Monday 22 September 2014

Speedy BBQ sauce and a Maple walnut asparagus bowl

Do you ever make a large jar of sauce and every time you open the fridge and pass over it, you feel its accusing look?  As soon as I saw Elizabeth's BBQ sauce, I wanted it that night.  It used pantry ingredients and only made a small amount.  And it looked really tasty.  Then the night went a bit Pete Tong and I had to wait until I had time on the weekend.  I was determined to use up a packet of tempeh that had crept past the use-by date a few days ago.  The BBQ sauce was surprisingly good with the tempeh and some leftover fried rice.

Converting a sauce for meat to a sauce for vegetarians can be a little fiddly.  I found the sauce too sweet and lacking in salt.  (Perhaps because I skimped on the chilli powder, my Worcestershire sauce was running out and I didn't have muscavado sugar.)  A little blackstrap molasses and some extra seasoning fixed it.  It is not BBQ weather and, even if it was, we don't have a BBQ.  I got out my much-neglected ridged grill pan.

The tempeh looked pretty with the grill marks.  I did need some patience to wait for them to appear.  You might notice on the above photo that there is one piece of tempeh without decent grill marks that I turned over too early.  I also needed the fan on because it got quite smoky in the kitchen.  I wondered if it would have worked better if I had got the tempeh sliced a little thinner.  Easier said than done.  Or maybe tried to press out more moisture.  Or marinaded it longer with the sauce.  Coulda woulda shoulda!

I was concerned the E wouldn't like the tempeh but he did.   We even ate the rest of the leftover tempeh between us on the same night.  Once all the (leftover) fried rice was gone, E hit upon the idea of slathering a bit more sauce over the tempeh.  This worked brilliantly.  It used up a lot of the sauce still in the jar.

Just a little sauce was left in the jar.  I made some rapid refried beans for nacho the next night.  Instead of adding tomato paste to the beans, I added the sauce.  It gave great flavour.  So much so that when I make this BBQ sauce again I might use leftovers wherever I need some tomato paste.  I am not sure it will last that long though.

The odd thing about blogging is that even with all the great food I write about I can still draw blank at dinner time.  Today found me leafing through cookbooks for a simple salad dressing.  Instead I found an idea for maple walnuts in Alice Hart's Vegetarian.  I fried mine on the stovetop with maple syrup, a little liquid smoke and some of the Old Bay Seasoning I found on the weekend.  They were brilliant with lemon fried asparagus and some vegies tossed in red wine vinegar and nutritional yeast flakes.  In fact I had to fight Sylvia to keep my share of the walnuts.

Not a recipe as such, but a great quick dinner idea.  Something simple so I can eat with Sylvia.  Then I made a Coconut Chana Saag from Isa Does It to last out the week before we head off on holiday for the last few days of Vegan MoFo.  I will share some food from my trips to Adelaide and Port Fairy after Vegan MoFo. 

Detail from Mural by Trevor Nickolls at the Adelaide Festival Centre Amphitheatre
More tempeh and tofu marinades and sauces on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Apricot and orange glazed tofu
Aussie bbq tofu with rice noodles and carrot salad

Matthews delicious tofu 
Orange glazed tempeh 
Tamarind Tempeh with Noodles
'Teriyaki' tofu with brown rice and kale
Tofu in a tomato, lemongrass and ginger sauce  

Barbecue sauce
Adapted from Elizabeth's Kitchen

2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp rice bran oil (or oil of choice)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked mild paprika
1/2 tsp chilli paste, or to taste
1/2 tsp onion granules
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried mustard

Mix ingredients together to make a thick sauce. 

On the stereo:
Ugly Beautiful: Baby Bird

This post is part of Vegan Month of Food September 2014.  This year for Vegan MoFo my theme is The Letter S.  Today is S for Some recipes I couldn't fit in during the week.  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more of my 2014 Vegan MoFo posts. 


  1. I love those grill marks and am pretty sure I'd love the whole tempeh mix. Barbecue sauce made at home is an adult discovery that completely re-wrote my relationship with barbecue flavours. I really love barbecue marinades now, and don't know what they do to the packaged commercial sauces to make them so horrible! I'm glad you managed to use up your sauce.

  2. My husband is convinced that he hates tempeh but I came across some delicious tempeh while in Bali. This along with your recipe is urging me to try it!

  3. I have so many half used jars of sauces in my fridge! I vowed and declared a few weeks ago that it would be my goal to try and use them up before Christmas when no doubt, I'll be given a lot more condiments! I love the look of your tempeh on the griddle xx

  4. Looks good! Looking forward to your report on Adelaide and Port Fairy as we're probably going to do a road trip to Adelaide via Port Fairy and other places.

  5. Love it! I made a really fin BBQ sauce this weekend too but now I don't know what to make with it since I want to savour it as long as possible. I have found other recipes too sweet as well so I was very happy with how mine turned out. Perhaps I should eat it all and then try your recipe next. :)

  6. The sauce looks great and I just love the grill marks on the tofu - always makes food look beautiful!

  7. Mmmm I adore lemony asparagus, the BBQ sauce covered tempeh sounds wonderful too.


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