Long Live The Vegan Grill Marks

By June 18, 2012Vegan Recipes

BBQ seitan

BBQ Seitan Sandwich with Collards

Where did this notion come from that vegans can’t operate the BBQ? Where’s MY invite to your BBQ? STOP the discrimination! I may not know the difference between medium and rare,  but I sure as hell know my way around a BBQ. You don’t need beef to have a smokin’ bbq!

There is this common belief that when you remove the meat and you are left with side dishes. Everyone’s always like… “Ohh sure you can come, there will be tons of coleslaw for you and some potat… oh wait….” Geez thanks, what are you going to offer me next?  To graze your front lawn as I please Just because I am a vegan does not mean that I want to eat salad as I drink my beer.  I… AM NOT A SIDE DISH. (I have a bowl of salad, and shake it as i say that loudly, salad goes everywhere)

The truth is, grilling vegan foods like hearty veggie burgers, marinated seitan skewers and tempeh is a delicious way to enjoy those grill marks. To me, veggies have always been the star of the grill. And they re soooo easy to make!

There are whackload of vegan, unprocessed proteins out there. And all of these guys are easily prepared,  and take on the flavour of any marinade you bath them in!

My favorite is Seitan– No not the dark lord of the underworld… Seitan it’s a wheat meat! This high protein meat alternative has the same look and texture as meat when cooked.  Just marinate it, and throw it on the grill!

My favorite marinade recipe is a marinade for porc chops! The best part is that you don’t even really have to measure anything! Just throw it all into a plastic bag!  I like to use spices such as cumin for its strong smoky flavour and fennel, a sweet seed that balances out the smokiness of the cumin. Throw in garlic and paprika, as well as orange juice for some dimension. Thyme for a lemonly, peppery taste, and pull it all together with balasamic vinegar, braggs seasoning for a salty twist and maple syrup!  Toss in your seitan or tempeh.. or both! And marinate over night.

Once they’re done eat the steaks alongside a fresh veggie skewer and a cold pint. This is what I call leading by example… with my fork! I always bring food to friends BBQs. The bowls are ALWAYS empty, and so are the coolers. The way I see it, I want to enhance my lifestyle by sharing fabulous examples of what I consider delicious. Not only does this work wonderfully, but people are happy to see me coming, not petrified!

So let us unite! AS vegans! And Demand to get invited to these so called “meat- events”…Stand up for your right to BBQ! Bring on the summer, the sun and the grill marks…

My favorite BBQ Marinade:

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 cloves

1 heaped tablespoon sweet smoked paprika

zest and juice of 1 orange

a small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked and very finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and very finely chopped

½ cup maple syrup

6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp Braggs 

Crush up the cumin, fennel seeds and cloves in a pestle and mortar and mix with the paprika, orange zest and juice, thyme, garlic, ketchup and balsamic vinegar. Season seitan with salt and pepper, then toss them in most of the marinade until completely coated. Marinate for half a day.

Put the “meat” on to a barbecue or under a hot grill for 15 to 20 minutes or until nicely charred. Every time you turn the seitan, brush it generously with the leftover marinade so you build up a sticky, blackened glaze. When evenly browned, place on a plate and  sprinkle with chopped coriander or squeeze over some lemon juice.

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