Grilled Tropical Fruit Kabobs

When I was just out of college I moved into my first place on my own. I always had roommates or suite-mates prior to that point in my life. After about 2 months I moved out of that apartment because someone had stolen the tires off my car and kicked down my door to rob me in a 30 day time span.

In an effort at safety my parents had me move to a quiet remote spot. My parents helped me find the most magical beachhouse on Point Shirley in Winthrop, MA. I loved this little house more than anything. My parents even bought me my first grill since I had a porch and mini backyard with my beach view. I learned quickly that if you are having people over for a party in which you intend to grill. You should not turn on the grills gas ahead of time without igniting it or else it will all simply seep out and you will not be able to use the grill (I thought I was preheating it like one would an oven). Luckily people were only coming for snacks and dessert so I improvised my grilling techniques and held my grilled fruit kabobs over the open flame of my gas stove. The party was great and no one even noticed my poor cooking abilities and naivety. They did however love my kabobs!

Now that I am older and wiser (and giving recipes to others) I say, be like I was when I was 22. If you can’t complete a step because you don’t have that fancy tool or you live in a place that you can’t grill or what have you, Improvise. It will always work out. Food is nothing to be afraid of. If it looks terrible at least it may still taste good! If it doesn’t, there is always the company to enjoy! You just need to be creative. No one will die or go home hungry. They will just stop at McDonald’s.

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Grilled Tropical Fruit Kabobs

1 container of Sweet and Sara (R) Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

1 box/bag of bamboo skewers (soaked 5-15minutes in warm water)

2cups Cubed Pineapple

2cups Shredded Sweetened Coconut

3 Starfruit sliced thin

2 mangoes cubed

1lb strawberries

1 container of melon balls (honey dew, seedless watermelon, or cantaloupe)

4tbsp melted Earth Balance (R) Butter Sticks (with a basting brush)

Vanilla Sugar (for sprinkling) ( I use Penzey’s)

1/2 bag of SemiSweet Vegan Chocolate Chips (melted in a bowl) (I use 365 brand)

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  • Prepare your grill or open flame to be of medium heat.
  • Melt Chocolate in a bowl in the microwave or a fondue pot. Keep a spoon nearby for drizzling the kabobs.
  • Place shredded coconut on a platter so that you can roll your kabob in it.
  • Lightly baste all hard fruits that will be directly on the grill with melted Earth Balance.
  • When stacking your fruit on the skewer, do not do it all at once. Place the thicker fruits like pineapple on first and place on the grill for 2-3 minutes (they need more time and won’t fall through the grate). Then the softer fruits and marshmallows and hold over the open flame like you are at a Camp Fire! this prevents them from falling through the grate or falling apart on the grill. Softer fruits will burn quicker and watery fruits may drip causing spitting flames so holding it over is a safer option.
  • Once the fruits are dripping just a tad you know that the sugars are extracting and the kabob is ready.
  • Drizzle the kabob with melted chocolate, sprinkle with vanilla sugar, and roll in coconut. Serve (or Eat) Immediately.

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NOTE: These are always a hit and the kids love to be able to make their own! If you want to prepare some in advance for a kids party, grill some starfruit ahead of time then use all softer fruits and marshmallow along the base (for when they grill their portion) and top with the starfruit for a “magic wand” effect. You can also get graham crackers and make fruit smores as well!

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

Grilling for Vegans: What to Eat and How to Make it

As grilling season approaches I realize that my husband gets so excited his heart may just explode. I say it is from the meat heavy dishes and he says it is from the amazing Weber Grill my father got him as a present. Whatever the case is I make him grill me veggie burgers, corn, whatever. And he has started to become an expert. No grill baskets needed. So here is my veg-lovers guide to eating at a barbecue without all the looks (except of envy) and the extra equipment!

1. Invest in fresh veggies. The frozen kind will not be able to hold up to direct fire. Save those for the wintertime when you are feeling lethargic and uninspired.

2. Buy tinfoil/aluminum foil. This is a cheaper but I admit a less ecofriendly option to grill baskets but it is reasonable especially when you have a bunch of people hitting up your home on a hot day. You can just toss out the oil salty foil after and worry about that sink another day. And no cross contamination!

3. Invest in an olive oil mist sprayer. I have the one from Macy’s that I also know Martha Stewart sells. It works and doesn’t slather on too much oil.

4. The only seasoning you need is salt and pepper. That being said take any veggies you want and spray them season them throw them on tinfoil and grill to your hearts desire. I am a big fan of grilling corn, chopped broccoli florets, Portobello mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes. My Aunt came over the other day with pineapple and my husband grilled it right on the grill no foil needed and we topped our burgers with it.

As for a good grillable burger. Which is every vegan’s 10million dollar question… My husband makes my Vegan Boca Burgers on foil on the grill or Dominix Eggplant Burgers. Perfect with a little ketchup and mustard!

A good grillable sausage? I am obsessed with Tofurky’s Beer Brats. I mean obsessed. No foil needed and I will eat them year round. We also do soy hot dogs and all seem to be good so I just get whatever is on sale. The kids don’t notice the difference but on a side note cook them in a hot dog toaster or microwave. The grill sometimes overcooks them fast. You can place on for a second after for the grill markings.

Enjoy!

XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

Veganized Chicken, Broccoli, Ziti Dish with an Alfredo Sauce

When I was a kid my family would go to Applebee’s on a regular basis and then to the movie theatre next door. We loved these trips. My brother would always order the Chicken, Broccoli, Ziti dish with a side of garlic bread. I began to order this dish as well. It was always a hit. It was only my second favorite to the chicken fingers because of their honey mustard sauce which even today I am sure has some sort of addictive drug in it and is made out of magic, but I digress.

*Please note: They have nothing vegan at Applebee’s anymore even their salads and side item veggies have meat or dairy in them 😦

My brother and his wife gave birth to a son this past month. So in honor of his new son (Nolan) and what will surely be his new son’s eating habits, I will post my recipe for a veganized Chicken, Broccoli, and Ziti. I must also make note that my step children and husband beg for this meal and state it is their favorite dinner and they are all omnivores.

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Nolan’s Chicken, Broccoli, and Ziti

Alfredo Sauce

1/4 block of Daiya Havarti

1-2cups of Silk Soy Creamer

1/4 cup of Olive Oil

1 dash of thyme

1 dash of nutmeg

1 tbsp granulated garlic

Kosher Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

“Chicken”

1 boxed container of Beyond Meat (R) Lightly Salted Chicken Strips

Olive Oil

Salt

Pepper

Broccoli

2 heads of broccoli

Olive Oil

Salt

Pepper

Ziti

2lbs of boxed ziti

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PREPARATION

  • Boil a large pot of salted water.
  • Add 2lbs of boxed ziti. Cook until al dente drain.
  • Wait to place in serving bowl until other items are done.
  • Dice Chicken Strips into cubes place in frying pan on medium with olive oil salt and pepper and sautee until hot. Place to the side.
  • Preheat oven to 450degrees.
  • Take the stems of the broccoli heads. Then cut into small 1-2 inch florets and slice each floret down the center so it has one flat side.
  • On a cookie sheet toss broccoli with an ample amount of olive oil until well covered and the cookie sheet is as well. Toss with a good amount to salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  • Place broccoli in oven for 25-28minutes. Or until crispy and roasted with carmelized edges. Small pieces may appear burnt.

roasted broccoli

  • In a sauce pan place oil, salt, and pepper until warm then add cream and cheese. If it appears to thin as it cooks down feel free to add a cornstarch/arrowroot slurry or some Galaxy brand parmesan cheese or even nutritional yeast (“nooch”).
  • When sauce is complete add chicken to it until well combined and then toss with pasta.
  • Last add roasted broccoli and toss lightly into mixture.
  • Serve hot. Crusty bread is always a great side choice as well!

Enjoy!

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy