You’re having a barbecue and then you realize that a vegan is coming.
Panic sets in because you’ve gone out and purchased only burgers, hot dogs, and chicken. You’ve been there at least once, right?
Let’s face it, regardless of whether you’re hosting one vegan guest or a full-on meatless feast, everything tastes better when it’s charred on the grill.
Thankfully, Michael Abramson, found the vegan barbecue solution when he established YamChops – North America’s first plant-based butcher shop.
Abramson definitely knows a thing or two about grill-able plant-based protein alternatives. And he’s bringing YamChops to Vancouver for the Veg Expo this Sunday, May 28. The meat-less butcher shop will be opening up two locations in Vancouver soon, in addition to their two Toronto locations.
To celebrate YamChops’ upcoming feature at the Veg Expo, Abramson told Daily Hive how to make three of his favourite vegan barbecue picks.
YamChops grilled watermelon steaks
1. Using a very sharp knife, skin a watermelon including removing the white rind under the skin. Michael suggests trimming about 2” (5 cm) off each end of the melon.
2. Then stand the melon on one end and cut the rind off in small strips. Lay watermelon on its side and cut into 1” (2.5 cm) “steaks”. Trim into rectangular ‘steak like’ pieces. (Bonus: you get to eat the off cuts as a treat for doing such a good job skinning the watermelon.)
3. Wrap steaks individually in paper towel and let them rest for 30 minutes. Unwrap steaks and brush generously with olive oil and place on your hot grill.
4. Cook until grill marked and gently flip. Brush with maple syrup and gently flip to form those really cool crosshatched grill marks. Repeat on second side. Serve with a mint and basil chimichurri.
YamChops not dogs (carrot hot dogs)
1. Use 4 large carrots, each about the size of a jumbo hot dog. Wash and gently scrub the carrots.
2. Trim the tip and tails of the carrots but do not peel them. Place carrots in a pot of boiling water and cook until carrots can be pierced with a toothpick or wooden skewer. You want a little bit of resistance…but not too much.
3. Set up a marinade of 1/2 cup each soy sauce and water, 2 tablespoons each of grapeseed or canola oil and rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke, 2 cloves garlic – minced, 1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger, onion powder and freshly ground pepper.
4. Mix well and add carrots. Marinate overnight. Grill, turning often until nicely grill marked. Place in a hot dog bun and top it with the usual suspects.
YamChops grilled romaine lettuce
1. Place 3 tablespoons chopped ginger, 1 garlic clove, 1 tablespoon orange juice, cane sugar, tamari, and rice vinegar, into a mini food processor or blender.
2. With motor running slowly, add 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil. Set dressing aside. Split two romaine lettuce hearts vertically so you get 4 halves and remove any loose outer leaves.
3. Brush completely with olive oil and sprinkle inside with a generous pinch of cane sugar and season with salt and pepper.
4. Grill until nicely grill marked and slightly wilted. Repeat on second side. Serve topped with the ginger dressing.
YamChops is one of more than 200 exhibitors that will be showcasing their unique vegan edible and lifestyle products this Sunday at the Veg Expo, Canada’s premiere sustainable, vegan and vegetarian expo.
When: Sunday, May 28 – 10 am to 6 pm
Where: Convention Centre West
Price: $5 for children/$15 for general admission/$13 for seniors/$35 for a family pass – all available through Veg Expo online
Use the code DailyVeg at the checkout to get $2 off your ticket.
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