Monday, June 18, 2007

BBQ, "The Club," and 2 Recipe Requests!

Well! I mentioned in my last post that we just got a new barbecue. I've been reading everyone's blogs about grilling ... and all of Jess' perfect grill marks... it's been driving me crazy! Now that we have a lovely new patio, we decided it would be incomplete without a grill. I have been having fun learning how to use it.

So that leads to the first of my special recipe requests... Does anyone have a good BBQ sauce recipe? Or even just a good brand? When I grill tofu or tempeh or seitan, should I marinate it first? (I assume the answer is a definite yes for tofu)... Any favorite grilling ideas would be much appreciated!

Another recipe request: My mom wants to know if anyone has a good vegan "egg salad" recipe... like the one they sell at Trader Joe's. Any tips?

On Sunday we had a nice backyard BBQ in honor of fathers day. We had my parents, my wonderful grandparents, my two aunts, an uncle, my aunt's boyfriend, my cousin & her husband. Fun.

First I BBQed some baby potatoes from the farmers' market. I got red skin with white flesh, red skin with yellow flesh, yellow skin & flesh, and - of course - purple potatoes. I put on a little olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a spring of fresh rosemary. Then I wrapped them in a foil packet & threw them on the grill. I must say, this was all the idea of Musty's brother. Wow!! They turned out amazing!!

Here's the big bowl of grilled veggies that we ended up with: eggplant, zucchini, corn, onions, red peppers, and the potatoes. These were a big hit with my veggie-loving family! My two aunts are both now vegan and my cousin & her husband have turned vegetarian & are currently following the Eat To Live diet. It's so cool!

Here's my whole plate - an Amy's California Burger, some veggies, and a nice kale-garbanzo salad that my aunties made. YUM!

Recently many people have been mentioning the Real Food Daily Club Sandwich... Last week Musty's brother was out for a week, and we were getting along better than ever. We don't readily have a lot in common, and I decided not the rock the boat and make him eat my homemade vegan food! :) That said, I had a massive reserve of pent-up cooking energy by today! So - I tackled "The Club."

First, you make the "Chicken Style Seitan" from the RFD cookbook, which is a very easy recipe. This was the first time I've made it & it's great!! It makes about 4 lbs worth, and is a baked recipe... takes two hours, but it's almost all oven-time & almost no labor. The recipe is not as hard/chewy as some seitans, but a bit softer and more delicate in a very nice way.

Then you need all the ingredients: tempeh bacon (I bought those great lightlife ones), tomatoes, lettuce, soy mayo, sourdough bread, & your seitan. The seitan is dipped in a seasoned batter, and then rolled in panko crumbs. (I used some nice Ian's whole wheat panko crumbs) The the seitan slices sit for a while, before being fried. It said 1 hour to overnight, but I skimped with 1/2 hour, and the results were still great. Now, I am notoriously terrible at frying things, mostly because I am grossed out by the whole concept - and always end up with something way too oily and nasty to even look at, yet alone eat. But I was determined and confident tonight & the results were easy & fantastic! (If Chris can do it, so can I!) I think I used enough oil, but not too much, and I let it get very hot before putting in the seitan - so they didn't soak up the oil, they just sizzled in it. The patties were golden and crispy.

This is a close up of the sandwhich - 3 pieces of bread! How fun. I even got some fresh-baked, organic sourdough sandwich bread from the bakery. Yeah! These sandwiches really were incredible - very very filling & delicious!!! If you're up for a fun project, I definitely recommend this recipe. If you make the seitan the day before, like i did, the sandwiches only take 30 min or so from start to finish. Fun!


  1. You're grilled veggies look yummy! I never thought to put pieces of corn-on-the-cob in there, thanks for the idea! The best BBQ sauce recipe that I've tried is VWAV's BBQ Pomengranate Tofu - it's super good. The sandwiches look great! I can't fry anything, I'm too stingy with the oil and afraid of getting burnt.

  2. Mmmm, grilled veggies. I'll have to try it someday. Grills intimidate me a little to tell you the truth. We buy Amy's BBQ sauce, but I forget which type--she makes several and I think one has honey, which is obviously not the one we get.

    I got to go to RFD when I was in LA, and the food was wonderful. I really do need to buy the cookbook!

    For the "egg salad" my guess would be some combo of soft tofu, veganaise, tumeric, some chopped green onions and a generous heaping spoon of nutritional yeast flakes, then let it set a while... That's if you want it really mild--if you want something wilder I'd add paprika, some chopped bell peppers and a squirt of dijon mustard.

    Sorry that's how I cook (stir, taste, add a little more, stir, taste again...)

  3. Anonymous6:47 AM

    i really cant help with the recipes, but want to say that your foods looks amazing!

  4. Can't say I've had the Trader Joe's eggless salad but I do have my own recipe that I adore: The amounts for the spices are estimates to start with, and can be changed to taste.

    Those rainbow potatoes look delightful!

  5. Hi, Amey! It looks like you had a great time breaking in your new grill. Everything looks perfect!

    I may try grilled seitan this weekend. It will be my first attempt and I will definitely marinate it first. One of my favorite sauce recipes is from All Creatures: Quick and easy and excellent. I usually quadruple it (except for the ginger) and I may add in some garlic.

    Your club sandwiches are awesome!

  6. Hello Amey,
    What type of BBQ sauce are you after? Spicy, sweet or herby? I like orange and maple syrup sauce, it goes fabulously with chickpea ball skewers, or sweet n sour chilli sauce with bean burgers. If either of those sound interesting let me know!

    I normally marinade seitan overnight when I eat it, otherwise it is a wee bit bland!
    Nice pictures by the way :)


  7. Sarah9:06 AM

    My favorite bbq sauce is from The Grit cookbook. It takes a few steps to make, but it's a HUGE batch and totally worth it.

    And I'd say it's a definite yes to pre-marinating tempeh for the grill. I like to steam tempeh for about 10 minutes, then put it in the marinade for a while - it helps the tempeh to soften and soak up the flavors.

  8. Anonymous9:21 AM

    Your veggies for father's day look wonderful. I could go for a huge batch of them right now. I forget how much I like grilled veggies. We had a rental property that we're selling and when the last tenants moved out they left a nice bbq. We then put the house for sale and the offer we accepted, the guy wanted the bbq so we decided to give it to him. I was originally planning on lugging it home but oh well. It's better to have the house sold than to have the bbq.

    I've been wanting to try the tofu marinade from:

    You can see pics of it on Bazu's website:

    Hong Kong Tofu marinade:
    2 Tablespoons curry paste
    2 Tablespoons sugar
    1/2 cup oil (I used olive oil)
    1/3 cup soy sauce
    2 cloves of garlic minced
    Mix up and marinate tofu overnight.

  9. veggiegirl4:40 PM

    everything looks sooo tasty - especially the club sandwich and all those veggies!! oh and I absolutely LOVE Amy's California veggie burgers - so tasty and full of great, REAL ingredients.

  10. Mmm, those grilled veggies look so beautiful. I wish I had a grill but my "grill" is merely a George Foreman. That club sandwich is HUGE - but looks amazing!!

    I've been wondering the same thing about BBQ sauce. I've never made it from scratch but would love to, so if you end up with a great recipe please let us (or at least me) know about it!! :) As for the eggless salad, I have never tried the TJs one so I don't have much to offer there... sorry!

  11. Anonymous6:32 AM

    Alright! I'm glad you did some successful frying. And I love a double-decker sandwich.

    The grilled veggies look awesome too. We really need to get a replacement for our poor old grill that fell apart last year.

  12. Anonymous6:35 AM

    Oh, and I just realized I posted an "eggless" salad recipe of sorts a long time ago (from a back issue of Veg. Times). Not sure if it's quite what you're looking for but it's at the end of this post.

  13. Hi Amey! RFD's club is one of my favorite things to order at the restaurant. I've never tried making it myself, though, because it seemed intimidating. Maybe I'll give it a shot now that you made it less mysterious! :)



  14. Yum roasted veggies- they always have such great flavor! And colorful potatoes are always fun.

    As for the eggless salad- I've never had the TJ's one. But I like to do a chickpea and silken tofu based mash, with some spicy mustard, and other flavorings, with some turmeric for coloring if you'd like.


  15. The VwaV pomegranate bbq sauce is quick to make and *super* tasty (you can use regular molasses in place of the called-for pomegranate molasses).

    Happy grilling! :)

  16. Vanessie Veg12:51 PM

    The VwaV tofu - dill sammich filling is to die for, my omni guy thought it was real egg salad as did several people at a baby shower I just catered. Also dying to try Isa's recipe on her site that uses black salt. No stores near me carry it though so I have to special order some online.

    Best BBQ sauce EVER is in the Native Foods cookbook, EASY to make. I'll never go back to buying bottled again! sub half the chili powder with smoked spanish paprika, add 3/4 tsp of liquid smoke and reduce the molasses by 1/2. PERFECTION! We drown everything in the stuff!

    Good luck, have fun!!! :)

  17. caroline6:55 AM

    great egg salad recipe:
    -4 oz firm tofu (frozen and thawed)
    -1 TBS red onion, minced
    -2 TBS celery(ribs and leaves) minced
    -1 tsp white wine vinegar
    -1 tsp mustard
    -1 tsp white sugar
    -1/2 tsp dried dill weed
    -1 TBS dried parsley
    -salt/pepper to taste

    1. crumble tofu into medium bowl and add in celery and onion
    2. in separate bowl combine the remaining ingredients
    3. mix mayo mixture into the tofu and combine well, season w/ salt pepper to taste.
    4. chill over night, or at least a few hours to let the flavors really come through.
    GOOD LUCK! :)

  18. caroline6:57 AM

    i have a great "cottage cheese" recipe that i usually make in combination w/ this to use up my leftover tofu, if your interested!

  19. awesome! Thanks for the recipe. I will definitely try it. Yum. Summertime is a good season for some light little sandwiches.

    :) amey

  20. I know this comment is so late, it's ridiculous, but I have a favorite tofu egg salad recipe that's really easy: (all ingredients to taste, though)

    firm or extra firm tofu, crumbled as if you're making tofu scramble

    dijon mustard
    chopped up spicy bread and butter pickles
    chopped celery and onion (really really fine)
    salt + pepper
    fresh or dried dill (for me, the dill is what really makes this salad over the top delicious)

    Mash it all up together and let it chill. It is SO good.

    As for barbeque sauce, Daiku whipped up a really good, really spicy sauce. I think I listed the ingredients on my blog, in the comments section of the BBQ ribz post. It's really easy to improvise to your taste, and you'll feel so good using molasses and organic ketchup and all the good ingredients instead of the crap often found in store-bought sauces!

    Sorry for the late comment, Amey, hope this is helpful!

  21. Your roasted veggies are so pretty - Musty's bro has it right! We've eaten The Club at RFD in Santa Monica, and yours looks every bit as good. Such a great sandwich!


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