Mongolian BBQ Inspired Seitan Kabobs

The weather has been rapidly cooling down the past month in Pennsylvania. As we get ready for fall temperatures we’ve been trying to seize as many grilling opportunities as we can. I love Mongolian BBQ, but unfortunately I haven’t found any restaurants around Pittsburgh that do a vegan version of it. I was particularly craving the flavors, so I crafted a great marinade for these Mongolian BBQ inspired seitan kabobs. If you don’t have a grill you can use this recipe to marinate your seitan and veggies, and cook them up in a skillet or a wok. They’re delicious either way, but grilling allows you to impart a nice charred flavor.

Mongolian BBQ Inspired Seitan Kabobs

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Feel free to use additional veggies on your kabobs. These are the ones we found at the local farmers market, but bell peppers, hot peppers, and other squash are all good options for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz Uptons Seitan
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp chili garlic paste
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallions
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice

Directions

  1. Cube seitan into large chunks. Keep in mind they’ll need to be sturdy enough to be skewered. Place into a large bag or reusable container.
  2. Cut mushrooms in half. Place into the same bag or container you placed the seitan.
  3. Cut down zucchini into disks that are about an inch wide. Cut each disk in half. Place halved disks into the same container as the other ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine all of the other ingredients. Whisk together well, and then cover seitan, mushrooms, and zucchini with the marinade.
  5. Marinade in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight.
  6. Remove seitan, zucchini, and mushrooms from the marinade, and place them on skewers. Save the remaining marinade in a heat resistant bowl to brush onto the kabobs later.
  7. Grill on a hot grill until the ingredients are completely heated through and have nice char lines on each side. This should take between 5-15 minutes depending on the heat of your grill. Brush the kabobs with the marinade periodically as they cook, so that they do not dry out.
  8. Serve with a side of brown rice, or other grain of your choice.

Vegan Loaded Baked Potato Salad

When I was a teenager I worked at a regional grocery store chain for several years. They had this loaded baked potato salad in their prepared foods case that I was addicted to while I worked there. Like most potato salads it was mayo based, but clearly had hints of sour cream in it as well. It was also filled with bacon, shredded cheese, and chives. I’m not a huge fan of potato salad, but this was the bomb.

undefinedI’ve had a few cravings for that potato salad over the last few years, but alas it contains a boat load of animal products, so I haven’t had it since around the time I stopped working there. Nick and I have been grilling a lot, and both had a craving for potato salad as a side, so we decided to recreate this using vegan ingredients.

We’ve been posting healthy recipes on and off, but this one’s all about the comfort. If you’re looking to skip a green side salad at your next meal and replace it with a more indulgent variety of “salad” this mayonnaise based monstrosity has got your back.

It goes great with your grilling favorites like this beyond meat sausage, and grilled corn!

Vegan Loaded Baked Potato Salad

  • Servings: 6-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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You can peel the potato skin after boiling them if you prefer, but we recommend leaving it on for the added texture.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream
  • 1/4 cup vegan cheese shreds
  • 6 slices of light life bacon
  • 1 tbsp green onion
  • 1 tbsp chives
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Scrub potatoes well, and rinse them off.
  2. Fill an 8 qt or larger stock pot a little less than 3/4 of the way with water. Set burner to high and cover the stock pot to bring water to a boil.
  3. Chop potatoes into large chunks. Each chunk should be about 1/4 to 1/6 of the potato depending on the size of the potato. Think about two bites for each chunk. Try to keep the sizes consistent so they cook evenly.
  4. Once the water has come to a boil uncover the pot and add the potatoes. Boil for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from heat and drain with a colander.
  5. While the potatoes are boiling add one tbsp of coconut oil, or other vegetable oil to a pan and lay down your strips of bacon.
  6. Cook bacon until it is crisp on both sides, turning halfway through. Remove from heat, and lay the bacon out on a towel to absorb some of the excess grease.
  7. Break bacon down into small pieces, and set aside.
  8. In a small bowl mix together vegan mayo and vegan sour cream.
  9. Place boiled potatoes into a large mixing bowl, and spread mayo-sour cream mixture over them. Mix together until all of the potatoes are evenly coated.
  10. Sprinkle vegan bacon, vegan cheese shreds, chives, green onion, salt, and pepper over top of the potato mixture and stir until everything is well integrated.
  11. Cover and refrigerate for one hour to chill.
  12. Serve chilled.

For our ingredients we used Hellmann’s vegan mayo, Tofutti Sour Supreme, Lightlife Smart Bacon, and Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds.

Seitan Tacos With Grilled Pineapple

With the temperatures outside rising as we head closer towards summer we’ve been on the search for lighter recipes than usual. After all, the freshness of in season fruits and vegetables can feel just as luxurious and decadent as the comfort food we seek during the fall and winter.

We worked on developing a great comfort food recipe that won’t weigh you down during a heatwave. After a lot of experimentation we came up with our Seitan Tacos with Grilled Pineapple recipe. The marinade is refreshing and light, and the grilled seitan has the vibe of a carnitas taco. Grilled pineapple, and a splash of lime add some fruity freshness to the mix.

These tacos pair well with a side of elote, grilled corn with herbed butter, or more tacos! As always, tacos go great with your favorite Mexican beer or soda. You can top your tacos with guacamole, and/or have it as a side. Make your own guac, or buy it at the store. Just make sure you check the label to make sure it’s vegan. Some guacamole can contain dairy products.

Seitan Tacos With Grilled Pineapple

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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You’ll need skewers to grill your taco ingredients.

Taco Marinade

  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flake

Ingredients

  • 8″ tortillas
  • 16 oz seitan (2 packs of Upton’s Naturals)
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • butter lettuce
  • vegan sour cream (optional)
  • guacamole (optional)
  • additional lime juice for flavor (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients for the marinade in a bag, or container.
  2. Break the seitan down into chunks that are bite sized, but still large enough to skewer.
  3. Cut onion down into pieces that are large enough to skewer.
  4. You can either purchase pre-sliced pineapple, or cut down a whole pineapple. Either way cut the rings down into smaller chunks.
  5. Combine onion, pineapple, and seitan in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or over night.
  6. Place onion and pineapple on skewers together. They will require less cook time than the seitan.
  7. Skewer the seitan pieces. The seitan pieces will take about 10-15 minutes on the grill.
  8. Put the onion and pineapple skewers on the grill when you are about halfway through cooking the seitan.
  9. Remove from heat, and remove from skewers.
  10. Assemble your tacos with the seitan-onion-pineapple mixture topped with some lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, and your favorite hot sauce. Finish it off with an additional splash of lime.

Beyond Beef Taco Burger

When I think of my favorite comfort foods both burgers and tacos come to mind. They’re usually a quick, easy dinner. They have that fatty delicious flavor of any good comfort food that feels like a warm hug. While they may be unhealthy in nature both foods allow you the option to load them up with a number of veggies of your choosing. So, maybe they’re not the healthiest option, but they can also be a great vessel to get in some extra servings of fruits and vegetables.

I’d like to thank whatever genius of a human being created the taco pizza for my inspiration on this one. The taco pizza informed me from a young age that you can make anything into a pizza if you use a little imagination. Then I thought: “Why not make everything into a taco?” I’ll admit this line of thinking is perhaps a bit more redundant and a little less possible than making all of our comfort foods into a pizza, but it did give me the epiphany to create the taco burger.

After creating the taco burger I did a quick google search that informed me the taco burger may be less original of an idea than I thought in the heat of the moment. Nevertheless, it was delicious, and I’d like to share our version of it with the world. I think perhaps my biggest takeaway from all of this, aside from reaffirming that their are few truly original ideas, is that maybe I should make more classic dishes into burgers.

This recipe melds the best elements of a burger with the flavors of a taco. It has the char from the grilled burger, the heat from the taco seasoning, the freshness from the salsa and sour cream, and the creamy fattiness of the avocado. We recommend serving it up with a side of vegan elote, and your favorite Mexican beer or soda.

Beyond Beef Taco Burger

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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You can use store bought taco seasoning if you’d prefer. Ignore the seasoning ingredient list if this is the case.

Seasoning Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Ingredients for Burger and Toppings

  • vegan hamburger bun
  • 1/4 lb beyond meat
  • 1/2 small avocado (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup butter lettuce
  • 2 tbsp salsa
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2-4 rings of red onion (optional)
  • 1 tsp Cholula or other hot sauce
  • 1 lime (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl mix together all Taco Seasoning ingredients.
  2. Form patties into desired size and shape, and rub with taco seasoning ingredients.
  3. If you’d like you can grill your avocado. Cut it in half, but keep the halves intact, and place on the grill.
  4. Slice down red onion into rings, and grill for a few minutes. You can also keep the red onion raw if you prefer.
  5. If you want to splash a little lime juice on your burger you can grill the lime now to enhance the flavor. Halve the lime before placing each side face down on the grill.
  6. Cook your burger patty for about 4 minutes on either side on the grill or in a skillet.
  7. Slice down your avocado, and prepare your bun. Spread sour cream on the bun and place lettuce, burger patty, red onion, avocado, and salsa down in that order.
  8. If desired, drizzle with a little Cholula or other hot sauce before serving, and add a splash of fresh lime juice.

Grilled Seitan Kabobs

undefinedAs we move forward into summer we’ve really been enjoying spending time outside, and using our grill. It’s a nice change of pace to sit outside and eat, since we’ve spent the past few months of quarantine sitting on our couch or kitchen table at dinner time. It feels like so long since we’ve gone out to eat, and we’ve started to think of our backyard as our own exclusive restaurant.

undefinedKabobs are a great nutritious dinner, and they allow for a lot of variety in your meal that some other grilling staples don’t. We used seitan, red bell pepper, mushroom, and red onion for our kabobs. As always feel free to improvise your ingredients to fit your own tastes. Tofu, tempeh, zucchini, squash, Brussels sprouts, and a lot of other veggies are also great options for grilling on a kabob.

undefinedFor sides we made grilled corn on the cob with herbed butter, and some jasmine rice. Rice is a great grilling side, because you can make it in advance and then reheat it on the grill. We added some olive oil, cumin, coriander, oregano, red pepper flakes, and a little bit of worcestershire sauce. We put a few servings of the rice in a foil pack and reheated it on the grill for ten minutes. It took on a really nice smoky flavor from the charcoal.

Grilled Seitan Kabobs

  • Servings: approximately 5
  • Difficulty: easy
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If you’re using bamboo or wood skewers make sure you soak them for at least a half hour prior to use.

Kabob Marinade

  • 1/4 cup vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

Ingredients

  • 2 packs of Uptons Seitan (16 oz), crumbled
  • 1 pack of baby bella mushrooms, halved
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion

Directions

  1. Combine vegan worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and olive oil, maple syrup, dijon mustard, and lemon juice in a bowl together and emulsify with a whisk. Mix in basil, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
  2. Crumble Seitan into large chunks, and place into a freezer bag or other large container.
  3. Wash, dry, and halve the mushrooms. Halving them is an important step. If they’re whole they will be larger than the seitan chunks and end up burning on the grill before they cook through the whole way. Add the mushrooms to the freezer bag or container.
  4. Wash and clean the bell pepper. Remember to remove the rubbery fins inside. Cut down into large triangles or square chunks that are about the same size in width as the seitan pieces. Add them into the bag or container.
  5. Cut the onion in half, and remove the skin from one side. Save the other side to use for something else. Cut the onion down into pieces that are a similar size to the bell pepper. Add them to the bag.
  6. Pour marinade over the kabob ingredients in the bag, and seal.
  7. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  8. Place your ingredients on your skewers in a repeating pattern.
  9. If you have smaller chunks of seitan, or other ingredients left over once you’ve made your kabobs (we made ten) you can place them in a foil pack if you desire to save for later or cook on the grill.
  10. Grill each kabob for at least 3 minutes on one side, or until it gets a nice char. Flip over and cook for 3 minutes on the other side. Remove from heat.

Grilled Corn With Herbed Butter

undefinedWe’ve been grilling a lot recently, and I wanted to share with you our recipe for grilled corn with herbed butter. It’s quick and easy to make and serves as a great side for pretty much anything.

undefinedWe like to grill our corn with the husk still on, because it’s less wasteful than using aluminum foil. It also keeps your corn from drying out quite as much as if it’s placed directly on the grill with no covering. This is, of course, completely up to personal preference.


Grilled Corn With Herbed Butter

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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The amount of butter in this recipe is for one ear of corn. Add a tbsp for each additional ear.

Ingredients

  • 1 ear of corn
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter, or olive oil if you prefer
  • 1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp of McCormick Italian blend, or a pinch of oregano, basil, parsley, and rosemary
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • dash of salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Shuck the corn. If you want to cook it with some of the husk on don’t remove all of the leaves/husk, and peel them back so you can remove the silk.
  2. Place butter in a microwave safe bowl, and soften in the microwave until it is liquid.
  3. Add the worcestershire sauce, and emulsify with a whisk.
  4. Stir in the other seasonings.
  5. Using a basting brush apply butter mixture to the corn coating completely, and set butter aside to top after cooking.
  6. If you chose to leave the husk on roll them back up to cover the ear of corn. Grill for 15-20 minutes. The husk should start to char and peel back, and you should observe some nice grill marks on the exposed corn.
  7. Remove corn from the grill, and remove husk. Add more butter if desired, and enjoy.