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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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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon ground dry shittake mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 10 ounce can jackfruit in brine
  • 2 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten

Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse jackfruit. Shred pieces apart and remove seeds. Chop cores very finely, or remove complete.
  2. Combine all ingredients up to the jackfruit in a food processor fitted with a dough blade. Blend for 20 seconds to fully combine.
  3. Add shredded jackfruit and 1 cup vital wheat gluten. Blend for about 30 seconds to combine, then add 1 and 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten. Blend for another 2 minutes until dough starts to become ‘stringy’. 
  4. Dump onto a cutting board and divide into 4 pieces. Score the tops to make each individual ‘rib’. 
  5. Wrap each slab in foil and seal ends tightly. 
  6. Add 2 cups water to Instant Pot. Add trivet and stack foil packages inside. Use the manual setting, high pressure, for 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can bake at 350°F for 40 minutes instead, but wrap each package in an extra layer of foil.
  7. At this point you can refrigerate or freeze until ready to use, or use immediately. Simply cover in your favorite barbecue sauce and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. dsc_0245dit

 

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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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Potato Cheese

13 Nov Potato Cheese

A recipe for cheese, made with potatoes. You may have seen my previous post on the infamous potato-carrot cheese. I’ve also used agar to make that same recipe into slices. Well, it was an obvious jump to try to make a mozzarella version. This version does use kappa carrageenan as a binder, but you can easily omit it if you want a melt. I haven’t tested it with agar powder, but I’m sure it would work if you activated the agar in water before pouring the rest of the mixture in.

Potato Cheese-Vegan | Avocados and Ales

Without further ado…

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Aquafaba Cheddar

3 Nov Aquafaba Cheddar

“But how do you live without cheese!”

If you’re vegan (or lactose intolerant) you’ve probably heard that at least once, or a thousand times. Thankfully, there’s been some really amazing vegan chefs who have made our cheeseless existence quite tolerable. Miyoko Schinner, Jay Astafa, Somer McGowan, and Skye Michael Conroy, have all taught me some valuable tips on vegan-cheese making. I actually took the inspiration from this from Richa Hingle at Vegan Richa.  Her vegan cheddar cheese ball came across my feed around Halloween and I knew the flavors would be perfect for an adaptation of my mozzerella aquafaba cheese. The original recipe that I drew inspiration from for the cashew mozzarella was developed by Jay Astafa. You can watch the YouTube video here. I noticed he uses soy lecithin as an emulsifier, which aquafaba has been shown to do in recipes like Nina’s butter and Peanut Butter and Vegan’s mayo. This inspired me to make the cashew mozzarella using aquafaba as the emulsifier.
Aquafaba Cheddar

Vegan cheese doesn’t create casein protein strands like dairy cheeses do, which is why we use tapioca starch to create that stretchy texture. Some places may have it labeled at tapioca flour, but they should be interchangeable. I find mine at an international market for a cheaper price. I use vegan lactic acid powder to create that dairy-like tang in this recipe. It’s definitely worth the purchase, but if you cannot buy it, substitute a tablespoon of lemon juice instead. Since cheddar has a significant tang to it, I include apple cider vinegar as well as miso paste. Nutritional yeast also adds to the cheesy flavor. Refined coconut oil helps with firmness upon refrigeration and improves the mouthfeel and melt.

Most vegan cheeses use either agar or kappa carrageenan as a binder to be sliceable and shreddable. I choose to use kappa carrageenan, as I prefer the melt and mouthfeel it imparts. I am well aware that many people choose not to consume it and I completely respect that; this recipe may be possible with agar powder, but I have not tested it. If you do test it, please contact me with your results!

Aquafaba Cheddar

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out these other vegan cheese recipes:
Cheddar Cheese Ball
Another Cheddar Cheese Ball
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Cultured Cheddar

The Vegan Meringue group on is a great place for more aquafaba recipes as well.

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