Vegan BBQ Sliders

   

It’s summer time, which means picnics and barbecues are in full swing. These vegan sliders are perfect for all of the warm weather festivities, or even just a weekend at home when you’re craving something different. They are simple to make, portable, and will satisfy any hungry monster’s hankering for smoky goodness. 

Vegan BBQ Sliders

It looks pretty dang meaty doesn’t it? Well it’s not! And it’s not soy beef or seitan or tofu or anything else you may expect. It’s an ingredient many people have never even heard of – jackfruit! Well informed vegans may already be aware that there is a number of pulled pork style jackfruit recipes out there, but I find that type of BBQ to be too sweet. As an alternative, I made this recipe to simulate more of a brisket style of sandwich that my dad used to make when I was growing up. You can eat it on soft slider buns, stuff it into a hoagie, or even make tasty tacos out of it. The base recipe is simple and open to many delicious adaptations. So… where do you get this mysterious jackfruit? You can buy cans at your local Asian grocer, or order it from Amazon if you don’t have an Asian market available. Stock up because you’ll probably want to make these again!

Vegan BBQ Sliders

Vegan BBQ Sliders
Serves 5
Smoky, salty brisket-style vegan sliders made from jackfruit.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cans of young jackfruit (packed in brine or water, not syrup - very important)
  2. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  3. 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce (also available at the Asian market)
  4. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice (I prefer a pickle with a saltier, more acidic brine - I use Vlasic)
  6. 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (sometimes I put in another 1/2 teaspoon for extra smokiness - but start low because this stuff is potent)
  7. 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  8. 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  9. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  11. Additional olive oil for drizzling
  12. Soft slider rolls
  13. Preferred toppings (BBQ sauce, Vegenaise, relish - whatever floats your boat!)
Instructions
  1. Drain the jackfruit and using your fingers shred the pieces into a medium sized bowl. There might be a few chunkier pieces and that's ok.
  2. Whisk together all of the remaining ingredients for the marinade. Pour over the jackfruit and let sit for 10 minutes or so.
  3. In a medium to medium-high heat skillet throw in the jackfruit. You're going to let this cook for a while to evaporate most of the liquid. You want to "dry" it out a bit. Limit stirring because a big part of the flavor comes from the sear you get from cooking on high heat. The sugars in the marinade will caramelize and create sort of a "bark" that I feel makes it taste more like authentic BBQ.
  4. Once it's cooked put a drizzle of more oil over the top just to make it a bit more rich and fatty like a nice raunchy southern sandwich should be. :) You've just cooked out a fair amount of moisture so this gives it a little more life again.
  5. Pile high on rolls and combine with whatever toppings you love.
Notes
  1. Make sure to purchase only YOUNG jackfruit in a can, unless you're lucky enough to have a market that serves pre-cut young jackfruit. Fresh and frozen jackfruit tends to be ripe - and therefore sweet, so it won't work well in this recipe.
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Vegan BBQ Sliders


Mediterranean Veggie Burger

   

I have conflicting emotions whenever I go into a restaurant and see they have a veggie burger on the menu. On one hand I get excited – hoping for a hearty, flavorful patty made in-house by someone that understands not all vegetarians are out to eat fat-free, gluten-free, low-sodium rabbit food. I mean I’m going there for a burger after all. On the other hand I get an overwhelming feeling of cynicism, as I know I’m much more likely to be presented with one of those mass-produced hockey pucks from the freezer aisle of the local grocery store. Then on another hand (I can have three hands; don’t judge me) I’m just thankful there is a vegetarian option at all. One thing I can always count on though is a super delicious veggie burger made in my own kitchen.

Mediterranean Veggie Burger

For me, a well-crafted veggie burger needs to hit on three major points: pronounced flavor, contrasting textures, and the ability to make me lean back and pat my belly in sated bliss upon consumption. Having the recipe be quick and easy certainly doesn’t hurt either. This vegan patty whips up in the food processor in just a minute or two, but then it meets all of my requirements for an excellent burger as well. When paired with the olive and tomato relish, a smear of bright lemon basil pesto, and warm feta cheese (or not if you’re vegan) it all comes together into a savory, complex combination of flavors that truly satisfies a rumbling tummy.

Mediterranean Veggie Burger

There are two key factors that contribute to the texture of these burgers. Obviously one of them is going to be the ingredients. I blend farro into the mix for a nice bit of chew throughout, and at the last minute I also add in roasted, salted pumpkin seeds for just a little bit of crunch. The second factor is properly combining the ingredients. Don’t go crazy and pulverize your ingredients into an nondescript, beige paste. Small pieces of chickpea, bits of chewy grain, and whole seeds will give your burger a much nicer bite. When your patties are formed you should be able to identify most of the recipe’s components. If it looks like a chunk of slice-and-bake sugar cookie dough you’ve definitely gone too far.

Mediterranean Veggie Burger

Mediterranean Veggie Burger
Serves 4
Quick to make and packed with flavor, these vegan burgers make a great weeknight meal.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 15oz can of chickpeas, drained
  2. 1 cup cooked farro (I use a pre-cooked farro/rice blend by Village Harvest, but whatever hearty grain you have on hand should work fine)
  3. 1 garlic clove, chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon tahini
  5. 1 rounded tablespoon nutritional yeast
  6. 1/2 tablespoon egg replacer powder or corn starch
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  8. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  9. 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  10. Salt, to taste (amount varies depending on whether you’re canned chickpeas are salted – I used about 1/4 of a teaspoon)
  11. 1/4 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
Instructions
  1. Place everything except for the pumpkin seeds into the food processor and pulse until combined, but still chunky.
  2. Add pumpkin seeds and pulse a little bit more. I personally prefer most of the seeds to remain intact, so one or two quick blitzes does the trick for me.
  3. Divide mixture into four equal pieces and shape into patties. If desired you can cover and transfer to the refrigerator to cook later.
  4. Heat a small amount of olive oil or cooking spray in a nonstick skillet and sear your patties on each side.
  5. Serve on toasted bun with tomato olive topping (recipe below), pesto spread, greens, and if you’re not vegan, melted cheese (I used a blend of havarti and feta).
Calories
  1. 236
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Olive Tomato Relish
Serves 4
The combination of sweet tomatoes and salty olives is a perfect addition to the smoky flavors in the burger.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 16 cherry tomatoes, diced
  2. 8 kalamata olives, minced (about half the size of your tomatoes)
  3. 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  4. Fresh black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in bowl.
  2. Serve on top of your burger.
Calories
  1. 34
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Mediterranean Veggie Burger


Rosemary Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese “Fries”

   

The classic pairing of grilled cheese and tomato soup is one of my all time favorites. It’s something that I – and most other people I know  – grew up eating, so as adults it has evolved into no-fuss comfort food. Nostalgia aside, it’s incredibly easy to make a more grown-up version of this dish that will make you want to throw away your can opener and forget the name Campbell’s (except don’t toss the can opener because you need it for the tomatoes). I grow basil on my balcony because I love it so much and it’s almost always the flavor used in tomato soup, but if you’ve never made your tomato soup with rosemary you’re in for a real treat. It’s particularly wonderful when fall starts to roll around because rosemary has a savory, evergreen-like aroma that reminds me of the upcoming holidays. The soup itself is very low calorie (less than 80 per bowl) but I still wanted to find a way to trim down the calories on the grilled cheese front. In the end I decided to make open-faced grilled cheese “fries” so that each person only got one slice of bread instead of two. Not only is it a little bit healthier, but they are the perfect finger food for dunking into a piping hot bowl of soup. But yeah… I still ate two slices of bread because the fries were too delicious. Oh well… I tried!

Rosemary Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Fries

While making this for lunch today I didn’t remember until the very end that my immersion blender was broken. I ended up transferring the soup to the food processor to puree it which made me realize how much I LOVE my immersion blender. If you don’t have one of these and you find yourself making a lot of stove-top soups and sauces I highly recommend getting one. It makes your life so much easier! Doing it in the food processor or in the blender works fine though, just make sure that you’re careful as the hot liquid can splash around and make a mess – especially if you overfill the basin.

For the grilled cheese sticks I think using a combination of cheeses is the best way to go, but use whatever you have around. For mine I used a mix of sharp white cheddar, a colby-swiss blend, and mozzarella. The sharp cheddar gives it a nice pungent flavor while the other cheeses give an ooey gooey melty consistency. I used a total of 5 ounces so it would be a little under a serving of cheese per person – another area where I was trying to skim off a few calories. The bread I used was a white Italian bread with a subtle open crumb. The shallow holes end up creating yummy cheesy pockets of awesomeness, and in some cases the cheese oozed through and browned a little on the bottom when grilling – perfect.

Rosemary Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Fries

Rosemary Tomato Soup
Serves 6
Warm, comforting tomato soup infused with the scent of fresh rosemary.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  2. 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  3. 1 cup grated carrots
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  6. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  7. 5 cups vegetable stock
  8. 1 31.5 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  11. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  12. Salt, to taste (use more or less depending on the sodium content of your stock – I didn’t need any extra salt for mine)
  13. 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in soup pan on medium high heat. When hot add onions, carrots, garlic, rosemary, and the 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Let cook for several minutes until the onions are just slightly caramelized.
  2. Pour stock into the pan, making sure to stir well to get all of the caramelized bits off of the bottom. Add entire can of tomatoes, bay leaf, and additional seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove bay leaf and rosemary sprig from the soup. It’s ok if any rosemary leaves fell off while cooking, as they will be blended in when you puree the soup. Turn off the heat.
  4. Using either an immersion blender or food processor, puree soup to desired consistency.
  5. Transfer back to pot stir in the heavy cream. Serve immediately.
Calories
  1. 79
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Grilled Cheese "Fries"
Serves 6
Fun twist on traditional grilled cheese – perfect for soup dunking!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 ounces shredded cheese (I used a blend of sharp white cheddar, colby-swiss, and mozzarella)
  2. 6 slices of good bread
  3. 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat a skillet on medium high heat and turn on your oven’s broiler.
  2. Brush each slice of bread with the melted butter on one side. I had a little extra butter leftover and just poured it into my soup pot – yum!
  3. Place your bread, butter-side down, onto your hot skillet. Put shredded cheese on top and allow it to get nice and seared on the bottom.
  4. Transfer the bread slices to your oven to brown the cheese. It happens pretty quickly so take care not to let it burn.
  5. Put cheese bread on cutting board and let cool a couple of minutes before slicing into sticks. Top with fresh black pepper.
Calories
  1. 191
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Rosemary Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Fries


Shredded Quorn & Broccoli Panini

   

A panini with broccoli in it. A belly with panini in it.

 

Shredded Quorn & Broccoli Panini
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
6 min
Total Time
16 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
6 min
Total Time
16 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Slices Multigrain Bread
  2. 1 Tablespoon Butter
  3. 1 Quorn Cutlet, braised in a small amount of stock then chopped
  4. 1 Cup Frozen Broccoli Florets, thawed in microwave
  5. 1 Tablespoon Veganaise, feel free to use regular mayo or cream cheese
  6. 1 Tablespoon Grated Parmesan
  7. 2 Ounces Grated Asadero Cheese
Instructions
  1. Pulse the quorn, broccoli, veganaise, parmesan, and any seasonings (I used garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne) in a food processor until coarse, but not pasty.
  2. Butter each slice of bread. Assemble sandwiches by putting half of the broccoli mixture and half of the asadero on each one.
  3. Grill on both sides or put in a panini press.
Calories
  1. 454
Variations
  1. Cut some calories by using one slice of bread and doing a grilled open faced sandwich. Lightly broil the cheese until nice and bubbly.
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Veggie Burger

   

It was National Cheeseburger Day, and just because we’re vegetarian didn’t mean we wanted to miss out! Jah, a self proclaimed connoisseur of veggie burgers said this was the best one he’d ever eaten. That is not a compliment I take lightly because I know how much that guy digs veggie burgers. I had some leftover beans from the recipe that I used in a tasty three bean dip a couple of days later. That recipe is coming soon as well – but in the mean time I seriously suggest giving these homemade burger patties a try. It’s totally worth topping with the smoked gouda as well, especially if you’re a gouda monster like me. :)

 

Veggie Burger w/ Smoked Gouda & Green Bean “Fries”
Serves 4
This veggie burger turned out to be the best I’d ever eaten, and I’ve eaten a lot of them!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. For the patty:

  2. 1 Cup Reduced Sodium Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  3. ¾ Cup Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
  4. ½ Cup Ground Beef Style Tofurky
  5. ¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  6. 1/8 Cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  7. ¼ Cup Rolled Oats, dry
  8. 1 Jalapeno Pepper, diced (remove seeds for milder flavor)
  9. ½ Purple Onion, diced
  10. 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  11. 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
  12. ½ Teaspoon Dried Cilantro
  13. 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  14. 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  15. 1 Teaspoon Braggs (could use soy sauce if you don’t have any)
  16. 1 Teaspoon Ener-g Egg Replacer (corn starch would be fine if you don’t have it)
  17. Salt & Pepper, to taste

  18. For assembly:

  19. 4 Teaspoons Butter
  20. 4 Ounces Smoked Gouda
  21. 4 Whole Grain Hamburger Buns, toasted
  22. 8 Strips Morningstar Farms Veggie Bacon
  23. Sliced Tomato & Lettuce, enough for topping

  24. For the "fries":

  25. 4 Cups Fresh Green Beans, washed, dried, and ends removed
  26. 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  27. Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Heat olive oil in nonstick skillet and cook the jalapeno, onion, and garlic until translucent.
  3. In a food processor combine all patty ingredients except for ¼ cup of the black beans and ¼ cup of the kidney beans. Pulse until mixture comes together and is well blended. If you like you can add some salt or additional dried seasonings at this point.
  4. Add the remaining beans and pulse just a couple of times – you want them to be mostly whole.
  5. Begin forming the patties with your hands. You should have enough of the mixture to make four. Place on a plate, cover, and refrigerate while you prepare the green beans.
  6. In a large bowl toss the green beans with olive oil and seasonings until well coated. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring around occasionally. They should be crispy and slightly caramelized.
  7. While the green beans are baking, cook your veggie bacon strips in a nonstick skillet until hot and slightly crispy. Cut in half and set aside.
  8. On medium high heat melt one teaspoon of butter. When hot, place your burger patty on the skillet and cover. Let sear for about 3 minutes and flip to the other side, making sure to get any buttery goodness off the pan and onto your patty. Cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Repeat process for other 3 patties.
  9. Place patties on cookie sheet (I used the same one I prepared the beans on after transferring the beans to a plate) and top each burger with 4 bacon strip halves plus 1 ounce of smoked gouda. Broil for a couple of minutes until cheese is hot and bubbly.
  10. Assemble burgers with lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, or whatever else floats your hamburgery boat! Enjoy with green bean “fries”.
Calories
  1. 474
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