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Vegan Calamari

18 Jan

A few months ago I made the Vegan Oxtail recipe by Korenn’s Vegan World of Food and was very impressed by the texture of the oyster mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms are kind of an old card in the vegan world, they work excellent as scallops or pulled barbecue on sandwiches. I thought it would be fun to use their shreddy texture for vegan calamari, and I was not disappointed. The mushrooms take a little oceany flavor on during a bit of marinating time, and get battered in a simple flour mixture. Feel free to use a more advanced batter recipe if you prefer. You can usually find large oyster mushrooms at bigger grocers and international markets. If you can’t find large ones, smaller ones will work just as well, but the calamari rings will be smaller. 

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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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Deep Dish Pizza + Lightlife Coupon Giveaway

29 Apr

Why hello again!

Are you still reading?

It’s been a while since I was here!

Today I’m going to be sharing one of my favorite pizza recipes, deep dish! Being from the Midwest, Chicago style pizza is a big thing here. I do love the sauce on top, but my favorite part is the thick crust.

Sausage is almost as important to Chicago style pizza as the crust, and my favorite vegan sausage is made by Lightlife. I used to buy it every time I visited Trader Joe’s, as it’s the perfect breakfast sausage, served with scrambled tofu. Lightlife has a great range of vegan products. My favorite include:

Please click continue reading below to enter my giveaway for 5 $1 off any Lightlife product coupons!!

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Tomato Tuna

10 Jan Tomato Tuna

Last year I read about Tomato Sushi and attempted my own version over the summer.  I read online that it was simply skinned tomatoes in a marinade, cooked sous vide. My attempt was ok, but the flavor was mostly soy sauce and nori.

Tomato Tuna

A few weeks ago I purchased Earth Balance with added omega 3. I was put off by the strong fish smell from the algal oil, but I was determined to find a good use for it, as I hate food waste. I saw a post on Instagram that was of the real tomato sushi and thought,  “well, there’s a use for that stinky fish butter.

Tomato Tuna

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Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

4 Nov Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

Once upon a time, a long time ago (read: before I had a baby) Gardein sent me a few coupons so I could review their products. Well, those coupons came and went, and I never posted a review.  At the time, I intended to do a review of the new Fish Filets, but they’re old news now. With the new Crabless Cakes and Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites, they have plenty of new offerings that there aren’t hundreds of reviews on already. (Or maybe there are, I haven’t read them!)

But, the fishless filets hold a special place in my heart and my freezer.  I grew up eating fish filets on Fridays during Lent and I loved seafood before I discovered how awful the seafood industry really is.Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

One thing I really appreciate about Gardein is that they don’t cut corners when it comes to “short on time” options. We all know that’s code for “too dang busy chasing a toddler to cook.” I usually bake these if I get a chance to, but there’s been many a day where nap time happens and I use the microwave method. True story-you can microwave them for 2 minutes and get away with eating it floppy.

Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

 

I obviously had to showcase my new cheddar cheese recipe and the classic veganized McDonald’s filet-o-fish was an imperative. Have I told you guys we have a view of McDonald’s from our living room window? It’s pretty classy and definitely adds to our real estate value.

Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

The filets themselves are extremely reminiscent to their omnivore counterpart. There’s a vaguely fish-y flavor to them that isn’t strong as nori, but definitely makes you think “I’m eating fish.” I’ve had a few “tofu fish” sandwiches and there’s just some things that aren’t perfectly replicated with nori and deep frying. I believe it’s the algal oil that contributes to the fish-flavor, but they probably have some other awesome secrets to the taste. The breading and texture are spot on, they even “flake” apart while you’re biting into them (assuming you don’t swallow them whole.)

I made a simple tartar sauce for the sandwich with vegan mayo (I like Just Mayo, but you can also make your own), pickle relish, dill, parsley, and a splash of vinegar.

 

Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

 

If I had a rating system, I’d give these a 9/10. The only reason they aren’t a 10/10 is due to the lack of a family-size package. We can easily polish off a bag of these in one meal and I’d love to have a package that lasts two meals instead of just one.

Sweetfire Seitan

14 Sep Sweetfire Seitan

Most people who know me know I worked in a famous Asian restaurant for well over a year. I was very limited in my meal options there; I pretty much exclusively ate white rice and vegetable spring rolls. Every once in a while I would cook my own meals using the ingredients available to me. One meal I ate regularly was vegetables cooked in their sweet chili sauce (which they called sweetfire.) I was never able to add a vegan protein to it there, but recreating it at home gave me that option.

Sweetfire Seitan

I used seitan I had dipped in a soy/flour mixture and fried, because the recipe from my work used deep-fried chicken bites. You could easily sub tofu or unbreaded seitan as well. This recipe is extremely quick and easy, especially if you use premade sauce and seitan. Perfect for busy work nights or long days with a teething toddler.

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Yuba Ribs

31 Aug Yuba Ribs

I saw this recipe for vegan ribs and knew I was going to have to try it. We’ve had it twice since, because I purchased a massive package of yuba sheets from my local International store. Miyoko calls for dried bean curd sticks in her recipe, but yuba sheets are an easy substitute and you can control the size of your ribs.
Yuba Ribs

I subbed a barbecue sauce a client of mine gave me. She finally got back to me with the recipe, so I’m able to share it here! There’s a bit of spice and Asian flavor which make this recipe awesome with a good IPA. However, if you’re lazy, use your favorite bottled sauce.

Yuba Ribs

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Vegan Rivel Soup

27 Aug

Yesterday was my grandma’s birthday and I happened upon a picture of her in my camera from Christmas, the last time I saw her. Fortunately it was a happy event with tons of pictures and I’m glad I can call that my last memory of her.

This recipe always reminds me of her and home. I grew up eating what we called “rabels” after Easter and other holidays, as it was a good way to use up leftovers. Upon further investigation on the Internet I found the proper term is rivel soup, but I will still always call it rabels. It’s funny how things get lost in translation and the words stick that way.

This is a great fall weather recipe, or even when you’re feeling under the weather. It’s thick and hearty with cheap ingredients. One word of warning; it tends to thicken further after the first day, so you may need to thin it down quite a bit.

Vegan Rivel Soup

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