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Seitan Ham (Sham)

18 Mar

I’m going to be writing a lot of text here. I know a lot of you will skip right to the recipe, but typically I use this space to explain some things about the recipe. So if you’re still scratching your head after you scroll all the way down or have any questions, have a scroll back up here and have a little read. If you’re still intimidated, I have another seitan ham recipe that is much less labor intensive. This one is better though, and I finally wrote it down in the hopes that you could make it for Easter. I’ve been tinkering with it for years, with lots of variations, so I just want to make it clear that this is very forgiving. You can add some tomato paste, regular paprika, use different oils, etc. Get creative with it! If you make it, tag me (@avocadosandales) and use the hashtag #sham.

There’s also going to be quite a few specialty ingredients and devices in this recipe. Don’t. Get. Intimidated. Most of them are easily found online or can be adapted to your kitchen. For example, if you don’t have a Vitamix, use whatever blender or food processor you have, and strain the liquid portion if you need it more smooth. If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a food processor or knead by hand for as long as your arms will allow. This recipe doesn’t require as much kneading as something like my chickwheat recipe, since we’re not intending to shred it.

I used Outstanding Foods for seasoning, because I love the flavor (not sponsored, just like it!) If you want to use something that you are more likely have on hand, just add the same amount of liquid smoke to the recipe. You can use any other reddish colored beans instead of kidney beans (cranberry, christmas lima, etc). If you’d like to use dried beans just use 1 and 3/4 cups of beans and about 1/2 cup of the liquid from cooking the beans. Red yeast rice is used for color in this recipe. It will still be reddish without it, but if you really want the ham color to shine, its a worthwhile investment. I also use it in “steaks” and any other recipe that needs a bit of color. Shout out to Lisa Myaf for this tip-she makes amazing seitan and has a beautiful IG, which you can find here. I also need to give a shoutout to Julian Guy from the Seitan Appreciation Society for this recipe for the fat. You can find his amazing Detroit style pizzas here.

Without further ado, here it is folks.

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Menemen Inspired Tofu

21 Feb

A friend sent me this recipe from Serious Eats and I knew it was going to be breakfast today. Smoky, slightly spicy, and perfect for soaking up with a bit of bread. I might not ever eat anything else for breakfast ever again.

I had never had menemen before, but it’s reminiscent of shakshuka. Something about tomato dishes packed with flavor makes for such a nice savory breakfast. The fact that I can pull most of the ingredients for this out of my cupboard is super easy, but I can’t wait to be able to make this with fresh garden tomatoes over the summer.

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Tofu Omelet

8 Aug

Every time I’m at a hotel, I wish there was a totally vegan breakfast buffet. Does this exist somewhere? My favorite thing is the folded omelets in the steamer trays. Something about the perfectly sized bits of yellow is so enticing. I’ve been spending a lot of time cooking up breakfasts on weekends and these omelets have become one of my favorites, since it’s so quick to throw together and very little clean up!

I’ve been obsessed with the recipe for tofu eggs from Post Punk Kitchen, which is what inspired this omelet recipe.  This is such an easy breakfast with some pantry ingredients-you can absolutely put anything you want in it. My favorite options include spinach, tomatoes, peppers, black beans, any variety of vegan cheeses, or zucchini.

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This recipe starts with blending all the “egg” ingredients in the blender. As I said in my previous post, I’m particular about how my pantry is stocked, but one thing I always have is a case of Mori-Nu Tofu. Not only is it shelf stable, I can use it in multiple dishes, like mapo tofubaked tofu, or in place of the chickpeas in my popular chickwheat shreds. You first need to drain the Mori-Nu Silken Tofu Extra Firm.

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Add all the rest of the ingredients and blend until completely smooth. It will seem like a pale yellow, but it brightens up a lot once cooked!

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The next step is to preheat the oven and grease two pie pans. You could also use cast iron skillets or metal cake pans. Any shallow bakeware will work, but glass seems to let the omelets release the easiest.

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After they’re in the oven, prepare the inner ingredients. Since they won’t spend much time in the oven, they will need to be heated thoroughly beforehand. I chose chicken of the woods mushrooms for these, because I happened to come across them while foraging, but any store bought mushroom will do.

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You’ll be able to tell that the omelets are done after the tops firm up. The color will be much more yellow and vibrant.

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After topping with cheese, veggies, and whatever else you’d like, you should put it back in the oven to melt the cheese. I highly recommend serving these with everything you would find at a breakfast buffet-hashbrowns, waffles, toast, bagels, vegan sausages, and lots of orange juice.

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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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Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

28 Nov Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

I’m still enjoying experimenting with the Follow Your Heart VeganEgg because as I’ve admitted before, I tend to get “committed” (read: obsessed.) It’s been sold out by most retailers, but it should be coming from back to Amazon and Vegan Essentials soon! I’ll be checking regularly with the rest of you, because I know I’m going to run out!
Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

The carton of VeganEgg contains a recipe for quiche florentine, but I wanted to put my own twist on it by using a hashbrown crust and vegan sour cream. This came out even better than my previous tofu quiche texture, and I usually never admit to improvement. I think I could eat this daily for breakfast and never get sick of it. Like a proper Midwesterner, we ate this with ketchup for dipping, because in the Midwest we put ketchup on everything. Or maybe that’s just me and I’m using my location as an excuse. I guess we’ll never know.

Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

I would highly suggest prepping this early by getting your cold water ready, or even preparing your filling and crust the night before if you want to serve it for breakfast.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

12 Oct Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Today is my husband’s birthday and one of his usual requests is something with chocolate. I knew I needed to use up these bananas from my freezer, so chocolate chip banana muffins were a great way to satisfy both his sweet tooth and my desire to declutter.

Aquafaba makes a great egg replacer in these muffins and no one would even be able to tell they’re egg and dairy free. I actually brought them in to share with his coworkers and they gobbled them up.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

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Soy Yogurt

10 Sep

So you want to make your own yogurt? I said the same thing a couple years ago and have tried many different methods, milks, cultures, etc. The great thing about yogurt is that once you have a culture going, you can keep culturing multiple batches. It’s kind of like friendship bread in that way. The first method I tried was using a slow cooker to heat the milk to just under scalding, then letting it come back down to culturing temperature and culturing in the pot in an oven. It worked quite well, but never got extremely thick. If you don’t have an Instant Pot or yogurt maker, I would highly recommend this method.

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Culturing needs to be done at 110°F, which is why an Instant Pot or yogurt maker will work best. I always sterilize all of my tools and yogurt containers before starting this. You can either use a dishwasher to sterilize or boiling water, whatever works best for you.

There are several different brands of yogurt culture available. I tend to use Belle + Bella, but Cultures for Health and any other non dairy yogurt can be used. If using non dairy yogurt, use somewhere 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup to start your culture.

I use either Westsoy Organic Unsweetened or Silk Unsweetened Soy Milk to make my yogurt, but try to use it upon first opening it. If you use it after it has already been open, there’s a chance that other bacteria can contaminate the batch and grow during the culturing.
You can also use homemade soy milk, if you want to go to that much effort. Other plant milks won’t thicken well because of the lack of protein, but the cornstarch can help them come close to the thickness of dairy yogurt.

If you don’t mind a little sweetness, you can add a little sugar which will help the yogurt culture quickly. You can also use a premade vanilla soymilk with added sugar if you want a sugary yogurt (it will still have less sugar than the store-bought kind.) The bacteria in yogurt use sugar as food, so the more sugar in the milk the quicker it will culture.

This yogurt can also me made without the cornstarch, but it won’t be as thick as pictured. I’ve found I prefer the texture of the thicker yogurt and straining with a cheesecloth has never helped me much.

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If your cornstarch clumps on you, and immersion blender can be used in the pot to break up the clumps. Cornstarch does tend to cause a skin to form, so be sure to give it regular stirs in the pot to avoid this. I use a regular instant read thermometer to check the temperature, but if you miss the 108-112°F window, you can easily heat it up a bit to get it to the right temperature.

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Healthier Banana Bread

8 Sep

I’ve been making the same banana bread for well over a year now. It’s a solid recipe, but sometimes I feel guilty for the high amount of sugar (especially after adding chocolate chips.)

I’ve also been making these lactation cookies regularly. I wanted to combine the idea of oats and extra nutrition from flax seeds and nutritional yeast with my normal banana bread recipe.

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I was really worried these loaves would be too soft to hold together, but they are tender and delicious. I ate at least three slices with zero guilt last night and couldn’t get over how delicious it was.

I hope you try it too!

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Ham and Cheese Quiche

2 Sep

To tell the truth, I’ve only ever eaten quiche once in my life. I remember it’s silken fluffy texture well, but I haven’t thought about it in years. I saw this recipe from Minimalist Baker and I thought, “well, I have an hour before work, might as well.”

Ham and Cheese Quiche

I changed my filling a bit and decided to make the entire thing in a cast iron skillet, because I often think I should cook in cast iron more. Thinking back on it, I should have doubled the filling because of the increase in size. I bet this would work really well in a pie pan as well; it would come out quite a bit thicker. I’d also like to petition that all quiches be made with a hash brown crust, because that stuff is delicious. Pastry crust would work to, but the only downfall is it’s not potatoes.

Ham and Cheese Quiche

This makes a perfect meal for demolishing before work or when you baby wakes you up at 4 a.m. or breakfast, lunch, and dinner for an entire day.

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Breakfast Pizza

24 Aug

In my post about peanut butter and jelly macarons I talked about “breakfast pizza” that was often served in my high school cafeteria. It still holds a special place in my stomach and I always enjoy the challenge of veganizing an old favorite.

You can definitely use your own favorite scrambled tofu recipe or homemade sausage in this. My favorite cheese on this is the mozzarella from the Non Dairy Evolution.

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