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Kentucky Fried Vegan: Chickun Sandwich, Coleslaw and Biscuit Meal

27 Jul

Chickpea Chickun Patty and Coleslaw

Picnic ready.

You guys, I have good news: It’s totally possible to enjoy the savory and sweet flavors of a meal with the Colonel, minus the part where you actually consume a bucket of fried animal appendages bursting with artery-clogging cholesterol and fat. Because that’s gross.

But you know what’s not gross? Plants. Chickpeas, for example, are super good for you. They’re full of fiber, protein, vitamins, antioxidants and other goodies. And they also lay the foundation for a damn fine chickun patty.

Plus, coleslaw definitely doesn’t require cows’ milk and chicken eggs to do a tasty and cool cabbage-and-carrot dance on your pallet.

And, as it turns out, you can easily whip up a flufftastic buttermilk biscuit without the use of any animals at all. Not a one.

Chickpea Chickun Patties
Serves 4

This recipe is an adaptation of Happy Herbivore Lindsay Nixon’s Chickpea Tenders, which you can find in her fabulous book, “The Everyday Happy Herbivore.” I opted to throw in some paprika and liquid smoke to amp up the flavor. And while I used Lindsay’s poultry seasoning recipe (below), I use a different chicken-style broth powder.

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp chicken-style broth powder
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning (recipe below)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp low-sodium tamari (or regular soy sauce)
  • 4-5 drops of liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 3 Tbsp water

Poultry Seasoning Ingredients
Grind up the 1 Tbsp of each of the following dried herbs with a mortar and pestle until they’re course, but not powdered:

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Marjoram (or oregano)
  • Parsley (or basil)

Step-by-Step

  1. Preheat the oven to 350, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a potato masher or a strong fork (my fork kept bending. I am clearly not wealthy), smash up your chickpeas in a large bowl until they’re totally broken down. You don’t want to see any whole peas.
  3. Add in all your ingredients, except the vital wheat gluten and water, and stir until combined.
  4. Stir in the vital wheat gluten and water, until a gooey dough forms.
  5. Knead the dough with your hands for a minute or two, shape it into a ball, and then let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  6. Form the dough into four equal-sized patties, and space them evenly on your cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes on each size, twice, to cook for a total of 40 minutes (so, you flip them over four times).

I wholeheartedly agree with Lindsay that these are great served warm, but they’re even better cold on a sammich with some barbecue sauce or mayo. Nomnom. They would also make fabulous nuggets, I just wouldn’t cook them as long (probably about 20 minutes).

Simple Vegan Slaw
Serves 10-12

Ingredients

  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 3 radishes, shredded
  • 1 cup vegan mayo (I used Veganaise)
  • 4 Tbsp vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp almond or soy milk
  • A dash of salt and pepper

Step-by-Step

  1. In a large bowl (seriously, go big, because you need room to toss your slaw), combine the mayo, vinegar, sugar, milk and spices, and whisk them together until you have a smooth sauce.
  2. Add in your shredded veggies, and gently toss until they’re all coated.
  3. Cover the dish in plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

Buttermilk Biscuits
Serves 6

I cannot overstake the flaky yumminess of these biscuits. You will be amazed, and have an instant desire to buy stock in coconut oil. I found these little gems over at Chez Bettay: The Vegan Gourmet, but I thought the directions were a little hard to follow when broken up by all the delicious pictures, so they’re reprinted here with some notes from B.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sifted flour (I used unbleached white all purpose flour)
  • 3 tsps baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup solid coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsps solid coconut oil for glazing
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Step-by-Step

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and coconut oil in a food processor, and pulse a few times until the flour forms pea-sized clumps. Be sure not to over process.
  3. In a separate cup, stir the vinegar into the milk (this makes the mock buttermilk).
  4. Slowly pour the buttermilk mixture into the processor as you pluse, until it starts to form a dough ball — then stop. You’ll have a sticky lump, and not all the ingredients will be combined, but that’s how it should be.
  5. Dump your dough out onto a floured surface and sprinkle with some more flour.
  6. Roll the dough into a ball, and use your palms to flatten it to a 3/4″-thick circle.
  7. Using a biscuit cutter (or a glass) cut out as many biscuits as you can. (With a 3″ biscuit cutter, I made six).
  8. Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet, and brush with the remaining coconut oil and then bake for 10-ish minutes (until they’re fluffy and golden).

And there you have it, a delicious one-piece meal with slaw and a biscuit, all based solely upon the wonder that is plants.

Bon appétit!

BBQ Mozzarella Black Bean Burger and Oven-Fried Potato Chips

27 Jun

Vegan junk food lives.

Vegan junk food lives.

As is the case with many recipes, this one was born out of a need to clean my refrigerator. I had some barbecue sauce leftover after making a dish of tofubacue, and an almost-empty bag of Daiya mozzarella shreds that didn’t get used up when I last made Alfredo sauce. What was I to do? Squeeze them into a burger, of course.

The result is a sweet, tangy burger (no cow required) that pairs nicely with a toasted bun or bread and a topping of  baby spinach or kale. Added plant-based bonus: black beans are a low-sodium, low-fat source of protein, and they contain bunches of essential minerals, including iron. Get wise to some more rad black bean benefits here.

Plus you can also make a bunch of these and freeze them (uncooked) for postponed munching (like say perhaps at a July 4 shindig, my fellow Americans).

BBQ Mozzarella Black Bean Burger
Serves 3

Ingredients

  • 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup vegan mozzarella cheese shreds (I use Daiya), plus a wee bit  more for sprinkling
  • Rolled oats, or breadcrumbs, as needed (probably 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup)
  • 1/4 small to medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 4 drops Liquid Smoke
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • A dash of cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 4 tsps dried cilantro (or 1/4 cup fresh, minced)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Vegan BBQ Mozzarella Black Bean Burger Patty

An uncooked patty awaits its fate.

Ready? Set? Patty!

  1. Combine your liquid smoke, herbs, spices, cheese shreds, onions and black beans in a large mixing bowl, and smush the lot together until they’re combined, but the beans aren’t completely broken down.
  2. Add breadcrumbs to the mixture until it’s firm enough (and not too sticky) to shape into three patties.

To cook these little guys, you have two options. You can either go low-oil and bake them, or add a little bit more oil to the equation and fry them. Either way, your last step is to sprinkle a bit more cheese on top for the last couple minutes of cooking. I find they get much crisper when you fry them, but they taste great no matter the method.

Bake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the patties on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper (foil will  aid crispiness more so than paper).
  3. Spray the patties lightly with cooking spray (I use olive oil), and bake for 7 to 10 minutes on each side (be sure to spray them again when you flip), until they’re slightly crunchy on the inside and warmed through.

Fry

  1. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add the patties to the pan and fry them over medium-high heat until their bottoms are browned and crispy (should take about five minutes).
  3. Flip the patties and cook them for another three to five minutes until they’re crunchy on either side and warmed through.

And what good is a burger without a side of chips or fries? If you muttered “worthless” to your computer monitor, you’d be correct.

Not-Yet-Oven-Fried Potato Chips

Not-Yet-Oven-Fried Potato Chips

Oven-Fried Potato Chips
Serves 1-2

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 medium sized potatos
  • Oil spray
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

How to Chip

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Using a mandolin, food processor, or your own skilled hand, slice your potato into thin chips (pick a thickness you like. I prefer mine to be about 1/16 of a inch thick. Note that skinnier chips will cook faster, so keep an eye on them).
  3. Place the chips on a baking sheet, spray them lightly with oil, and bake for about 10 minutes on each side, turning half-way through (yes, this part is a beyotch). Keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not burning.
  4. Transfer the cooked chips to a paper-towel covered plate to cool off for a moment or two before you start chomping away.

Bon appetit!

Crazy simple tuna(less) salad

9 Feb

Nothing fishy here!

All of the sea taste you love, none of the sand in your shorts.

Tuna salad was one of my favorite foods before I became vegan, so I was delighted to find that my attempt at a plant-based recreation was 1) so similarly tasty and 2) so simple.

Not only are chickpeas (also known by their pro wrestling name: garbanzo beans) free from tuna’s fat, cholesterol, mercury and ecological destruction, they are packed with fiber and protein — and they’re cheaper!

The key to giving a from-the-sea flavor to this completely land-based dish is two-fold: sea kelp and dill. Dill you can find in any grocery store. Whole Foods will have powdered sea kelp, but I ordered mine from Amazon because I just can’t handle those narrow aisles.

The produce section at Whole Foods.

The produce section at Whole Foods

This dish is absolutely delicious and crunchily satisfying on toasted bread dressed with vegan mayo. Try adding a slice of tomato, if that’s your bag. Or you could add a dollop to a salad, or use it as a cracker spread.

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces garbanzo beans, cooked or canned and drained
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 dill pickle spear
  • 1/4 medium red onion
  • 3-4 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tsp powdered sea kelp
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill

How to make not-tuna salad:

If you’re using a food processor…

  1. Slice or dice the onion, celery and pickle into the food bowl, then dump them out and set them aside.
  2. Add the chickpeas, mustard, salt, sea kelp, lemon and mayonnaise, and pulse until the mixture is as combined and chunky/smooth as you want it.
  3. Now add the onion, celery and pickle back in, as well as the dill, and pulse until just combined.

If you’re not using a food processor…

  1. Dice the onion, celery and pickle and finely chop the dill.
  2. Place all your ingredients in a big bowl, and mash with a fork or potato masher until the mixture is the consistency you want.

When you’re done, just pop the salad in the fridge to chill for at least 15 minutes, and sprinkle a little more fresh dill on top before you nosh.

Crazy simple and yummtastic, right?

Bon appetit!

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