Summary: Vegan barbeques aren’t as unusual as they used to be. Lots of folks love the conviviality of these events, as well as the trademark smoky taste of the cuisine. However, once you give up eating animal products, it can be challenging to find acceptable substitutes for your childhood favorites. Have no fear, because we’ve discovered a great vegan barbeque offering! These tofu/chickpea sandwiches have an appealing texture, similar to pulled pork or sloppy joes, but without the grease or the guilt! Chickpeas add protein and density, and the sauce – oh my.

Vegan barbeques aren’t as unusual as they used to be. Lots of folks love the conviviality of these events, as well as the trademark smoky taste of the cuisine. However, once you give up eating animal products, it can be challenging to find acceptable substitutes for your childhood favorites. Have no fear, because we’ve discovered a great vegan barbeque offering! These tofu/chickpea sandwiches have an appealing texture, similar to pulled pork or sloppy joes, but without the grease or the guilt! Chickpeas add protein and density, and the sauce – oh my. You’ll just have to try it for yourself.

INGREDIENTS
1 12-ounce block extra-firm, organic tofu
2 teaspoons olive oil (for pan)
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (also called garbanzos), drained and rinsed
6-8 gluten-free buns
Coleslaw for topping (Your easiest bet is to buy bagged, pre-shredded coleslaw, then add a bit of Vegenaise (or other vegan mayo), a pinch or two of celery salt, and a small amount of finely chopped red onion).

BBQ SAUCE
1 teaspoon olive oil (for pan)
1 small scallion, chopped (about ¼ cup)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon tamari (not commercial soy sauce, which contains wheat)
¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
Heat olive oil in pan on stovetop and cut half of the tofu block into small cubes. Crumble the other half directly into pan and add the cubed tofu. Fry for 5-10 minutes until tofu is golden brown. Remove tofu from pan and set aside.

Add a bit more olive oil to the pan and sprinkle shallots and garlic inside. Fry 2-3 minutes until shallots and garlic are cooked through and slightly browned. Add the remaining barbeque sauce ingredients and stir continuously until combined (approximately 5 minutes). Add tofu and chickpeas and continue stirring for another 4-5 minutes.

Remove from pan and ladle onto slightly toasted buns. Top with coleslaw and a couple of pieces of lettuce. You’ll be wolfing this meal down in no time! For best results, serve with gluten-free beer. Serves 6-8 hungry guests. You’ll all be planning your next barbeque before the sandwiches are even gone!

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Summary: Contrary to what Anthony Bourdain once stated, vegans are foodies. We don’t subsist on a diet of nuts and berries, and many of us love sweet treats. If you’ve given up dairy products, you might occasionally long for a creamy dessert. Cheesecake was one of the things we missed the most, until we discovered that silken tofu, whipped in a blender, makes a concoction similar to cream cheese. The walnut/maple syrup crust is gluten-free and delicious. This recipe is inexpensive, easy to make, and well worth a try.

Contrary to what Anthony Bourdain once stated, vegans are foodies. We don’t subsist on a diet of nuts and berries, and many of us love sweet treats. If you’ve given up dairy products, you might occasionally long for a creamy dessert. Cheesecake was one of the things we missed the most, until we discovered that silken tofu, whipped in a blender, makes a concoction similar to cream cheese. The walnut/maple syrup crust is gluten-free and delicious. This recipe is inexpensive, easy to make, and well worth a try.

INGREDIENTS
4 cups ground walnuts (if you own a grinder, this part should go quickly. If you do the grinding by hand, like we did, the process will take longer, and your walnuts will be coarser)
¼ cup maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup!)
2 lbs silken tofu
1 cup turbinado sugar (not commercial white sugar, it’s usually NOT vegan)
3 tablespoons almond butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon sea salt (not the iodized commercial variety)
2 tablespoons lemon zest (approximately 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS
Crush walnuts to the best of your ability and combine with maple syrup. Mixture will be slightly sticky, but not gooey. Press the mixture inside a greased cake pan (we love coconut oil, but olive is good, as well) and place into refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Make lemon zest by rubbing a lemon against a fine grater until the peel is completely grated. Then combine the tofu, lemon zest, sugar, almond butter, vanilla extract, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon in a blender or food processor and whip until smooth and frothy.

Remove pan from refrigerator and pour mixture directly into crust. Be sure to fill completely to the top. Your cheesecake will not rise while cooking, so you needn’t worry about overfilling. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. The edges will be slightly browned, but the center should be slightly wobbly. Remove from oven, set on counter to cool for 1 hour, then transfer to refrigerator and chill for 2-3 hours.

cheesecake

This cheesecake will be somewhat heartier than the conventional variety, with a thicker texture. Serve as is, or with fresh berries or a drizzle of vegan chocolate sauce. Serves 6, but everyone had better be hungry. Your dessert keeps well in the refrigerator and will taste even better the next day. Yum! Enjoy.

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