Vegan Versions: Chipotle Barbecued. . . . Mushrooms (and a Surprise)

by Maria Theresa Maggi on September 23, 2013

Chipotle Barbecued Mushroom

I am not a big fan of barbecue. In fact I wasn’t even sure how to spell it, and had to go check. So what am I doing making a version of a recipe post from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen that starts out with Susan saying, “I love barbecue, but I don’t always take the time to make my own sauce”? I can count on one finger the times I’ve bought a bottle of barbecue sauce, and I’m pretty sure I ended up throwing it out. The reason I’m writing a post about my current version of this recipe is that it made a fan of barbecue sauce out of me. At least this barbeque sauce. (I keep really wanting to spell it with that “q” in it, and it’s considered a secondary spelling, so I’m leaving it this one time.)

When Susan first posted this recipe, Chipotle Barbecued Tofu, there was something about it that tempted me out of my curmudgeonly-ness about barbecue. Perhaps the smokiness of the chipotles. I could still eat soy foods comfortably then. And I still had ketchup in the house for when I made oven fries. I gave it a try and liked it so much that it went on our Thanksgiving menu that year, and Mike and Kelly liked it so much they went back to Portland and made it over and over there, too.

So when I realized my symptoms improved when I stopped eating the soy, this was one of the recipes I mourned over. But that was before the dawning of the Mushroom Era in my life. I was first cued in to how portobello mushrooms could be used as burgers in Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. Back when I read Kathy Hester’s inspired book The Vegan Slow Cooker, I discovered she had an amazing recipe for smoked slow cooker tofu. Since Kathy always gives alternatives for people who can’t eat soy or gluten, she suggested smoking mushrooms. So the seed—oops, I mean–the “spore” had been dropped. . .

I still haven’t smoked any mushrooms in my slow cooker, and I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to marinating them in this wonderful barbeque sauce (there’s that involuntary “q” again), but the time arrived last winter. I made the sauce and marinated four portobellos in it. I meant to bake them after 24 hours but life got in the way and they sat in it another day. My friend Clark came over for dinner before we went to see the devastating and beautiful film version of Anna Karenina, and we ate them for dinner. He likes spicy things and loves mushrooms like I do, so I knew I had a hit when his eyes got wide at the first bite.

If there’s a bit of rain and humidity after a long dry spell, late summer around here usually delivers up some more tasty samples of agaricus campestris mushrooms on my morning walks with Romeo. I came back from Portland to find it had poured buckets here one night, and then stayed kind of warm and even a little humid, with mild sprinkles here and there. Perfect weather for finding mushrooms. I found two large tops, spotlessly clean in the rain, that rivaled the size of the ones I have a photo of in my post Wild Mushroom and Two Rice Pilaf. One of them is in the photo at the top.

I’ve changed Susan’s original recipe a little over time in some small ways. I rarely have ketchup around, so I use tomato paste instead. And since I’m a lightweight when it comes to hot and spicy, I use half the chipotles in adobo Susan uses. I leave out the black pepper and use a tablespoon of date syrup, and/or homemade date paste or pear sauce, and I add about 1/4 cup of water and. . . .well, you’ll see in a minute. I have kept Susan’s inspired additions of cinnamon and celery seeds, and I highly recommend you do the same, whether you try my version or hers.

I paired these mushrooms with kale massaged in my Easiest Avocado Dressing in the World and some simple plain cooked millet. The combination was heavenly in taste, and  easy to digest. I think it’s letting the mushrooms marinate for 24 hours that gives this effect.

So here’s the exception to my “I’m not a big fan of barbecue” rule, which I make for this barbecue sauce. . .with mushrooms.

And here’s the surprise: if you have a little barbecue sauce left over, and a hodge-podge of leftovers like I did, while you’re baking the mushrooms, you can throw in a little casserole like this:

I still don’t like barbecue sauce all that much.  But I sure like this barbecue sauce. So try this veresion, or Susan’s version, or one of your own inspired by our recipes. Whether it’s spelled with a “c” or a “q,” it makes a simple meal smoke.

Maria (moonwatcher)

Leave a Comment

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan Voisin September 23, 2013 at 10:06 am

Your version looks delicious, Maria! And I always have trouble with the “c” versus the “q” in barbec\que, too!


2 moonwatcher September 23, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Thanks, Susan! Here’s to barbec/que!! 🙂


3 Donna September 25, 2013 at 6:58 am

I love mushrooms and I love BBQ! But, I don’t see the chipoltes in the recipe.


4 moonwatcher September 25, 2013 at 8:34 am

OMG! Hi Donna! In writing this version of the recipe and referring to Susan’s two tablespoons of chipotle in adobo in the body of the post, I completely forgot to add my one tablespoon to the list of ingredients!! Thank you so much for pointing this out. Just fixed it! 🙂 And hope you like the recipe. 🙂


5 rick millward September 14, 2015 at 12:43 pm

I quit eating ketchup a long time ago, been using salsa, tomato sauce with added spices lately.


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