“If there is anything in life more satisfying than nurturing others through cooking, I haven’t found it. In that spirit, allow me to share Grills Gone Vegan with you.”
For all my BBQ friends who are now asking themselves “what’s Larry doing,” no, I’ve not gone vegan. I’m still a hard-core meat-eater. But I do love grilled veggies with my meat. And Grills Gone Vegan by Tamasin Noyes give me lots of choices for grilled side dishes.
“Whether you are cooking for just a few people or for many, no style of cooking lends itself to easy, casual and interactive entertaining the way grilling does.”–Tamasin Noyes
Every once in a while I get the opportunity to feed a non-meat eater. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does I want to be ready. As the host it is my obligation to keep my guests happy. Tamasin Noyes will help me have happy guests when I do have non-meat eaters over.
Some of the recipes, like the Ethiopian Bean Skillet, would make a main course along with a salad and some of Mrs. Grail’s homemade bread. A few years ago the thought of eating a dish with no meat in it was not a possibility for me. But as I’ve gotten older my body has sent me signals that I need to change some of the ways I eat. I’ve even tried tofu once in awhile on the grill with some pretty lousy results. Grills Gone Vegan will add a new dimension to my grill capabilities.
Whether it’s salads, pizzas, sandwiches or wraps Grills Gone Vegan will offer a unique twist on what I would term traditional grilling foods. Traditional in the sense that many grillers just don’t look at the grill and see vegan food. It’s a foreign concept to us. I really enjoyed learning new things from Tamasin.
If you’ve read this blog for very long you know grilled tofu dishes are a challenge for me. In reading through the book I learned of a protein called tempeh. Tempeh is made from soy beans, but it has a firmer texture and I might just like it better off the grill. Of course I need to figure out where I can buy the stuff.
The “Science of Grilling” section is a fantastic bit of information. It was great to see, in writing, something I’ve advocated for years, oil the food. Yes, the author does mention oiling the grates but at least there was a mention of the better way to keep food from sticking to the grill. There are also great tips, that don’t just apply to veggies, for getting nice crisp grill marks.
“Vegan grilling is becoming more mainstream as cooks realize the potential it offers for getting big flavors from food.”–Tamasin Noyes
The chapter on Remarkable Rubs, Marinades and Sauces reads just like any other grilling cookbook with bold flavors that will bring the most out of your grilled foods. On of the coolest recipes is for Smoke Booster. It’s an interesting technique for increasing the smoke flavor in foods. In addition to normal BBQ spices like cumin and paprika it uses a small amount of liquid smoke that is boosted with Lapsang souchong tea leaves. Lapsang souchong tea leaves are dried over pinewood fires that impart a smoking flavor that enhances grilling.
The chapter on Delectable Desserts provides the backyard grillmaster with some interesting flavors. My interested was drawn to the Skillet-Grilled Mango-Blueberry Cobbler and Fruit Salsa with Sweet Cinnamon Chips. Both of these dessert dishes have great combinations of flavors that would be perfect for finishing up just about any backyard cookout.
For an actual vegan griller this cookbook is probably about as perfect as you can get I suppose. For those of us of the meat-eating persuasion Grills Gone Vegan will open your eyes to flavors that you may not have thought about before. I guess vegan grilling isn’t just for vegans any more.
- 1 shallot, minced
- Juice from ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon minced capers
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 15 baby artichokes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pinch ground pepper
- Put all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine
- Fill a medium bowl two-thirds full with cold water. Stir in the vinegar
- Working with the artichokes one at a time, remove the outer leaves until you reach the inner yellowish leaves. Trim ½ inch off the top and cut off almost the entire stem, leaving just enough stem so the choke stays intact. Cut the artichokes in half lengthwise and scoop out the hairy core. Put each artichoke in the vinegar water immediately after preparing to prevent browning.
- Fill a medium saucepan two-thirds full with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Drain the artichokes and put them in the saucepan. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until nearly tender about 7 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a medium bowl. Drissle with the oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Toss gently until the arichokes are evenly coated.
- Preheat a grill, grill pan, or electric grill to medium-high heat
- Working in batches if necessary, put the aritchokes on the fill cut-side down and cook until marked, about 6 minutes.
- Transfer the artichokes to a bowl as they are cooked. While the artichokes are hot, pour the dressing over them., whisking it first if it has separated, and toss gently to coat. Serve hot or at room temperature.