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Blackbeet Beef

8 Jan

Sundays usually make me crave a big hearty meal. During football season, we usually have a giant feast of nachos but the cold this week had me craving something more hearty. I’ve had a lot of great feedback on my recent post for chickwheat shreds and some innovative people have been using black beans instead of chickpeas to create a ‘beef’.

Today seemed like a good day to test this recipe, and it was definitely a hit. I used roasted white mushrooms to create a beefy flavor and beets for more earthy undertones. The dark soy sauce helps turn the roast a nice deep brown, but if you can’t find it, you can use regular soy sauce with added browning sauce.*

Kneading in the food processor is what gives it the characteristic shredded texture, so be sure not to skip this step or cut it short. If you don’t have a dough hook, you can use your regular blade to knead. I you don’t have an instant pot, this can also be steamed in a conventional steamer for the same amount of time.

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Chickwheat Shreds 

17 Dec

I live in a large town in Illinois, and we are lucky to have an abundance of local stores that sell chickpeas. Most of the time I wonder why I lived so much of my life without the joys of baked chickpeas and I spend an exorbitant amount of my free time planning what I’m going to do with my next batch of chickpeas, because I buy them in 5 pound bags and always am looking for new recipes.

I enjoy seitan making as much as I enjoy chickpeas. If you’ve followed my Instagram lately, you have seen how much seitan I’ve been experimenting with. This recipe was the result of running out of tofu and not being able to leave the house with two small children. The chickpeas add lysine (and lots of flavor) to the seitan and the method used to knead the seitan gives it a great shredded texture. I add a bit of apple cider vinegar to the recipe to cancel out the strong gluten flavor, but feel free to omit if you don’t have it.

This recipe is pretty dependent on an Instant Pot for similar results. If you have a conventional steamer, you may possibly be able to achieve a similar result if you are able to maintain the steam for 2 hours. If not, try making several smaller packets and steaming for an hour.

Most food processors come with a dough hook, it’s just a plastic thingamabob that kneads instead of chops. If you don’t have one, or can’t find it, you should be able to get a similar texture with your metal blade. Just be sure to process long enough that it comes together and turns stringy and taffy like. 

I prefer to weigh the ingredients in this recipe, as I think it yields the most consistent results, but I have included volume measurements for most of the ingredients if you don’t have a kitchen scale.

If you make this recipe, please use the tag #chickwheat on Instagram or public Facebook posts! I’d love to see your creations!!

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BBQ Jackfruit Ribs

24 Feb

My husband has been vegetarian for over 15 years, yet he still answers “ribs” when asked his favorite food. Last year for Father’s Day I made him these juicy, chewy, meaty jackfruit ribs and they’ve become a regular meal in our house since then.

Jackfruit has been floating around in the vegan world for a few years now, usually as a pulled pork substitute.  It works great to add a shredded texture to these seitan ribs!

I add refined coconut oil and peanut butter to give them a fattier texture, but you could easily substitute both of those out for a more firm result. I also use ground dried shittake mushrooms to add a little “umami”. I find whole shittake mushrooms at my local international store and grind them and store in a jar. If you don’t have these available to you, feel free to omit it.

This recipe calls for an Instant Pot, but if you don’t have one you can use a steamer to steam the ribs or an oven to bake them, whichever is your preference. They are very versatile!

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Big Mac Pizza

21 Feb

Well hello again. Have you missed me?

This has been quite the hiatus. I bet you’re wondering where I was. Well, I was here; still in the Midwest. In case you missed it on my Instagram, last year in October I had a second baby and since that time I’ve been pretty busy.

But I still think about little old Avocados and Ales all the time. Especially when Buzzfeed links to my page. Or Mary’s Test Kitchen makes an amazing video featuring my aquafaba cheese. Seriously, go check the video out, Mary has a way of making everything look easy.

I bet you’re wondering if I would come back with a recipe. It was hard to choose; I’ve been cooking throughout my hiatus but a lot of it is the same old standards. However, I’m constantly looking for something fun to veganize. My friend  MeShell inspired this Big Mac pizza and I’ve made it multiple times since.

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Vegan Pizza Rolls

4 Mar Vegan Pizza Rolls

I am a 90’s kid and there’s no reason for me to deny it. I spent many an afternoon in front of a TV watching cartoons with a box of Totino’s pizza rolls. I’m sure most other 90’s kids remember watching shows like Hey Arnold and Rugrats after school, although maybe the pizza rolls were a particular remnant of my own childhood.

Vegan Pizza Rolls

I always have fun recreating foods like this and pizza rolls have been on my to-do list for years. I very specifically remember the thin and crispy, oily crust, so I knew a pizza crust wasn’t going to work here. I made a basic pasta dough, but used a bit of vital wheat gluten to firm it up. Alternatively, you could just use bread flour, but it’s not something I usually have on hand.

I didn’t get any pictures of the rolling and filling process, but it’s the same as making ravioli. YouTube is a great help for beginners if you’ve never made ravioli before, but it’s pretty simple. Dough, filling, and dough, and just seal around the edges.

I fried these, but they could possibly be baked on a parchment lined pan. The crispy crust effect won’t be the same so as long as you’re not eating them daily, I recommend a shallow fry. This recipe makes about 12, but you can easily double it and keep the rest refrigerated after cooking until you’re ready to eat them.

 

Be sure to check out the Vegan Meringue Group on Facebook for more aquafaba recipes and a thorough FAQ.

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Ravioli with Cashew Spinach Ricotta

24 Feb Ravioli with Cashew Spinach Ricotta

I don’t think I’ve ever been one to shy away from my love of carbs (except for during a brief Atkins diet period in the early 2000s.) There is just something wonderful about fresh homemade pasta. I will pretty much eat any pasta, but homemade pasta is something otherworldly. I discovered this recipe for homemade pasta from Vegan Dad years ago and I’ve used it pretty consistently since then. One of my favorite recipes for ravioli is filled with butternut squash, but it’s not really squash season anymore.

Ravioli with Cashew Spinach Ricotta

We love this cashew spinach ricotta in my vegan lasagna recipe, so I knew it would be a hit here.  I added a touch of miso paste this time around, but it’s totally optional so if you don’t have any, don’t fret. You may need to adjust the salt level without the miso, so be sure to taste the cashew ricotta for quality control purposes. Or, you know, general hunger purposes. This recipe made about 30 ravioli for me, but if you plan to make square ravioli with an overlapping pasta layer, be sure to double the dough recipe.

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Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

5 Jan

This past week there was torrential rainfall in the Midwest and we happened to be affected by it. We live in an older house that I love, but the previous owners decided to finish most of the basement. This usually isn’t a problem: we have extra space for entertaining and a whole extra room to display some of my husband’s Marvel action figures.

Until it floods.

And yes, he collects action figures. Our bathroom is actually Simpsons themed. You can totally tell we’re adults who grew up in the 90s. My husband had taken a few days off between Christmas and New Years, and spent most of that time on his hands and knees tearing up laminate. This week, we have people installing a sump pump (I didn’t even know what that was) in our basement. These nice guys actually went through the effort of hauling away all of our basement flooring, so I decided to make these cinnamon rolls for them.Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Little did I know, one was on a diet, so after I shared with the other guy, I ate four. So it goes.Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

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Perfect, Fudgey, Crispy Vegan Brownies

8 Dec Perfect, Fudgey, Crispy Vegan Brownies

When I first discovered aquafaba, I made several attempts at creating a perfect brownie. 5 to be exact, within the span of a week.  Unfortunately, aquafaba doesn’t set like eggs do in baking, so it wasn’t a perfect replacer.  I did find adding a little tofu to set worked pretty well and ended up with dense gooey brownies, but I knew I could improve.

Perfect, Fudgey, Crispy Vegan Brownies

And then came the VeganEgg. That’s right, this recipe is going to require a hard to find ingredient. In fact, you may have to order it online (Amazon and Vegan Essentials carry it.) Sorry about that, but I promise you it’s worth finding! The VeganEgg will perform that crucial task of ‘setting’ during baking, while aquafaba helps create that desirable shiny, crispy crust. You can read my review of VeganEgg here.

One of the keys to brownie perfection is cooling time before cutting. You can even speed this up by tossing them in the freezer. If you cut them too early, that nice crackly crust will tear, leaving you with jagged edges and crumbles. If that doesn’t matter to you, feel free to eat them up while they’re still hot.

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Aquafaba Ranch and Tartar Sauce

2 Dec

So apparently I’m a little late to this party, because people have been making mayo with aquafaba since April. Can you believe it’s only been in the past year that aquafaba has been discovered? It seems like I read about it everywhere now!

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While I’m a big fan of Just Mayo by Hampton Creek, I also love to be able to make things from scratch. Tonight we’re having a fish fry with Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Shrimp and Gardein Fishless Filets, so tartar sauce was a must. The ranch? Well, I’m saving it for pizza Friday. I know I’m not the only person who dips pizza in ranch, so stop giving me that weird look. Continue reading

Thanksgiving Stuffed Squash

21 Nov Thanksgiving Stuffed Squash| Avocados and Ales

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and traditionally we have a “post-thanksgiving thanksgiving.” This year I decided to cook early, since we won’t be picking up any discounted Tofurky’s after Thanksgiving.Thanksgiving Stuffed Squash| Avocados and Ales

I’ve seen the recipe for vegducken circulating around Facebook for a few weeks, but for me, Thanksgiving is mostly about the sides. I thought “screw Vegducken, I just want potatoes and stuffing!” And that’s how this dish was born.

Thanksgiving Stuffed Squash | Avocados and Ales

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