Tag Archives: dinner

Sticky Eggplant

10 Aug

Some sticky icky eggplant in my chopsticks, to go alongside my platter of sushi, because why not have both?

I saw a similar recipe to this on Instagram a few weeks ago and obviously had to make my own version. I’ve been well stocked on eggplant all summer thanks to the Old Capitol Farmer’s Market in my town and all the wonderful farmers who bring their produce out.


How many other things in your life do you limit to one or the other, when instead, you could just have both? Like sushi and eggplant. Both of my favorite things. But I never enjoy them together!


The eggplant is simply cooked in a large cast iron skillet with some oil and water until its fully steamed and a bit charred. Then it’s topped with sauce and cilantro and sesame seeds and it’s ready for consumption. I like to serve this with rice or rice noodles, or simply by itself. Let me know if you give it a try!

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Mapo Tofu Inspired Dumplings

30 Jun

My kids and husband can all attest to my unending love of dumplings, gyoza, potstickers, ravioli, and any other foods that include a filling stuffed inside of carbohydrates. For Mother’s Days, I often request a bag of premade dumplings and feast on them all day and night.

But the premade version could never compare to these!

This recipe was a combination of leftovers that needed to be used up (dumpling wrappers and mapo tofu) but I loved them so much I started making them regularly. These mapo tofu inspired dumplings combine all the spicy, sweet, and umami flavors I love about mapo with the comfort of a bite sized wheat wrapper.

As usual, I’m using my favorite Mori-Nu Silken Tofu for this. I love having their tofu on hand for dishes like this because it stays fresh on the shelf and it has the perfect texture for slipping into some crispy and chewy dumplings. Unlike water packed tofu, Mori-Nu Silken Tofu doesn’t require a lot of pressing or draining to cook which makes it more accessible and quicker to prep!

There are many types of wonton or dumpling wrappers you could use for this, just be sure to check the ingredients for eggs! If you can find round wrappers, those will work as well, just do a traditional crimping fold to keep them shut.

For my mapo tofu I always use ground Szechuan pepper and a spicy broad bean paste. My brand of choice is Lee Kum Kee, but there are many different options you can use-just adjust the taste based on your spice tolerance!

For folding these, it’s quite simple, just wet the edges of each wrapper, fold corner to corner, and then gently pinch the outside tips together (see above.) You can also look up videos on YouTube for different folding methods if you’d like another shape of dumpling.

Make sure to use a fully hot skillet and a neutral oil for cooking these. The splash of water in the pan helps steam the wrappers and gives them a soft texture, but will splatter everywhere if not covered. I love my cast iron skillet for cooking these because it holds so much heat and the bottoms crisp up perfectly.

Click on read more below to get the recipe!

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TTLA Sandwich

4 May

Summer has suddenly descended on the Midwest, which means I basically want to spend zero time in the kitchen with the oven on. My Instant Pot has become my best friend for any cooking I would normally do on my stove top and while I’m still a salad-hating vegan, I’m rediscovering an old fondness for sandwiches.

Conveniently, Lightlife Foods offered me the opportunity to try their tempeh bacon on the newly popular tempeh, tomato, lettuce and avocado sandwich. If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you might have noticed we spent the weekend in Indianapolis, where we stopped at Whole Foods for several meals, and some Fakin Bacon Tempeh Strips.

See my spin on the classic #TTLA recipe below! Continue reading

Pulled Phauxrk

6 Feb

Move over jackfruit, there’s a new vegan pulled pork in town and it’s pronounced like fork.

This recipe is bean based, like my previous Chickwheat Shreds and like Blackbeet Beef it calls for cooked mushrooms for flavor. You can either roast or pan fry them, either will cook off the extra liquid and make them more flavorful. Use any white beans you can find navy beans, great Northern beans, it shouldn’t impact the end result.

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. If you don’t have an instant pot, this can also be steamed in a conventional steamer for the same amount of time.

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 #phauxrk on Instagram or public Facebook posts! I’d love to see your creations!!

Many thanks to Somer at Vedged Out and Chloe at Vegan or Not for assisting in the recipe testing!

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Faux King Crab

24 Jan

I could tell a pretty embarrassing story about crab here. I’ll spare you the details and just share this recipe for faux King crab instead. If you say it three times fast, you’ll laugh just as much as you would have at my embarrassing story.

Algal oil is pretty essential for the ocean flavor of this recipe. I don’t really recommend skipping it and it will give you a good DHA boost for the day, but in a pinch you could use a similar amount of kelp powder. It can be found in the Amazon link below or at your local natural food store in the supplement section as vegan DHA or Omega-3. Please see my notes below the recipe regarding tofu/agar.

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, I recommend steaming on the stove or in a conventional steamer for the same amount of time. A stove top pressure cooker could also be used.

If you make this recipe, be sure to use the hashtag #fauxkingcrab on Instagram or Facebook, I would love to see your results!

Many, many thanks to Somer McGowan of Vedged Out for assisting in recipe testing for this recipe.

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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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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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