Summer Veg & Tofu Skewers with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce - The First Messpin it!

This post is sponsored by BC Blueberries.

Summer Veg & Tofu Skewers with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce - The First Messpin it!Summer blueberries - The First Messpin it!Summer produce - The First Messpin it!Preparing blueberry barbecue sauce - The First Messpin it!

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 Messpin it!Tofu - The First Messpin it!Setting up grilled veg and tofu skewers - The First Messpin it!Summer Veg & Tofu Skewers with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce - The First Messpin it!Summer Veg & Tofu Skewers with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce - The First Messpin it!
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. 

  • Lacey19/07/2017 - 5:50 am

    I have everything for this blueberry bbq sauce and it sounds delicious, I love blueberry and ginger! Will have to try it out.
    This summer we’ve done lots of grilled garlic scapes (YUM) and leftover polenta too! I make it with veg broth/water and then mix in the pine nut parm from your cookbook plus some earth balance, eat it warm the night of and save leftovers for grilling when the weather cooperates. There’s some in my fridge right now!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Keister19/07/2017 - 10:01 am

    Could you least subscribe me to your blog. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Ti19/07/2017 - 10:48 am

    These look amazing. I am always looking for a vegetarian option to BBQ and this is something anyone would love.ReplyCancel

  • Clean Eating for the Non-Hippie19/07/2017 - 12:06 pm

    Those are some FINE looking skewers!!! I have never been a fan really, but I may just be a convert – thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Amber | Quite Good Food19/07/2017 - 6:46 pm

    I’ve never tried a savoury sauce with blueberries but I must say this looks divine! What a great idea, sounds absolutely delicious :)ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder19/07/2017 - 8:39 pm

    I cannot make this sauce fast enough Laura. You. Blow. My. Mind. Ps. Love your words on cooking outdoors <3.ReplyCancel

  • Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place20/07/2017 - 11:10 am

    I am so curious about that blueberry barbecue sauce! I’m sure it tastes amazing! I can’t wait to give this summer veg & tofu skewers a try! It’s light, healthy, and tasty!ReplyCancel

  • thefolia22/07/2017 - 11:46 am

    We use blueberries to sweeten up soups in our nest all the time. I’m not a fan of traditional bbq sauce but will give this one a shot since it involves those blue beauties! Happy feasting!ReplyCancel

  • Yael Tamar24/07/2017 - 9:43 am

    Wow! OMG! This is amazing. I am a huge fan of BBQ recipe, and that too TOFU SKEWERS in combination with blueberry barbecue sauce seems to be divine.ReplyCancel

  • Emily Erbert25/07/2017 - 8:06 pm

    Made these last night and they were amazing! Blueberry BBQ sauce had the perfect amount of heat. We served this with grilled corn
    and it made an excellent meal for a warm summer night!ReplyCancel

  • Heather28/07/2017 - 11:53 am

    I saw on your most recent post your mention of feeling like things were maybe falling flat and you feeling a little meh about content so I wanted to comment on this – I made this sauce last night and thought it was AMAZING! I’ve always shied away from blueberry bbq sauces, but I had a ton of blueberries on hand this week and gave it a go. I live in an apartment with no outdoor grill access, so instead of doing the skewers I pressed slabs of tofu, coated the slices in a thin layer of the sauce and let them sit for a while and then grilled on my cast iron grill pan on the stove. Served with lots more of the sauce on top with roasted broccoli and zucchini on the side along with a baked potato. So, so, so, so, so good. Your recipes are always my favorites and have been getting me out of some major cooking slumps!ReplyCancel

    • Laura29/07/2017 - 9:30 am

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write this, Heather! It’s so kind of you. And I’m glad that this worked out on a cast iron grill, too. <3

  • Cassie Autumn Tran01/08/2017 - 3:19 pm

    Skewers are one of my favorite dishes to have all year-round! The blueberry barbecue sauce sounds even more clever than any other barbecue sauce I’ve seen! These bad boys look divine, and I definitely will be making them soon!ReplyCancel

  • Hanna09/08/2017 - 2:27 am

    Hey there!! look delicious and they are so easy to make. I would love to try them ReplyCancel

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  • Stacy Davis03/06/2018 - 9:04 am

    Last night was a perfect early summer night to grill so we made this recipe. We decided to just grill the tofu cubes directly on the grill to get the crispy exterior we prefer. The blueberry bbq sauce is, in the words of my husband, “Divine”.
    Love this recipe and this blog!ReplyCancel

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  • […] 6.  Summer Veg & Tofu Skewers with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce (The First Mess)  Show up with blueberry barbecue sauce. Guaranteed attention getter, and great way to elevate those skewers! […]ReplyCancel

  • […] 6.  Summer Veg & Tofu Skewers with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce (The First Mess)  Show up with blueberry barbecue sauce. Guaranteed attention getter, and great way to elevate those skewers! […]ReplyCancel

  • Samantha22/04/2020 - 11:52 am

    We made these skewers for dinner last night! Super quick to assemble and the blueberry BBQ sauce was divine! It’s a little too early in Calgary for peach season so I used a jar of canned peaches which worked wonderfully!ReplyCancel

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