Thursday, December 27, 2012

Retro KFC-Style Sandwiches

This recipe is from Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day by Tamasin Noyes and Celine Steen.
Recipe: see page 95 of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day.
Oh mercy, this was a really tasty recipe.

I wasn't expecting much because I've never successfully made seitan. It always comes out kind of spongy, and it feels like I am eating a chicken-flavored sponge. Usually I just buy Trader Joe's Chickenless Strips, which are vegan, but the taste is very bland. Happily, this is now my go-to recipe for chicken-flavored seitan.

These sandwiches consist of two recipes from the book. Before you make the sandwiches, you need to make the faux-chicken No Cluck Cutlets on page 181. There is a lot of flavor in these. Part of it is in the dough, and then it is baked in broth where more is absorbed.

According to the book, these can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or put in the freezer for up to three months. The recipe makes 10 cutlets that are about 4 inches wide after cooking. I thought they were too small after I rolled them out, but after they baked in the broth they expanded to sandwich size.

The cutlets are then dredged in a spicy batter made from nondairy milk, flour and herbs, then covered with crumbled cornflakes and fried in a pan. That gives the cutlets a crispy coating, which contrasts nicely with the chewiness of the chicken-flavored seitan. These go on sandwich buns along with lettuce, tomato and a sauce that is made from vegan mayonnaise, pickle and red onion.

One of the things I noticed about the recipes in this book (I've made 8 so far), is that they tend to have BOLD flavors, and that's definitely the case here. It's fairly spicy (cayenne), and it has that strong chicken-flavor (McKay's Vegan Special Chicken Style Instant Broth and Seasoning is the bouillon I used).

I still enjoyed these the next day, after they were reheated, but the best way is to eat them fresh, right after they have been fried and the coating is still crispy. The cornflake coating loses the crunchiness after being in the fridge, but still tastes pretty good.

I'm a little afraid to figure out the sodium in each sandwich, because I know that is going to be a little high.  So I might not have these on a regular basis because of that, but just based on taste, I'd say this is another winner from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day.

(for sauce) vegan mayonnaise (Vegenaise used here), red onion, dill pickle, ume plum vinegar, white pepper.

(for seitan) vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, chickpea flour, soy flour, garlic, onion powder, white pepper, vegetable broth, dry white wine, olive oil, vegan chicken-flavored bouillon powder (McKay's Vegan Special used here), dried thyme, mustard powder, onion powder, salt

(for fried coating) cornflakes, dried parsley, dried thyme, onion powder, sea salt, mustard powder, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, all-purpose flour, nondairy milk (Trader Joe's Unsweetened Soy Milk used here), canola oil. 

(for sandwiches) burger buns, shredded lettuce, tomato.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Peppermint Pinwheels

This recipe is from Very Vegan Christmas Cookies by Ellen Brown.

Recipe: see page 46 of Very Vegan Christmas Cookies.
Very minty. Like a candy cane, but in cookie form.

Ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, Earth Balance, peppermint oil, Ener-G egg replacement powder, red food coloring.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Crunchy Peanut Butter and Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

This recipe is from Very Vegan Christmas Cookies by Ellen Brown.
Recipe: see page 67 of Very Vegan Christmas Cookies.
Here are some more cookies my mom made from the new cookbook Very Vegan Christmas Cookies.

I am always suspicious of peanut butter cookie recipes because too many aren't very peanut-y. I don't like subtlety. I think if you are going to make peanut butter cookies, make them super peanut-y, and this one doesn't disappoint. It's very intense. I think that's because the ingredients include peanut butter AND roasted peanuts.

Now, I'm not sure why these cookies are called Crunchy Peanut Butter and Cherry Thumbprint Cookies because they aren't crunchy. They are soft and chewy, but the texture of the chopped peanuts does give them a little crunch, so maybe that's it. I should mention they are a little crumbly too. I don't think that's a problem because they taste so good.

I would leave off the candied cherries and make these year round as regular peanut butter cookies. It's a good recipe, not just a good Christmas cookie recipe. These are now my #2 favorite peanut butter cookie, behind the Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, which are simply amazing.

Ingredients: peanut butter, roasted peanuts, Earth Balance, brown sugar, flour, vanilla extract, Ener-G egg replacement powder, candied cherries.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Nutty Wedding Cookies

This recipe is from the cookbook Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

Recipe: see page 157 of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.
Here are some more vegan cookies my mom made for Christmas. These are good cookies. They are similar to Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cakes.

Ingredients: powdered sugar, Earth Balance, non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, sugar, extract, flour, non-dairy milk, pecans.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Almond Biscotti

This recipe is from Very Vegan Christmas Cookies by Ellen Brown.

Recipe: see page 57 of Very Vegan Christmas Cookies.
My mom made cookies from the new cookbook Very Vegan Christmas Cookies by Ellen Brown, so between now and Christmas I'll be showing you a few highlights.

First up is the vegan Almond Biscotti. This tastes really good. It is soft and chewy, except for the slivered almonds, which give it a nice little crunch. There is a strong almond flavor that comes from the almonds, almond meal and almond extract, as well as the icing which is almond flavored with almond milk and almond extract.

A lot of the recipes in the book specify 'soy margarine'. There is only one brand I could find that is actual soybean margarine and that is called Willow Run, but that wasn't available at any of the local stores so she used Earth Balance, which has soy as an ingredient. I'm not sure if that makes a difference, but the substitution worked and the result was great.

Thanks mom!

slivered almonds, almond meal, white flour, whole wheat pastry flour, unsweetened applesauce, sugar, soy margarine, almond extract, vanilla extract, confectioners sugar.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Vegan Bierocks

This recipe is from Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day by Tamasin Noyes and Celine Steen.

Recipe: see page 88 of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day.
Sorry it has taken so long to post another photo. Here's the deal, I've been meaning to make this for the last two weeks and have had a can of sauerkraut out on the kitchen sink all this time. I got sick and lost my appetite, and every time I looked over and saw that can of sauerkraut waiting for me it made me woozy.

I've never had sauerkraut before. I don't know why I was being such a baby. Even after I got better, about ten days ago, I didn't want to go near it for fear it would make me barf. I have no idea why. People can be weird about their predispositions about certain foods, and I'm no different. But I was committed to giving this recipe a shot, and the picture of bierocks in Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day was too tantalizing to resist.

Bierocks are a German-inspired sandwich, which is also popular in Argentina. I was reading on Wikipedia that they are similar to pierogis, which are also from Eastern Europe. Bierocks are fresh baked buns with meat, cabbage, sauerkraut and carrots baked in the center as a filling.  In this vegan version of bierocks, the meat is replaced with tempeh.

I didn't think I would like it, but this was really tasty. The bread contained caraway seeds and beer, so it kind of reminded me of fresh rye bread, dark and hearty, but not too strong. The filling was tangy, as the flavors of the mustard and sauerkraut really came through, and combined with the tempeh everything was soft and chewy. Fresh out of the oven, with the smell of the bread, a cold beer and some mustard, these were amazing.

The recipe makes 8, and they store well and can be kept in the fridge until they are ready to be reheated, but they are definitely better served out of the oven because of the fresh bread smell.

Even though it feels like an extra effort (most of the cooking time on this recipe is waiting. Waiting for the tempeh to marinate, waiting for the bread to rise...), it's worth it because you can knock out a week's worth of lunch sandwiches at one time.

(for filling) tempeh (Trader Joe's Organic 3-Grain Tempeh is used here), sauerkraut, vegetable broth, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, tamari, onion powder, cumin seeds, paprika, fennel seeds, lemon pepper, garlic, vegan Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, onion, green cabbage, carrot, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper. 

(for buns) all purpose flour, light brown sugar, instant yeast, sea salt, caraway seeds, dark vegan beer, nondairy butter (Earth Balance used here).