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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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Tofu Pad Kee Mao

13 Jan

By popular request on my Facebook page, I am sharing my recipe for tofu pad kee mao. I had posted this recipe for pad see ew years ago, which also calls for the same flat fresh noodles. Our store carries them in two pound packages in sheets which I cut into smaller portions. If you can’t find fresh noodles, you can absolutely use dried wide rice noodles.

Traditionally this recipe is made with Thai birds eye chili peppers. I’m currently catering to palates that don’t appreciate spice, so I choose to omit the peppers. If you want to use them, add about 5 or 6 during the cooking step with the other vegetables.

I love using Beyond Meat crumbles for this dish, but they’re not a necessity. Feel free to omit or substitute with your favorite seitan recipe.

Algal oil adds a similar fishy flavor that fish sauce usually adds to the recipe. Flax or hemp oil can totally be substituted for a similar flavor, or you can add your favorite vegan fish sauce.

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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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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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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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Greek Chickpeas and Rice

26 Jan

I think there’s something really comforting about a big bowl of beans and rice. There’s so many different variations from different cultures that it’s hard to choose just one to love. Fortunately for me, no one is making me choose. But if I had to, I’d probably pick this dish because I love tangy Greek tomato sauces and creamy chickpeas.

Greek Chickpeas and Rice

This dish is very similar to the spanakorizo I posted a while ago, but without the spinach and a little more flavorful sauce. It’s an awesome meal for the cold days of winter, especially if you’ve recently been sick and have absolutely no appetite for anything but comfort food. Maybe that’s just me. If you want to make it even more authentic, try a few cubes of this delicious vegan feta on top. You won’t regret it.

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