Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Vegan Chick-Fil-A on homemade bao

Having never tried authentic Chick-Fil-A and recently experimenting with vegan cooking, my curiosity was piqued when I first encountered The Edgy Veg's Vegan Chick-Fil-A recipe. I used sesame oil in place of tahini in the seitan patties, omitted the liberal amounts of cayenne and chili powder she includes and used Whole New Mom's Egg Replacer recipe for that part of the binder.

I also made up a batch of bao to function as my buns.

My first two versions of this sandwich stayed fairly true to the original intent, sticking to toppings of pickles, homemade vegan cheese, vegan margarine and/or homemade navy bean spread. Yesterday, I decided to top them with just about every vegetable I had in the fridge and vastly preferred that version. I ran out of roasted red peppers on yesterday's venture and forgot to add the pickles, so today's bao were topped with bean spread, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado and vegan Chick-Fil-A.

The breading is nicely seasoned and has a fantastic crunch. Really my only "issue" is that I found my seitan cutlets too thick. Now that I know I dislike having such thick patties, I can readily adjust next time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Yum. Vegan brunch

This deliciousness was today's (late) breakfast. I oven-roasted some Ontario asparagus, paired it with my (work-in-progress) adaptation of vegan Hollandaise sauce (it's almost perfect), some rounds of vegan breakfast sausage I made over the weekend, and a vegan grilled cheese using homemade "mozzarella"

For the breakfast sausage, I omitted the thyme and added fennel seeds. Still, it could use a flavour-boost — I think I'll experiment with making a vegan chorizo.

But, yeah, this was a super-yummy breakfast. Tomorrow's variation will undoubtedly swap out asparagus for roasted sweet potato, as I've used up one and have been meaning to use the other for weeks. Should be stellar!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Refined sugar-free trifle!

We had some berries and coconut yogurt to use up in the fridge yesterday, so I thought I'd try my hand at taking another run at making a date-sweetened cake with the ultimate goal of making trifle.

Here's the recipe for the cake:

  • ⅔ c. coconut milk
  • ½ t. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c. packed pitted Medjool dates, soaked and drained
  • ⅓ c. canola oil
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. packed all-purpose flour (I used Robin Hood Nutri Flour Blend - Tastes like White)
  • ¾ t. baking powder
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • ¼ t. salt

Preheat oven to 325° F. In a food processor, pulse to combine all of the wet ingredients. In a separate, large bowl, blend the dry ingredients. Scrape the wet ingredients into the dry and fold to combine well (but do not overmix). Pour the batter into a 9"x9" non-stick baking pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cake smells done (sorry, that's as scientific as I get with baking these days!). This is another cake which fails the toothpick test — I find that date-sweetened cakes lose a lot of flavour and moisture if you bake them until they pass the toothpick test.

So, both the cake and the trifle were fantastic. I will absolutely make it again.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Dairy-free lasagna?!

I daresay I'm getting better at making vegan cheese. Last week's attempt was another kick at the proverbial Vegan Buffalo Mozzarella can. This time, my medium of choice was sunflower seeds and I used the last of that week's batch of homemade coconut yogurt. The method was as per Miyoko Schinner's mozzarella recipe, but my quantities differed as follows:
  • ~4½ c. soaked and drained sunflower seeds
  • ~½ c. coconut yogurt
  • 1 c. canola oil
  • 1 T. sea salt
  • 1 T. genmai miso
  • water omitted due to adding water during blending to result in smoother consistency
  • 2 c.(?!) tapioca flour
  • 1 t. Kappa carageenan
Obviously, quintupling the general quantities resulted in a helluva lot of vegan mozzarella, so I've spent a good portion of the week having grilled "cheese" sandwiches, spreading it on crackers and topping pizzas with it. When we still had some leftover pizza ingredients by the week-end, I decided to use them up in a primavera-esque sauce (to which I also added 1 lb. of ground beef that we had in the freezer), and cooked up about half of our box of whole wheat lasagna noodles to toss everything into the first lasagna I've eaten in probably a decade or longer.

It was really good! The vegan cheese ends up behaving very similarly to ricotta. The first bite definitely carries a moment's hint of sunflower seed's bitterness, but from there, it adds a lovely smooth, creamy texture and flavour to the dish. I finished up the last of it for brunch this morning!

Update: freezing improves the texture of the vegan mozzarella! The lone ball that I froze came out of the freezer on Sunday night and was used yesterday, Monday, June 6th, on a grilled cheese and it was less wet than the balls which had gone directly into the fridge. Good to know!