The launch of summer grillin' season has arrived! Truth be told, I only grill a couple times each year because I have a crappy, cheap charcoal grill and it's a pain in the ass to work with. But every year on the 4th, my friend Greg, my partner Paul, and occasionally a couple other friends break out the grill, a few six-packs, and plenty of sparklers and roman candles for a 4th of July celebration. This year, my friend Cassi joined us. Here we are!
We always, always make Tofu Kabobs!
And we had red, white, and blue tortilla chips with spicy guacamole!
We also dipped chips into Cassi's homemade Black Bean & Corn Dip.
Cassi injected a pineapple with vodka early in the evening. And then we cut it open just before lighting our fireworks.
This year's festivities were perfectly timed with the recent release of my blogger pal Tamasin Noyes' Grills Gone Vegan.
Tami includes plenty of protein-heavy main dishes for the grill, but we opted for veggie dogs (not pictured because I forgot) because I bought a bunch of Yves sausages on sale a month or so ago, and they've been lurking in my freezer waiting for this occasion. Had I not had hot dogs already, I'm certain I would have tried the Coffee-Crusted Ribz from Grills Gone Vegan (seitan ribs with a coffee-based dry rub!). Or the Smoked Tofu (made using liquid smoke and a grill, no smoker needed).
But that's okay. I was still super excited to try a few fresh-from-the-grill sides. You can't have a barbecue without grilled corn on the cob. And Tami provides a recipe for Roasted Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Butter.
That's a spicy, smoky homemade butter, and it really takes plain ole corn from so-so to gourmet.
I also tried her Smoky Potato Packets.
A few years ago, Greg and I tried roasting a whole potato on the grill. But duh, it doesn't work that way! You have to cut the potatoes into small pieces. For these packets, red potatoes are cut into rounds, tossed with herbs, olive oil, and nutritional yeast and wrapped in foil packets. Then they're tossed onto the grill. Delicious!
There are so many more dishes I can't wait to try from this book. And don't worry. Even if you don't own an outdoor grill, there are plenty of recipes with indoor grill and oven options. For example, you can cook the Tempeh-Chickpea Stew with Harissa Biscuits (yes, please!) in a cast-iron skillet on an outdoor grill. Or you can cook it in an ovenproof skillet in the oven.
She even has a recipe for Tofu Corned Beef!! And it's served on a Reuben-Inspired Breakfast Sandwich! And the whole dish can be cooked indoors (because who fires up the charcoal grill before noon?). I'll definitely be trying this for breakfast soon.
We didn't have dessert at our celebration because we were all too full for a sweet final course. But Tami has some delectable desserts in Grills Gone Vegan — Skillet Grilled Cherry Crisp, Rocky Road Flatbread, and Cinnamon Swirl (a cross between coffee cake and cinnamon rolls!).