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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.

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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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Vegan Turkey Leg

12 Aug

While on a walk last night, my husband and I were discussing our plans to visit a Renaissance Faire over the weekend. I jokingly lamented the lack of a vegan turkey leg for us to eat there. “I could probably make one,” I said, and my husband replied “Yea, but it would have to be crunchy, like it had a skin.”

Later that night I was laying in bed thinking of how to make this happen. It has been years since either of us has had meat, but the idea of a crunchy, chewy protein on a stick still has its appeal. I’d made the turkey loaf recipe a few times and it had the same texture i wanted for my “turkey” leg. Using the basic technique for the loaf recipe, I played with different measurements and seasonings to better replicate the turkey flavor and create a denser structure. I then made fresh yuba to wrap around the turkey cutlets and give that satisfying crunch. Miyoko Schinner was the inspiration for the yuba as skin in her Unturkey recipe, available here.

Vegan Turkey Leg

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Baked Tofu

29 Jun Baked Tofu

I’ve already told you guys about how much I hated tofu as a child. As much as I don’t enjoy saying it (my husband can attest to this), I was wrong! Tofu is one of the most scrumptious things in the universe, as long as you drain it well and cover it in delicious flavors. I’ll be honest though, I’ve come to even enjoy eating it plain.

Baked Tofu

You can definitely use extra firm tofu for this, but firm will work just as fine. Don’t get the stuff in the aseptic package, you want the water filled stuff you have to drain. Don’t forget to save that water to whip into meringues! Black vinegar is the only hard to find ingredient in this recipe, but you can substitute a good balsamic vinegar if you don’t have a well stocked asian store nearby. It won’t have the same flavor profile, so definitely search for black vinegar!

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Ham Style Seitan

26 Nov

One of the things I miss most from my meat eating days is ham. Not the cruelty and death that comes with it, or even the texture, but the smokey, sweet flavor that’s perfect on pizzas, in salads, or with Sunday dinner. I’ve been on the lookout for a ham seitan recipe for a while, and this recipe seemed to combine all the good flavors of ham in one place.

We ate this sliced into rounds on pizza, but I think this would be a great alternative to Tofurky at a thanksgiving dinner. It would be perfect baked with a glaze and slices of pineapple.  This seitan is a bit soft as is, but if you bake it in the foil for 30 minutes at 350° F it comes out perfect for snacking and slicing.

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Alfredo with Sausage, Caramelized Onions, and Tomatoes

25 Nov

I just tried the recipe for seitan sausage from Post Punk Kitchen and I couldn’t wait to make something with it. The recipe for the sausages is linked below-I didn’t make any changes and they turned out perfect. I love the smell of fennel and these have the perfect amount of spice in them. If you can’t go through the effort of making them feel free to use pre made sausages.

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Orzo with Sausage and Zucchini

13 Nov

One of my favorite side dishes to make is orzo with basil and nutritional yeast.  It’s cooked slowly in broth which achieves a creamy texture, similar to risotto.  Nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy taste and tang, like grown up mac and cheese. I’ve always liked small pastas like orzo and ditalini, they’re much more fun to eat to me.

The sausage and sage make this dish a fantastic fall meal, great for lunch or dinner. It’s hearty and rich enough to be an entrée but could easily be a side for a larger meal.

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Fried Rice

1 Nov

I’ve previously talked about my employment at a popular Asian restaurant that shall remain nameless (hint:you find it in most rest areas across the country and it features a bear in its name.) I spent my first few weeks there solely making fried rice, which is a lot more complicated in large amounts than it seems. I never tried their fried rice, because it contained chicken broth, but I started replicating the recipe at home with great success.

The key to good fried rice is old rice, high heat and a well seasoned wok. It’s going to be really hard to achieve the latter two on a home stovetop, because most people don’t have restaurant style burners. Bearing that in mind, you can still make some pretty tasty rice. I use dark soy sauce because it gives the rice that rich, dark brown color. Feel free to use regular soy sauce, just increase the amount you use.

I love having a big bowl of this in my fridge, I sneak bites of cold rice throughout the day. It’s one of my ultimate comfort foods, especially with chili sauce or teriyaki sauce on the side.

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