cole slaw · mushrooms · peanuts · tempeh · teriyaki · vegan

Teriyaki Tempeh ‘Ritos

Week 3 Browns vs. Ravens

Momentum was in the Browns favor after the big upset win last week and the weather held off for another perfect tailgate. Unfortunately, the Browns lost in typical Browns fashion despite being the better team. The vegans really ended up winning the day with amazing eats and you can find the recipes below.

Tempeh, much like tofu, absorbs flavor really well. I allowed the tempeh to marinate in a homemade teriyaki for 36 hours before tossing on the grill. Tempeh holds up quite well on the grill even when soaked with a marinade.

I paired the tempeh with grilled portobello and pineapple. I simply glazed them with the leftover marinade from the tempeh. The beauty of not using meat! The marinade can be reserved and used for other purposes.

Also, the burrito is a great vessel for the grill. It crisps up nicely. Erin, the wrapping queen put these together and loaded them peanut slaw, more teriyaki and peanut sauce. Enjoy!

Teriyaki Tempeh
  • 2 packages tempeh (16 oz.)
  • 1 1/2 cup soy sauce, bragg’s or tamari
  • 1/2 cup rice wine, sake, or mirin
  • 1 cup water plus 1/4 cup water
  • ½ cup agave nectar or brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 head garlic, pressed
  • 2 tbsp. minced ginger root
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch

  1. Whisk all the ingredients except for 1/4 cup water and corn starch in a sauce pot
  2. Simmer over low-medium heat, until reduced by about half (20-30 minutes, or so)
  3. Cover the tempeh with about 1/2 of the sauce. Cover and refrigerate overnight 
  4. Make a glaze with the remaining sauce. Mix 2 tablespoon cornstarch with ¼ cup tablespoon water. Heat sauce on medium high heat and add cornstarch water mixture. Simmer until thickened.

Peanut Sauce
½ cup PB2
¼ cup Soy sauce
¼ cup Water
1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Ground pepper
1/2 tsp. Szechwan chili sauce
1 tbsp.  brown sugar 
Mix well!
Curried Peanut Slaw
  • 30 ounces of slaw (half or purple and green cabbage and 4 carrots), shredded
  • 3 tablespoon natural peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon stevia, or other sweetener to taste
  • roasted peanuts for garnish

  1. Place the shredded slaw into big serving bowl.
  2. Put the nut butter into a small bowl and whisk in the pineapple juice. Add the vinegar, curry powder, and red pepper flakes. Check the flavor and add stevia or other sweetener to taste. 
  3. Pour over slaw and mix well.
  4. Refrigerate over night. Garnish with peanuts before serving.
  • Teriyaki tempeh, curried peanut slaw and peanut sauce (above)
  • 5 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 pineapple, sliced vertically
  • 12 burrito wraps
  1. Grill the tempeh, mushrooms and pineapple. Brush with teriyaki during grilling
  2. Slice the tempeh, mushrooms and pineapple. Place in the center of a wrap and top with slaw and peanut sauce
  3. Throw the rito back on the grill for a couple minutes to heat.
  4. Serve with more slaw and sauces on the side.

bbq · cole slaw · mac and cheese · seitan · smoked · tailgate · vegan · vital wheat gluten

BBQ Smoked Vegan Brisket

Week 2 Browns vs. Saints

Vegan BBQ never looked so good

It feels good to be back! The Browns decided to show up this week and bring home a win. The weather was perfect for grillin and we got down.

The vegans took over the muni lot with an outta this world vegan tailgate. Cowboy Caviar, Mac and Cheese, Green Beans and more. This brisket recipe requires a bit of advance prep. Form and boil the brisket the night before and coat with a dry rub.

On game day, use your favorite BBQ sauce or make your own (I will post my BBQ sauce recipe later this week). I went ahead and put the brisket, along with a simple cole slaw, on grilled Texas toast for a loaded sandwich. I drew inspiration from my two favorite vegan food trucks, Homegrown Smoker in Portland and BBQ Revolution in Austin. They are worth following and be prepared to drool at every post!

Now onto the brisket! Smoking can be accomplished in many different types of grills. I used the simplest method in my new horizontal grill. By sprinkling the charcoals with soaked wood chips and using indirect grilling, you can smoke the brisket “low and slow.” This recipe will knock the socks of your guests. Enjoy!

Seitan Brisket

Huge bag of Wheat Gluten
  • 3 cups vital wheat gluten (I buy this stuff in 10lb. bags!)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 and 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder


  1. Combine dry ingredients (gluten, nutritional yeast and spices) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients (water, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic, and lemon zest).
  2. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine. Knead dough in the bowl for about 3 minutes until you have a spongy dough. Let rest for a few minutes, then shape into a log about 7 or 8 inches long. Cut into 3-4 pieces.
  3. In a large soup pot (the biggest you’ve got) fill with cold water (make sure it’s very cold, otherwise the seitan will get crumbly) and soy sauce/veggie brother to taste. Gently put the pieces of dough in the liquid. Partially cover the pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for one hour, turning the pieces occasionally. Let it cool
  4. Squeeze out all the liquid you can, without breaking it up (some pieces will fall off. Save these for stir fry, meat sauce, or some other use).
The seitan after boiling

Dry Rub

  • 3 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili  powder
  • 2 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon  of kosher salt


  1. Combine all of the spices in tupperware. Shake!
  2. Coat each piece of brisket, being careful not to break any. Really rub it in.
  3. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap or place in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate for several hours or overnight until ready to smoke .
  4. Soak wood chips (I like hickory) for 45 minutes or more.
  5. Start a fire in your charcoal grill or smoker. Prepare for indirect heat if using a grill (you don’t want it to be hot, keep temp around 225)
  6. Place the brisket on the grate. Throw some wood chips on the hot coals and close the cover. Smoke for 1 to 1 and a ½ hours, adding more soaked wood chips occasionally. Baste with bbq sauce in the last 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the grill and keep covered while you grill the Texas toast (see below)
  8. Slice and coat with BBQ sauce.
Dry rubbed and ready to chill overnight

Smoked brisket

Smoked brisket, sliced

Simple Coleslaw (adapted from Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, Texas)

  • 1 head cabbage, shredded (for a primer on how to shred a head of cabbage, click here)
  • Pinch celery seed
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Pinch white pepper


  1. Place cabbage in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Place vinegar in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. While vinegar is boiling, slowly add sugar and salt, stirring constantly until dissolved. Turn off heat. Place pinch of white pepper in a mixing bowl. Slowly pour vinegar mixture into white pepper while whisking, and mix well. Cover.
  3. Sprinkle celery seed and sesame seeds over cabbage and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add vinegar mix and combine well.

Texas Toast

  1. Thick (1″!), soft, white and fluffy bread
  2. Earth Balance at room temp
  3. Garlic puree (I used a head of garlic)
  4. Salt and pepper


  1. Mix together the Earth Balance and garlic in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Brush one side of the bread with the Earth Balance mix and place on the grill, spread side down.
  3.  Grill the bread for 1 to 2 minutes until lightly golden brown. Flip and quickly toast the dry side.

Tailgate! Assemble the sandwich like so…

bbq · cole slaw · grilling · tailgate · tempeh · vegan

BBQ Tempeh Sammies with Carrot-Cayenne Slaw

Week 9 Browns vs. Ravens

As the product on the field gets worse and worse, our tailgates seem to step it up a notch.  Everyone starts to hit stride as evidenced by our newest addition to the tailgate, the fire pit.  The food also is more elaborate as the year goes on the and the creative juices get flowing.  This week was no exception with this killer recipe from Byrant Terry’s “Vegan Soul Kitchen.”

Tempeh is a soy product similar to tofu in that it absorbs flavor wonderfully.  It is minimally processed using fermented soy beans and an ancient method from Indonesia.  It lends itself well to southern cooking because it has a grittier, more meat like texture, perfect for marinating and grilling.

This recipe starts with a delicious homemade marinade that I’d use for any BBQ grilling.  There aren’t too many funky ingredients and it beats store bought BBQ everytime.  This meal has a special feel, perfect for a crowd.  We had the sammies along side some creamy hummus-based potato salad for a complete tailgate feast.  Enjoy!

My tailgate basket

Carrot-Cayenne Slaw

  • ½ green cabbage head, cored and sliced thinly (you must have a good knife.  I’d recommend this Victorinox 8-inch chef’s knife for less than $30)
  • 2 large carrots, julienned matchstick length
  • Small squeeze Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar (Red Wine or Rice vinegar work too)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar 
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne (or however much you want!)
  • Glug of olive oil
Combine all the ingredients in an airtight container.  Let chill for at least an hour, preferably overnight.  Feel free to toss with a few toasted sesame seeds before serving. 

You can see the spiciness! 

BBQ Tempeh Sammies

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Juice from one lime 
  • ¾ cup tamari or soy sauce 
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 pound tempeh, cut into 1/2 –inch-wide fingers (I like LightLife Brand better than WestSoy)
  • 6 soft kaiser rolls (you could use foccacia and make open faced sammies too!)

In a blender, combine everything but the tempeh and rolls. Puree until well combined. Set aside.
Flavor explosion
In a large foil baking dish, place tempeh fingers in one snug layer. 
The tailgate prep table
Nice and snug
Pour marinade on top and tightly cover dish with foil (I added some leftover chipotle sausage and mushroom stems from our appetizer). Transfer to a 350-degree oven or to a grill.
Looks like a party
Grill for 50 minutes, covered, turning tempeh once halfway through. 
During the turn
Remove baking dish from grill. Transfer tempeh fingers to the grill and cook until sizzling and slightly charred, about one minute per side.

Finished off on the grill
Toast the buns and assemble the sammies with a few pieces of tempeh and a generous scoop of slaw on top.  
Final product

cole slaw · grilling · lentils · peanut butter · vegan · veggie burgers

VB (Veggie Burger) Sneak: Lentil-Mushroom Burgers with Peanut Butter Relish Slaw, Roasted Garlic Aioli, and Whiskey BBQ

Week 6: Browns vs. Bengals

Veggie Burger Cook Off, 2012 edition (Note: There were two other entries into this year’s cook off and I will have one of the other recipes posted later this week).

I wouldn’t sneak a veggie burger or any vegan dish on anyone.  But I think this recipe is so good that meat eaters will have no idea they are eating a burger made entirely of whole, plant-based foods.  It comes from Scott Jurek, a vegan ultramarthoner and author of Eat & Run.  He is role model for all vegan (and non-vegan) athletes who look for an extra edge by eating a plant-based diet.

The most common question I get is “what holds this together?” Scott’s recipe holds up well on the grill, which is key for any homemade veggie burger recipe.  A lot of cooking is trial and error.  Just like athletic events or anything challenging in life, if you fail, dust yourself off and try again.  The Browns winning today after dropping 11 in a row is a testament to that.  Making a veggie burger is similar, and you might fail the first couple of times.  However, if you follow the directions below, it will stick together very well on the grill.

Lentil-Mushroom Burger

  • 1 cup dried green lentils (2 1⁄4 cups cooked)
  • 2 1⁄2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Dash black pepper
  • A few drops of liquid smoke (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (a garlic press is a kitchen must have)
  • One large onion finely chopped
  • 3⁄4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups fine bread crumbs (I use Ian’s brand)
  • 1⁄2 cup ground flax seed (flax seed meal) 
  • 3 cups finely chopped portobello mushrooms (about 2 large caps)
  • 1 1⁄2 cups destemmed, finely chopped kale, spinach, or winter greens
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Dash sea salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • Dash paprika
  • Note: for buns I use Ezikiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Burger Buns which pack a whopping 9 grams or protein per bun! 
Bring the lentils, water, parsley, 1/4 of the onion and one of the garlic gloves to a boil.  Simmer for a half hour or until the lentils easily mush.  Add a dash of black pepper and a few drops of liquid smoke then mash together. Set aside to cool.
Lentils, by themselves, don’t look that appetizing!
Meanwhile, sautee the rest of the onions, mushrooms, kale and rest of the garlic.  Cook until soft and fragrant  about 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool.
Sauteed veggies
Add the bread crumbs, flax seed meal, walnuts,  and nutrional yeast to a large bowl.  Season with salt, pepper and paprika.  Mix well and then add the lentils and veggie mix.  Combine well (this gets a little messy!) and put in the fridge to cool.  
Mix with your hands!
Girl, look at that patty
You can leave it as is and make patties at the tailgate or you can make the patties ahead of time.  Throw them on the grill for about 5 minutes on each side.
Patties on the tailgate
A litte burnt, but it doesn’t matter!
Peanut Butter Relish Slaw (from “Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites,” by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman.  Their book, “The Complete Guide for Vegan Food Substitutions,” is also a good one.)
  • 12 oz shredded coleslaw (I used purple and green cabbage and carrots)
  • 1 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1/3 crunchy peanut butter (any excuse to use peanut butter in a recipe and I’m game)
  • 1 tablespoon capers (What the hell are capers?)
  • 2 tablespoons brine from capers 
  • 1 tablespoon dijon or stone ground mustard
  • Healthy shake of red pepper flakes
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix very well.  Place in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably overnight.  It may look a little dry at first but after it chills it gets saucy.  
You’d never think these ingredients go together
Saucy indeed
Roasted Garlic Aioli (You could use standard condiments, but what’s the fun in that?!)
  • 1/2 cup veganaise
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted (I do this ALL THE TIME)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Chop off the top of the garlic head so the cloves are just exposed.  Drizzle with a bit of oil, wrap in foil and bake for 45 minutes at 400.  Alternatively, you could peel all the cloves and bake in a rammekin with olive oil for 45 minutes.  Then drain the oil for later use (dipping bread, salad dressing etc.).
Press the garlic through a garlic press and combine with other ingredients.  Chill in the fridge.
Whiskey BBQ (also from “Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites“)
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup grape jelly
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha (god’s gift to mankind)
  • 1/4 cup whiskey (or white vinegar if you don’t have any)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustart
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Sautee the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until translucent.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for a half hour.  Take of the lid a simmer for a few more minutes.  This keeps well in the fridge so you can make ahead of time.  
Here is the final product!

Gimmie a bite. There may or may not be roasted red peppers involved.

Burger photo shoot