Vegans, just like all Americans, love holiday food and festivities. And, with the percentage of vegans on an exponential rise, vegan cuisine is getting more and more popular, as well as providing vegan options on menus.
Many vegans like and even crave the taste of meat, although, clearly they won’t eat it. They consider themselves somewhat like the hero’s of the Twilight saga that love the taste of human blood, but because they feel it is immoral to kill humans, they don’t drink human blood. With some vegans, it’s very similar; they like the taste of flesh, but don’t believe in or support the killing and processing of animals to satisfy those taste cravings.
There are companies offering vegan certification symbols, so you can look for this on the back of any vegan ingredients you want to eat. This means the products are truly vegan and meet high standards.
The fake meat industry is booming. Companies such as Tofurky, Gardein, Quorn, LightLife, and Morningstar Farms are making mock meats that could actually fool carnivores because they are so tasty. Additionally, some of the fake meat options have textures that are strikingly similar to flesh. The companies listed above make all sorts of BBQ friendly options, such as vegie burgers, “chicken” strips and even “beef” cubes.
There, of course, are also the traditional meat replacement options such as tofu, seitan and tempeh that can be barbequed. Seitan is a meat substitute made from the wheat protein gluten. On it’s own, popular seitan dishes include seitan wings for dipping, chicken fried seitan or barbeque rubbed seitan. Tempeh, made from beans, come in cakes that are often sliced into patties for barbecuing, used as a chicken salad substitute or cubed and golden fried as a tasty addition to salads, soups or stir-fries. Tofu is often used as an egg substitute for breakfast burritos or fry-ups or as a meat substitute in stir-fry and curry dishes.
Labor Day BBQs can be particularly interesting for vegans. However, with so many meat substitute options, it is easy to accommodate a vegan diet during a traditional barbeque. Try these tasty ideas and options!
Barbequed tofu can be extremely delicious as tofu absorbs most flavors well. Marinate the tofu before grilling and have some sauce saved for dipping!
2 cups barbeque sauce or marinade of choice
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 package extra firm tofu
Take the tofu out of the container and press firmly, without squishing, between paper towels to remove extra moisture. Slice the tofu block into thick blocks, about one inch think. Lay the tofu slices into a baking dish so that they are laying flat. Drizzle one cup of the barbeque or marinade sauce over the slices and let them marinade for at least one hour and up to eight hours. Once the tofu is marinated and ready to cook, pre-heat an outdoor grill and spray the grill with cooking spray as to prevent sticking. Place the slices on the grill for three to four minutes on each side, or until the outside of the slices are browned. Remove from the grill and place onto a serving tray. Top with the leftover cup of barbeque sauce and serve.
This is a guest post by Mark Lynch. Mark recommends reading more vegan cooking ideas on Chefs.edu.