Spicy Barbecue Tofu

Tofu tends to get a bad rap. If it's not prepared properly it can feel like eating an old sponge and taste of absolutely nothing. On the other hand, when treated well, tofu can be a scrumptious treat for the senses as well as powerful nourishment for the body.

I first fell in love with tofu through my local Chinese takeout. They have deep fried tofu with sauteed vegetables. Deep fried tofu has the perfect chewy exterior and pillowy soft center. It tastes of all the vegetables, oil and soy sauce from the wok.

I've experimented with cooking tofu at home. I don't really deep fry. But there are other great ways to prepare tofu as a main protein. I like to broil it. I use a classic meat eaters method to give it flavor. I brush it with a glaze before and mid cooking. It works brilliantly both in terms of flavor and texture.

It's totally vegan.

1 package extra firm tofu
4 tbls olive oil
2 tbls hot sauce
2 tbls sriracha
1 tbl apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp…

Charcoal Grilled Mushroom Ragu

When vegetables are roasted over the coals some really richly flavored juices are released. This vegan ragu uses those juices to capture a depth of flavor that's not easy to extract from only veg sources.

2 cups roughly chopped white mushrooms
1 cup diced red onion
5 cloves garlic
1 tbl canola oil
1 tsp each salt and black pepper

1 large red bell pepper, 1 large orange bell pepper, 1 large yellow bell pepper
1 ear of sweet corn, husked and desilked

Add the first set of ingredients to a foil packet and poke several holes in the top of it.  Grill over a hot charcoal grill for 15 minutes.

Grill corn on same grill for 24 minutes. Turning after 10.

Grill peppers for 30 minutes. Turning after 10 and again after another 10.

Grilling times are for a small table top grill. Adjust times based on the size and heat of your grill. Rotate and shift foods to get even chars.

Add all ingredients from the foil packet to a large sauce pot, being careful to also get all the liquid from the packet into the pot.

Remove corn from cob. Add to pot.

Cut a small hole in the top of each of the grilled bell peppers. Pour liquid from inside the peppers into pot. Chop the flesh of the peppers and add 2 cups of it to the pot, in whatever color combo you prefer.

2 cups water
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup beer
2 chipotles and 1 tbl the adobo sauce
2 tbls pickle brine
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1 tsp coriander
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cayenne
2 tsps paprikia
2 tsps onion powder
2 tsps crushed red pepper flakes
1 small heel from a loaf of whole wheat bread
2 tsps salt and 1 tsp blackpepper

Add remaining ingredients to pot. Bring to a soft boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to partially puree the contents, leaving it still sorta chunky.

Serve with cilantro infused rice and black beans.