By Mick Brown
Throwing a BBQ nowadays can be a tricky thing. Especially here in California. The Good News is that as Americans get more advanced Health Care, we are discovering more about Allergies and our Nutritional needs. The Tricky Part is that when you throw a party for family and friends, some Invitees may be Gluten Free, Vegan, Soy Free, Nut Free, etc.. you name it. Fortunately, most of them have the grace to warn the host in advance. You are Thankful. But then, what do you do?
Many people think of BBQ as fatty meats and heavy sugary sauces. Fortunately, a new day has come where Grilled and Smoked Foods are finding their way into many healthier diets. I recently had the great fortune of meeting one of my favorite- OK the favorite- Vegan Chef from New York. Her name is Jaquy Yngvason, a former Food Network Producer and now hosting a new series called “Tasty Freedom”, on a Youtube Channel. Not only has she offered her support for my new BBQ Rub product, she has graciously given me permission to have my way with one of her Recipes.
It was a “no-brainer” when I saw a Jaquy dish called the Superfood ELT (Eggplant, Lettuce and Tomato) Sandwich. Hello!? Superfoods are a big part of what I am doing with my Rubs. Her original Recipe Video is only 3 Minutes and Change. She prepares the dish in a Cast Iron Skillet. This would be a good time to meet Jaquy if you haven’t seen her yet.
Wasn’t that Fun? Of course, I had to take the Recipe to the Grill. For my ELT, I added Grilled Red Onions for extra zip. Jaquy used Homemade Gluten Free Buns and a Caviar Mustard Sauce. I took shortcuts and used Organic Gluten Free Mustard and store bought GF Buns. I also did it two ways, using Portobello Mushrooms as an All Natural alternative for the Buns. This recipe is easy to make, just be sure to complete it before adding Meat to the Grill. I will do a copy/paste-able version of recipe, followed by more photos.
Grilled Vegan Superfood ELT (Eggplant, Lettuce & Tomato) Sandwich
INGREDIENTS (For 4 Sandwiches)
4 Thick Slices of Eggplant
4 Thick Slices of Heirloom Tomato
4 Thick Slices of Red Onion
Chopped Romaine Lettuce
HEROIC! Herb and Spice Blend by California Gold BBQ Rubs
Olive Oil or Italian Dressing
Organic/Gluten Free Mustard
4 Gluten Free Sandwich Buns
-Optional Substitute, 8 Equal Sized Portobello Mushroom Caps
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1. Marinate Eggplant, Tomatoes, Onion and Mushrooms in Olive Oil (or Dressing) and HEROIC! BBQ Rub. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
2. Heat Grill on Medium High. Brush and Oil Grates to prevent sticking. Then grill all Vegetables of both sides. You will know they are done when they can bend using Spatula.
3. Briefly Grill the Tomatoes last along with the GF Sandwich Buns.
4. Assemble Sandwich, adding Mustard to GF Buns (or Mushroom “Buns”). Pile with Eggplant, Tomato, Onion, then Lettuce. Cut in half, and Enjoy.
Thanks again to Jaquy for the recipe inspiration. The sandwiches came out tasting amazingly juicy and delicious. I highly recommend biting into them over your plate and not your pants. [This is, unfortunately, based on personal experience]. If you also have Carnivores at your party, feel free to toss a HEROIC! Marinated Steak on the Grill after the Veggies. Slice it thin and add it above the Eggplant to make some the the Healthiest Steak Sandwiches, ever. I hope everyone has a great Holiday Weekend. Until next time, Eat and Be Well.
Mick Brown is a Food Blogger/Purveyor based in Los Angeles, with over 30 years BBQ and Grilling experience. Aside from Catering, his passions are creating Easy Grilling Recipes and searching for the World’s Best Flavors. General Manager of Tastee BQ Grilling Co. and the new California Gold BBQ Rubs. He is also author of web serial blog “The Adventures of Tastee BQ.” Email- Mick@TasteeBQ.com
BONUS VEGAN RECIPES
As you may know, we recently held a Food Blogger Recipe Contest for HEROIC! The Winner was a Gluten Free Crockpot Beef Stew Recipe by Wheat Freely. I will be sharing it soon. In the meantime, these Vegan Recipes from ZeNutritionFoods are also Winners, in my book. You may want to try them sometime, as well. No Grilling is Required.
“California Gold BBQ Rubs are all natural and contain no salt or sugar. This unique blend of spices is much more than a BBQ rub. The variety of spices from turmeric to fennel would be a great compliment to many different dishes. Since I usually cook dishes with a global influence, I decided to do the same here to put my spin on it.”- ZeNutritionFoods
Tahini BBQ Tofu
1/2 package firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 tbsp HEROIC! California Gold BBQ rub
1/4 cup tahini
Pinch sea salt and pepper
~ Mix together the ingredients for the sauce, add the cubed tofu and stir to coat all the tofu pieces
~ Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20-25 min
*The tahini in this recipe gives it a little bit of a Mediterranean flavor.
BBQ Curry Tofu Scramble
1/2 package firm tofu, squeezed dry
1 cup broccoli
1 cup kale
1 tbsp HEROIC! California Gold BBQ Rub
1 tbsp curry powder
Sea salt and pepper to taste
~ Saute the broccoli in a little bit of coconut oil for a few minutes, add the kale and stir until it
begins to wilt
~ Crumble the tofu into the pan and add the seasonings
~ Stir well to combine and cook for a few more minutes on med/ low
*The curry in this dish works to bring out the cinnamon and cumin in the BBQ rub.
Link to Site http://zenutrition.wordpress.com/ (Recipes not yet published)
Original Superfood ELT Recipe by Tasty Freedom
ELT Sandwich Recipe: Gluten Free / Vegan
-Eggplant (cut into 1/2 inch rings)
Then salt and let moisture draw out, wipe dry after 5 min.
-Cook eggplant in oiled pan over medium high heat, cook until browned on both sides about 3 min. Make sure and season with salt and smoked paprika for extra flavor blast!!
-Slicer tomatoes (cut into 1/2 rings)
-Lettuce (make sure you pre-wash and pat dry, tear into pieces for sandwich).
-Mustard Caviar (in medium sauce pan, bring 1/2c filtered water, 1/2c. distilled white vinegar, pink himalayan sea salt “or salt of your choice”, 2tbsp. tumeric and 1/2c. mustard seeds. Stir everything and bring to a boil and let it reduce by half, about 10 min. Take off the heat and let it cool.
-Arepa buns (1c. masarepa “this is cooked corn meal, can find in local latin market or grocery store” mixed with water, stir until becomes like wet sand. Form into patties and fry over medium high heat in oiled pan until golden brown on both sides. Then bake in oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 min.) Tip: season dry masarepa with what ever spices you like. I used 1tbsp. tumeric, 1tbsp. cumin, 1tsp. pink himalayan sea salt, 1tsp. garlic powder.
-Oiled pan over medium high heat, cook eggplant until browned on both sides about 3 min. Make sure and season with salt and smoked paprika for extra flavor blast!!
Stack that baby anyway you like!! Feel free to add vegan mayo or sauces of your choice : ) Happy eating tasty eaters!!