Jul 9, 2014

pulled carolina bbq sammie

Hoo-wee! That's tangy! Carolina BBQ is known for its tang - and they aint kiddin, folks. Most Carolina BBQ sauce is almost all vinegar with a dash of sugar to "mellow" things out. I thought I had an odd-ball recipe I was looking at when I first began my search, but it turns out that's the norm and not the exception.

Only thing I can figure as to why this is the case is because the meat used is very fatty and the vinegar helps temper the heaviness. As does the required slaw.

Since our vegan version of this very traditional dish contains no saturated fat or any inherent fat at all, really, it is important to add some, otherwise the same flavor will elude us. In fact, it is completely realistic to add two or three tablespoons of melted vegan butter to the cooked bbq - and if you are looking for a very authentic vegan sammie, please go for it! We didn't, but we might next time!

As this recipe stands, it has about four tablespoons of added fat, but, dang it, it's worth it. With the added richness, the vinegar-based sauce is a bonus, instead of an overpowering distraction.

Having said that, I nevertheless went ahead and tempered the vinegar with a bit of mustard and ketchup - both ingredients still well withing the wheelhouse of the Carolina barbie (all you Food Network fans, did you catch that?).

As for replacing the animal product in this 'cue, well, dadgummit, it aint hard - I used Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips and separately made another variation using tempeh. Loved both! The strips give a more meaty texture, but the tempeh adds a nutty undertone, which was very welcome.

As usual, this recipe is ready in a jiffy. Come and get it!

And GO AND GET IT! Get entered in the contest at Simple Beauty Minerals, that is. Enter....

-----> HERE  <-----

for a chance to win my cookbook, Everyday Vegan Eats, and gift certificates to Simple Beauty Minerals. The chance to win is on-going once you enter, so why wait?

This week Lisa is giving away another gift certificate for her make up (which I simply ADORE!) and this week up for grabs is a natural fragrance by Pure Diva Natural Botanicals.

Once you are done entering the contest, come back here to get the recipe for that there Carolina BBQ. Not a second sooner!

Pulled Carolina BBQ   
Serves 4

2 tablespoons neutral oil, plus more for sauteing
½ teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
½ teaspoon liquid smoke
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 (12-ounce) package Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips or 1 (8-ounce) package tempeh
Carolina BBQ Sauce (recipe follows)

1. Combine the oils, smoke, salt, garlic, sugar, paprika, mustard and black pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Shred the strips or tempeh using a box grater. Use a sharp knife to thinly slice any pieces that are difficult to shred with the grater. Transfer the shreds to the marinade and mix well to combine.
3. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the marinated protein and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
4. Add half the BBQ sauce to the skillet, mix and remove from the heat. Serve the barbecue on toasted buns, with coleslaw and the remaining sauce.   

Carolina BBQ Sauce

1 tablespoon vegan butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt

1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and chili flakes. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Add the vinegar, ketchup, mustard, sugar, black pepper and salt. Whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

© 2014 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

I am linking to these recipe parties: Healthy Vegan FridaysWhat I Ate Wednesday and Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck. 

Jul 2, 2014

mojo marinated fajitas + simple beauty minerals giveaway

Happy July! Happy Independence Day in a few days! And Happy 6th Anniversary Birthday to Simple Beauty Minerals!

In a few days the biggest celebration of the year will be occuring, Independence Day of the United States of America, and grills and cookouts are bound to be the happenings of the day. Vegan grilling and cookouts are the bestest and I'm here to bestow upon you an easy marinade, suitable for tempeh, tofu or seitan.

I made my tacos using seitan, because we LOVE seitan over here, and fixed it up right by serving it with warmed corn tortillas, adding slices of avocado, vegan sour cream and purple cabbage, also marinated in the mojo marinade and lightly grilled to cut some of the cabbage-y bite.

I used my SteaK Seitan, which is very easy to prepare and really, really good, so there is no reason not to make it, but, naturally, any setian or other vegan protein will be great with this marinade. The point is to make vegan grilling and cookouts fun and easy!

Mojo Marinade is citrus-y and garlicky and completely addictive.

Mojo Marinated Vegan Fajitas   
Serves 4

¾ cup orange juice
¼ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
8 SteaK Seitan or other vegan protein
As needed: corn tortillas, vegan sour cream, avocado, thin slices of jalapeƱo, thin slices of cabbage or cole slaw, lime wedges, diced tomatoes, vegan cheese

1. Combine the orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, oregano, garlic, sugar, cumin, salt and black pepper in a personal blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Combine the seitan and mojo marinade in a large baking dish or zip top bag. Set aside for 10 minutes, or up to a day, to marinate. Cover the dish and refrigerate if marinating longer than 30 minutes.
3. Heat an outdoor grill or grill pan over medium heat. Grill the seitan until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes per side, basting with the marinade as needed.
4. Slice the seitan into thin strips and serve with warmed corn tortillas and any fixings you desire.

© 2014 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


Before you get in the kitchen to whip up this grilling marinade and celebrate the nation's independence with loads of vegan food, fireworks and adult beverages, join me in celebrating Simple Beauty Minerals' birthday with a month-long contest.

Simple Beauty Minerals is a small make up company owned by a great friend of mine. I've known Lisa since our youngest daughters met when they were six years old - they are now 14 - a long time. Lisa and I began constructing our business lives when we realized that our kids were growing up and moving on, most likely without us :) A little scary, but an amazing time for our kids.

Lisa's business is veg-owned, responsibly operated, and mostly vegan. Just as good, the make up is fantastic and contains minimalist ingredients. In fact, Lisa makes sure that all ingredients in all of her make up is top quality, contains no preservatives and, is, to sum it up, completely garbage-free.

I began my business involvement with Lisa when my daughter began wanting to wear make up. I didn't want her exposed to toxic chemicals, and Lisa's Simple Beauty Minerals was just the answer I needed.

Lisa and I are teaming up this month to celebrate SBM's birthday in style - with a month-long giveaway. The prizes are nothing short of awesome! Gift Certificates to Simple Beauty Minerals, a fragrance from Pure Natural Diva Botanicals and my cookbook, Everyday Vegan Eats, are the prizes up for the winning:

Not a moment to lose! Enter HERE.

I am linking to these recipe parties: Healthy Vegan Fridays,What I Ate Wednesday and Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.