Gluten-Free Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes: Sweet BBQ sauce, BBQ tofu wings, and BBQ Tofu Baked Beans Recipe

May 14th, 2009 yum Posted in Dairy Free, Egg Free, Hide your Veggies, Soy, Vegan, Vegetarian, beans, tofu 1 Comment »

bbqtofubeans7bbqtofuwingAlthough I don’t generally envy anyone a non-vegetarian diet (whether it contains gluten or not), sometimes I find myself intrigued by the preparation techniques and inspired to create a vegetarian, gluten-free version for myself. On a recent trip to Portland, my DH enjoyed stopping at a local wings place. I didn’t envy him the wings, but I was very curious about the sweet barbecue sauce, because prior to that I had pretty much only seen very spicy sauces used for wings. Luckily my DH, while not vegetarian himself, is always willing to try any new tofu dish I make, so when I decided to come up with a vegetarian “hot wings” recipe using tofu as the protein, he was game. I made a gluten-free, sweet barbecue sauce from scratch, and then fried pressed tofu before coating it in half of the sauce recipe. I served it with ranch dressing and carrot sticks in the best bar food tradition. We enjoyed it a lot, but I still had half of the barbecue sauce left, so the next day I decided to use it in a slow roasted homemade barbecued beans recipe with baked tofu added for textual interest and extra protein. I think I may have enjoyed that dish even more than the tofu wings- although the “wings” were more entertaining. Feeling sad about all the bar menus you can’t order anything from as a gluten-free vegetarian? No worries… just make your own versions, or try mine. Enjoy!

What bar food items do you miss or envy on the gluten-free diet? Have you tried replicating any of them to be gluten-free and/or vegetarian? Tell us about it in the comments.


Gluten-Free Sweet Barbeque Sauce Recipe
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. sundried tomato (if dried, soaked in hot water and drained. if packed in oil, rinsed in hot water to remove oil and pressed)
1 14 oz. canned chopped tomatoes, drained of all liquid
1 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup maple syrup (or honey, or agave)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp. wheat-free, low-sodium tamari
1/2 tsp lemon zest or 2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coriander
1-2 tsp. smoked paprika for low heat or chipotle pepper for SPICY
Combine ketchup, tomato paste, sundried tomato, and tomatoes in blender. Blend, adding water if necessary. Combine with onion, maple syrup, lemon juice, brown sugar, lemon zest, and whole garlic cloves in a pan and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered. Add wheat-free tamari and spices and simmer for another 5 minutes. Cool and store. Use for “Sweet BBQ wing-less Tofu,” or “Sweet BBQ beans with baked tofu” recipe.
I wanted sweet, and this recipe is certainly sweet. Next time I’d experiment with less sweet elements to see if I can get a more balanced recipe- but it is tasty!
Gluten-free Vegan Sweet BBQ Wing-less Tofu Recipe
1/3 recipe Homemade Gluten-Free Sweet Barbecue Sauce Recipe
1 1 lb. package firm tofu, pressed for at least 30 min, cut into thick slices
potato starch

oil for deep frying

Reduce barbecue sauce by baking in oven in small corningware or simmering on stove until thicker.

Take pressed tofu slices and coat in potato starch. Heat oil and then Fry tofu in batches until it starts to turn light brown. Remove tofu when done and let any excess oil ‘drain” on a wire rack. When all tofu is done, baste with reduced barbecue sauce and serve.


Gluten-Free Vegan Chard Barbecue Beans with Tofu
1/2 Gluten-Free Sweet Barbecue Sauce Recipe

1 lb. firm tofu, cut horizontally and pressed in a towel for 30 minutes, then cubed
2 tsp. olive oil
smoked paprika

1 can black, red, or other beans of your choice, drained
1/2 head of chard, de-stemmed, with greens cleaned, drained and chopped

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Bake beans in 1/4 of the barbecue sauce in a corningware type pan while you prepare the tofu and bake the tofu.

Place tofu on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Coat with olive oil and toss, and sprinkle with smoked paprika on both sides and salt to taste. Bake for 15-20 minutes and then turn when tofu cubes are brown on one side.

Add the chopped chard to the baking beans and return to oven.

Bake tofu until the other side is browned. Add to bbq chard and beans along with additional 1/4 recipe barbecue sauce. Make sure tofu is thoroughly coated. Bake for another 10-20 minutes and serve.

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Gluten-Free Frugal South American Cuisine: Vegan Vegetarian Black Refried Bean Recipe

October 21st, 2008 yum Posted in Hide your Veggies, South American, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, beans, frugal 2 Comments »

When I posted my recipe for Green Chili Corn Arepa biscuits, one of my readers recommended that I try Venezuelan black bean refried beans as they contain more antioxidents and are just as tasty as pinto beans. I thought that was an interesting idea. Personally, I love vegetarian refried beans made from scratch. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never found those cans of refried beans where the contents are all mushed into an unidentifiable copper-colored block like canned kitty food all that appealing. I want to see and taste all of my ingredients- and I definitely don’t want to taste the can that they were stored in. And what is more economical than dry beans? I can get a whole pound of dry beans for the price of a can, but using dried beans, I can make get enough for a huge batch of refried beans AND beans to freeze, and enough beans for another recipe besides. I also like my beans a tad softer than when they are canned, and soaking overnight and simmering in my slow cooker results in soft, melty beans that I just can’t resist. Some time back I developed a recipe for Perfect Refried Pinto Beans (scroll down), but I’d never tried making them with black beans. When I went to Whole Foods this weekend, I picked up a bag of black beans to try making a version with black beans, also known as turtle beans. I looked at various recipes online, and then started experimenting. Carrot might be an unconventional ingredient, but we have a huge bag of lovely organic carrots in our refrigerator, and I like the unexpected sweetness it added to the recipe. The DH was a big fan of the green chilies that I added to the recipe on a whim. He said “it’s the perfect degree of spiciness- flavor without too much heat.” I have to agree- I could eat this stuff like candy. Is that weird? Although this recipe is vegan, I used it in a quesadilla “lasagna” lunch for my non veg hubby, layering a corn tortilla with black refried beans and then cheese, covering it with two corn tortillas and adding another layer of cheese and tortilla. Although the refried beans take a little time to make, once it was made it was a matter of minutes to assemble and microwave the quesadilla. These quesadillas would also be tasty made in a cast iron pan. For me, I was perfectly happy with a vegan taco filled with refried beans. You can take a vegan taco to the next level by topping it with homemade pico de gallo, guacamole, or even avocado cubes. And now, if you don’t mind, I think me and my spoon will be heading for the refrigerator to eat some of this refried bean stuff cold…. because it is THAT good.

Oh yes, and about those antioxidents… According to the World’s Healthiest Foods web site,

“When researchers analyzed different types of beans, they found that, the darker the bean’s seed coat, the higher its level of antioxidant activity. Gram for gram, black beans were found to have the most antioxidant activity, followed in descending order by red, brown, yellow, and white beans. Overall, the level of antioxidants found in black beans in this study is approximately 10 times that found in an equivalent amount of oranges, and comparable to that found in an equivalent amount of grapes or cranberries. ”

Not to mention that black beans are high in protein, folate and magnesium. Sounds like a good excuse to make some yummy refried black beans to me! Got any other great ideas for using this black refried bean recipe? Tell me in the comments!

Vegetarian Refried Black Bean Recipe
3 or 4 cups black beans, homemade or canned
1 tbsp. peanut oil (or favorite oil)
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 medium carrot, diced
1 can mild green chilies (4 oz) or roasted, diced anaheim peppers
1 tsp or more cumin seeds
1 tsp oregano
generous amounts of salt, pepper
dash of apple cider vinegar
fresh cilantro, to taste
Prepare beans and rinse. If using homemade black beans, you can reserve some of the cooking liquid.

Heat oil in a cast iron pan to medium and saute your onion until almost translucent. Add garlic clove and diced carrot and continue cooking until carrot softens slightly. Toss in your cumin seeds and oregano, letting them heat and release their fragrance. Mix in your can of chilies and season with salt and pepper. Take out 1/2 cup or so of the onion mixture and combine in blender either with reserved cooking liquid (1/2 to 1 cup) or water. Add your beans to the cast iron pan and combine thoroughly. Add extra cumin and/or oregano if you think it needs it after tasting. Let beans heat and flavors permeate. After at least 10 minutes fold your blended liquid into the other ingredients in the pan. Let cook for another 10-20 minutes (adding extra water or cooking liquid if it gets too dry) and then taste again, adjusting seasonings- you may need more salt. Sprinkle in a dash of apple cider vinegar and fold in some fresh cilantro. A few minutes later, take the pan off the burner and serve.

DH loved this recipe!
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