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!





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
Ingredients


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

Directions

  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
Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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)
Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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
Ingredients

  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

Directions

  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 · corn bread · jalapeno · spicy · tailgate

Vegan Jalapeño Corn Bread

The offseason can be a tumultuous time for coaches and GMs on the hot seat.  Here in Browns town, our coach, GM and CEO all got canned.  This three-alarm corn bread will make you feel like you are on the hot seat, but I promise you won’t lose your job.  

Corn bread is a staple of any good bbq or soul food meal.  Often times, it is made with dairy or eggs and is off limits to those eating a plant based diet.  At the Hold the Pigskin tailgate our cornbread is not only vegan, but it is moist, spicy and stacks up against the best corn breads you can find.

This corn bread is made with equal parts corn meal and bread flour.  To give it a unique texture, it is loaded with chopped jalapeños and kernels of golden corn.  Two flax eggs take the healthy factor to another level and provide a soft, moist texture.  This corn bread is worthy for any tailgate or bbq, vegan or not.

The recipe is quite easy to make and requires few ingredients.  It makes a sizable batch, but feel free to double or triple it if you are serving a crowd.  Trust me when I say, there won’t be any leftovers.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 cup bread flour 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 2 flax eggs (3/8 cups hot water mixed with 2 tablespoons of ground flax, let sit for a few minutes to become sticky)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 3 jalapeños, chopped
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray a 8×8 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt)
  3. Add wet ingredients and mix well (almond milk, agave, flax egg)
  4. Fold in corn and chopped jalapeños
  5. Pour into the greased pan and bake for 25 minutes
  6. Remove and let cool before serving

Moist and delicious

Corn bread with BBQ Tempeh and Collards
grilling · tailgate · veggie burgers

Bud Light NFL "Quinoa Burger" Commerical

Many of you may have seen the new Bud Light commercial featuring the tailgater at the whim of his girlfriend cooking a tasteless quinoa burger. While Bud Light has little room to talk about being bland and tasteless, it certainly shines a light on our little corner of the parking lot. Not the most flattering portrayal of a vegan tailgate but we have come a long way. Touché Bud Light!

juice · sausage · soccer · tailgate · vegan

The Offseason Nears Completion

Dear Fellow Vegan Tailgaters,

We have made it through a long, cold, northeast Ohio winter unscathed.  Well aside from my epic 7-day juice cleanse and fast.  Now it’s time to start planning for tailgate season.  There are lots of things in the works at Hold the Pigskin including a debut 2013 tailgate at the USA/Belgium soccer match May 29th.  This year we will have more homemade dishes, like vegan sausage, and new special features, like how to stock a vegan kitchen.  Final exams are just around the bend, so stay tuned in early May for another update.  Until then, I leave you with some photos from some boring indoor vegan cooking I did over the winter.  Enjoy!

Cajun tempeh, cashew creamed grits and collards

Miso soup

Sweet potato ginger soup with tempeh

Farro bean stew

Blueberry banana walnut pancakes

Cashew ranch dressing

Moroccan tangine

Kale quiche

Juice! From my 7-day fast/cleanse

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

grilling · tailgate · vegan · vegetarian

Welcome

I’d like to think this blog is one of a kind.

For the first 25 years of my life I ate like everyone else. I really got into cooking after college and like many guys my favorite thing to do was grill. (Check out my Facebook album “Chef Adam” for proof) But eating meat 2-3 times per day wasn’t sitting well with me. It didnt seem healthy or sustainable. So my new years resolution for 2011 was to try going vegan for 28 days with the help of the Rip Esselstyn’s Engine 2 Diet. My last meal? Pizza and chicken wings for  Ohio State’s win over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.

I felt great.  So it just kept going.  With the support of family and friends, my life has changed for the better.  Despite a few “vegan meltdowns” along the road, I am here today committed to a plant-based diet.

The Grove at Ole Miss

So lets get to the point of this blog.  Tailgating is a right of passage.  Walk through any pre-game at a college or pro football game and see the displays put on by veteran tailgaters.  There is so much pride in what they do, one could argue its the ultimate eating experience in America.  Meat often takes center stage. Unless you feel like eating chips and salsa, vegans are left out in the cold.  I’m here to say it doesn’t have to be that way!

Last season was the start of my vegan tailgate escapades in the muni lot outside Cleveland Browns Stadium. It was a little rough around the edges, but it got the job done: field roast sausages, refried beans and grilled peppers, and a veggie burger-off (the 2012 version is coming soon!).  This year I plan on taking it to a whole ‘nother level.  Along the way I’ll share recipes, photos and other vegan tailgate related items with the rest of the vegan tailgate world.  There have to be some of you out there right?!  Even if you’re not using the recipes in the midst of drunken football loving savages, they are sure to please a crowd.  The idea isn’t to produce the healthiest most well rounded meal, but rather one that everyone at the tailgate will enjoy (and not make fun of).

So here goes… welcome to “Hold the Pigskin: A Vegan Tailgate Blog.”