Double Header on the Barbecue! Barbecued Black Bean Tofu Burritos and Barbecued Eggplant Sandwiches

Although barbecue is notoriously not vegan friendly, there are so many delicious vegan foods that can be made on the barbecue. Although barbecuing uses charcoal, grilling outdoors saves the sweat and energy of cooking inside, and it also tastes great! In this post, I’ll share with you two recipes, one adapted from Robin Robertson’s new cookbook, Vegan on the Cheap, and one original creation.

If you’re a vegan, vegetarian, like eating vegan food and/or are on a tight budget, Robertson’s Vegan on the Cheap should be your next cookbook purchase. With food prices on the rise, sometime it seems like the only way to eat on a budget is to eat poorly. You can buy a McDouble at McDonalds or a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for $1, but that money will hardly buy a fresh apple or head of lettuce. Robertson comes to the rescue, however, offering Vegan on the Cheap includes 150 delicious recipes that are quick and easy to make and are all under $2.00 per serving. Using common and healthy ingredient, including beans, brown rice, tofu, and economical fruits and vegetables, Vegan on the Cheap is saving my cooking budget.

This past week, I made Robertson’s Barbecued Black Bean and Tofu Burritos. Instead of cooking the tofu in the frying pan, I pressed it and grilled it on the barbecue to bring out more flavor in the meal. I also omitted the liquid smoke, reduced the amount of soy sauce, and added salsa. Be sure to drain and rinse the beans thoroughly before using to reduce sodium content. Here’s the recipe:

Barbecued Black Bean and Tofu Burritos

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. ketchup

1 Tbsp. molasses

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. light brown sugar

1/2 tsp. liquid smoke

Salt and pepper, to taste

1- 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

8 ounces (1/2 of a 1-lb. brick) extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 1-inch strips, and pressed for about one hour

4 flour tortillas (or more, I used whole wheat tortillas)

Your favorite salsa, to top

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until tender. Stir in the ketchup, molasses, mustard, soy sauce, and sugar. Add the beans and cook until heated. Set aside.

Heat the barbecue. Line the rack with aluminum foil (dull side up) and spray with nonstick spray. Season tofu with salt and pepper to taste, and grill until crispy (approximately 10 minutes), turning once halfway through the cooking time.

To assemble the burritos, spoon the beans and tofu on to a tortilla and top with salsa and maybe even some vegan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!

Later that week, I adapted Robertson’s barbeque sauce recipe (prepared above) to make barbecued eggplant sandwiches. Here’s the recipe:

Barbecued Eggplant Sandwiches

1 medium eggplant

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. ketchup

1 Tbsp. molasses

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. sugar (note change)

Fresh bread (I used homemade sourdough)

Dijon mustard or any other desired toppings

Wash and slice the eggplant. Place in an airtight container and drizzle with the olive oil and any desired salt and pepper. Refrigerate and marinate for one hour.

Heat the barbecue. Grill the eggplant until tender, approximately 10 minutes, turning once.

Brush eggplant slices with barbecue sauce. Serve with toasted or grilled bread and any desired toppings. Enjoy!

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