Make no mistake, meaty grilled tofu, sweet flame-licked salsa, and chunks of crispy sweet potato make for a meal prepared in the great outdoors that puts the yum in plant-based eating.
Perfect spuds: Crispy potatoes on the grill are a revelation. But it’s best to give them a head start on the stovetop, so the potatoes heat through before the exteriors grill to a burnt crisp.
Flavourful tofu: Giving tofu a 90-degree turn on the grill halfway through cooking each side will produce a nice crosshatch pattern that makes you look like a grill master. Plus, those overlapping grill marks give tofu even better flavour.
In saucepan, place sweet potato wedges; cover with water and bring to boil. Cook for 5 minutes, or until just slightly tender. Alternatively, steam potato wedges. Drain well and then toss with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, and black pepper.
Line cutting board with a couple sheets of paper towel. Top with tofu and a couple more sheets of towel. Press gently to extract excess liquid. Slice each tofu lengthwise into 2 pieces. Brush both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high and grease grill grates. Brush avocado halves, pineapple, and jalapeno with oil. Place avocado on grill, cut side down. Grill for about 5 minutes, or until avocados have black grill marks. At the same time, place pineapple and jalapeno on grill grate and heat, flipping once, until tender and dark marks appear. Cube grilled avocado and pineapple and place in medium bowl. Chop and seed jalapeno; add to bowl with avocado and pineapple, and stir in green onions, cilantro, lime juice, and 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt.
Grill sweet potato wedges until cooked through and darkened in spots, flipping once, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, grill tofu pieces until golden and grill marks appear on bottom sides, about 4 minutes. Flip, brush on barbecue sauce, and heat for another 4 minutes.
To serve, place a tofu slice on each of 4 serving plates and top with pineapple salsa. Serve alongside sweet potato wedges.
Crunchy, with sharp and satisfying flavour, this hearty salad is a great accompaniment to tacos (including the ones in the next recipe). Cabbage is high in fibre and vitamins C and K. Higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as radishes and cabbage is linked to lower rates of cancer. Make ahead Unlike a typical green salad, this one can stand up to an hour or two in the fridge, so if you want to make it ahead of time, go for it. The cabbage will soften up and some water will be released; just drain any excess before serving.
These taco-inspired lettuce wraps are full of vibrant flavour tempered by subtle heat, all topped off with a zingy tomatillo salsa. Shredding the chicken helps to make a small quantity of chicken feed a crowd, and the texture pairs well with the light wrapper. The bright salsa features heart-healthy tomatillos, which contain phytochemicals called withanolides, which studies have found can help inhibit cancer cell growth. Quick shred If you have a kitchen mixer with a paddle attachment, you can use it to quickly and easily shred chicken for taco lettuce wraps. After chicken has rested, add it to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Reserve any pan juices that may have accumulated in the baking dish. Turn mixer on to a low-to-medium speed and process the chicken for 30 seconds to 1 minute, so that chicken is just separated, being careful not to overprocess. Add in cooking juices and mix through with spoon. To shred chicken by hand, use two forks to gently pull meat apart before combining with pan juices.
This rich bean dip is delicious warm or cold. It’s also a good source of protein, iron, and potassium. A single serving of this dip will help Dad get 19 percent of the recommended daily value of dietary fibre. Dried pasilla peppers impart a smoky, earthy fruitiness balanced with mild spice from a hint of hot paprika and cayenne. And those canned tomatoes add a nice hit of lycopene to an already healthy dish. Epazote (Eh-pah-zo-tay) Epazote has a history of use as a medicinal herb throughout Latin America and is a frequent ingredient in bean dishes because of its antiflatulent properties as well as its pleasant aromatic taste. Its flavour has no direct comparison but is reminiscent of oregano, tarragon, or licorice. There is a pungency to the scent, which some have described as having notes of kerosene, but it imparts a pleasing, earthy, and herbal quality to dishes. Dried epazote added to beans can help reduce their gas-causing properties. Epazote contains saponins, which can be toxic in copious quantities, so sparing use is recommended. Look out for it at specialty culinary stores. If you can’t find it, try cilantro, fennel, or oregano.
Lime juice and ginger add a tropical whiff to this French-Japanese mashup, where seaweed tendrils and Dijon mustard bring out the umami flavours in mushrooms and eggplant. The ingredients might seem to be strange bedfellows, but they work. The result is somewhere between a quiche and a soufflé, with a gluten-free eggplant crust featuring punchy mustard and citrus. This makes for a hearty vegetarian main for brunch, lunch, or dinner with a side salad, or a filling side dish. Fresh or dried If you don’t have fresh thyme and parsley, use 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme (divided) and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried parsley. The flavours won’t be as pungent, but a little flavour is better than none.