by Toni Fiore, from the VegEZ podcast and soon to be released VegEZ e-cookbook.
Summer in Maine is upon us, and we can’t get enough of it.
So cooking outdoors is where it’s at. Here are Toni Fiore’s 5 top favorite July 4th recipes.
Before we start, we wanted you all to know that we’ve cooked up a Vegan Mashup kickstarter campaign to move on to producing Season 2. And we really need you to help us
make it happen.
Happy 4th! We hope you enjoy Toni’s take on outdoor grilling.
1.Grilled Seitan & Tempeh
From Dry Rub to BBQ Sauce, Toni skewers the competition.
2. Vegetable Medley on Grilled Polenta
Nothing’s sweeter than soft Italian veggies heaped over Grilled Polenta
3. Portobello Arugula Salad Burger
Nobody can cook a mushroom like Toni and this Whole Food Burger pops with flavor.
4. NY Spicy Sweet Street Cart Onions
Toni bats it out of the park with her NY street cart onions.
Perfect on your favorite veggie dog with mustard.
5. Peaches On The Grill
Toni’s Sweet Finish to a great BBQ
by Toni Fiore
I think Tempeh is one of the most versatile foods around. Made from fermented soybeans tempeh is easily digested and extremely high in protein, fiber and vitamins. Tempeh absorbs marinades well, has a pleasant texture and warm nutty flavor. Texture is especially important for people new to soy foods. This recipe is rich in flavor yet effortless to pull together. For me, that’s exactly what I want when I’m entertaining! Leftovers, if you have any, are fabulous tossed into a salad, soup or sauce. Personally, I just gobble them up right out of the fridge!
2 Pkgs. Tempeh (any style cut into 1 inch cubes)
½ cup Soy sauce (gluten free use Tamari)
½ cup Organic cider vinegar
1/3 cup Pure maple syrup
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 Tbl. Olive oil
2 tsp. ground cumin
Preheat oven to 350. Meanwhile whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, syrup, vegetable oil, olive oil and cumin. Add the tempeh and coat well. Cover with foil and bake 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for 8-10 minutes more until all the marinade is absorbed. Remove and let cool.
Serve as an appetizer with Tofu Tzaziki dip.
Like Cilantro it seems that people either love beets or hate them! Tonight I made Beet Burgers (recipe courtesy of Didi Emmons and in my book “Totally Vegetarian”) for a couple of friends who swore they would never (ever) develop a liking for this sadly underused root vegetable. Even though I’m seeing beets making more frequent appearances on menus in upscale dining establishments, I find that very simple preparations not only taste better but are more economical for the everyday cook. This particular recipe is really easy to pull together, full of fiber, nutrients and makes enough for a couple of meals worth of burgers. Extra plus is that there is no added fat. I cook my burgers in a cast iron pan with barely a tablespoon of vegetable oil, however in a ceramic non stick pan they can be cooked fat free. Just watch the heat! I served these crisp on the outside warm and crumbly on the inside burgers without a bun, topped with a generous squeeze of Sriracha sauce. I complimented these flavorful and subtly “beety” burgers with a simple side of rosemary roasted potatoes and sweet organic pears. I’m happy to say, much to everyone’s surprise, that the entire dish was a hit! Be sure to buy your beets with nice fresh leafy tops. Tomorrow all of those glorious greens are going to find their way into a hearty minestrone.
Savory and sweet are my favorite combination and this curried sandwich filling made with Quorn roast and sweet green grapes is a surefire crowd pleaser!
This is just right served on lettuce boats or tucked into pita bread or a lovely wholegrain French baguette. For a Delicious twist, substitute your favorite fruit for the grapes.
1/4 of a Quorn Roast, torn into bite sized pieces
1/4 – 1/2 of a chopped white or yellow onion
1 t. vegetable oil
1/2 t. curry powder
2-3 T. dairy or soy yogurt
12-15 seedless green grapes
Fresh black pepper
Cook roast according to package directions. Cool and section off about a quarter of the loaf. Tear into bite sized pieces and place in a medium sized bowl. Add grapes. Mix remaining ingredients together into a dressing and pour over Quorn and grapes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Note: Don’t overcook the Quorn roast. It is best when still moist. I generally start with the roast defrosted for the best results.
TVP or “mock-meats” are getting a lot of attention these days, and for good reason. With up to eighty percent less fat than lean animal meats, these products lend themselves remarkably well to many recipes that traditionally use beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, or pork. In fact, some of the most popular recipes on our website are made with TVP and we get a lot of mail with questions about how to use these products.
Mock-meat sales at college cafeterias have more than doubled in the past few years and general market sales are expected to reach record highs by 2008. There are a number of companies that produce these meat alternatives and they have improved taste and texture significantly. Their popularity is understandable, as they provide a low fat meatless option to transitional vegetarians or flexitarians who desire kicking the meat habit, but are not ready to walk away from many of their favorite, traditional meat-based dishes.
At first, I was a bit ambivalent about using mock-meat, but I must admit that I enjoy not only the culinary challenge of preparing it, but also the positive response of diehard meat eaters to dishes prepared with TVP. Consuming meat replacers a few times a week will make a huge difference to your overall health while helping reduce the negative impact a meat-based diet has on animals and the environment. It’s a win win situation, no matter how you look at it.
I was reading a few prominent internet articles this week about nutrition and promoting healthy foods for kids. Over ninety percent of the recipes suggested in the articles contain dairy and cheese, swap out chicken for beef, and promote substituting turkey for just about everything except shampoo. America’s ongoing romantic relationship with meat and dairy is both disturbing and dangerous. The idea that one might consider eating meat or dairy free at least three times a week is a concept that pushes people into panic mode. However, amidst all of this chaotic and conflicting information, I was heartened to learn that there has been a remarkable increase in college student demand and desire to eat vegan and vegetarian.
Nearly one quarter of college students are vegetarian and sales of vegetarian meals at Universities doubled between 1998 and 2003 and continue to grow. This is good news and very telling. Conversely, while these future consumers are busy helping create a multibillion dollar mock meat industry there is little response and advice from mainstream nutritional “experts” to assist parents in preparing and creating meatless meals at home that address this current trend. Despite the fact that we still find it a challenge to sell the concept of an all vegetarian cooking show, it appears, when we look at the facts, vegetarians might just turn out to be a powerful economic force to be reckoned with.