Monday, June 23, 2008

Peach Barbecue Sauce

It's BBQ season, and there's no reason why you, as a vegan, should be missing out! Try this fresh, fruity take on barbecue sauce with grilled tofu steaks. Bring a batch to the next BBQ that you get invited too, and meat eaters will happily partake as well. For another twist, try serving it as a salad dressing over mixed baby greens - it reminded me of Thousand Island dressing.

This was fun to make because it's very different from my normal fare; there are a few vegan curveballs, so bear with me...

Heat 3/4 tsp. olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 3/4 cup chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes. Now add 1 and 1/2 cups chopped, peeled peaches (about 3 small ones; it helps if they're not too ripe ergo not too mushy), a dash of black pepper, 1/4 tsp. salt and 3 minced garlic cloves. Cook one minute, stirring frequently.

Next, add one cup beer. You'll want it to be a mild beer such as a pilsner, because heavier beers will make the sauce too bitter. Pilsner Urquell, I was able to verify, is vegan (and also, incidentally, my boyfriend's favorite beer). Tilt your measuring cup when you measure out the beer because otherwise it will get too foamy!

Along with the pilsner, add: 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup mustard, 2 tbsp. organic brown sugar, one and a half tablespoons cider vinegar, one tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, one tsp. cumin, 3/4 tsp. coriander, one tsp. hot sauce, and a dash of ground cinnamon. Phew! Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes (I recommend stirring every once in a while, as the mixture seemed to want to stick to the bottom of the saucepan).

Here are the vegan notes. A) Ketchup. Although there were several all-organic versions on the shelves of Whole Foods, I was a little suspicious about ingredients like sugar etc. Then, I picked up the bottle of OrganicVille's ketchup with a certified vegan sticker right on the back! Perfect: For the mustard, I used organic yellow mustard from Whole Foods' 365 brand.

B) the Worcestershire Sauce, which - I hope! - you are aware contains anchovy paste (that means be careful of Bloody Mary's, vegans...). Luckily, Annie's Naturals makes a completely vegan version:

C) hot sauce - I don't know if there's anything of which to be wary in normal versions, but either way I like the 365 Original Hot Sauce from Whole Foods.

After 30 minutes, transfer the mixture to a blender. Remove the centerpiece of the blender's lid and cover with a paper towel instead so steam can escape, as you blend it all smooth. Pour into a bowl, and set it aside until BBQ time! You'll have 2 1/2 cups. A 1/4 cup of sauce is 60 calories.

onion $0.35
peaches $1.93
beer $2.20 (for one 12-oz bottle)
ketchup $3.99

On an un-related note, I noticed something a bit thought-provoking in the checkout line at Whole Foods the other day. They have this wonderfully natural-looking gum called Glee Gum, that comes with a Certified Vegetarian sticker! (note: be careful vegans, it does contain beeswax). Although I haven't chewed gum since my college days, it instantly put up my antenna. What about other gums isn't vegetarian? I shudder to speculate...

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance