Dried shiitake mushrooms are loaded with guanylate, which teams up with the glutamate in nutritional yeast and nori to produce an over-the-top umami seasoning that is ready to elevate popcorn for movie night at home, which we’re doing a lot more of these days. Once you taste it, you’re going to want to sprinkle (or perhaps pour) this magic mushroom powder on everything, including roasted or steamed vegetables, baked potato, grilled fish, soups, pasta, and avocado toast. Luckily, it keeps well. You can also make it with dried porcini mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms deliver polysaccharide compounds that may have anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting powers. Nutritional yeast offers up a huge dose of essential B vitamins including thiamine and vitamin B12.
To deepen the umami flavour of nori, you can toast the sheets first. To do so, heat heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium and dry toast nori sheets one at a time until darkened, about 2 minutes per side. Alternatively, place nori sheets on baking sheet in one layer. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 5 to 7 minutes, flipping halfway during baking time, until roasted and crispy. Let sheets cool down to room temperature before pulsing them into seasoning.
Crumble nori sheets into spice grinder, food processor, or blender and then add mushrooms, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, thyme, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Process until mixture has turned into a powder. Transfer to bowl and stir in sesame seeds.
In large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil. Put 4 popcorn kernels in pan and cover pan. When kernels pop, pour in remaining kernels in an even layer. Cover pan, lift it off the heat, and count 30 seconds. Return pan to heat, with lid slightly ajar to release some steam, and once popping is rapid, gently shake pan back and forth on the burner. Once popping slows to a crawl, remove pan from heat and pour popcorn into large bowl. Immediately toss with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil and then season with 1/4 cup (60 mL) mushroom powder mix.
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. A master’s touch 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.
Combine pizza and taco night by firing up the grill. Sweet flame-licked onions, melty cheese, fiery salsa, hearty beans, and crispy flatbread crust all marry well in a no-fuss pizza that comes together fast enough to work within the confines of the weekday time crunch. Set up a work area near the grill so you have all your toppings within easy reach and ready to go. You can also use large Middle Eastern-style pitas for your base. Using store-bought pizza dough? If you want to go more traditional and use pizza dough, you can certainly stick with the grill. Stretch or roll pizza dough (about 1 lb/450 g) to roughly 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick. It need not be perfectly round or square; it just has to be even thickness. Preheat grill to medium using indirect heat (for a gas grill, leave one burner off; for a charcoal grill, shovel coals onto one side of the grill) and lightly oil grill grates. Brush one side of dough with oil, then place on grill in an area not directly over the heat, oil side down. Once dough is lightly charred and just barely set, about 1 to 2 minutes, use pizza peel or big, flat spatula to transfer it to a work surface, grilled side up. Apply toppings and return pizza to indirect heat. Close grill lid, and heat until edges of crust are crispy and cheese has melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
If a falafel and burger had a love child, this would be it. The result of this hybrid is a vibrantly coloured, complex-flavoured veggie burger you’ll flip over. You can also serve them between toasted hamburger buns with toppings such as sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, and arugula. Holding it together Many plant-based burgers are crumbly and weak, risking a patty that ends up between the grill grates instead of intact on your plate. Keep your burgers together by forming patties no larger than 1 in (2.5 cm) thick, which ensures a nice, even crust on the outside and a thoroughly warmed-through centre, then chilling the patties before grilling. You can also consider using a burger mould, which gives you denser, equally sized patties that cook evenly. Be sure your grill grates are well greased. Deep freeze You can freeze uncooked falafel burgers on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or plate and then transfer frozen patties to an airtight container. When ready, just thaw and cook as instructed. Falafel cooking options To bake: Arrange falafel on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush lightly with oil; bake at 375 F (190 C) for 25 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and heated through. To pan fry: Heat large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil (15 mL) for each 2 burgers in the pan, swirl to coat pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until underside is browned. Then flip carefully and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Bet you’ve never considered making breakfast or Sunday brunch on the grill. Consider cooking your egg-soaked bread over flames as a way to coax even more flavour out of brag-worthy French toast. You can also use slices of brioche bread and whatever fruit happens to be in season. Of course, nobody could fault you for topping it all off with a drizzle of maple syrup. If you want it dairy free, you can use dairy alternatives such as oat milk and coconut yogurt. Not so fresh Somewhat stale bread is key to great French toast. You want it to be 2 to 3 days old. What if your bread isn’t aged enough? You can speed up the process by slicing bread and then placing it on a pan in 350 F (180 C) oven for about 10 minutes, or until it firms up. Make sure it’s sliced nice and thick to prevent the egg mixture-to-bread ratio being too heavy in favour of egg, resulting in soggy French toast.