Welcome to Veganmofo 2009, the Vegan Month of food! For the month of of October, blogs across the world are going to talk about veganism and vegan food in an effort to raise awareness. For us it’s awareness about both the plight of animals in factory farming conditions as well as just how unhealthy much of the food we eat has become.
So, enough introductions, let’s move on to the food! For me the hardest part of going vegan was giving up grilling and smoking. Standing next to your Weber, cooking with fire in the back yard, is a very primal man thing to do. It’s also not quite the same when you standing in front of a grill full of vegetables. The thing is though, veganism isn’t just about eating vegetables. It’s about eating really good, animal free food. And there is a lot of awesome things you can grill and smoke that also happen to be vegan. Some of my favorites are vegan sausage, seitan, and tofu.
There are a number of excellent vegan sausages out there, Field Roast is among our favorites but there are others, and it is reasonably simple to make from scratch. They are a a little trickier to grill than meat sausages because the vegan ones contain less fat and tend to dry out, but it can be done. You just have to be sure to remove the casings, because vegan sausage casing are plastic and inedible.
I’ve tried grilling seitan with little success, but smoking it is another thing. I smoked a seitan ball not long ago, and it was dry and chewy and sliced thin was amazingly similar to beef jerky. I need to play with the recipe more, and hopefully I will be able to post some of the results as part of Veganmofo 2009.
My favorite way to cook tofu on the Weber is to smoke it. Grilled tofu is good, and you can get some amazing grill marks on it, but tofu is also very easy to overcook when it’s directly over the coals. Smoking is much more forgiving, and also in my opinion much tastier. One of the keys is a very long marinating time. These days I marinate a package of firm tofu for at least 5 days. Yes, 5 days, and preferably longer than a week. You also have to be careful with the amount of smoke you use, a little bit goes a long way when smoking tofu.
I plan on sharing more grilling and smoking experience as the month goes on, and Raelene has a bunch of awesome stuff up her sleeve as well. In the mean time, welcome to the Vegan Month of Food!