Laura Theodore

Jazzylicious Shish Kebabs

Makes 8 to 10 servings

These tasty kebabs are the perfect BBQ star, savored by vegans and omnivores alike.

Zesty BBQ Sauce (see recipe below) or your favorite vegan BBQ sauce

2 packages cubed seitan, well drained (see note)

3 sweet peppers (orange, red, and/or  yellow), seeded and cut in 1 1/2-inch pieces

2 medium sweet onions, cut into chunks

2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

16 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed

20 cherry tomatoes

10 long metal or bamboo skewers

Cover two large, rimmed baking sheets with foil or unbleached parchment paper.

Prepare barbecue sauce, and set aside.

Put the seitan in a large bowl and top it with 1/4 cup of the sauce. Gently toss the seitan to coat. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours to marry the flavors.

Put the peppers, sweet onions, zucchini, mushrooms, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Top with 3/4 cup of the sauce (leaving about 1/2 cup in reserve) and toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 to 2 hours to marry the flavors. Prepare two metal or bamboo skewers for each person. If you are using bamboo skewers, place them in a pan and cover them with filtered or spring water. Let the skewers soak in the water for about 30 minutes prior to assembling the kebabs to prevent them from burning.

To assemble the kebabs, carefully thread the kebab ingredients onto your prepared skewers in the following order:

Pepper

Seitan

Zucchini

Mushroom

Onion

Pepper

Tomato

Onion

Seitan

Zucchini

Onion

Mushroom

Tomato

Pepper

Arrange the kebabs evenly on the prepared baking sheets. (If you are not baking or grilling them immediately, cover loosely with foil, and place the sheets back in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours before cooking.)

If baking:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Leave the kebabs on the baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the kebabs once, and brush them with additional barbecue sauce. If the kebabs are browning too quickly, loosely tent the baking sheets with foil. Continue baking for 20 minutes or untilthe veggies are crisp-tender and the seitan is slightly crisp and golden in color.Serve immediately over quinoa or brown rice. 

If grilling:

Place the kebabs directly on the grill. Grill the kebabs over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are crisp-tender and the seitan is slightly crisp and golden in color. While the kebabs are grilling, rotate them often, frequently brushing them with additional barbecue sauce to keep them moist. 

CHEF’s NOTE: You may use about 1 1/2 blocks (16 to 20 ounces) extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed, instead of the seitan. It is necessary to use extra-firm tofu for the shish kebab. Medium or soft tofu will break apart while cooking. In addition, it is important to drain the tofu well, so it will properly absorb the barbecue sauce. To drain and press tofu, start by placing a large colander in your sink. Put the block of tofu in the colander. Press down on the tofu lightly with your hands to release excess water. Put a medium size plate on top of the tofu. Put an unopened can of soup or beans on top of the plate to weigh the plate down. Allow the tofu to drain for 15 to 30 minutes. This will remove a good deal of water from the tofu. Remove the can and the plate, and your tofu is ready to use.

Zesty BBQ Sauce

Makes 8 to 10 servings

1 cup catsup

1/3 cup unsulphured blackstrap molasses

2 heaping teaspoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon regular or reduced-sodium tamari

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Put all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Like this recipe? There are hundreds more in Laura’s Cookbooks!