appetizer · carrot · liquid smoke · super bowl · super bowl party · vegan

Carrot “Lox” and Cream Cheese Crackers

With the 2017 Super Bowl upon us, here is a great finger food recipe that will wow the party. I grew up with lox and cream cheese brunches. While I never could get into eating smoked salmon, this carrot version is arguable better tasting and certainly more healthy. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to peel carrots into thin, flat strips, as wide as possible.
  3. In a bowl, whisk tamari, liquid smoke and seasoning. Toss carrots in marinade.
  4. Wrap in a sealed foil pouch and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool. Refrigerate until time to assemble the crackers.
  6. Spread cream cheese on a cracker, top with a few pieces of carrot and garnish with parsley

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cashew cheese · cashews · cheese · grilling · liquid smoke · mushrooms · sandwich · smoked · tailgate · vegan · vital wheat gluten · vitamix

Grilled Vegan Cheesesteaks

Week 9 Browns v. Bucs

The vegan tailgate is going strong! Not to be confused with the Bucks of Ohio State, the Browns took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past weekend in Cleveland. Perfect football weather made for perfect tailgate conditions. And the Brown won! The Browns have a winning record and this recipe was quite the crowd pleaser. 

This is another seitan recipe, so if you follow the blog you are basically an expert by now! It is my take on Philly Cheesesteaks, inspired by the Vegan Zombie. Everything, except the buns, is made from scratch, so you’ll need to set aside a few hours the night before the game to make everything. Also, this doesn’t have to be made in the parking lot and can be made at home very easily. Great for away games!

The key here is the tender, thinly shaved seitan and homemade herbed cashew cheese.  They pair together very well with grilled marinated peppers, onions and mushrooms. Load these sandwiches up the brim and expect a mess. We used a little BBQ or Sriracha on top and served alongside a roasted cauliflower and peanut salad with peanut dressing. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Seitan dry ingredients:

The seitan after baking for 90 minutes in homemade stock

1 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp turmeric



Seitan wet ingredients:



1 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp liquid smoke

2 cloves of shredded garlic

Ground pepper to taste



Stock for seitan:

1 1/2 cup vegetable stock

1 diced onion

4 smashed cloves garlic

2 bay leaves

1/4 agave nectar

1 tsp chili powder

1 tbsp dried parsley

1/2 bunch of fresh thyme

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp molasses

2 cups water



Herbed cashew cheese:

Herbed cashew cheese block


1 cup cashews raw

1-1/2 cups water (and more if you need to soak your nuts)

2 tsp agar agar powder OR 2 tbsp agar agar flakes (this can be hard to find but most health food stores carry it)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tsp smoked salt (or just regular salt)

1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 cup fresh herbs (I used basil and oregano)



Veggies:

3 bell peppers
2 medium onions
8 oz. mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. Fresh herbs (I used thyme and oregano)
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tbsp. rice vinegar


AND:
8 Hoagie rolls

Directions
-Preheat the oven to 375
-Combine the wet and dry ingredients and form a dough. Roll into a log and place in a covered casserole dish (I used a roasting pan)

-Bring all the ingredients for the stock to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes

-Pour the stock in casserole dish to cover seitan. Cover and bake 375 for 45 minutes (Note: baste the seitan if it didn’t quite cover it every 20 minutes or so). Then flip seitan and continue to cook for 45 hour uncovered.
-Meanwhile make the cheese: Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan and add the agar agar. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Turn down the heat to simmer and cook another 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the agar is dissolved completely.

-Put the cashews into the blender with all the remaining ingredients. Pour in the agar mixture and Blend on high until very smooth.

-Pour into a glass dish or non-stick pan (if you think it will stick then spray with vegetable oil.) Refrigerate until firm. Remove the cheese by running a knife or spatula around the edge and it will pop out of the container.
-For the veggies, slice the peppers, onions, mushrooms and garlic and place in a sealed bag or container. Add lime juice, soy sauce, agave, rice vinegar and herbs and let marinate until ready to grill.
-Once the seitan is done, let cool and wrap up in foil, along with cheese, until its tailgate time.
-Grill the peppers, onions and mushrooms until charred. Set aside
-Shave the seitan using a grater or sharp knife. Grill in a grill pan or cast iron skillet.

-Grate this cheese using a box grater. toss on the seitan in the last few minutes to soften.
-Toast the buns on the grill and assemble the sandwiches to your liking







Marinating the veggies the night before






Grilled veggies

Shredded seitan
I used my cast iron skillet on the grill
The sandwiches can be served with your favorite side dish
Ready to take a bite!





appetizer · eggplant · field roast · liquid smoke · vegan

Marinated Grilled Veggie Stackers with Field Roast

Mushroom Stackers
My latest recipe for my Field Roast Cooks in the Field blog is up!  Check it out on the Field Roast website here.  In the meantime, the recipe is also listed below.  I made these at a sub zero tailgate.  It was nearly impossible to use my hands and I had to run over to warm them up over the grill every couple minutes to prevent frostbite.  Hopefully you have better grilling conditions.   
These “stackers” are like grilled sandwiches with marinated vegetables standing in for the bread.  Using the Field Roast deli slices as the meat, the stackers are an attractive appetizer at any tailgate.  With three different kinds to choose from, there is something for everyone.  Enjoy! 
Ingredients
  • Lentil Sage Deli Slices
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced ¼ inch
  • Marinade for eggplant
    • ½ cup white wine
    • ¼ cup rice vinegar
    • Juice of 2 lemons
    • 5 cloves garlic, minced
    • ¼ fresh sage, chopped
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Smoked Tomato Deli Slices 
    Field Roast ready to grill

    • 3 red peppers, quartered
    • Marinade for peppers
      • ½ cup red wine
      • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
      • 1 tbsp. vegan worcestershire
      • 1 tbsp. blackstrap molasses
      • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
      • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
      • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
      • 2 cloves garlic, minced
      • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Wild Mushroom Deli Slices
    • 6 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
    • Marinade for mushrooms
      • ½ cup red wine
      • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
      • 1 tbsp. tamari
      • 1 tbsp. agave nectar
      • 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper
      • 2 cloves garlic, minced
      • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Note: you’ll also need a handful of toothpicks, soaked for at least 15 minutes prior to grilling
    Directions
    • In 3 separate mixing bowls, coming the ingredients for the 3 marinades and stir.  Place the veggies in an airtight container or bag with the marinade for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
    • Prepare the grill for direct grilling
    • Assemble the stackers by placing several slices of the Lentil Sage between two of the marinated eggplant and secure with a few soaked toothpicks.  Repeat with the Smoked Tomato slices and red pepper and the Wild Mushroom Slices and portobellos
    • Grill for 4-5 minutes per side or until charred.  Cook time will vary based on the heat of the coals.
    • Remove from the grill and slice into bite size piece.  Stick with a tooth pick and serve


    Bagged veggies waiting for lube
    Lentil Sage Marinade
    Smoked Tomato Marinade
    Wild Mushroom Marinade
    Soakin 

    liquid smoke · nutritional yeast · sausage · seitan · vegan · vital wheat gluten

    Vegan Links on the Gridiron

    Week 6 Browns vs. Lions

    The Browns were dealt a low blow losing hometown hero QB Brian Hoyer last week to a season ending knee injury.  Back comes Brandon Weeden and he precedes to make “the worst interception of all time.”  All joking aside, this is kind of what we come to expect from the Browns, year after year.  So what do we rely on? The tailgate.  And it was one of the years best.  Perfect fall day and people in good spirits.

    I decided to make vegan sausages for the 3rd time.  I had a couple practice rounds before trying it out at the tailgate.  People tend to grimace when I tell them my sausages are vegan, but honestly do they even know what kind of meat is in a “normal sausage?”  Probably better they don’t know.  While some don’t want to know how the sausage is made, I’m ready wax poetic about how to make these delectable vegan apple sage sausages. 

    Fall means apples in Ohio and across the midwest.  A trip to an apple orchard with my girlfriend left us with a huge bounty of several varieties of apples.  I made sure to get a number that were good for baking and making sauce.  By cooking down the apples, I made a plain jane apple sauce (just water and apples) to use in recipes, including the one below. 

    The technique is similar to the All-Pro Veggie Burgs, where you knead wheat gluten with wet ingredients, wrap in foil and then steam.  Afterwards, the sausages can be refrigerated until they are ready to grill. Next time I might use a bit less wheat gluten to make the sausages more moist.  The flavor was incredible though and people were impressed. We even topped them off with some polish stew for an authentic taste.  Enjoy!

    Ingredients (makes 10-12 sausages)

    Cooking the apples

    3 cups vital wheat gluten
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    1/2 tsp ground cloves
    2 tbsp dried sage
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp ground cayenne
    1 tsp liquid smoke
    1 cup smooth cooked down apples or unsweetened applesauce 
    1 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup

    Directions 
    1. Combine the dry ingredients in one bow and whisk the wet ingredients in another bowl.

    Wet and dry

    2. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and knead for about 5 minutes.  
    3. Pull off a small clump of the dough and roll into a log. It should be the size of a sausage!

    Its a sausage!

    4. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil (see picture)

    The wrapped sausages

    5. Steam for 40 minutes in a steamer or a pot/pan with a steamer basket.
    6. Remove and refrigerate until ready to grill.
    7. Grill on an oiled grill grate for 5-7 minutes.

    Grillin and chillin
    grilling · liquid smoke · peanut butter · tvp · vital wheat gluten

    All-Pro Veggie Burgs

    Week 5 Bills v. Browns

    How meaty!
    Sorry for the delayed posting.  I made these veggie burgers at an impromptu apartment tailgate before the Thursday night game last week.  Vegan tailgates are known for veggie burgers, but they don’t have to be tasteless and boring like those depicted in the recent Bud Light commercial.  
    This recipe comes come from vegan grilling legend (and Clevelander) Tamasin Noyes.  When I met her a few months back, she insisted I try my hand at making this burger.  She said it delighted many meat eaters and vegans alike.  The technique is the same, but as you can see my recipe varies quite a bit.

    What sets it apart is its meaty texture.  The TVP gives it a ground beef appearance and the vital wheat gluten holds it together.  Like most veggie burgers, the flavor is really customizable with the spices and the liquid smoke and vegan worcestershire add a great burger taste.  Enjoy!
    Ingredients
    1 1/3 cups hot water
    1 cup texturized vegetable protein
    1/4 cup finely minced onion
    1 tablespoon garlic powder
    1 tablespoon onion powder

    1 tablespoon Penzey’s Chili 3000, or other spice blend
    2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon white pepper
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    2 teaspoons instant tapioca or cornstarch
    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
    1 tablespoon liquid smoke
    1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
    1/4 cup fresh ground peanut butter (I omitted the oil from the original recipe. Why no oil?)
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
    Directions
    1. Combine the hot water with the TVP to rehydrate, about 10 minutes. 
    Rehydrate
    2. Add rehydrated TVP to a large bowl with the remaining ingredients (in the order given). Mix well, and knead for about 3 minutes.
    Assembly 
    Knead
    3. Divide and shape the burger into 6 patties.  Place each burger in the center of a piece of foil. Fold the foil over each burger to make a packet. (Note: Don’t make the foil too tight in order for the burger to expand.
    4. Transfer wrapped burgers to a steamer (or a steamer basket inside a covered pot/pan) and steam 1 hour. 
    Steam
    5. Unwrap and transfer the burgers to a plate and refrigerate for 1 hour.
    6. Throw them on the grill! Make sure you oil your grill grate.  Cook about 5 minutes per side.
    The final grilled product
    liquid smoke · nutritional yeast · sausage · vegan shrimp · vital wheat gluten

    Vegan Low Country Boil with Handmade Sausages

    Week 2 Ravens vs. Browns (road game)


    If you would have asked me a couple years ago what a “low country boil” is I would have looked at you dumbfounded. But when my brother went to Alabama to work for 7 months, he came back talking about this common backyard BBQ tradition. I thought, why can’t you veganize it?  So we did.

    Low Country Boil

    The concept behind a low country boil is simple.  Take a bunch of seafood, sausages and veggies, add a ton of spices, liquid to cover and bring to a boil on an outdoor heat source.  While there are a few common ingredients, such as potatoes and corn, everything else it pretty much left up to you.  The spice mix varies, but I’d recommend going heavy on the flavor.  Why not?  The more complex the flavor profile the better.  The key to our boil was the bay leaves.  Other folks swear by Old Bay.

    The number one takeaway is that its pretty hard to mess this up.  No matter what, a low country boil comes out tasting good and serving a crowd.  You are supposed to dump it on a picnic table covered in newspaper, but we just didn’t have the capacity to do that.  Next time!

    I could’ve taken the easy road and purchased my favorite Field Roast Sausages along with all the other ingredients.  Instead, I prepared handmade sausages for just the second time and they came out great.  Thanks to a bulk vital wheat gluten purchase, I had abundant supplies to create sausages from scratch.  The technique is interesting and one I picked up on from one of my favorite vegan chefs Alicia Simpson.

    You start out making the sausages like nearly every other seitan recipe, dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in the other, knead together.  But here you roll the sausages out, wrap them in foil and steam them for 30-40 minutes before cooking.  The result is a plump, juicy vegan sausage loaded with your favorite spices and without any added oil.

    Enjoy!

    Sausages
    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
    • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
    • 1 tbs smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp cayenne
    • 1 tsp thyme
    • 1 tsp oregano 
    • 4 garlic cloves, mined
    • 5 button mushrooms, minced
    • 1/4 red pepper, minced
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 tbs bragg’s or tamari
    • 1/4 cup ketchup
    • 2 tbs vegan Worcestershire
    • 1 tsp liquid smoke 

    Directions

    1. Combine wheat gluten and spices in one bowl.
    2. Whisk together Garlic, mushrooms, red pepper and liquids in another bowl.
    3. Combine the wet and dry and knead for a few minutes.
    4. Roll out 4 sausages and wrap tightly in aluminum foil, twisting the ends to seal (make sure they are tight!)
    5. Steam for 30-40 minutes
    6. Cook anyway you like! Grill, saute, bake… the possibilities are endless.  Or just refrigerate until ready to use.  

    The final product after 30 minutes steaming

    Low Country Boil
    Ingredients

    • Package of vegan prawns, chopped into chunks (I used Sophie’s Kitchen brand)
    • 4 vegan sausages, chopped into chunks (see recipe above or use Field Roast)
    • 4 medium sized red potatoes, chopped 
    • 4 ears sweet corn, quartered
    • 1 red onion, chopped
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 tbs smoked paprika
    • 1 tbs thyme
    • 1 tbs sage
    • 1 tbs garlic powder
    • 1 tbs onion power
    • 1 tbs red pepper
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
    • Foil lasagna pan
    • Water to fill

    Directions



    1. Place the veggies in the foil pan.  Throw in the spice mix and cover with water.  Make sure to mix it around!
    2. Cover tightly with foil (or the lid if using a pot) and place it on a hot grill.  Let simmer for 45 minutes-1 hour.
    3. Remove cover and add prawns and sausages (the water should be boiling).  Cover and let cook for another half hour.
    4. Take the pan off of the grill and serve hot! Preferably you have a newspaper lined picnic table, but plates will do.
    Boil!
    Ready to serve!
    bbq · habanero · liquid smoke · ribs · sauce · spicy · vegan

    Sawwwce is Boss: Chocolate Habanero BBQ

    Week 1: Browns vs. Dolphins

    Tailgate season is back!  We had our first vegan tailgate of the year this past Sunday at the Muni Lot in Cleveland.  The nice weather, blind optimism about the season and amazing food made for a great atmosphere (we won’t talk about what transpired on the field).

    I purchased some chocolate habanero peppers at the Tremont Farmer’s Market last week just because I thought they looked cool. This Amish guy sells a huge variety of hot peppers and I am always talking myself into buying them. I ended up using an entire pint of them in this BBQ sauce for the seitan ribs. The recipe for this sauce came off the top of my head, which I plan on doing more of this season.  Getting inspiration from the amazing vegan community is all well and good, but I want to contribute my own personal flare to the vegan scene.

    Rib sandwich w/slaw, mac and cheese and chipotle kale

    Sauces are vital for tailgates.  So much so, I have been collecting sauce bottles this offseason with the intention of making at least one homemade sauce per tailgate.  I will post several sauces on the blog throughout the season.  There is little value in buying a sauce at the store. Name the last time someones eyes lit up at a bottle of ketchup or honey mustard.  They are usually loaded with ingredients you can’t pronounce to preserve its color and flavor.  Yuck.

    There is nothing like making your own variation of your favorite sauce, like this twist on my favorite sauce, BBQ.  I’ve been dabbling in making BBQ sauce since my college days.  It is really quite simple because it involves a base number of ingredients and the rest is fully customizable.  Don’t let the thought of making your own BBQ scare you… its very easy!  It involves sauteing finely chopped onions/garlic/peppers and adding them to tomato sauce/ketchup/puree with several key additions like apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, ground mustard, vegan Worcestershire (no anchovies!), brown sugar or agave and other spices like paprika, cumin or oregano.  Don’t worry if you can’t get chocolate habaneros for this sauce, any variety will do.  Its brings the heat, so enjoy!

    Ingredients

    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 4-8 chocolate habaneros, finely chopped (depending on your ability to take the heat)
    • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 cup ketchup
    • 1 can diced or stewed tomatoes (I used fresh tomatoes I cooked down when canning last week)
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tbs. vegan Worcestershire (I like Edward & Sons “The Wizard’s” Organic Vegan Worcestershire)
    • 1 tbs. dry mustard
    • 1 tsp. coriander
    • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
    • Black pepper to taste
    Directions

    1. Saute the first three ingredients in a little bit of water.  Add the onion first, once they are soft add the pepper and finally add the garlic at the end.  Turn off the heat and set aside 
    2. Meanwhile, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Toss in the sauteed veggies
    3. Let simmer for 30 minutes on low heat being careful not to splash or burn the bottom of the pot.  
    4. Optional: transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.  Some people like it chunky, so this step is optional.