Barbecue season is here, and I am making mine plant-based. Colorful veggies, prepared either in the kitchen or on the grill, and flavorful burgers that will satisfy any meat eater will be on the menu.
What about shish kebob? Yes, I will throw that into the mix as well.
When preparing summer barbecue fare, making unforgettable dishes is all about the texture and the flavor. These two components are the most important part of any dish, especially if you are trying to satisfy meat eaters.
Try this burger recipe by itself, or put it together as the slider pictured. Place on a multigrain or gluten-free charred bun and add condiments. Include some avocado for an extra bit of fat, flavor and texture.
Alternatively, leave the bread behind and make a slider by adding a slice of grilled portobello mushroom, “Cheezy” Eggplant and a slice of tomato. Add a grilled onion slice for more interest and flavor. Serve on a leaf of green lettuce.
Both combinations are exciting and satisfying.
Make some char-grilled veggie kebobs with sweet onion wedges, chunks of pepper, mushrooms and crunchy croutons. Add marinated tofu if you like for a full meal.
If using wooden skewers, remember to soak them first so they don’t catch fire. If you prefer to use the grilled veggies in a salad, dress them in a bowl while hot with some olive oil, lemon juice, fresh herbs from your garden and sea salt, and serve right away.
Try a kebob of partially cooked yams and fresh pineapple. Also, throw some corn cobs on the grill, and then slice off the kernels into a Mexican-style salsa with spring onions, ripe tomatoes and lime juice.
Add a marinated kale salad with lots of colorful berries and veggies (see recipe in Feb. 12 article).
No barbecue would be complete without a version of “pulled-pork barbecue,” slaw and baked beans. I am including recipes for barbecue made from jackfruit that tastes so much like pork you will be totally unaware you are eating a low-calorie, fiber-rich, nutrient-dense fruit that is grown sustainably and generates new income for local farmers in India, Asia and Australia.
Jackfruit has the look and texture of real meat, but it has very little protein. Assemble the barbecue on a bun of choice. I used the gluten-free Flax toaster bun with everything made by Flax4life. Add avocado, mayonnaise, coleslaw and top with salted cashews for an extra surprise of protein and texture. Native Forest brand has a clean, non-GMO organic Jackfruit in a BPA-free can.
I am including a recipe that was shared with me by Dr. John Fuller, a member of our church. Fuller has been bringing vegetarian baked beans to our fellowship dinner since I met him. I appreciate his thoughtfulness to those of us who prefer to not eat meat but wish to participate in the meal. He provides an easy recipe that includes some products that are produced locally and can be purchased at the farmers market or at your local grocery store.
The Wildcraft Box, operated by my daughter, Jennifer Miller, is a West Virginia company that serves the Fayetteville and Charleston area. I am sharing the burger and sliders recipe from them.
They deliver plant-based meal boxes weekly. Orders must be placed by Sunday for delivery the following week. The food is delicious and really helps kickstart your quest to eat more plant-based food. You can find them at www.thewildcraftbox.com.
Enjoy the outdoors this July 4th as you fire up the grill and cook delicious food to share with family and friends. Although cookouts are prone to be meat-laden, start a new, all plant-based barbecue tradition and challenge your family, friends and even neighbors to make savory recipes without the cruelty.
Sally Miller is the owner and operator of Eats of Eden, a Charleston-based nutrition education business that offers an alternative choice for healing the body. She attended Carnegie Mellon University and in 2009 graduated from Bauman Holistic Nutrition College, specializing in holistic nutrition education. She has recently become certified as a Gluten Free Practitioner. For more information on classes and consultations, visit her website at www.eatsofeden.com.
Makes 10 burgers
2 cans of organic pumpkin or 3 cups of fresh pumpkin cubed, boiled and smashed
1 cup quinoa
1 cup rice
6 celery stalks, chopped
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon paprika 2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon oregano
Cook the quinoa and the rice separately, and then place both in a big mixing bowl with the pumpkin.
Chop celery and carrot and place in a separate bow.
Add spices and massage with your hands.
Mix the contents of both bowls together with your hands until soft and form into patties.
Spray a baking tray with non-stick olive oil and place the burgers on the tray.
Bake the burgers at 400 degrees until they are cooked through and golden on top.
Flip and bake on the other side. Do not let them dry out.
Recipe from the The Wildcraft Box.
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste
Cut the eggplant into thin slices and place in a bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients and massage with your hands.
Bake the marinated eggplant at 400 degrees to desired texture.
Top with grilled portobello mushroom steak and a sliced tomato.
Serve with a lettuce leaf
BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw
Makes 4-5 servings
2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 14-ounce cans young green jackfruit in water (not syrup or brine)
¼ cup barbecue seasoning
¾ cup vegan barbecue sauce and more for topping
2 cups shredded cabbage and carrots
½ ripe avocado
½ tablespoon maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
1 lemon or lime, juiced
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste
water to thin
4-6 whole grain vegan buns
½ cup roasted salted cashews
Rinse, drain and thoroughly dry jackfruit.
Chop off the center core portion of the fruit and discard.
Place in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Mix together barbecue seasoning and add to jackfruit.
Toss to coat.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil of choice and seasoned jackfruit.
Toss to coat and cook for 2-3 minutes to achieve some color.
Add barbecue sauce and thin with enough water to make a sauce.
Stir and reduce heat to low-medium and cook for 20 minutes.
Remove lid and stir occasionally. For finer texture, use two forks to shred the jackfruit as it cooks down.
Make the avocado mayonnaise by combining everything in a small bowl except the vegetables.
Whisk together and add some water if needed to thin.
Add the vegetables and toss to coat.
Place in the refrigerator until serving.
Turn up heat to medium-high and cook for 2-3 more minutes to get a little extra color/texture then remove from heat.
Place a generous portion of slaw on the bottom buns, top with a generous serving of BBQ Jackfruit and cashews.
Serve with extra barbecue sauce. Leftover jackfruit keeps for up to a couple of days in the fridge, though best when fresh.
Vegetarian Baked Beans
Makes approximately 18-25 servings
4 large cans Bush’s vegetarian-style baked beans
2 poblano peppers (finely chopped)
1 red onion (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon salt-free lemon pepper
Dark Sauce by Dutch Hollow Foods
Mustard Sauce with Garlic by Appalachian Mountain Specialty Foods
vegan barbecue sauce
mustard barbecue sauce
Place the beans in a baking pan after draining.
Mix in the peppers and onions.
Pour each of the sauces and the mustard into a bowl combining to make 2 cups of sauce.
Pour over the beans and mix.
Add honey to sweeten to your taste.
Sprinkle in the salt-free lemon pepper and mix.
Bake at 350 degrees for two hours.
Recipe courtesy of Dr. John Fuller.
Sweet Potato Skewers
6 sweet potatoes
½ cup olive oil
1 garlic clove
¼ cup of gluten-free tamari
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup apple juice
black pepper to taste
Peel and cube the sweet potatoes.
Boil them in hot water until slightly soft but not too soft that they will fall off a skewer.
Drain and place them in a bowl.
Mix the olive oil, garlic, tamari, maple syrup, apple juice and sage in a blender.
Pour this mixture on the sweet potatoes in bowl.
Marinate for 2 hours.
Mix well and place the marinated sweet potatoes on a baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
Peel and cube the pineapple.
Place the pineapple on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
Remove both from the oven and cool enough to handle.
Place on wooden skewers and enjoy.
Grilling alternative: Place the sweet potatoes and pineapple on soaked wooden skewers or metal skewers and grill over an open flame.
Recipe from The Wildcraft Box.