Test Kitchen: Deconstructed Vegan BBQ Salad

I’ve probably managed to turn off the most avid barbecue lovers by commingling “deconstructed,” “vegan,” and “salad” with the word barbecue. If you haven’t stopped reading yet but are on the verge… give me a chance, please!

This is a meal for those days when you just can’t make up your mind. Maybe you had a big bowl of pasta the night before or tons of carb-tastic potatoes, so you’re looking to lighten up. BUT at the same time, you can’t shake that insane craving for smoked meat and slaw. Deconstructed BBQ Salad to the rescue.

I’m not the biggest barbecue fan; however, my tiny [ok, sort of huge] taste at Barbeque Exchange opened the proverbial door for me to flavors I never knew I’d think about or want to recreate:* smoky, tangy meat; crunchy cole slaw; creamy pasta salad; fried pickles; cornbread. Dang. Cornbread is amazing. This post does not come with cornbread, although I was tempted to pick up a chunk at Whole Foods [it’s always available at the bakery]. Unfortunately I forever ruined cornbread when I read an article naming it one of the unhealthiest holiday foods, ever [link forthcoming, having trouble locating it].

Inspired by the broccoli slaw and the Fu-Q at Barbeque Exchange, this deconstruction was actually a test kitchen project: a sampling of Soyboy Hickory-Smoked Tofu  [$2.99 at Whole Foods].

there's other flavors, too.

I had actually never heard of or even seen this brand before now, and it’s pretty funny that it’s made with 98% organic ingredients, but hey, I appreciate the honesty. You can visit their website here. From the moment I opened the package I had a feeling I would be a fan. The scent of hickory smoke was strong and the tofu was even more firm and less crumbly than Twin Oaks brand. I didn’t even know that was possible.

This was a four-part meal. Part I: Soyboy tofu, no frills. Grilled on the stove for a few minutes per side until the outside started to crisp. Part II: The fried pickle substitute: a sugar-free bread and butter [ok, maybe 2, considering I ate one while cooking]. Parts III and IV were the deconstruction of Barbeque Exchange’s broccoli slaw, which from what I can remember was raisins, peanuts, onions, broccoli, carrots, corn, cheese, and mayo. III: A small spinach salad with raisins, chopped pecans, and red onions. IV: The broccoli and corn, sauteed with a vegan cole slaw sauce. The entire dish was brought together by a lime juice/liquid smoke garnish and of course, some hot sauce. I’m an addict now.

Faux BBQ.

Hot sauce, with a side of BBQ, please.

Test kitchen result? I’ll definitely buy Soyboy products again. The flavors were significantly stronger than the “more than tofu” I worked with last week, and the texture and consistency of this tofu was perfect for a BBQ substitute. I’m looking forward to trying some of their other baked flavors, or their pre-packaged ravioli made with tofu ricotta. SCORE.

There’s not much of a recipe tonight, since it basically involved the deconstruction of another recipe, but I will share the vegan cole slaw sauce. The ingredients don’t let on, but it’s really creamy and rich, and the perfect level of “tang” for warm or cold vegetable or pasta salads.

Vegan Cole Slaw Sauce (Vegetarian, Vegan)

Prep Time: 2 minutes


  • 2 tbsp vinegar (I used white)
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 (friendly) tbsp vegan mayonnaise (we actually have dijon vegannaise right now, perfect for this)
  • 2-3 tsp nutritional yeast
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2-3 dashes of liquid smoke
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Whisk everything together, pour it on.

* Michael, to Tobias: “There’s got to be a better way to say that.”


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Food, Recipes


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/courtney-marello/1a/375/b30 Tumblr: http://abarrelofoddsandends.tumblr.com/


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

4 Comments on “Test Kitchen: Deconstructed Vegan BBQ Salad”

  1. B Licon
    November 8, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    What’s the reason for adding the yeast other than I’m thinking it has a nutritional value? I’m stubborn when it comes to tasting new food items, but you finally got to me. First I actually gave up my Skippy and now I’m going to try tofu. Thanks for educating me.

    • November 9, 2011 at 8:23 am #

      Hi Bev! Nutritional yeast is actually used to create a creamy, cheesy, or nutty flavor. It’s not the “yeast” you think of when you’re baking bread. It’s yellow-ish flakes (sort of like big flakes of cornmeal) that can cook into or garnish anything for a cheese-like flavor. It has a ton of nutrients, too. Love it.

  2. A Tablespoon of Liz
    November 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    This looks really really good! I’ve never tried smoked tofu before.. I’ll have to grab some next time I’m at the store!

    • November 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

      It actually really does have a unique texture for tofu, too. It adds to the dish, I think.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: