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Jazzylicious Shish Kebabs
Makes 8 to 10 servings
Zesty BBQ Sauce (see below)
2 packages cubed seitan, well drained (see note)
3 sweet peppers (orange, red, and/or yellow), seeded and cut in 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium sweet onions, cut into chunks
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
16 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
20 cherry tomatoes
10 long metal or bamboo skewers
Cover two large, rimmed baking sheets with foil or unbleached parchment paper.
Prepare barbecue sauce, and set aside.Put the seitan in a large bowl and top it with 1/4 cup of the sauce. Gently toss the seitan to coat. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours to marry the flavors.
Put the peppers, sweet onions, zucchini, mushrooms, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Top with 3/4 cup of the sauce (leaving about 1/2 cup in reserve) and toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 to 2 hours to marry the flavors. Prepare two metal or bamboo skewers for each person. If you are using bamboo skewers, place them in a pan and cover them with filtered or spring water. Let the skewers soak in the water for about 30 minutes prior to assembling the kebabs to prevent them from burning.
To assemble the kebabs, carefully thread the kebab ingredients onto your prepared skewers in the following order:
Arrange the kebabs evenly on the prepared baking sheets. (If you are not baking or grilling them immediately, cover loosely with foil, and place the sheets back in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours before cooking.)
If baking (recommended method):
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Leave the kebabs on the baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the kebabs once, and brush them with additional barbecue sauce. If the kebabs are browning too quickly, loosely tent the baking sheets with foil. Continue baking for 20 minutes or until the veggies are crisp-tender and the seitan is slightly crisp and golden in color. Serve immediately over quinoa or brown rice.
Place the kebabs directly on the grill. Grill the kebabs over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are crisp-tender and the seitan is slightly crisp and golden in color. While the kebabs are grilling, rotate them often, frequently brushing them with additional barbecue sauce to keep them moist.
NOTE: You may use about 1 1/2 blocks (16 to 20 ounces) extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed, instead of the seitan. It is necessary to use extra-firm tofu for the shish kebab. Medium or soft tofu will break apart while cooking. In addition, it is important to drain the tofu well, so it will properly absorb the barbecue sauce. To drain and press tofu, start by placing a large colander in your sink. Put the block of tofu in the colander. Press down on the tofu lightly with your hands to release excess water. Put a medium size plate on top of the tofu. Put an unopened can of soup or beans on top of the plate to weigh the plate down. Allow the tofu to drain for 15 to 30 minutes. This will remove a good deal of water from the tofu. Remove the can and the plate, and your tofu is ready to use.
Zesty BBQ Sauce
Makes 8 to 10 servings
1 cup catsup
1/3 cup unsulphured blackstrap molasses
2 heaping teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon regular or reduced-sodium tamari
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Put all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Choco-Peanut Butter Cups
Makes 10 servings
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Line a mini-muffin tin with 10 paper liners. Put the chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium-low heat (see note, page TK). When the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat. Put the peanut butter and maple syrup in a medium bowl and stir vigorously to thoroughly combine. Pour the chocolate into the peanut butter mixture and stir until smooth and well blended. Divide the chocolate–peanut butter mixture evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Smooth the tops using a rubber spatula or offset spatula. Freeze for 20 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes more before serving. Serve chilled. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the clusters will keep for about four days.
Kale and Tomato Salad
Makes 2 to 3 servings
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups very thinly sliced, well packed kale, washed and dried
10 grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Put the mustard, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar in a blender, and process until thick and smooth. Pour the mustard mixture into a small bowl. Add the garlic, and whisk until well-combined.
Put the kale in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss to coat. Leave the kale and dressing to stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Right before serving, add the tomatoes, sea salt, and pepper. Toss the salad and serve!
Makes 4 servings
1 cup white quinoa, rinsed very well and drained
2 cups filtered or spring water
1 vegetable bouillon cube, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional, plus more for garnish)
Put the quinoa, water, and crumbled bouillon cube in a medium sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for 15 to 17 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Cover and remove from heat. Let the quinoa sit for 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of parsley (if using). Sprinkle more parsley (if using) over the top and serve!