Get grilling — vegan recipes for summer

Mmmm veggies — Meagan Holtgrewe’s grill plate

Photo by courtesy

Editor’s intro: Seward resident Meagan Holtgrewe diligently keeps a blog full of mouthwatering vegan recipes based on family recipes from her “meat-and-potatoes” upbringing. “I’m trying to break the myth that [vegans] sit around and eat twigs and berries and sing Kumbaya,” she told The Bridge in a January 2008 article. about her food blog and videos, Rhymes with Vegan.

More than a year later, she’s still cooking. Here are a couple of grubbin’ grillin’ ideas:

Emparedados Cubanos

80 degrees and sunny. Vegan Cuban sandwiches on the grill with a side of sweet potato chips. Makes sense to me. Any questions?

Grilled Cuban sandwiches with sweet potato chips

1 loaf of cuban or french bread – cut in 1/2 (or 4 petit pain compleat)
1 large package of super firm tofu
2 large portabella mushroom
3 cloves garlic – minced
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup red wine
2 tbsp braggs (or tamari)
1 large sweet potato
1/2 cup cashews
2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp barley flour
1 tsp dijon mustard
dill pickles
Earth Balance
olive oil
pure maple syrup
salt and pepper
1 brick
aluminum foil

The easiest way to follow this recipe is for me to break it down into sections. First, we’ll start with the creamy cashew sauce since this is something that will need to be made in advance.

In a medium sized bowl, add your cashews and 1 cup of warm water. Let it sit for a few hours. Once they have sat for some time, use an immersion blender and cream them thoroughly. Add your garlic salt, onion powder, flour and dijon; blend together well. Set aside in fridge until use.

In a large bowl, combine your braggs, red wine, garlic, onion, salt and pepper and your mushroom caps (after you have cleaned them, of course). Let marinate for 20 minutes.

Slice your tofu blocks into 1/2 in thick long cutlets. Season with a little oil and salt and pepper. Add to a 400-degree grill and sear each side until golden brown. Remove and, once cooled, thinly slice each cutlet into “deli” style slices.

Add your mushrooms to the grill as well. Cook until tender. Slice into “deli” style cuts as well.

Now it’s time to build and grill the sandwiches. Start with Earth Balance on each side, inside and out. Add mustard, pickles, mushrooms, tofu, LOTS of creamy cashew sauce, more mustard and pickles.

Lay your sandwich on a hot grill pan. It should begin to sizzle immediately. Wrap your brick with 1 sheet of aluminum foil and lay it on top of your sandwich. It should crush the sandwich flat. Let it sit for approximately 2-4 minutes, then flip and repeat.

Slice your sweet potato into thin chips, cover with olive oil and add to the grill. Should take 7-8 minutes to cook. Add some salt and pepper, toss with a little pure maple syrup and serve immediately.

With a nice cold beer, this will surely be a new staple sandwich.


Grill plate

Got friends coming by, but don’t have time to prepare? If you have some veggies and tofu lying around, I suggest a “grill plate”. It’s fast, easy and gosh darn good looking!

Grill plate

1 bunch asparagus
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1/2 bunch bok choy
2 zucchinis – sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard
2 red onions
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 large package of super firm tofu – drained well
1 loaf of mutli-grain bread – sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp old bay seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 tbsp olive oil, the tamari and minced garlic. You will use this mixture for the tofu and veggies for basting.

Wash all of your veggies and prep them for the grill (except the swiss chard … that will be used for garnish). Take the ends off of the asparagus, and let your spears soak in cold water for 10 minutes to pull out any sand that might be locked in.

Slice your tofu into 1 in. thick cutlets. Baste each cutlet with your tamari mixture. Sprinkle the old bay seasoning on each as well. Add salt and pepper.

Put the cutlets onto a 400 degree grill. Turn over after 5 minutes, or until a nice golden brown. Remove and let cool.

Once your asparagus has soaked, you can baste all of your veggies with the tamari mixture.

Add them all to your grill.

Keep the peppers whole, as they will begin to roast on the grill. The veggies should take about 8-10 minutes, depending upon your grill. The onions will finish first, so be sure to watch them closely.

Once you’ve removed all of your veggies, you can throw your bread onto the grill using the rest of the olive oil to keep them from burning or sticking.

Time to plate…

Lay the Swiss chard onto a large serving platter and begin laying your veggies down. You can pile them up or do whatever looks fancy to you!

Serve the whole platter with some different sauces, such as bbq sauce, braggs, basil aioli and hummus.

Oh, and don’t forget a cold beer!


last revised: June 11, 2009