Summer Veg & Tofu Skewers with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce - The First Mess

This post is sponsored by BC Blueberries.

Summer Veg & Tofu Skewers with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce - The First MessSummer blueberries - The First MessSummer produce - The First MessPreparing blueberry barbecue sauce - The First Mess

We’re having a rainy, super humid, and regularly grey summer over here. This hasn’t stopped us from trying to do all the things outside, all the time. Only one of our outdoor dinners has been rained out so far, and even then we sat out there getting sprinkled on, enjoying the thunder, for a good 20 minutes before giving up.

Honestly, my favourite thing about summer (and life in general) is cooking outside, whether that’s a camping scenario or just a weeknight in our backyard. I like bringing all the gear with me and just enjoying the fresh air, sipping a beverage, and ever-so-slowly (but lovingly) getting a meal to the table. The equipment situation is usually a touch more minimal, there’s less distractions, I get to spontaneously grab nearby growing edibles, cleanup is a few solid sprays with the hose, and most importantly: the food always tastes better. Oh, and also: the lighting for Instagram photos is reliably good ;)

This sticky, blueberry-smothered vegetable and tofu skewer is my latest plant-based outdoor cooking adventure. It’s a pretty basic veg skewer that’s lifted up by a totally transcendent barbecue sauce of juicy highbush BC Blueberries, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic, chili, and a touch of maple syrup. BC blueberries start coming on just a wee bit before Ontario ones (in season from mid-July to mid-September), and for this I’m so grateful. If we can’t get something locally, we always aim to buy Canadian.

I hope you guys love these skewers. I used zucchini, red onions, a bell pepper, and some thick peach wedges for the produce component of mine. Extra firm tofu is my protein of choice here, but I think some lightly steamed tempeh pieces would also be great. Once these are sauced up and grilled, I like to serve them with even more sauce on the side. If you aren’t strictly plant-based, I imagine this blueberry barbecue sauce would be good on all sorts of proteins. Let me know how you’re using it! Also, I wanna know what you guys have been cooking outside this summer. Hugs this week :D

Blueberry Barbecue Sauce - The First MessTofu - The First MessSetting up grilled veg and tofu skewers - The First MessSummer Veg & Tofu Skewers with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce - The First MessSummer Veg & Tofu Skewers with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce - The First Mess
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: As I mentioned in the post, I could see this barbecue sauce pairing nicely with plenty of different proteins. You could make this on a meal prep day and store it in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to one week. I use metal skewers, but if you don’t have those, you’ll need to soak some wooden skewers ahead of time for this recipe.

1 cup blueberries
1 small onion, grated with a box grater
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled + finely minced
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon gluten-free tamari soy sauce
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
sprinkle of chili flakes (optional)
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1 block of extra firm tofu (350 grams/12 ounces)
1 bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium-large zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large peach, cut into 8 wedges
1 small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
avocado or other heat-tolerant oil spray
sea salt and ground black pepper

Make the blueberry barbecue sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the blueberries, grated onion, garlic, ginger, maple syrup, tomato paste, tamari, balsamic vinegar, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Set the pot over medium heat and stir. Bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer until blueberries are broken down and sauce is slightly thickened, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat your grill to high.

Drain the tofu and cut it into 1-inch cubes. Thread the tofu cubes, bell pepper, zucchini, peach, and red onion onto your skewers. Don’t overload the skewers! Spray or drizzle the veg and tofu with oil on all sides and season with salt and pepper.

Grill the skewers until light char marks appear on all sides. Then, brush the skewers with about half of the blueberry barbecue sauce. Grill the sauced skewers for another minute or so. Remove the skewers and serve them hot with extra blueberry barbecue sauce on the side.

*This post was created in partnership with BC Blueberries. All opinions/endorsements are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog. 

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