Vegan Barbecue

I know, I know: it seems like an oxymoron, but you can barbecue vegetables, and they taste great! Tonight I made Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Perfect Grilled Portobellos–the recipe is on her blog Post-Punk Kitchen (a fantastic blog for all things vegan). I just halfed the oil and eliminated the liquid smoke: one, because I left mine at home in Vancouver, and two, because I read somewhere that it contains weird chemicals. Okay, it’s really just one, but once again, I know I should be concerned about chemicals. Anyway, here’s the recipe for the marinade, which I used for some zucchini, red pepper, and red onion as well:

1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced

Marinate the portobellos and the rest of the vegetables for an hour or two, pop them on the grill for about three minutes per side. Yum.

I served them on top of a Mexican bowl (I have a heckuva lot of that rice left over from yesterday). The layers were

1/2 c Mexican rice

1 roma tomato, chopped

1/4 English cucumber, chopped

1/4 red onion, chopped

1/4 c black beans

Mexican Bowl with Grilled Portobello, Zucchini, and Peppers
Mexican Bowl with Grilled Portobello, Zucchini, and Peppers

Top with salsa and guacamole and serve with lime wedges, grilled vegetables and portobellos on the side. The one pictured here is the version I made for J, which contains a sprinkling of grated cheddar.

I also tried making the guacamole in the food processor and it turned out very well. I just threw 1/4 of a white onion into the food processor until it was chopped very fine, then tossed in three-quarters of an avocado, 1/4 c lemon juice, and about a half cup of salsa and pulsed it until it was chunky–very quick! I left out the salt because the more I read about food, the more worried I get about sodium. And I LOVE salt, so it’s a bit hard. When I was a teenager, I used to think that food wasn’t salty enough until I could smell the salt. I’ve either lost my apparently acute sense of smell or I was insane when I was a teenager because I have no idea what salt smells like these days. I just know I love the stuff.

The other thing that I’m supposed to give up is caffeine, but hell, if I’m giving up pinot noir (with only a transgression or two), I figure I should be allowed coffee. And with coffee I can stop after one cup. Okay two.

Actually, I wouldn’t mind a cup right about now….

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