Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Vegan BBQ?

Last night I was hankering for some BBQ (perhaps because I was catching up on the delightful "stuff southern people like" blog). This was a little tough for me once we moved back from Austin, but even tougher now that we're vegan.
So I improvised.
I had lentils. Cooked them barracho-style, kind of: sauteed garlic, onions, and orange peppers, them added water and lentils to boil/simmer. For spices, I used cumin, mustard seed, bay leaves, a few cloves, a teeny bit of fennel seed, and my secret BBQ/summer taste ingredient: celery seed. I don't usually like celery seed, but I really think it gave a boost that made our lentils more satisfying as BBQ. I added a few spoonfuls of tomato paste, salt, and pepper, and a splash of hot sauce, too.

In another pan, I had braising greens. I sauteed some garlic, then simmered the heck out of those braising greens, adding a splash of beer from Jordy's dinnertime can and another secret ingredient: sliced up hickory smoke flavor primal strip vegan jerky. I don't do much fake meat, but I had a few of these kicking around for soccer tournament junk food, and I thought it would add the ham-hocky taste braised greens should have. It worked! A little goes a long way.

I served all with rolls, but next time, I think I would actually serve the lentils a la sloppy joe, on a big toasted bun (maybe with some shredded cabbage) and I'd make some vegan cornbread to have on the side.

(Something interesting: why _does_ a Yankee vegan think of BBQ as comfort food?)