In this part of the world, grilling is the most popular way of cooking during the summer season and even though barbecue is generally a synonym of a meat devouring feast, it is a mistake to think there is no place for vegetarians and vegans at a barbecue gathering.
Since there are so many meatless foods that can be prepared on the grill, there’s no reason why you have to miss out on the barbecuing fun. You’d be amazed of all of the incredibly delicious and creative ingredients (think veggies, meat substitutes, meatless burgers and fruits -yes, fruits can be grilled too!-) that you can play with.
It is with this intention that I want to share today’s recipe: to prove to the skepticals that vegetarian barbecues are not only possible and as delicious as the carnivore counterpart, but that it is way more interesting (because of the variety of ingredients), simple and healthier.
Considering that tofu is such a good source of vegetarian protein (use organic tofu to avoid the chemically processed stuff) and its texture allows us to cook it in so many ways, it is an excellent option for grilling. Another great thing about tofu is that since its taste is originally so neutral, you can marinate it with any type of sauce and spices you like. But remember, the longer you let the tofu marinate, the better it will absorb all the taste.
In this case, I opted for a spicy, citrusy sauce to marinate my tofu. It gives it the perfect kick to balance the simplicity of the accompanying vegetables, but feel free to reduce the spices if you prefer a milder taste.
Spicy Grilled Tofu and Vegetables Kebabs
(makes about 10-12 kebabs)
For the marinade:
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. chipotle chile powder
Juice of half of an orange
2 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. sea salt
500 gr. (1 pack) organic plain firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into cubes
1 medium yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into cubes
1 medium zucchini, sliced into ½ inch thick rounds and then halved
20 to 24 (2 per skewer) grape or cherry tomatos
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
10-12 bamboo skewers, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes (this prevents them from burning on the grill). You can use metal skewers if you prefer.
Fresh lime to garnish
1. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade and mix well. Add the tofu cubes and stir to coat. Transfer the tofu mixture to a zip-lock bag and let it marinate at least 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.
2. In a bowl, combine the vegetables with the oil and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Take your first skewer and start inserting pieces of veggies and tofu, alternating them and then following the same pattern with the rest of the skewers.
4. Cook the skewers on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until they start getting roasted.