breakfast · daiya cheese · nutritional yeast · tofu

Vegan Grilled Breakfast Sandwiches

Week 1: Browns vs. Titans

And we’re back! A long offseason punctuated by a perfect fall day, a new tailgate van and a full menu

Hard at work on the new grill table

of vegan fare. A tailgate breakfast can be a welcome treat and a life saver. Often when making a big meal it can be hours before you eat and no one wants to snack on chips and salsa for breakfast. So that’s why I love to incorporate a grilled breakfast item at the tailgate.

Last year Broccoli Rob made vegan break burritos ahead of time, wrapped them in foil and then tossed them on the hot grill first thing in the morning.  They were excellent! That got me thinking about other breakfast items we could make and naturally I landed on the Egg McMuffin.

This recipe combines the best of all worlds: marinated tofu, vegan sausage breakfast patties (there are countless brands to choose from), vegan cheese, whole wheat English muffins and a special blend of sauces. After you eat this sandwich you will ask yourself, “why can’t I eat this every day?” Enjoy!


  • For the marinade:
    • 1/3 cup tablespoon vinegar (any kind but Balsamic)
    • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or less, if using ground mustard powder)
    • 1/3 cup tablespoons nutritional yeast
    • 1 tablespoon turmeric
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • Sriracha Maple sauce

      1 teaspoon black salt (Kala Namak is a must!)

    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • dash of white pepper
    • 6 sandwich-sized slab of extra-firm tofu, cut into circles
    • Rest of sandwich:


      1. The tofu should marinate AT LEAST overnight, then the rest of the recipe takes under 10 minutes to execute. 
      2. Marinade: Mix the marinade ingredients in a small plastic container with a lid. It will be thick! If it looks dry, cut with a bit of cold water. Once you have a paste, toss in the tofu, close the container, and shake to cover tofu completely. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, and even up to 48!
      3. Tofu butcher is in the house!

        Prepare the grill for direct heat.

      4. When grill is hot, give the tofu a final shake in the container, then place in grate along with the sausage patties. Keep most with any excess marinade. Grill the first side about 3-4 minutes. Flip tofu over, and grill another few minutes. When you flip the sausage over, place a piece of vegan cheese on top. Tofu is done when it’s a goldenrod color on both sides and has nice grill marks. When the cheese is melted, pull the sausage patties off the grill. 
      5. Meanwhile, prepare the bread to toast. Spread with a little vegan butter if you wish. Toast the bread right after the tofu and sausage is off. 
      6. Now once the bread is toasted, spread some of the sriracha maple sauce and vegan mayo on the bread. You can assemble the sandwich and then place it on the grill, or just eat right then and there! 

      Time to grill!


      Grilled to perfection! 

      Eat me!

      avocado · beans · daiya cheese · grilling · seitan · veggie burgers · vital wheat gluten

      Avocado Stuffed Black Bean Burger Sliders

      Week 6 Browns vs. Steelers

      The entire city of Cleveland is riding high. The Browns trashed their bitter rival on a perfect October day and it was a long time coming. Years of frustration alleviated by a hometown hero, leading the team he grew up watching to a winning record. It just doesn’t get much better.


      Perfectly grilled stuffed sliders

      Actually, it does get better if you were able to join us at the muni lot today and sampled these stuffed veggie burgers. The creamy avocado center took it to another level.

      The recipe for the burgers has been in development for a little while now. I made very similar patties for a memorial day cookout and they were gone in a flash. Its a combination black bean and seitan base so it holds up very well on the grill. The last thing you want it a mushy veggie burger falling through the grill grate.

      The roasted corn and red pepper provide the necessary “veggie” to the mix. The roasting unlocks the special flavor in any vegetable and those two rank right up at the top.

      Chrispy is hungry!

      And stuffing a burger? I mean, everyone likes a little surprise inside of things, right? You wouldn’t expect to find avocado in a grilled burger but you’ll be blown away at how well it works. Don’t be afraid to experiment with other fillings too.
      Toss a half slice of Daiya cheese on top and you have one creamy, hearty slider. I served them alongside pulled BBQ Beyond Meat sliders and grilled sweet potato wedges. Enjoy!

      An avocado surprise!


      • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
      • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
      • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
      • 2 flax eggs (3 tbsp warm water. 1 tbsp ground flax = one egg)
      • 1 cup corn, frozen or fresh
        Roasted corn and red pepper
      • 2 red peppers, halved and deseeded
      • 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire
      • 1 tbsp soy sauce (just double if you don’t have Worcestershire)
      • 1 tsp chili powder
      • 1 tsp cumin
      • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
      • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
      • 2 avocados
      • Juice of one lime
      • 6 slices vegan cheese (I used Daiya cheddar)
      • 12 slider buns
      1. Preheat oven to 425. Place the corn and red pepper in the oven for about 20 minutes. Watch the corn, you don’t want to burn it! 
      2. Meanwhile, mash, blend or process the beans. They should be mushy but with some chunks.
      3. Add the beans, flax eggs, Worcestershire and soy sauce to a large bowl. Mix well.
      4. Then add the wheat gluten, bread crumbs and spices. Knead well, about 3 minutes. 
      5. Once the pepper is cool, peel the skin (here’s a primer on roasting red peppers. Or you could just buy the jarred stuff) and chop into small piece. Fold the chopped pepper and corn in with the burger mix
      6. Mash the avocado with the lime juice
      7. Now comes the fun part. Make a small patty in your hand, Put a small spoonful of the mashed avocado in the center and set it down on a plate. Make another small patty and carefully seal the two patties around the avocado (take a look at the pictures below!)
      8. Keep the stuffed patties until ready to grill. Once the grill is ready, grill each side until browned. Toss the cheese on to melt. Serve on a slider bun.
      Flat patty ready for filling


      Add the avocado


      Get ready for patty #2


      Seal the edges


      Burgers on the grill with Pulled Beyond Meat


      A plate full of goodness, including grilled sweet potato wedges


      Take a bite

      appetizer · cashews · daiya cheese · field roast · mushrooms

      Grilled Pierogies with Chived Sour Cream

      The offseason continues and the Grill Master is just heating up.  The posts are flying over at the Cooks in the Field page on the Field Roast blog.  My latest is a divine grilled vegan pierogie stuffed with sausage, mushrooms, onions and daiya cheese and topped with chived cashew sour cream.

      Pierogies are a staple of the large Polish community in Cleveland.  Pierogies are traditionally stuffed with potatoes and cheese, boiled and then fried.  I figured, why not grill the filling, stuff, boil and then throw them on the grill instead?  This recipe calls for grilled Italian Field Roast, onions and mushrooms.  Vegan cheese is optional, but adds great texture and creaminess.  Top it off with some chived cashew sour cream and prepare to be amazed.  Enjoy!


      • Filling:
        • 1 package Italian Field Roast sausages
        • 2 large onions, quartered
        • 8 oz. mushrooms, halved
        • Shredded vegan cheese (optional)
      • Dough:
        • 3 cups all purpose flour
        • 1 cup water, plus 3 tablespoons
        • ½ tsp. salt
        • 1 tbsp. ground flax seed
      • Glaze:
        • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
        • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar 
        • 2 tbsp. olive oil
      • Chived Cashew Sour Cream: 
        • 1 ½ cups cashews, soaked and drained
        • ½ cup water
        • ¼ cup lemon juice
        • ½ tsp salt
        • 1 bunch fresh chives, chopped

      Preparation instructions

      1. Grill the Field Roast sausages on an oiled grill grate.  Rotate until all sides are charred
      2. At the same time, grilled the onions and mushrooms in a grill pan until charred.  The onions will take a little longer than the mushrooms
      3. Once cooled, chop into small pieces and set aside.
      4. Meanwhile, prepare the dough.   In a large bowl combine flour, 1 cup of water and salt.  Warm the remained 3 tablespoons of water and mix with the flax.  Add to the bowl and knead.  
      5. Roll out the dough until very thin (should be about ¼ inch thick).  Using 4-inch cookie cutter (or a martini glass) cut out circles of dough.  
      6. Meanwhile, prepare a lot pot of boiling water
      7. Place 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center of a dough circle. Top with a sprinkle of vegan cheese (optional).  
      8. Fold in half and pinch closed.  Use little water on your fingertips if they don’t stick. Repeat. (Style points: take a fork and press into the edges for a nice design!)
      9. Drop a few of the folded and sealed pierogies into the boiling water.  Don’t crowd the pot.  Boil for 5 minutes or until they begin to float.  Remove from the boiling water with slotted spoon. Repeat.
      10. Brush the mustard/vinegar glaze on and place on the grill.  Cook each side for about 2-3 minutes.  Keep moist!
      11. Meanwhile, place all the ingredients for the sour cream except the chives in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Fold in chives.
      12. Serve the grilled pierogies with a dollop of the chive cashew sour cream and your favorite hot sauce.  

      Rollin, rollin, rollin
      Ready to be stuffed
      The grilled stuffing all chopped up
      Grill time!
      Chived sour cream
      beets · daiya cheese · grilling · tempeh · vegan · veggie burgers · vital wheat gluten · vitamix

      Veggie Burger Off 2014: Beet Bacon Cheeseburgers

      Week 9 Browns vs. Ravens

      The last time the Browns beat Baltimore I was a senior in college.  11 straight losses and a Super Bowl win later, the Ravens came to town in a much-hyped matchup. A 4:30 game meant the tailgate had “bonus hours.”  Add that to a bonus hour from daylight savings time and we had a recipe for an amazing tailgate.  A great time to hold the annual Veggie Burger Off, where I ask all vegans to bring their best veggie burger to grill.

      Last year’s edition of the Veggie Burger Off ended in bitter disappointment for me, as my friend Rob stole the show with his Spicy Bean Burgers.  This year I was determined not to drop the ball.

      Many people in Ohio and beyond claim that Northstar Cafe in Columbus has the best veggie burgers.  They are made with beets, black beans and brown rice for a meaty texture and unbelievably simple and delicious flavor.  My intention for the veggie burger off was replicate it and then take it to another level.  Instead of just black beans, I used red kidney beans.  I also topped it off with some tempeh bacon and melty daiya provolone cheese slices.  A recipe for success… Enjoy!


      Gator wanted me to drop something!
      • 1 lb. beets, roasted
      • 1/2 dry brown rice, cooked (slightly mushy)
      • 1 medium onion, diced small
      • 4 cloves garlic, minced
      • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
      • 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
      • 1/2 cup dried black beans, cooked (or use 1 can)
      • 1/2 cup dried kidney beans, cooked (or use 1 can)
      • 1/4 cup prunes, chopped small
      • 2 tbsp. mustard of choice
      • 1/2 tsp. coriander
      • 1/2 tsp. thyme
      • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp. ground flax mixed in 3 tbsp. hot water)
      • Salt and pepper to taste
      • 1 package tempeh bacon (I used Lightlife Brand Organic Smokey Tempeh Strips)
      • 1 package Daiya Provolone Deli Slices 
      • Buns
      1. Wash beets, remove greens and wrap tightly in foil.  Roast at 425 for about an hour.  Let cool in the foil packet so skin loosens.  
        1. Meanwhile, sauteé onion for 10 minutes over medium heat.  Add garlic and sauteé for another minute.
        2. Pour half of the beans into a food processor or vita-mix.  Add the prunes and pulse.  You want to chop the beans but you don’t want to blend them.  

          Looks gooooood
        3. Peel and grate the beets once they are cooled.  Pressed the beet shavings into a colander and drain as much juice as possible (I had a shot of beet juice left over!)
        4. Add the onion/garlic mix, beans (both chopped and whole), beets, vinegar, mustard and spices to a large bowl.  Mix.
          1. Then add wheat gluten and flax egg.  Mix again.
          2. Put it in the fridge over night or at least an hour to set.
          3. When your ready to grill, wrap the tempeh bacon in foil and poke a few holes.  Place it on the hot part of the grill for 15 minutes. 
          4. Meanwhile, form the patties and place on a well oiled grill grate.  Cook 5 minutes each side.
          5. Once you flip the burgers, place a slice of provolone on top.  
          6. Assemble your burger and enjoy!
          Wrap tight!
          Hot beets
          Bean chop
          Veggie burgers on the grill
          Award winning
          Mmmmm yum!
          appetizer · daiya cheese · dip · nutritional yeast · tofu

          Onside Dip-Off: Grilled Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

          Week 13 Browns v. Raiders

          Going in for the kill

          A winning streak? Unheard of!  That’s right, the Browns have won 2 in a row for the first time since September of last year.  What a better way to celebrate than posting a recipe from one of my favorite vegan chefs, Cupcake Wars champion and stunning beauty Chloe Coscarelli.

          There are plenty of tailgate dips that are “vegetarian” but are often loaded with cheese, sour cream, mayo, cream cheese, yogurt and just about every dairy product under the sun.  If it looks creamy at a tailgate, then it probably isn’t vegan.  But who’s to say a great creamy dip can’t be plant based?  Chef Chloe is not one to mess around veganizing things, so her spinach artichoke dip was a must for the tailgate.

          In the standard spinach artichoke dip, the cheesey creaminess presides over the flavor of the vegetables.  The creamy texture here comes from the soft tofu and nutritional yeast, but the garlic, artichokes and spinach stand out. I added a little Daiya cheese on top and bam! It was a winner with everyone at the tailgate.  If I didn’t say anything, no one would’ve known it was plant-based and nearly fat free.  Enjoy!


          A bit of olive oil
          1 medium onion, roughly chopped
          5 cloves garlic, minced
          A few hefty shakes of crushed red pepper
          5 ounces baby spinach (usually 1 bag)
          1 14-ounce package soft tofu, drained
          1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
          2 tablespoons lemon juice (or juice of a half lemon)
          1 teaspoon dried basil
          1 teaspoons sea salt
          1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
          14 ounces of canned artichoke hearts, drained
          1/2 cup shredded Daiya cheddar cheese, to top (optional)
          Pita chips for serving


          Don’t lick the bowl!
          1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
          2. Lightly grease a foil baking dish (you can use a pyrex or anything else if not taking to the tailgate)
          3. Heat the bit oil over medium-high heat and saute onion until soft. Add garlic and red pepper and let cook a few more minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add spinach.  Cook until wilted.
          4. In a food processor (I used a Cuisinart, but any blender will do), blend tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, basil, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add artichokes and spinach mixture, and pulse about 15 times. Transfer to the foil baking dish.  Top with cheese (optional)
          5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Cover with foil and keep in the fridge until the tailgate.
          6. Throw the foil pan on the grill for about 15 minutes.  When it starts to bubble you are ready to go!  Dip with pita chips.
          Gotta pre-bake in the oven
          Cover this bad boy with foil and keep in the fridge/cooler until the grill is hot
          The dip fits right in at a tailgate

          beans · chili · daiya cheese · field roast · seitan · tofu scramble · tvp · vegan

          Vegan Chili Cook Off

          Week 8 Browns vs. Chargers

          Chili, a myriad of colors

          Chili is one of those comfort foods that some meat eaters prefer vegetarian.  The mix of beans, veggies and spices lends itself well to any palate.  It warms you up, through the heat of the food and the heat of spice.  We needed something warm on a cold rainy day in Cleveland.

          For a tailgate, chili is extremely versatile.  We decided to make breakfast burritos and chili cheese dogs for a nice breakfast/lunch combo.  Often we dont eat anything but appetizers for the first few hours, so the though of a hearty breakfast burrito is appealing.  A key to keeping the chili warm throughout the day is either to plug in a crockpot or bring a pot to heat on the grill.

          There are two kinds of vegan chili as defined by the Long Star Veggie Chili Cookoff: traditional and all veg.  “All Veg” chilis are made with only vegetables, while the “Traditional” chili contain a meat analog or substitute like seitan or tempeh.  I opted to make a traditional chili with seitan and TVP, and my buddy Chris made the multi-bean and roasted veggie chili (recipe coming later this week).  I’ll also include my recipe for tofu scramble for the breakfast burritos. Enjoy!

          Seitan/TVP Chili

          • 1 package store bought seitan, chopped (West Soy brand
          • 1.5 cups Textured Vegetable Protein, reconstituted (what the hell is TVP?)
          • 1 can kidney beans
          • 28 oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes (Muir Glen organic brand)
          • A few ounces of tomato sauce as needed
          • 1 red onion, chopped
          • 2 bell peppers, chopped
          • 3 jalapeños, chopped with seeds
          • Half head garlic, minced
          • 2 chilis in adobo, chopped with sauce
          • 2 tbs Penzey’s Salt-Free Chili 3000
          • 1 tbs cumin
          • 1 tsp oregano
          • 1 tsp ground ancho pepper
          • 1 tsp chipotle
          • Salt/pep to taste
          • 1 tbs soy sauce or tamari
          • 1 tbs blackstrap mollasses
          • 2 tbs chia seeds
          • A splash of whiskey
          Sautee the peppers, onions and garlic until soft.  Toss in the crockpot.
          The steam burnt my eyes!
          Sautee the seitan until browned. Toss in the crockpot.
          Sauteed seitan
          Reconstitute the TVP by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 1.5 cups of TVP.  Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.  Sautee the reconstituted tvp until browned. Toss in the crockpot.
          TVP looks and acts like ground beef
          Add the tomatoes, beans, chilis, spices, soy sauce, mollasses and stir well.  
          Love me some Penzey’s
          Tons of complex flavor
          I had to add a bit of tomato sauce
          Turn the crockpot on low for at least 5 hours or overnight.  Add the chia seeds and whiskey about 15 minutes before unplugging.  Add tomato sauce as necessary if its dry.  
          Feel free to add the following as garnish:
          • Avocado
          • Tomato
          • White onion
          • Scallion
          • Cilantro
          • Lime wedges
          Serve over Field Roast Frankfurters  in ezekiel buns topped with Daiya Cheddar cheese.  Don’t forget the hot sauce!
          Can’t have enough!
          Tofu Scramble
          • 12 oz package extra firm tofu
          • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
          • 1 bell pepper, chopped
          • 1/2 onion, chopped
          • 2 cloves garlic, minced
          • 1 tsp cumin
          • 1 tsp thyme
          • 1 tsp paprika
          • 1/2 tsp tumeric
          • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
          • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
          • Squeeze of lemon juice
          Sautee the peppers, onions, mushrooms and garlic.  
          Crumble the tofu in the pan and keep heat at medium or lower.
          Add spices and sautee gently for 10 minutes.  
          Just when its about done cooking, add the nutritional yeast and lemon.  Add water as needed throughout.
          A go to breakfast
          Serve on a whole wheat tortilla, with chili, daiya cheese, and any of the garnish from above.
          It was still dark when we ate these