Smoking is one of man’s oldest techniques. It has been used since people became sedentary and learned to control fire.
They discovered that the food lasted longer since the smoking process removes water from food. Later, they discovered that salt preserved food and became experts in extracting it from the sea and salt lakes. Finally, people found out that spices like cumin, pepper, and cloves could also help preserve food.
These three techniques converged to produce what we now call smoking. But what happens when we become vegetarians or vegans and miss the smoky flavor found in meats? Are we doomed to live without that delectable taste for the rest of our lives?
Well, nothing could be further from the truth!
Smoking food can be done in a variety of ways, not just with meat. If you’re curious about the secrets of smoking vegetarian food, you’ve come to the right place!
Here are eight incredible recipes for those who enjoy strong flavors in the kitchen.
1. Smoky Cheese & Caramelized Onion Panini
One of the simplest ingredients to achieve the smoked style is cheese. It is only a matter of going to the supermarket to find a fairly diverse selection of smoked cheeses.
For vegans, who are about to skip over this section, we’ve got something for you on the menu, too. There are now several vegan cheese brands that offer smoked options, so there’s no reason not to try this luscious ingredient in the recipe below.
- 1 panini bread
- 100g smoked cheddar cheese
- 100g. fresh mozzarella
- 1 red onion
- 1 tbsp of butter
- 1 tsp of dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp of mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp of brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Turn the burner to the lowest setting and melt the butter in a pan.
- Add the thinly sliced onion. Include brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Allow it to simmer for at least 30 minutes. The longer you cook, the more intense the flavors will be.
- Cut the panini in half and spread mayonnaise and mustard on both halves.
- Grate and spread the two types of cheese. After that, add the caramelized onion.
- Seal the panini in a pan or grill, then serve.
2. Smoky Mashed Sweet Potatoes
The secret ingredient in this dish is smoked paprika.
This delicacy is the star of Spanish cuisine, but it originated in Mexico, where the first people dried and ground various types of peppers.
You can now find a wide variety of smoked paprika, including a spicy version if you prefer strong flavors. Because the itching is generally mild, it can be a good option for adding a kick of flavor to this dish.
3. Smoky Vegetarian Collard Greens
The term “liquid smoke” refers to a mixture of water and condensed wood smoke. The smoke is then done to extract all of the harmful substances, and it is a great way to give your meals that smoky flavor we all love.
Liquid smoke can be found in any supermarket and is a very versatile ingredient to include in all your vegetarian smoker recipes. Give it a try and enjoy the variety of dishes you can make with it.
4. Smoked Olives and Almonds
It may be an uncommon ingredient in your kitchen, but smoked olives will undoubtedly enhance the flavor of your dishes.
Smoked olive oil has become a fashionable ingredient in haute cuisine, mostly used by chefs and people with gourmet tastes. It elevates simple dishes to true star status.
- 2 cups of green or purple olives
- 2 cups of smoked almonds
- ½ cup of smoked olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- Heat the smoker to 250°C.
- Choose the wood of your choice based on your preferred aroma and place it in the smoker.
- Combine the olives, almonds, and garlic in a heat-resistant dish.
- Drizzle in the smoked olive oil until all of the ingredients are well combined and coated with oil.
- Smoke for 45 minutes to an hour. Then set it aside to cool before serving at the table.
This recipe is a favorite of vegans and vegetarians alike.
It’s made with finely sliced carrots that are cooked and marinated in a tasty sauce.
The recipe takes a day to complete, but the flavor that the carrots acquire is well worth the effort. It is a component that can be stored in the refrigerator and used as a side dish for a variety of foods. It has a fantastic smoky flavor that will amaze you.
6. Smoky Lentil Stew
Brown lentils are one of the most basic ingredients to have on hand in the kitchen. They are simple to prepare, inexpensive, profitable, and high in essential nutrients.
It is a winning ingredient in every way. And what better way to enjoy it than in a smoky-flavored stew with fresh vegetables and tomato paste?
This dish is a real treat for cold days and when you’re in the mood for some good ol’ comfort food.
7. Smoky Roasted Cauliflower
Cauliflowers have a special place in vegetarian and vegan dishes; they have replaced chicken wings and have a wide range of applications. Nothing beats crispy cauliflower dipped in beaten egg and breadcrumbs for a satisfying snack.
Together with smoked pepper, olive oil, and salt, they form an unbeatable team. These ingredients are simple but extremely effective.
8. Smoky Black Bean Chili
The best is saved for last. Few things beat the flavor of homemade black beans, and when we combine that with the personality of a good chili, slowly cooked in spices like cumin, pepper, smoked paprika, and oregano, we have a recipe for success.
This dish is useful if you want to invite your friends over for a celebration or to watch a soccer game or a movie.
You can serve it with corn chips and avocado or cheese as toppings. Alternatively, you can opt for avocado and cheese at the same time. Why make a choice when you can have it all?
These clever recipes will inspire you to experiment in the kitchen and provide you with new ways to enjoy the smoky flavor we all adore. Remember that smoked flavors are not exclusive to meat and can be replicated in a variety of ways in vegetarian and vegan dishes.