janet @ the taste space

Mojito-Inspired Tofu Skewers + Vegan al Fresco cookbook GIVEAWAY

In Book Review, Mains (Vegetarian), Sides on August 27, 2015 at 7:33 AM

Mojito-Inspired Tofu Skewers

This is how we roll.

Rob and I have been hosting non-stop gatherings this summer and we finally had a weekend to ourselves.

We continued our summer grilling. The only difference is that this time I took a photo of my plate of food before I dug in.

Mojito-Inspired Tofu Skewers

A plate of bountiful vegetables.

Mojito-inspired tofu skewers, sin rum. Perhaps better rechristened as lime-mint grilled tofu.

Mojito-inspired zucchini coins, sin rum as well.

Mesquite grilled plantains.

Mesquite grilled corn.

Mojito-Inspired Tofu Skewers

I really enjoyed everything. It seems a tad busy but they were all very good.

I liked the lime-mint marinade for the tofu. I used my newest favourite tofu (especially for grilling). However, since the package was only 350g, I supplemented with zucchini. They were grilled and then topped with the extra marinade for a bright minty lime flavour.

The plantains and corn also shared the same mesquite-spiked oil (Mesquite seasoning and melted coconut oil). Instead of making plantain coins for the skewers, Rob found it easier to grill slabs of the plantain instead. They were equally sweet and smoky as last time but we didn’t lose any into the insides of the barbecue.

Rob’s mom gifted us some incredibly sweet corn from Woodstock and we wanted to keep things simple. We returned to keeping the husk on the corn while grilling to help it keep its moisture. We’ve made it with rosemary and garlic before, but this time, we kept it simple with the mesquite seasoning.

A fabulous meal, indeed.

Mojito-Inspired Tofu Skewers

The mojito-inspired tofu comes from a fabulous cookbook, Vegan al Fresco. I have been working my way through it this summer and absolutely loving it. The theme of the cookbook is “happy and healthy recipes for picnics, barbecues and outdoor living” and it definitely delivers on its byline.

Vegan al Fresco

The cookbook is broken down into finger foods and appetizers, sauces/dips, sandwiches/spreads, salads, foods to grill, baking, desserts and drinks. Plus, it also has tips for packing picnics and hosting meals outdoors.

All recipes are vegan. Most are creative vegan spins on traditional American fare. Samosa spring rolls, caper and edamame dip, chipotle and peanut butter hummus, peanut butter adobo barbecue sauce, cilantro barbecue sauce, jalapeño and cherry jam, quinoa and avocado ‘slaw, peanut potato salad, lime and ginger tahini tofu skewers, strawberry and basil scones, chilled blueberry chocolate pie and vanilla ice cream with cherry pie filling. Also, let’s not forget drinks like ginger lemonade. Trust me, there are a ton of fun recipes here.

If you are looking for boring, this is not the book for you.

Mojito-Inspired Tofu Skewers from Vegan al Fresco

Just look at Tracey’s photography of the tofu!

I will be sharing a few of my favourites from the cookbook but wanted to share this one prior to Labour Day. Enjoy!

Mojito-Inspired Tofu Skewers

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the US or Canada. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me what you like to bring to a picnic or barbecue. The winner will be selected at random on September 4, 2015. Good luck!

I am sharing this with Meat Free Mondays and Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Mojito-Inspired Tofu Skewers
Recipe from Vegan al Fresco: Happy & Healthy Recipes for Picnics, Barbecues & Outdoor Dining

Carla’s note: My husband is a restaurant manager, and one day he had to spend eight hours making mojitos at a charity golf tournament his restaurant sponsored. His unfortunate experience inspired me to use the refreshing Latino flavors of the mojito as a delectable marinade and basting sauce for barbecued tofu. Bad for him, good for the rest of us! 

1/4 cup (60 ml) + 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup (60 ml) light rum (Janet’s note: omitted)
1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped fresh mint
1.5 tbsp agave (Janet’s note: I decreased this to 1 tbsp)
1 tbsp canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp lime zest (Janet’s note: from 3 limes)
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb (500 g) extra-firm regular tofu (water-packed), drained and pressed, sliced width-wise into 12 rectangles (Janet’s note: I used 350g tofu [cut into squares and placed on a skewer] and 2 medium zucchinis)

1. In a large flat container with a resealable lid or in a large zip-close bag, combine juice, rum, mint, agave, oil, garlic, lime zest, and salt. Add tofu and marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, turning after 30 minutes.

2. Preheat barbecue to medium heat. Lay down a sheet of aluminum foil lightly brushed with oil. Grill for 3–4 minutes each side until golden, basting frequently with leftover marinade. (Janet’s note: We didn’t baste during the grilling and used leftover marinade after it was removed from the grill)

Recipe from Vegan al Fresco: Happy & Healthy Recipes for Picnics, Barbecues & Outdoor Dining by Carla Kelly. Published by Arsenal Pulp Press (2014). Recipes reprinted with permission.

Cookbook photos courtesy of Tracey Kusiewicz / Foodie Photography

  1. Fresh corn from the farmer down the street.

  2. I like to bring a chickpea-cilantro salad to BBQs

  3. Visiting from Kimmy’s blog! Great giveaway! I’d love to win! When I go to BBQs or Potlucks I usually bring a variation of a bean and/or corn salad. Since I’m usually the only vegan I try and keep it simple so others will try it without looking at it and go ‘oh that must be Jennifer’s…it’s vegan” LOL Kidding aside usually people are ok about it but I’m still surrounded by meat eaters. After 20-some years of being veg I’m used to it tho 🙂

    • Oh, your photos are so beautiful – they make me want to grill something and eat outside! To my own picnic, I would like to have some spicy BBQed tempeh and make some sandwiches with it on toasted buns. To someone else’s cookout, I’d probably stick to a potato salad with guac dressing. No one ever knows that’s vegan. Plus, it’s green!

    • You are a trooper. Some people appreciate my food but not always. I try to offer variety now. 😉

  4. I tend to bring an entree type salad or mixed roasted veggies so I know that I have something of substance to eat

  5. I like to bring dessert! Baklava 🙂

  6. This book looks great. I like to bring a pasta salad to picnics/bbqs–that way I have a main to eat, instead of just snack bits.

  7. Usually some type of quinoa salad. The mango, quinoa, black bean salad from Veganomicon is always well recibed,

  8. I like how you roll 😀 I’m glad you’re enjoying your new place Janet!

  9. Vegan potato salad!

  10. A salad of some sort. If I want to do something on the lighter side, I tend to bring a slaw but if a more substantial dish is warranted, I will go with a quinoa or bean base and build from there!

  11. I always like to bring something fresh & healthy to balance out the heavier fare my friends usually bring. Garden Salad, 3 Bean Salad, Fruit Salad, and lowfat-whole wheat-veggie filled-Macaroni Salad are all common items for me to bring along!

  12. Ohhhh… I’ve never tried to grill tofu. I love the look of the char on this!

  13. I make baked beans or Mexican rice & beans; both go over well with junk food eaters, despite the fact that they feed health instead of disease.

  14. Bok choy coleslaw with different dressings to accompany the main dish. I love al fresco dining anytime of year!

  15. I love to bring fruit salad.

  16. looks delicious – I am wondering if the mint and limes in my garden will be producing at the same time – could be the perfect meal from the backyard

  17. This dish looks so summery…love the mojito flavour inspiration for the tofu! (Btw, I’m not in the US/Canada so sadly can’t enter this giveaway 😦 )

  18. I love making chickpea and black bean burgers at picnics with family and friends. They are always surprised by how tasty they are without any meat in them.

  19. We really need to dust off our BBQ. Everything looks so good here! I love the idea of mesquite-flavoured oil – I’ll have to try that. Typically, I like to bring a salad of roasted veggies and grains to a BBQ, or a gluten-free/vegan dessert like cookies or brownies.

  20. Oh, I love tofu for it’s sponge like flavor sucking! I love how you can take something is a blank canvas and make it into almost any flavor out there. I have not grilled tofu on the barbecue before, but this seems like something that could be used as a special vegan dish in a pinch! Love it. The photos are fantastic. I prefer my corn from Taber, Alberta, but my wife prefers the Peaches and Cream corn from here. The debate never ends!

  21. What a gorgeous BBQ! We also wanted to have more backyard gatherings (also 1st summer with a back yard), but it’s been so hard to find the time and get people together! Love the idea of mesquite oil…sounds so delicious.

  22. […] recipe is courtesy of Vegan al Fresco (a more thorough review can be found here). Another winning recipe in my books. Simple but elegant enough to […]

  23. those grilled zucchihni sticks look wonderful – AND the grilled tofu. can’t wait to try them.

  24. I like to bring fruit salad or chocolate chip cookies.

  25. I like to bring organic fruit salad or 3 bean salad to add a colorful addition to the mix. Love your recipe for tofu skewers. Saw it at Healthy Vegan Fridays and like it so much I pinned it. Nancy A. @obloggernewbie.bl;ogspot.com

  26. I usually offer to bring desserts to picnics and barbecues. I love to bring fresh fruit like peaches and pineapple to grill, but I also like to bring baked items, too. At a barbecue I went to earlier this summer, I brought vegan lemon squares and they were a hit.

  27. Your whole plate looked awesome! It must have made for a fantastic meal.

    Bean salads and spring rolls are two of the dishes I think are perfect for picnics. That said, I often find myself wishing for more ideas for picnic-friendly dishes, so this book sounds like it would be a great help. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  28. I love bringing pasta salad to picnics!

  29. I almost always bring a fresh fruit salad and a cold quinoa salad.

  30. I like bringing a mixed bean salad or pasta salad to barbecues

  31. Ohhh yummm…the tofu skewers is definitely a must try for me soon. Thanks for sharing that wonderful récipé and giveaway.

    • Ohhhh…sorry, I pressed the enter button too fast. For a picnic, I like to bring a kale recipe salad from Dreena Burton’s cookbook and a load of fresh veggies from my garden to give to others.

  32. Oh the skewers sound amazeballs. Why do I not live nearly you? It sounds like your bbqs are filled with amazing food.

  33. […] Grilled Zucchini Sticks Groovy Multigrain Burgers Hearty Three-Grain Salad Melon and Corn Salsa Mojito-Inspired Tofu Pumpkin and Corn Cakes Roasted Beet and Quinoa […]

  34. a big mixed salad with quinoa, black beans, mango etc. Can’t go wrong

  35. I would bring Quinoa Coleslaw — yum

  36. […] that keep summer in my kitchen. Almost a fusion of my recent Jerk Tofu and Plantain Bowl and my Mojito-Inspired Tofu Skewers, I used a Mojito marinade for a black bean and plantain […]

  37. […] so long that we were grilling up a storm over our BBQ this summer. That was when I enjoyed experimenting with Carla Kelly’s cookbook Vegan al Fresco. Understandably, I was excited when I heard she […]

  38. […] were these grilled veggies and tofu kebabs with a miso marinade. Tofu and veg kebabs were prominent last summer because they are pretty easy so it was nice to try out a new flavour. Colourful veggies help […]

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