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! 
  • 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
    • 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

    garlic · sauce · spicy · vegan · wings

    Garlic Smothering Defense: Spicy Roasted Garlic Wing Sauce

    Wings from the Asian grocery

    A tasty, versatile sauce can be the MVP of any tailgate.  We put it on everything at the tailgate, tofu scramble burritos, vegan wings and veggie burgers. Sure, you can buy the bottled stuff or even grab a bottle from your favorite restaurant, but making your own sauce makes a big statement.  You control the flavors, spice and consistency.

    I like to mimic some of my favorite sauces and try to improve on them.  This week I went after one of the most popular wing sauces at Buffalo Wild Wings, Spicy Garlic.  Great flavor and sneakily spicy, this sauce brings the hammer.  
    For this sauce, I used garlic from my friend’s garden and roasted it for an hour or so.  Then I cooked down the vinegar base with a ton a spices.  Instead of oil, I used a flax egg and corn starch to thicken. When it was cooking down, I added water as needed and I don’t think it took away from any of the flavor.  This yields about 16 oz. so feel free to double it if you need more.  Enjoy!
    Simmering sawwwce
    • 1 head roasted garlic
    • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tbsp. hot chili powder
    • 1 tbsp. cayenne
    • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp. onion powder
    • 2 tsp. salt
    • 2 tsp. sugar
    • 1 tsp. pepper
    • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp. ground flax mixed with 6 tbsp. hot water)
    • 1/4 cup water (and more as needed)
    • 1/4 cup corn starch
    1. Cut the top off the garlic, add a little broth or water, wrap in foil and roast at 425 for an hour or so.
    2. While the garlic is roasting, add vinegar, spices and sugar to a sauce pot at medium high heat.  Simmer for 5-7 minutes
    3. Whisk flax egg and corn starch together. Add the to the pot.
    4. Cook for another 8-10 minutes on medium low heat.  Add water as necessary.  
    5. Add the sauce to a blender and squeeze out the garlic into the blender with the sauce.  Blend until smooth.
    Bottling the sawwwce

    Go Browns!
    Take the burrito up a notch!
    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!
        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

        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
        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!


        • 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

        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.
        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

        field roast · vegan · vegetarian

        An Ode to Field Roast: The Best Vegan Tailgate Food

        Sorry for the hiatus, law school exams will do that to you.  But I am back now and will be posting regularly, even through the offseason.

        I did make it down to the tailgate two weeks ago on bike.  A quick trip to the muni lot is better than skipping it altogether.  I brought a tupperware of cucumber/tomato salad and Sara had a package of Chipotle Field Roast

        sausages.  That’s it. Nothing creative or off the wall, but still so good!

        When in a pinch the number one vegan tailgate food is Field Roast sausage.  There is no debate.  From the real ingredients to ancient traditional recipes, Field Roast are a hit at tailgates.

        I have used Field Roast in a number of recipies here on this blog (chili dogs and stuffed boomers) and in past blog posts over on Love Your Leftovers (lentil soup).  The chipotle is perfect in paella or any pasta dish.  The italian is great in wedding soup or pasta fagole.  The possibilities are endless.

        Here are the top 5 reasons why I love Field Roast:

        1. Real food, made by real people.  And they’re growing.
        2. It’s better than all the competitors, which are usually soy based. 
        3. They are served at Safeco Field in Seattle.  How cool is that?
        4. They don’t just have weiners, they also have roasts and deli slices.
        5. 25 grams of protein per sausage.  Where do YOU get YOUR protein?!
        Photo Roll (after the jump)!


        This made my day in Seattle

        Pasta Fagole with Italians and a vegan cesar 
        Ready for some pasta sauce
        Chili dogs
        Get that meat outta here!
        A chipotle on a hoagie bun with bbq and grilled peppers/onions
        Chopped Italians in a pan before being thrown into some soup
        Chili doggies
        And they have a sign at the ball park!
        Lazy grilled dinner: Chipotle, ports and some greens
        Summer grill out

        grilling · quinoa · tempeh · vegan

        Kabob Blitz: Tempeh Veggie Skewers with Mango-Black Bean Quinoa

        Week 12 Browns vs. Steelers

        There is nothing quite like a rivalry game.  There is really nothing like two rivalry games in one weekend.  And winning them both? Unheard of!

        These kabobs are dangerously good

        After attending the OSU/Michigan game in Columbus the day before, I set out for the Muni Lot in Cleveland for the Browns/Steelers matchup.  The tailgate had to come together quickly as we only had Saturday night to prepare.  I bought of bunch of veggies and tempeh, made a marinade and put together this tasty entree of tempeh kabobs alongside some mango-black bean quinoa.

        Kabobs are a unique method of grilling.  The smaller pieces and ability to separate items that cook differently enable you to perfectly grill the food.  For instance, cherry tomatoes can be taken off before they get too soggy, while the tempeh can be left on to get a crisp outer crust. The marinade is best left to soak overnight and the veggies and tempeh really absorb the flavor.  Enjoy!

        Kabobs (adapted from Whole Foods)


        • 1 cup orange juice
        • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
        • Juice of 2 limes
        • 1/3 cup tamari
        • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
        • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
        • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
        • Head of garlic, crushed (use the indispensable garlic press)
        • Wooden skewers, soaked
        • 2 pounds assorted vegetables, cut into semi large pieces (zucchini, yellow squash, assortment of bell peppers, red onion, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms)
        • 1 pound tempeh, cubed 


        1. Whisk together the liquids and spices in a large bowl.
        2. Place vegetables in a large resealable bag or container and tempeh in a separate bag. Divide  arinade equally among the bags (obviously more will be needed to veggies), seal and marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, for about 3 hours, or overnight. 
        3. Soak wooden skewers in water to cover for at least 1 hour. Skewer vegetables and tempeh separately on skewers. (For example, thread only bell peppers on one skewer, only squash on another and only tempeh on the next. Since ingredients cook at varying times, this will allow you to cook individual skewers until the items are cooked perfectly. Discard remaining marinade.)
        4. Prepare a grill for medium-heat grilling. Grill tempeh until beginning to char charred in places, turning often, about 5 minutes. Grill vegetables until tender and slightly charred. Transfer skewers to a platter as done and serve.
        Feel free to play around with this marinade
        Large freezer bags are a must
        “SO HEALTHY”
        The final product
        Mango-Black Bean Quinoa (adapted from Chandra at the amazing PPK)
        • 1 mango, peeled and diced
        • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced small
        • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
        • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
        • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (white wine or rice vinegar work here too)
        • 2 tablespoons olive oil
        • 1/4 teaspoon salt
        • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled (The Quinoa Song! by my boy Anders)
        • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed


        1. Combine the mango, red pepper, scallions, and cilantro in a mixing bowl. 
        2. Add the red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt and stir to combine. 
        3. Add the cooled quinoa and stir until everything is well incorporated. 
        4. Fold in the black beans.
        Mangos are a pain to peel and cut, but totally worth it
        All the veggies are colorful
        Easily transportable and great when cold

        appetizer · field roast · grilling · vegan

        Field Roast Sausage Stuffed Boomers

        BYE WEEK

        Thank goodness the Brownies had a bye week, we all needed a week to recharge.

        Stuffed boomers

        Anyone who knows me knows of my love for the Field Roast.  Established 15 years ago in Seattle, they trace their roots back to 7th century China and a recipe used by Buddhist Monks.  It hands down beats all other vegan sausages and they also have a number of other fantastic products.

        This recipe is adapted from The Barbecue Bible, an award winning book by Steven Raichlen.  Even though the book’s over 500 recipes mostly contain meat, there are several vegetable and vegetarian sections and adaptable recipes   The grilling technique chapters alone are worth a read.

        This recipe is rather simple, but it will wow people.  Appetizers are an underrated part of the tailgate experience especially if you can use the grill to make something special.  This will turn heads and get your tailgate off to a great start. Enjoy!


        • 1 pound (or more) baby bellas or other large button mushrooms
        • 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari (the original calls for oil, so just make sure your grill grate is oiled)
        • 1 Field Roast Chipotle Sausage
        • 4 cloves garlic, minced
        • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh parsley
        • 1/2 lemon
        • Salt and pepper to taste

        Remove the stems from the boomers. I cut a little wider around the center with a paring knife to fit a little more sausage in each cap.
        Cut the sausage in pieces that snuggly fit inside each cap.  This will vary depending on the size of the boomers.  
        Cover the caps with garlic and parsley.  Then pour the soy sauce on the plate.  You want the boomers to the covered and have a pool on the bottom to keep them moist.  Squeeze the lemon on top and get ready to grill.

        Arrange the boomers on the grill and cook for about 15-20 minutes.  Remove and serve.


        The final product
        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