Nothing says summer like hanging out outside, grilling up some awesome food. I get asked all the time, “As a vegan, what do you even grill?” Well, my friends, the answer is there are so many delicious foods to grill!

Veggies are great on the grill, tofu is awesome, tempeh, seitan, burgers, sausages (bonus if you make them yourself), bread (grilled garlic bread anyone?), and so much more. I grew up grilling a lot with my dad who’s not vegan. He would always throw veggies and bread on the grill, which inspired me to experiment more with the grill after becoming vegan a little over 3 years ago.

So, this week I have put together a series of recipes that primarily use the grill! I have made all of these recipes for non-vegans and vegans, everyone agrees they are delicious. I tend to get my inspiration from bloggers, my ever growing collection of cookbooks, and produce that is locally seasonal. These recipes combine those elements and come to life on the grill.

Grilled Bourbon BBQ Tofu Sliders

Ingredients:

  • Buns
  • 1 block Extra Firm or Superfirm Tofu
  • 2 cups of BBQ sauce (or 1 recipe of Bourbon BBQ Sauce, from Sweet Potato Soul) 
  • A bunch of kale, or other leafy green
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 yellow or white onion
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • Neutral oil, such as grapeseed
  • High heat oil spray (you could also use a brush, but the spray will make your life easier)
  • Salt & pepper

Method:

  1. Slice your tofu along the shorter side into ¾ inch slabs. They should be thick enough to stay sturdy on the grill. 
  2. Marinate your tofu slabs in about ½ BBQ sauce for at least an hour, up to 2 days. 
  3. While your tofu is marinating, make your onion jam:
    – Start by heating 2T of grapeseed oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. While the pan is heating, thinly slice 2 yellow onions into half-rounds and set aside.
    – Stir ¼ cup sugar into the oil, stirring constantly to melt the sugar into the oil, being careful not to let it burn. Once all the sugar has dissolved, add the onions along with salt and pepper to the skillet.
    – Cook the onions down for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the onions caramelizing and not charring. Once the onions are caramelized, add a generous ¼ cup of red wine vinegar. Slowly simmer for 30 min, stirring occasionally.
    – Allow the jam to cool while you prepare the rest of the sandwich.
  4. Next up, wash and chop your kale. Slice 4-5 garlic cloves into chips, then coarsely chop the chips if desired. 
  5. Heat 3T olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. While you’re heating the oil for the kale, fire up the grill. I like to give it 5-10 minutes to get up to about 500 F before grilling. 
  6. Now your oil should be hot and your grill should be heating. Add the garlic to the hot skillet and saute until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the kale and toss to coat well. Cook for about 5 minutes. Toss in ¼ t salt and cook for another 5-10 minutes, covered, until cooked down and infused with garlic. 
  7. While you’re waiting for the kale to cook, spray your tofu with avocado oil spray, or any high heat cooking spray to prevent sticking on the grill. Grill the tofu over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side, flipping carefully with a thin metal spatula.
  8. To assemble the sliders, slice your buns in half, spread ½ T BBQ sauce on the bottom bun, top with a tofu slab, onion jam, the garlicky kale, and then the top bun. Serve with extra BBQ sauce. 
  9. Enjoy!

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