Happy national BBQ day, folks! Now, you may be surprised to learn that I love a great barbecue more than almost anything, because I am vegan. Shouldn’t I be out gnawing on someone’s lawn clippings?

When I ditched meat ten years ago, my love for barbecue didn’t change. The only thing that changed was what I was smothering in the sauce—tofu, tempeh, veggies, sweet potato french fries…frozen pizza crust at 4 am when I’ve had too much to drink and it sounds appealing. To me, it isn’t about what you’re barbecuing…it’s all about the sauce. I have always loved a terrific barbecue sauce—sweet, tangy, and spicy—and so this didn’t change when I nixed meat. Making your own barbecue sauce is shockingly easy, although it takes patience as you need to simmer it for a good 45 minutes. The best thing about making your own (aside from avoiding all nasty preservatives and additives) is that you can control your level of heat!

Below is a recipe for a sauce I created while visiting a girlfriend in Arizona a month or two back. Since one of the key ingredients in this recipe is ginger, we named the sauce Red Bush BBQ sauce. It’s sort of gross, sure, but i’m sort of gross…Sorry I’m not sorry! Hot and spicy, this sauce will make your nose run the way only a great spicy sauce can. Enjoy!

Red Bush BBQ Sauce

Prep time: 5 min| Cook time: 55 minutes| Makes 4 cups

Ingredients
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
20 oz can organic crushed tomatoes
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced (approx 3 tbsp)
-1/4 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp coriander
- 2 tsp crushed red pepper
- ½ tsp cayenne
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp liquid smoke

Step one:
Sautee your onion in coconut oil, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, sautee 2 more minutes, stirring to prevent burning.

Step two:
Add all ingredients except mustard and liquid smoke, simmer for 35 minutes.

Step three:
Add liquid smoke and mustard and simmer 10 more minutes.

Step four:
Remove from heat, let stand for 10 minutes and puree in blender or with immersion blender.

I love barbecuing tempeh with this sauce! How do you like your sauce? Saucy saucy sauce.