Monday, June 24, 2013

Grills Gone Vegan! : Book Review & Giveaway!

(disclosure: I received a review copy of Grills Gone Vegan from the publishers)


Back in the day, my parents had one of those big round, black Weber grills... and a once or twice a year my parents would light up the coals, and get the grill going, and make us burgers. Since it didn't happen often, it felt really special. 

It wasn't until I met my husband that I learned about the glory of the gas grill. No coals! Grill On Demand! We have a nice gas grill right outside the back door, so even when it's dark out, I can turn on the patio light, and get grillin'! I really love it, but even so, I don't end up using it all that often. So, when Tami (of Vegan Appetite) asked me if I'd be interested in reviewing a copy of her new book Grills Gone Vegan, I jumped at the chance (excellent book title, by the way!) First of all, I love her other amazing cookbooks... and I was eager to spend more QT with my grill. That's Quality Time, for those not in the know. 

Grills Gone Vegan isn't just burgers and grilled tofu slabs, it's a really creative exploration of salads, appetizers, entrees, breads and desserts... If you like grilling, and want to expand your repertoire well beyond tofu kabobs -- I totally recommend this book! Here are the recipes I've made so far:

Grilled Corn

Well, you are probably all totally down with grilled corn, but I only ever boil corn, so I was excited to try this. Especially since corn just showed up at the farmers market and I am experiencing my annual Early Summer Corn Freak Out. Grilled Corn didn't disappoint! GGV suggests some neat sounding herb butters that you can make to go with the corn, but I like corn all on its own, so I skipped that. I loved the smokey flavor and the slight nuttiness that grilling brought out of the corn. Grilling the corn takes about 25 minutes, but it's easy to tend to while you do other stuff in the kitchen or on the grill. We had our corn with some veggie dogs and broccoli - a true summer kick off!

Harissa Tempeh Burgers
The next recipe I tried was the Harissa Tempeh Burgers. Hoo Boy! They are spicy! Honestly, we thought they were a little too spicy. I loved the texture, and how well they held up on the grill, but the main flavor I got was HEAT. I had to blow my nose! I might make these again, but I would decrease the harissa and increase some of the other spices. (to her credit: I chose the option of using store-bought harissa, and not the homemade recipe from the book, which may be more flavorful and less intense!)


After all my boasting about gas grills, they do have a downside:
I had everything ready for a nice early dinner, lit up the grill, and went inside for a few minutes. When I came out to flip over my goodies - nothing had cooked! We were all out of propane!


Oh noes! Lucky for us, there's a gas station about 2 blocks away that refills propane tanks, so Mr. VE&T ran out while I carried on with the rest of dinner prep.

Panzanella with Tempeh
(yucky night time photo due to propane delay!)
Once all that good stuff finally got grilled, we sat down to a totally amazing dinner. I love Panzanella! When I lived in Florence, I used to eat panzanella pretty often, but I loved Tami's smokey, grilled take on this salad+bread. Grilled bread is like special magic toast, and it was a great addition to the salad. Also, this salad includes a half batch of Italian Tempeh, which we both loved. It was filled with deep, rich flavors that really added to the salad without being at all over-powering. I will definitely make my way back to this recipe again!

Maple Glazed Grapefruit
I am so sorry this picture is so totally lame, because this grapefruit experience was so totally amazing.
It was so simple, and somehow this beautiful little grapefruit was transformed into something really special and new. I can't wait to make this again. Plus, such a healthy and easy dessert!


Adzuki Bean Salad with Scallion-Tahini Dressing
YES. This salad was so good, and full of unpredictable flavors. The dressing is made with grilled scallions... which are totally amazing. I think maybe heaven will smell like grilled scallions. I just wanted to gobble them all up - but I'm glad I didn't because the dressing was fantastic. The salad was a great balance of fresh, crisp flavors, and earthy robust flavors: fresh Napa cabbage, grilled zucchini, sugar snap peas, adzuki beans... it was light and hearty all at once.

Grilled Nectarines
Another after-dark dessert photo!
So many of the desserts in GGV sound super enticing (Mexican S'mores, anyone??), but I have a kitchen full of nectarines, so I was eager to try this. The full recipe is actually called Grilled Nectarines with Five-Spice Granola - and there's a delicious-sounding granola that you can make for a parfait of fruit, granola, and ice cream. But, I just went with grilled nectarines and ice cream and it was a super easy, super delicious dessert. Why is grilled fruit so magical?

this is the scene when I am grilling at home

Review Recap:
~ Some of the recipes do require advance steps, but that is always listed at the very top of the recipe, so it doesn't come as a rude surprise. The complexity of the recipes varies, some are really simple and quick, and others are more adventurous for weekend nights when you have some time to cook.

~ Nutritional data is provided for all the recipes, which is a feature I really appreciate.

~ Grills Gone Vegan has chapters for Starters, Soups and Sandwiches, Main Dishes, Salads and Side Dishes, and Desserts. There is a lot more variety in here than you might imagine! Also, Tami gives options for indoor methods in case you don't have an outdoor grill: she gives electric grill or grill pan options and/or oven/stove-top options for most recipes. So, even if you don't have a nice gas grill, you can still explore these amazing recipes!

Just a few of the other recipes I want to try next:
Middle Eastern Flatbread, Grilled Guacamole, Grown-up Grilled Cheese, Tofu Italiano Sandwiches, and Mexican S'mores

I am really stoked about this book. As you can see, the recipes are exciting and interesting and not at all predictable. Plus, they are delicious, which is the most important thing! It's also just in perfect time for summer and all those warm nights ahead... grilling out in the back yard with the doors open and Yummers sitting in the door jam watching me grill. Summertime!

LUCKY YOU! I asked Tami if I could do a giveaway for this wonderful book - because I really want other eager grillers to have as much fun with it as I have - and she agreed! So, just leave a comment here, and tell me your favorite thing you've ever grilled! I'll pick a winner on Friday the 28th.

Yum!

51 comments:

  1. big fat slices of sweet potato - yum yum !

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  2. Ooh my goodness! I have all of Tami's books and love them so much. I love to grill zucchini, onion, mushroom and eggplant and top my focaccia with it. Yum!

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  3. Pizza! My first was on high school senior skipout day, on the beach...oh so superyumful! I've been hooked on them ever since. ;)

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  4. pizza - wish i had discovered that trick sooner. yum!

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  5. I love grilled mushrooms :)

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  6. my mouth was watering as i read this post. my favorite thing to grill is homemade bean burgers...the grill makes them extra smokey! i've always wanted to try grilling pizza.

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  7. i absolutely love grilled pineapple! on top of veggie burgers, salads or dessert! yum!

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  8. I soak corn on the cob inside the husks in icy water, then drain. Then I peel back, add Earth balance and some garlic slices, some smoky paprika and repull up the husks. Add on the grill until the husks are turning dark. Sometimes I have to spray with a little water and turn on occasion. I could eat 10 of these at a time...really cool is giving my grandson his first one this summer. He just turned one! Best video ever!!

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  9. I think my favorite thing I have ever grilled is a Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich. It was heavenly. I don't have much grilling experience, but would love to get better. Thanks for doing the giveaway!

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  10. Grilled mushrooms and onions are my favorite!

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  11. I adore grilled onions. The grill really brings out the sweetness and I love the charred taste

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  12. I love to grill eggplants and make baba ganoush. It gives the dip a nice smoky flavor.

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  13. Grilled tofu and onions are my favorites.

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  14. Grilled corn is one of my faves now...I used to be a corn boiler too...not anymore!!! :)

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  15. Oooh, I think it'd have to be the grilled salad my girlfriend made for the last 4th of July - such an interesting, yummy take on salad!

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  16. Grilled eggplant. Makes me sing. My husband makes it for me in the summer, even though he doesn't like eggplant. He loves any excuse to grill! :) http://suburbansnowwhite.blogspot.com/2012/10/deceptively-easy-grilled-eggplant-vegan.html

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  17. Vegantravelgirl6:30 PM

    I don't have a grill- but I would give it to my non-vegan parents to tempt them to grill less meat!
    >In the past, I have always loved grilling mushrooms :)

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  18. Do you grill in the dark? That's supposed to be a late night cooking joke. It all looks delicious! I love grilled corn.

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  19. I've been grilling tofu and every vegetable I can lay my hands on lately. My current fav: a soup made with grilled eggplant, red pepper, and roasted garlic.

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  20. CORN IS ALWAYS BEST!

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  21. Oh, I have to get my hands on that book! We have friends who are inviting us to a barbecue this summer, and my friend keeps asking me "But what are we going to grill for you?"... so I'd love to be able to give her the opportunity to leaf through Grills Gone Vegan - because Tami has clearly come up with many more answers (and more creative ones) to that question than I have so far!

    As for my favorite grilled thing - well, since I don't own a grill (yet), I haven't experimented much with grilling, but I've enjoyed great tofu kabobs at my parents'. And really, I'm looking forward to experimenting with a few new ideas the next time we're invited to a barbecue.

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  22. I want a copy!!! My favorite thing is anything with chiichurri on it!!
    xo
    kittee

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    Replies
    1. the chimichurri sauce is super awesome. stay tuned for dishes related to chimichurri starting next week on my blog, www.veganmiam.com from that book. I will be revealing her recipe! xxx

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  23. Mushrooms :)

    HilLesha(at)twc(dot)com

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  24. Pineapple with a little agave nectar!

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  25. sweet potatoes! sooooo good!!

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  26. What we've grilled - pizza; naan bread; loads of corn on the cob; tempeh; various veggie burgers; broccoli (really yummy!); mushrooms; zucchini; and jalapenos for homemade salsa (and probably many more vegetables that I'm forgetting). A cookbook that I've been using is 'The Vegetarian Grill', but now that we're vegan it would be great to have 'Grills Gone Vegan'!

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  27. Anonymous8:33 AM

    I had grilled pineapple with a drizzle of BBQ sauce at a wedding last weekend and it was really yummy!

    Tam

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  28. Clever book title! I love the taste that grilling imparts on food. I think grilling fruits is the best...something about that smoky grill flavor complementing the sweetness.

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  29. I love this books title :-) My fav thing to grill is mushrooms, but I don't have much grill experience. I would love to get this book to broaden my horizons!!

    Courtney

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  30. i recently went to a BBQ where we grilled french fries! i have never had french fries that tasted to good. from now on that's how i'll be making all my fries! they were so crunchy and i loved the burnt bits, yum!

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  31. Fresh corn on the cob; husks and silks slide right off.

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  32. I love her chimichurri sauce! Probably the best recipe so far!

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  33. I've never grilled anything in my life, but I just bought a cast iron grill pan and would love to try just about anything from this book.

    Thanks for the giveway !

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  34. Those harissa burgers looks excellent! We almost never grill outside. This has to change.

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  35. I loved grilled corn on the cob and zucchini.

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  36. I'd love a copy -- BBQ tempeh is great, but I could use some new recipes for the grill!

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  37. Oh, you are torturing me with that pic of the corn. We're very behind here, so I won't be seeing corn for a while.
    As for my favorite grilled thing ever - these amazing portobello burgers with garlic and carrots that somehow got melty and cheeselike...oh, yes...

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  38. Don't have much experience grilling, but I am ever-so-intrigued by grilled guacamole!!

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  39. We just got a grill! I am alarmed and excited.

    On other grills I have known and loved, fresh corn on the cob with lime and chile is so good.

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  40. I love grilling pineapple! And veggie kebabs. Would love to branch out.

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  41. corn with vegan butter and cinnamon and some cumin.
    I know! Weird! But so good.
    I'd love to try out some protein sources though

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  42. Grilled artichokes. :)

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  43. I love grilling asparagus!

    heatheranne99 at gmail dot com

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  44. Melissa8:56 AM

    We love to grill everything - so its nearly impossible to pick a favorite. Normally we do a bajillion veggies and use them in all sorts of dishes over the next few days, but I just had grilled peaches for the first time and they were pretty fabulous.

    Or sweet corn.

    maehayes(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  45. I love grilled potato hash browns, or corn with onions. So good!

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  46. Because our garden last summer produced 80 pounds of sweet potatoes, we're all about grilling them every which way we can think of.

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  47. My favourite is grilled veggies with a really good Asian marinade; sesame oil and smoky flavour works great together!

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  48. I love grilled corn, simple and delicious.

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  49. Love the book!

    www.veganmiam.com

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Happy VeganMoFo! I love comments, they really make my day!