Tonight we celebrated Memorial day like most Americans- around the grill. I love grilling outside. Ever since I was a little girl, my dad has trained me to cook food properly on the grill. I remember feeling both terrified and thrilled when my dad would douse the charcoal in gasoline and throw in a match. WHoooosh! We would sit and talk or I would play until the flames died down. Then he'd grill some steaks (always marinated in teriyaki sauce) or maybe some red snapper.
Today I was kinda bummed out because we decided not to get the bright and shiny nice new (used) car that I LOVED. I know it was the right (read: frugal) decision, but I still stayed in my pajamas until noon and wallowed in my own pity. So the point of this is that I needed a good cooking assignment to cheer me up. Mike called to say he wanted to grill out and that was all the inspiration I needed.
Let's start with the veggies. I stuffed some button mushrooms with leftover Cashew Ricotta (from Veganomicon) and marinated some locally grown, organic asparagus in lemon juice, olive oil, coarsely ground salt and black pepper. These cooked up really fast on the grill and the mushrooms were the best. This is one case where I was thankful that the kids won't touch any type of fungus. More for us!
I wanted hotdogs, but didn't want to go to the store (although I ended up going anyways to get a great vacuum cleaner that Mike dumpstered at the Co-op), so I made some. These are loosely based on the Spicy Italian Sausages, but I cut the recipe in 1/4 and added a cup of mashed lima beans, omitted anything spicy, and added liquid smoke. They turned out a bit more moist and less dense- just what I was looking for! Since these have wheat, I marinated some tempeh in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tamari, and maple syrup for Mike.
I also baked some Southern Style GF Cornbread to go with my meal and with everyone else's desserts. You see, the great rift between myself and Mike & the boys is how we like our cornbread. I like mine savory- preferably with jalapeños, but I'll settle for green chilies. They like theirs as dessert with maple syrup.
The real star of the dinner was the Rhubarb Lemonade- thanks to my awesome friend Sarah.
She sent me this recipe from Food Network Canada (along with a SIGNED copy of Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan) last year, but I had just used the last of my rhubarb when I got the recipe. Now that the rhubarb is back, this was first on my list! It's really as simple as 6 1/2 cups water, 3/4 cup sugar, and 4 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb boiled until the rhubarb is soft, then strained. Then you add the juice of 1 lemon and chill. The super cute idea that I didn't get a chance to do tonight is to skewer some blueberries and freeze them to use as a garnish/stir stick for the lemonade!
This drink has a really unique flavor that only rhubarb lemonade could have- it's delicious! I also made some plain rhubarb sugar syrup at the same time, so look for that coming up soon.