirt.  Do not run under water or soak in water because they become water logged and will be  ruined.  Dry mushroom caps thoroughly.

Spray a grill rack to keep mushrooms from sticking.  Add some Italian seasoning to some olive oil, stir thoroughly.   Brush on olive oil mixture on each mushroom and grill on each side for about 2-3 minutes or longer as needed.  Apply more olive oil mixture to other side and cook 2-3 minutes or longer as needed.  Poke mushrooms with fork to check for tenderness.  These mushrooms taste like steak.
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Spicy Grilled Corn on the Cob
Serves: one ear per person, Prep & Cook time:  20 minutes
lemon, cut in sections
powdered cayenne pepper (hot) or chili powder (milder)
salt
corn
Peel the green ears and hair off of a stalk of corn on the cob.  Place it on a grill over an open flame.  Turn every 2-3 minutes.  Corn will snap and crackle as it turns a golden brown or light black color on all sides.  Once browned, apply lemon section to coat all surfaces of the corn with lemon juice.  Then lightly sprinkle on red hot pepper and salt.  Enjoy and keep plenty of cool water on hand.  Mouthwatering snack for picnics or cook-outs
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Grilled Eggplant
Serves: about 4 per eggplant
Preparation time: 15

eggplant (size and number depends on amount of people to be served)
oil
basil
rosemary

Clean and slice eggplant into quarter of an inch slices, lengthwise;

Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with chopped basil and rosemary; either grill in a skillet or outside works best – they grill fast and can stick; so brush grill with olive oil and watch closely!   This also works for squash and zucchini.
Yummy Grilled Asparagus
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 1/2 hour

1 bunch of asparagus spears
6-7 gloves of garlic, crushed
Olive Oil
salt and pepper (optional)

This recipe is so easy and good! Wash and prepare asparagus spears by breaking off tough  ends.  Set aside.  Crush 6-7 cloves of garlic and put into ziplock bag.  Add asparagus to ziplock bag and pour olive  oil over asparagus until covered.  Make sure ziplock is  securly closed and shake.  Let bag of asparagus sit in  cooler (if you’re camping) or in refrigerator for 1/2 hour.  Grill until brown.  Add salt and pepper if desired.
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Sweet Potato Steaks

sweet potatoes (one per person)
steak sauce – Lea & Perrins is vegan.  Check labels.
Directions:
Buy potatoes that are straight and plump. I’ve done this with both  orange and yellow flesh varietes with good success. You can even try this with regular potatoes.

Slice sweet potatoes the long way into around 1/4″ (1 cm?) slices.  Brush with steak sauce. Let sit for a little while.  Place on grill.  Cook until about halfway done.  Turn once.  The potatoes get that wonderful grill pattern on them too!
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How To Grill Corn on the Cob
Grilled corn, with its wonderful and distinctive flavor, is a summertime favorite.

Time Required:  40 minutes

Peel back the husks from an ear of corn.
Remove the silk.
Bring the husk back over the cob.
Repeat steps 1-3 with desired number of ears of corn.
Place the ears of corn in water.
Soak for at least 10 minutes.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in the grill.
Grill the corn, turning frequently, until husks are dry and kernels are beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve hot off the grill, with butter or margarine if desired.

Tips:
If husks break off while you’re peeling them back, tie them in place with kitchen twine.

Fresh Herb Vegetable Grill
Serves 4  Prep time: 10 minutes, Marinade time: 30 minutes, Cook time: 10-20 minutes

1 large bell pepper, cut lengthwise into fourths
2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise in half
8 small new red potatoes, cut into fourths
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons reduced-fat Italian dressing
3 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as basil, cilantro, dill weed,   rosemary, thyme)
4 ears unhusked corn
8-12 fresh herb leaves, if desired

Place bell pepper, zucchini, potatoes, 1/3 cup of the dressing and the chopped herbs in large re-sealable heavy-duty plastic bag. Shake sealed bag to evenly distribute dressing. Let stand at least 30 minutes but no longer than 1 hour.

Heat coals or gas grill. Carefully pull back husks from corn but do not detach.  Remove silk.  Brush corn lightly with remaining 2 tablespoons dressing.  Place 2 or 3 herb leaves on corn.  Pull husk back up around corn and tie security at tip with fine wire or heavy kitchen string.  Remove vegetables from marinade; reserve marinade.

Cover and grill corn and potatoes about 4 inches from medium heat 10 minutes.  Add zucchini and bell pepper to grill. Cover and grill 10 to 20 minutes, turning frequently and brushing with marinade, until vegetables are tender. (Remove vegetables from grill as they become done; keep warm.)

Grannys on the Grill
From The American Diabetes Association’s Flavorful Seasons Cookbook
Serves 4 Prep: 10 min, Cook: 30 min.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
4 medium Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon canola oil, plus 1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon brown sugar, plus 1 teaspoon

Cut four 8-inch pieces of aluminum foil. Prepare the apples and place each    sliced apple on a square of foil. Sprinkle raisins, oil, and sugar over each    apple. Fold the foil into a package. Prepare an outside grill with an oiled    rack set 6 inches above the heat source. On a gas grill, set the heat to medium.  Grill the packets for about 30 minutes until the apples are tender. Remove from the foil and serve.

Grilled Plums with Orange & Mint

Serves 6-8, Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 5-10 minutes

8 large plums, halved and pitted
2 to 3 tablespoons honey, or to taste
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Plums release a lovely crimson juice as they heat, so be sure to spoon the cooking liquid over the fruit when you serve it.

Preheat grill. Place plums in center of large sheet of heavy-duty foil.

Sprinkle fruit with honey, orange juice, mint and orange peel. Seal packet tightly. Place on grill. Grill 5 to 10 minutes, or until fruit is tender.

Island Grilled Bananas
From The American Diabetes Association’s Flavorful Seasons Cookbook
Serves 4  Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 30-35 minutes
4 small bananas
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 teaspoons brown sugar

Make a small slit into the skin of each banana. Cut through 1/4 inch of each    banana and drizzle in some of the rum, extract, and sugar. Close up the skin    with a toothpick. Prepare an outside grill with an oiled rack set 6 inches above the heat source. On a gas grill, set the heat to medium. Grill the bananas in their skins for about 30-35 minutes until the skins are blackened and the bananas are hot. Slit each banana and push the ends in to fluff up. Eat like a baked potato, directly from the skin.

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