(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:
Harissa Tempeh BurgersThe 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!
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 GrapefruitI 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 DressingYES. 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.
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!