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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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