Veganized Orange Chik’n

Ingredients

  • Orange Sauce
    • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
    • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
    • 3 green onions, chopped
    • 1 Tbsp. mirin
    • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
    • 3 Tbsp. water
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
    • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
    • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
    • 1/4 cup orange juice
    • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot (we used cornstarch)
  • Chik’n
    • 1 lb. firm tofu
    • 1/2 cup arrowroot or cornstarch (for the Fried Orange Chik’n) (we used cornstarch)
    • Canola oil (for the Fried Orange Chik’n)
    • Canola oil spray (for the Baked Orange Chik’n)

Directions

  1. To make the orange sauce:
    1. Pour the canola oil into a saucepan. Once the oil’s hot, add the garlic and ginger in, stirring it constantly for 1 minute or until it becomes fragrant. Now stir in the pepper flakes, green onion and mirin, stirring for another minute. Mix in the soy sauce, water, sugar, white vinegar, rice vinegar and orange juice and wait for it to come to a boil. Turn the heat down so the sauce is at a simmer and let it cook for 5 minutes. Whisk in the cornstarch* and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Cook the chik’n based off the fried or baked directions.
  2. For the Fried Veganized Orange Chik’n:
    1. Freeze**, thaw, drain and press the tofu. Now that the water’s pressed out of the tofu, cut the tofu into bite-size pieces.
    2. Pour enough oil into a deep fry (or large Dutch oven in our case) to submerge the oil, heating it up to 375 degrees.
    3. Put the 1/2 cup cornstarch into a resealable gallon-sized plastic bag, followed by the tofu afterwards. Seal the bag and shake the tofu around until all of it is completely covered in the cornstarch.
    4. Place small amounts of the tofu into the oil, frying it until it’s golden brown all over. Don’t walk away from the fryer while the tofu’s cooking because it can burn quickly. Take the golden brown tofu out of the oil and place it on a paper-towel lined plate to drain, repeat with remaining tofu.
    5. Toss the tofu into the Orange Sauce, stirring it around so all the pieces are coated in the sauce. Serve immediately.
  3. For the Baked Veganized Orange Chik’n:
    1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
    2. Don’t freeze the tofu or coat with arrowroot, just drain and press the tofu before cutting it into bite-size pieces.
    3. Take a baking sheet out and line it with nonstick foil. Spread the tofu out onto the foil in a single layer. Take the canola oil spray and apply it to the top of the tofu.
    4. Put the baking sheet in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tofu looks golden brown around the edges. Put the tofu in the Orange Sauce, tossing until all of the pieces are fully coated in the sauce. Serve immediately.

*Some of the cornstarch did turn into clumps so next time we make this, we’re going to try and sift the two tablespoons of cornstarch before whisking it into the sauce. 

**We’ve never frozen tofu before and weren’t sure how to treat it so we just cut the tofu into slabs of our preferred width, placed it in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag, sealed the bag and put it in the freezer overnight. We put the tofu in the fridge for a day (maybe a day and a half) to thaw before draining and pressing. You could probably take less time than that to achieve the same end result but that’s what we chose to do.

Serves 4 (or just 2 really hungry people).

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We tried the fried version and the tofu had such a wonderful crunch to it ! The tofu didn’t look golden brown but that didn’t matter to us. The cornstarch did give us some trouble though, it didn’t want to coat the tofu thoroughly and got a little thick in some parts, making it a little hard to get a fork through those spots.

The sauce for this was so tasty ! It had such a nice balance of sweet, heat and tanginess. There was just enough heat to be noticed but not so much that it overwhelmed the other flavors. The tofu in the picture is coated in the sauce but we chose to eat our tofu with the sauce on the side, dipping the tofu into the sauce as we ate to keep the pieces crunchy.

This recipe came from “Quick & Easy Vegan Comfort Food” by Alicia C. Simpson.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Bragg Liquid Aminos, Ziploc or “Quick & Easy Vegan Comfort Food” by Alicia C. Simpson.

Take car everybody !

Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos

Ingredients

  • Jackfruit and Spice Rub
    • 3 cups green jackfruit* (from a pouch), drained and rinsed (our jackfruit was pre-cooked)
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp. paprika (we used smoked paprika)
    • 1/2 tsp. granulated onion
    • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp. ground chipotle pepper
    • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
    • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • Sea salt to taste
  • Braising liquid
    • 2 1/2 Tbsp. everyday olive oil (we used Colavita EVOO)
    • 1 medium onion, diced (we used yellow onion)
    • 1 cup vegetable stock
    • 1/4 cup orange juice
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
    • 1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh oregano
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
    • Sea salt to taste
  • Assembly
    • 8 to 10 fresh corn tortillas or store-bought (we used store-bought)
    • 1 1/2 avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced
    • 1/2 cup finely shredded cabbage
    • Tomato salsa
    • 1/2 cup picked cilantro leaves
    • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Directions

  1. For the jackfruit and spice rub: Cut the inner cores from the drained jackfruit, slicing those cores into strips (the cores won’t shred like the rest of the jackfruit, hence it getting sliced**). Place the jackfruit in a medium bowl for the next step.
  2. Take a small mixing bowl out and combine the garlic, paprika, granulated onion, black pepper, ground chipotle pepper, coriander, cinnamon and salt together in it. Sprinkle the spice rub all over the jackfruit, tossing to make sure all the jackfruit is coated, roughly shredding it in the process. While you’re shredding the jackfruit, throw away any seeds***. Place a lid on the medium-sized bowl and place it in the fridge for an hour or overnight so the jackfruit has time to marinate.
  3. For the braising liquid: Take a small Dutch oven or shallow pot out and pour the oil in, setting the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil’s hot, toss the onion in, stirring constantly for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onion looks golden. Now stir in the jackfruit, making sure to keep stirring for 2 to 3 minutes or until the jackfruit starts to stick. Pour the stock in, scraping the bottom. Mix in the orange juice, lime juice, maple syrup, oregano, bay leaves and chipotle. After a minute or two has passed, take a taste and season lightly with salt (the mixture will eventually reduce down and could get to be salty if you season it too much right now).
  4. Once the mixture is at a simmer, use a fork or potato masher to break up the jackfruit more. Turn the heat down to medium-low, put a lid on to cover and let it cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until most of the liquid has reduced down into a sauce that coats the jackfruit. During those 20 to 25 minutes, stir it frequently so the meat doesn’t end up sticking to the Dutch oven anDutch oven it helps break the jackfruit down into bite-size shreds.
  5. Assembling the tacos: place a portion of the jackfruit on each tortilla, topping it with avocado, cabbage, salsa and cilantro, with lime wedges on the side for squeezing over the taco.

*If you’ve never seen jackfruit before, this is what it looks like:

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**Maybe it’s because our jackfruit was precooked but we didn’t come across any parts that we had to slice.

***We left the seeds in since we heard they were edible.  You could do the same but you will notice a different texture when you bite into them compared to the jackfruit “meat”.

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This was our first time working with jackfruit. Visually, it reminded us of pulled pork but texture-wise, it was softer than pulled pork. It was nice eating this with the creamy avocado and crunchy cabbage.

This recipe came from “The Wicked Healthy Cookbook”.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Colavita or “The Wicked Healthy Cookbook”.

Take care everybody !

Bourbon Chicken Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup peach preserves (we used Smucker’s brand)
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce (we used Heinz brand)
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (we used Jim Beam)
  • 12 ounces grilled chicken strips (we cooked up 12 ounces of Beyond Meat grilled chicken strips)
  • 4 onion buns, split in half
  • 4 leaves Bibb lettuce, rinsed and patted dry (we used Butter lettuce)
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • Red onion slices, peeled (optional) (we used them)

Directions

  1. Take a medium-sized skillet out (we used a saucepan) and add the peach preserves to it, setting the skillet over medium heat. Once the preserves have melted, mix in the chili sauce, molasses and bourbon. Once the mixture’s at a boil, stir in the chicken and turn the heat down so it’s at a simmer. Let simmer for 5 minutes. During those 5 minutes, take the bottom half of the buns and place the lettuce, tomatoes and red onion on (if you’ve decided to use red onion).
  2. Use tongs to take the chicken out of the sauce and divide it among the bottom buns. Top the chicken with the top halves of the buns. Eat right away with some extra sauce on the side.

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This tasted really good ! Even if you don’t dip your sandwich into the extra sauce, this can be a bit messy so make sure you have some napkins or paper towels nearby when eating this. This was good even without the tomato, the onion slices provide a sharpness which contrasts against the sweetness in the sauce.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Smucker’s, Heinz, Jim Beam or Beyond Meat.

Take care everybody !