Super Tasty Barbecue Sandwich

I made this for my people the other day, and it was a HUGE hit.  So much so, that I’m sharing the love with all of you.  This is a slight adaptation of the “South Carolina Barbecue Tofu Sandwich” recipe on page 114 of the terrific book, Spork-Fed:  Super Fun and Flavorful Vegan Recipes from the Sisters of Spork Foods,” by Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg.  For those not familiar with the Spork Sisters, they’re actual sisters who live in Los Angeles and teach fun vegan cooking classes out of their loft.  They are passionate about tasty food and love sharing their creations with others.  Thankfully for non-Angelenos (and former Angelenos, like myself), they published the aforementioned cookbook.  They also created the vegan menu for the Four Seasons Beverly Hills.  They’re on a roll!

You should, of course, get your hands on this book, because it’s chock full of yummy recipes that will make you happy.  In the meantime, though, I found it online from another blogger who had obtained permission to publish it, so you’re in luck – link at the bottom.  The blog in question is called Living On The Vedge, and this was the first time I’d come across it.  While it doesn’t look currently active, it has some nice recipes and posts in its archives that look worth exploring.

Back to the recipe…  The key to it is the home-made “South Carolina” barbecue sauce.  I often used (note the past tense) bottled barbecue sauce for my bbq needs.  Never again.  Not only is the home-made sauce exponentially superior to anything I’ve ever tasted from a bottle, but it’s really not difficult or especially time-consuming to make at all.  Of course it takes a bit more time than popping the cap off a bottle, but I cannot emphasize enough how absolutely worth the (minimal) effort it is to create.  The sauce is sweet and tangy and just a bit spicy and super, duper delicious.

The sauce is comprised of onion, garlic, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, vegan Worcestershire sauce and a nice array of herbs and spices (salt, black pepper, allspice, celery seed, dry mustard powder, cayenne pepper).  Those are simmered into a rich, sticky batch of heaven.  According to the recipe, you can get away with only simmering it for 5 to 10 minutes if you’re in a hurry.  But, of course, “the longer the sauce is cooked, the better the flavor.”  So if you’re not in a hurry, let it sit.

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The recipe calls for creating a sandwich using tofu, which I’m sure is perfectly delightful.  However, Mr. Man adores Soy Curls, so I opted to use them instead.  If you’re not sure what Soy Curls are, here’s a link to their manufacturer:

http://www.butlerfoods.com/

They come in a dried state and need to be reconstituted in water or broth or some other liquid.  Once they’ve plumped up, they’re ready to take on any sauce you want to throw their way.

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I mixed the Soy Curls in with the barbecue sauce until the curls were heated through and had absorbed some of the wonderful flavor.

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Put the barbecue on the tasty roll of your choice and top with whatever you choose.  I kept it simple, just putting some Vegenaise on the rolls, but lettuce or tomato or avocado would have been delightful, too.

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Everything you need to make this:

http://www.livingonthevedge.net/2012/01/south-carolina-barbecue-tofu-sandwich.html

Enjoy!  xo

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Shepherd’s Pie – Vegan, of Course

Hello!  It’s been quite a while since I posted, and a lot of things have happened since my last post.  We moved to a new home that makes me very, very happy.  It has garden space – I’m going to try to grow some of our food!  Queenie turned 13 shortly after the move, and we threw a party for her here.  The holidays came swiftly after that.  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind!  Happy to be feeling on top of life enough to send out a new blog post or two.

I’ve decided to start back up by featuring this terrific recipe for Shepherd’s Pie.  I brought it to a Thanksgiving party, and it was a hit with omnivores and vegetarians alike.  And I brought it to an event at Queenie’s school last week, and again it was a hit.  Thought I’d share it with all of you.  The flavors are perfect for this time of year.

This recipe was created by the fabulous Allison Rivers Samson of Allison’s Gourmet fame. If you’re not already familiar with Allison’s Gourmet, it’s a wonderful online source for vegan baked goods and confections.  Everything I’ve ever ordered from Allison’s Gourmet has been divine, and every one of Allison’s recipes that I’ve ever executed has been scrumptious.  I have included a link to this recipe at the bottom of the post, and I encourage you to poke around on the site, both for additional recipes that tickle your fancy and for serious yumminess on order.

The first step is to prepare some mashed potatoes and have them ready to go.  You will also need to have cooked lentils on hand.

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Next, saute onion in olive oil.  After a couple of minutes, add mushrooms, carrot and celery and saute for a couple of more minutes.

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Next, add garlic and quickly saute.  You will then add a small amount of the flour of your choice (the recipe calls for barley flour, but you could easily substitute a gluten-free flour mix if you so desire) and stir until it is well combined, followed by a variety of tasty, herbs and spices.  At this point, things will look something like this:

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This recipe uses lentils in lieu of the traditional meat, and it works wonderfully.  Those are now added to the pan, along with parsley, peas and a few more seasonings.  Your kitchen will be smelling quite good at this point!

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Transfer this delicious mixture to a baking dish…

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… layer on the mashed potatoes and bake for about 40 minutes.

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Happiness!  Although it is best served hot, it survives the potluck experience quite nicely.  Here’s the link:

http://blog.allisonsgourmet.com/2011/03/07/monday-yumday-shepherds-pie/

Enjoy!

xo