A New York lawyer's adventures with animal-free eating
Tag Archives: vegetarian recipes
I’ve used these to make everything from nachos to butter curry “chicken” to “chicken” parm, etc. Basically anything that you would use chicken for, you can use this for with great results. I LOVE Gardein’s Chick’n Scallopini. Like most similar fake meat products, these little chicken breasts soak up sauces very well for some truly fabulous flavorful dishes. Even non-veg people agree that the taste and texture is quite similar to actual meat.
Verdict: I use these all the time and will continue to do so. I recommend these to others regularly.
Sometimes you just want to eat something that reminds you of being a kid. Gardein’s Crispy Tenders are perfect for those times.
These little guys are pretty good. Not fabulous, but solidly good. Much like their meat counterparts, you’re like “I wonder what’s in these…” But because Gardein products are vegan, you don’t have to worry much. These are super easy to prepare – just pop them in the oven or toaster oven for a bit, then they’re ready to go. They’re excellent for dipping into prepared sauces, or for covering with buffalo sauce and using in a sandwich… whatever you like.
Verdict: I get these pretty regularly.
I LOVE pulled pork. Like Aloo Mutter, this is one of my orgasmic foods. I used to go to BBQ competitions solely to taste as much pulled pork as I could. Ahem. That doesn’t really happen anymore. At all. Yes, I was a very active meat eater previously. I am ashamed. Let’s move on.
I got this basic recipe here, then embellished it to suit my own tastes. You can find jackfruit at almost any Asian food store. And yes, it does feel like meat. I actually checked a few times while I was shredding because the texture was close to meat. You know, just in case they accidentally threw some meat in there with the fruit… 🙂
Vegan Pulled Pork
4 cans of young/green jackfruit
3 tsp. minced garlic (approximately 3 cloves)
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup white wine (whatever brand you prefer)
1/2 bottle barbecue sauce (whatever brand/type you prefer – I used Hannaford Sweet and Zesty)
crushed red pepper, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
This is jackfruit. In cans.
This is jackfruit. Not in a can. Rinse the jackfruit to remove the salty brine, then let drain. Jackfruit is weird looking. And weird feeling. And just generally weird. It has these balls in it (seeds?) that are meaty-like as well, so you can squish them up, but when they are wet, they are slippery little bastards. Just sayin’. #thesesuckerswereallovermykitchen (Also, yes, that is a Disney Princesses plate in the background. No, we do not have children. Sookie likes to eat in style.)
Anyway, shred the jackfruit however you like. I just used my hands, but some people use a potato masher or whatever. Don’t go crazy — it’s supposed to look like pulled pork, not pudding.
Put the jackfruit in your crockpot, then add the garlic, green onions, wine, barbecue sauce and seasonings.
Cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 8 hours).
Serve with barbecue-type things like vegetarian baked beans and vegan coleslaw. I totally ate it on a roll. And by “on a roll,” I mean in traditional pulled pork style, with it falling down your chin onto your shirt. Sigh.
This makes quite a bit and stores and freezes well. The texture is not quite like meat, but it’s kinda close. And the flavor is really good. Yay!
I love cabbage. Pretty much any incarnation of cabbage is good for me (except stuffed cabbage, blech), but I really like it raw. Accordingly, I love coleslaw. I can make this shizz into a meal (literally, I have). And for whatever reason, a couple of years ago, I started putting caraway seed into my coleslaw. I love rye bread too. Maybe I just wanted to combine some of my (random, unrelated) loves? No idea.
1 bag of pre-shredded cabbage (or 1 head of cabbage, cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup Vegenaise (or any vegan mayo)
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. milk
1 tbsp. caraway seed
1 shake celery salt (don’t go crazy, this stuff is really salty)
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all of the non-cabbage ingredients together, then pour the mixture on top of the cabbage and stir to combine.
Then serve with wonderful other things, like vegan pulled pork!
I LOVE me some Aloo Matar. It’s one of those foods that I refer to as ORGASMIC. And it’s usually made with just a bit of cream in the sauce though, so it needs to be veganized. Here, I took the easy way out and bought a jar of Patak’s Mild Curry Paste, which is awesome. It cut my prep time and ingredient list drastically, which I love. Actually, I love pretty much anything by Patak’s… They’re awesome.
1/2 onion, sliced
2 large potatoes, chopped into cubes and boiled
1 1/2 cup peas (I used frozen)
4 tbsp. Patak’s Mild Curry Paste with Cilantro and Cumin (or similar)
3/4 cup water
1 can diced tomatoes with liquid
salt and pepper
Saute the onions in some olive oil until tender. Add the potatoes and peas.
Mix the Patak’s paste with the water, then add this mixture to the pan. Cover the pan and cook until the peas are tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and continue cooking for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then enjoy!
When it’s cold and rainy like it is today, I just want soup with some nice crusty bread. This is a soup that I found here and adapted to my tastes. I actually made only a half size of this, which worked out just fine, since my husband doesn’t eat kale.
Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup
2 tbsp. olive oil
6 tsp. minced garlic (approximately 6 cloves)
2 tsp. oregano
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 quarts vegetable stock or water
1 bunch kale, ribs removed, chopped
Salt and pepper
Saute the garlic and oregano in the olive oil for approximately a minute. Add the tomato paste and vinegar, and cook for another minute. Add the beans and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Add the kale and simmer, partially covered, for approximately 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
I love potato leek soup. My favorite has always been from Au Bon Pain. It’s soooo good, with the bread bowl and everything… sigh. Sadly, we don’t eat there anymore. But this soup is just as good. It’s adapted (in part) from a recipe I found here, where I got the idea to mash the potatoes and leeks instead of processing them! This recipe is SO effing good. You won’t miss the milk/cream at all.
1-2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 large potatoes, chopped into small cubes
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. thyme (I used dried)
1/2 tsp. rosemary (I used dried)
5 tsp. vegetable bouillon (I used Better than Bouillon brand)
2 cups water
1 cup white wine
1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
salt and pepper
Saute the onions in the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped leeks and potatoes. Then add the thyme and rosemary and continue to saute for another 5 minutes or so.
Mix the water and bouillon, then add to the vegetables. Add the white wine as well. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then simmer for approximately an hour, to allow the potatoes to begin to fall apart and create a creamy base.
Then add the milk and salt and pepper to taste. Use a potato masher to mash up the leeks and potatoes to whatever consistency you prefer. If you like a smoother soup, you can put the mixture into a food processor and process it until smooth.
This recipe creates an awesome rustic soup!
So, this is one of my favorite meals. It really couldn’t be more easy. You dump a bunch of tortilla chips onto a baking pan. Then top with black beans, onions, peppers, tomatoes, taco seasoning, and your fave vegan cheese (I used Vegan Gourmet cheddar, which is my fave so far!).
Then stick the pan in an oven preheated to 350, and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and it looks sufficiently nacho-like. Then, voila! Vegan nachos — very filling, awesome comfort food, and still really good for you!!
Sometimes I chop up bits of tofu or “chicken” cutlets and toss those on for some extra protein.
Okay, so I’m one of those people who loves cupcakes. And cupcake shaped things. Also known as muffins. You might have noticed (ahem, pineapple upside down cake), if it can be done in a muffin/cupcake, I want to do it! This also applies to savory things – I make excellent loaf muffins…
My brother and sister-in-law are in town from St. Louis this week, so we decided at the last minute (of course) to have a brunch for them on Sunday morning. Among other things, I found this zucchini bread recipe here and adapted it for muffins and to my taste.
Zucchini Bread Muffins
6 tbsp ground flax seeds whisked into ½ cup + 1 tbsp warm water
½ cup oil
½ cup applesauce
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2½ cups grated zucchini, packed (approximately 3 medium)
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
Mix together flax seed mixture, oil, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla. Grate your zucchini and drain (I smush it in a small strainer – it’s amazing how much water is in a zucchini!!) and pack it before measuring. Add the zucchini to the wet mixture and stir until combined.
In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until everything is incorporated.
Grease/line muffin tins and fill approximately halfway. Bake at 350 for 25-26 minutes for regular muffins and 30-32 for large muffins (6 to a tin), or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
I especially love using my large muffin tins. I’m not sure why… Other than that I’m a glutton 🙂
Fun fact – I’m one of those people who doesn’t necessarily look in the pantry to make sure I have all of the ingredients for something before I start making it… This often results in poor Ed getting sent out in his pjs. For this recipe, I didn’t have applesauce. But I did have apples! We went apple picking last weekend, so we had a bunch of fresh apples, just waiting to be used. So… I cut four up, tossed them into my food processor, and made fresh, raw applesauce to use for these muffins 🙂 Perfect!
Adapted from a recipe found on vegweb.com
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup pineapple juice and water mixture
1/3 cup oil
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 20 oz can pineapple rings (or chunks) in unsweetened pineapple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar (unpacked)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Pour juice off can of pineapple into 1 cup measuring cup–it should be about 3/4 cup juice. Add water to make 1 cup. Combine oil, vinegar and juice.
Put the pineapple rings into the bottom of your pan (I usually use the extra large cupcake pans, because a pineapple ring fits perfectly in the bottom). Use whatever pan you like, but adjust the cooking time accordingly. Sprinkle brown sugar over the pineapple.
Quickly mix wet ingredients into dry, stirring to combine ingredients well, then pour the mixture into the pan on top of the pineapple/brown sugar mix.
Bake for 22-32 minutes (depending on which type of pan you used) or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool and loosen sides of cake from pan. Place plate over the pan, then flip the pan and plate over so the plate and cake are on the bottom, then remove the pan.
I feel like, since I stopped eating meat, I’m constantly on the lookout for new recipes that help simulate meat. Maybe it’s just me, but I ate meat for almost 27 years of my life, so I’ve really been exposed to a broad spectrum of meats. I almost envy my friends who went veg at age 12 or 14, because they don’t really know what they’re missing…
It’s not that I want to eat meat, but that I think fondly of certain meats… for me, it’s pulled pork, salmon, and scallops. I’ve only recently started experimenting with making my own seitan, so these recipes are a work in progress on my way towards finding food that reminds me of some of my favorite pre-veg dishes…
This super easy recipe is adapted from a recipe found in the veganfreak.com forums.
2 cups of Vital Wheat Gluten
2 tbsp. of All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup of Nutritional Yeast
1 1/2 cups of Cold Water
1/2 cup of Bragg’s Aminos, Tamari or Soy Sauce
1 tbsp. Ketchup
1 tbsp. Chicken flavored seasoning
1 tbsp. Canola Oil (or Olive Oil)
1 tsp. Onion Powder
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
Preheat oven to 325°. In a large mixing bowl, mix dry ingredients. Mix liquid ingredients in a smaller mixing bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well, then knead for a minute or two. Form into a log (6-8″ long) and wrap tightly in foil, twisting ends. Bake for 90 minutes. When done baking, unwrap and leave out to cool all the way. Then wrap it foil or plastic and refrigerate. Slice to use as desired.
Of course, if you cook the seitan differently, you will get different textures — trying simmering shaped patties for 15-20 minutes. Next time I make this, I’ll be doing that, and adding some more beefy flavorings to the mix…
Awhile back, I decided to give Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Marinated Tempeh a try, and Ed agreed to give it a go with me. First, I pan-fried a few pieces to go with some vegan pancakes (which turned out more like crepes). The flavor is good – quite close to bacon, I thought. The texture is quite similar to thick cut bacon. Even Ed thought it was alright, which is saying alot. Him being willing to eat something is quite a testament to how good it is (he’s super picky).
Later that day I decided I wanted something I hadn’t had in forever — a BLT. Unfortunately, I was out of lettuce, so it was more like a VBT: Vegenaise, “bacon,” and tomatoes. Again, the flavor was really good. With Vegenaise and tomatoes fresh from our garden, it was a fabulous, fast, and easy meal.
Verdict: Very good. This will probably become a fairly regular part of my diet when I want something super easy and fast to throw together.
When I was a kid, we had tacos ALL the time. It was one of only a few things my older brother would eat without a fuss. Now that I’m older, I know that there’s a bunch of crap in most store-bought taco/fajita seasonings, so I went looking for a low-carb, gluten free version. I love this seasoning mix. We use it in tacos, fajitas, pretty much anything that needs a kick of flavor. I double the recipe and make a bunch at a time for even quicker meals.
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tbsp. cumin
1 1/2 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. onion powder or dehydrated onion
1 tbsp. garlic powder or dehydrated garlic
1/8 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (depending on the amount of heat you like)
Combine all of the ingredients and blend well. Store in an airtight container. 2 tbsp. of this mixture will season 1 lb. of meat/meat substitute.
I’ve been on a roll, testing all sorts of new products. I’ve been liking some of the Gardein products that have come out recently. They’re definitely better than some of the older, more established products in terms of texture.
With regard to the Burgundy Trip, the taste of the “beef” was alright. Not particularly beefy, but not bad. Good texture tho. And the rice was cooked very well, considering it’s supposed to be microwaved. The sauce was meh. Not great. Nothing special at all. Boring, really. It just didn’t have good flavor.
Verdict: I would definitely eat these again, but I would definitely dress them up with my own sauces and seasonings… I bet this would taste good with a homemade BBQ sauce or a steak sauce to mask the meh flavor.
I found Yves Heart’s Desire Meatless Beef Strips at our local Hannaford the other day. My husband bought some beef, so we decided to have fajitas for dinner last night. I sauteed the strips in olive oil with onions, green peppers, banana peppers and mushrooms, then added my favorite “mexican” seasoning (I make from scratch, so it’s gluten free).
While I didn’t think the strips tasted particularly beefy, they could definitely pass for it when in a strong seasoning. They picked up alot of the flavor from the spices. The look and texture were great – very meat-like. I will definitely get these again when I don’t have much time to make dinner…
So, you might have noticed already… I’m kind’ve a lazy person. And by kind’ve, I mean I definitely am. Also, it’s been crazy hot in the northeast, which makes me not want to go outside, even to grill. This often results in me throwing together whatever happens to already be in my kitchen and/or garden — from the air conditioned loveliness of my kitchen.
I went to Bryn Mawr College for part of my undergraduate years (I know, why I did not become veg there, I have no idea), and they had this one dining hall (Erdman, known for its ugliness and girls who didn’t shower) that served “Pastabilities” on Friday nights. The track team used to go there to carb load. I, being a member of the track team, went with. Pastabilities basically just means sauteing whatever veggies you want in olive/sesame oil, then mixing in some cooked pasta and tossing it all together, maybe putting cheese or whatever on top. I actually still call this Pastabilities when I make it. However, since I no longer have dining hall staff cutting up all of my veggies and whatnot, the veggie factor has dropped a bit. I usually saute onions, garlic, a variety of peppers, and tomatoes together (in the summer, straight from our garden), then add whatever type of pasta I happen to have on hand.
It’s pretty quick, very easy, and it tastes like you put more effort into it than you really did. Perfect. In the picture, I included some grilled chicken flavored seitan to go along with it, but I usually eat it without any meat substitute.
- 1 can black-eyed peas (I used frozen and just kinda wung it – it thaws while it marinates)
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can whole kernel corn, drained (again, I used frozen and guesstimated)
- 1 small chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper, or whatever pepper you prefer (I used Anaheim)
- 3-4 diced jalapeno peppers, or whatever hot pepper you prefer
- 3 medium tomatoes, diced, or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (I used cherry tomatoes and guessed)
- 1/4 balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1/4 olive oil
- 1/4 Italian salad dressing
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. fresh cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium bowl, combine everything; mix well. Cover, and refrigerate overnight (or as long as you can stand to) to blend flavors.
This makes quite a bit, so it’s perfect for a get-together. And the fresher your ingredients, the better it will taste.
And honestly, this stuff is so fricking good, you’ll probably end up making a meal of it… I’ve done that several times now.
So, for whatever reason, I wanted Mexican tonight. Or Latin food. Or, as Hannaford calls it, Hispanic Food.
Anyway, I ran across this recipe for Burrito Lasagna the other day and it just sounded good, so I had to try it. I’ve adapted it to make it vegan/more likable to us.
Prep time: 20 mins; Cook time: 30 mins
- 1 bag Boca Burger meaty crumbles
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. taco seasoning (I make my own)
- 1 can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, or fresh tomatoes and a can of chile peppers
- 1/3 cup taco sauce, whatever brand you prefer
- 1 can refried beans
- 1 can black beans, or navy, pinto, black-eyed peas – whatever you like
- 1 package flour tortillas
- 1 bag/small block of cheddar type cheese/cheeze
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the meaty crumbles until they are thawed and sticking to the pan, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, and saute for 5 more minutes. Stir in the taco seasoning. Mix in tomatoes with green chile peppers, taco sauce, refried beans, and black beans. Stir mixture thoroughly, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Spread a thin layer of the meaty mixture in the bottom of two 9 x 9 inch dishes (or a 9×13). Cover with a layer of tortillas followed by more meaty mixture, then a layer of cheese. Repeat tortilla, meaty, cheese pattern until you reach the top of the dishes, topping off with a layer of meaty mixture and cheese.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is melty/bubbly.
Actually, we only made one 9 x 9 dish of this. There’s lots of meaty sauce leftover, and we might eat it tomorrow as chili or in tacos. We ❤ leftovers. We also topped it with a Black Bean/corn/Black-eyed pea salsa that is amazing. Recipe coming soon…