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 !

Fool-Your-Friends Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable stock (we used Swanson’s regular vegetable stock)
  • 1/2 tsp. hickory liquid smoke
  • 1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning Mix (recipe follows)
  • 12 taco shells or corn tortillas (we used corn tortillas)
  • 1/2 medium tomato, chopped
  • Taco sauce of your choice

Directions

  1. Pour the stock and liquid smoke into a small pot, stirring to combine. Once it’s at a boil, take the pot off the heat, mix in the TVP and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Take a medium-sized saucepan out and pour the oil into it, setting the saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the oil’s hot, add the onion in and stir it around for one minute. Now add in the bell peppers, continuing to stir for another minute.
  3. Mix in the rehydrated tvp, the Taco Seasoning Mix and the water, stirring until all the water’s been absorbed and the seasoning has been distributed throughout.
  4. Lightly toast the taco shells or soften the corn tortillas in a microwave for 30 seconds, filling them with the TVP mixture and topping them with tomato, taco sauce and whatever else you like.

Taco Seasoning Mix

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. chili powder (we were out of regular chili powder so we used Hot Mexican-style chili powder)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (we used cayenne pepper)
  • 2 tsp. paprika (we used smoked paprika)
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)

Directions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Store any leftover seasoning in an airtight container. Yields 1/3 cup.

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To be honest, when we tried a bite of the TVP mixture all on its own, it didn’t remind us of taco meat which confused us. It smelled great while it was cooking and we knew the Taco Seasoning Mix tasted great but the TVP was just okay tasting on its own. We couldn’t understand what the point of the bell peppers were other than maybe it just being a way to get more veggies in for the day. Once the TVP mixture was in the tortilla though and the toppings were put on, it was a pretty good taco !

This recipe came from “Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food”.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Swanson or “Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food”.

Take care everybody !

Sesame Noodles with Shredded Chicken

Ingredients

  • Sauce
    • 5 Tbsp. soy sauce (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
    • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted (we used roasted sesame seeds)
    • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter (we used Skippy Brand)
    • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar (we used unseasoned rice vinegar)
    • 2 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tsp. hot sauce (we used Frank’s RedHot)
    • 5 Tbsp. hot water
  • Chicken and Noodles
    • 3 pkgs. Beyond Meat grilled chicken strips
    • 1 lb. fresh Chinese noodles or 12 oz. dried spaghetti (we used spaghetti)
    • 1 Tbsp. salt (we used table salt but we didn’t measure it*)
    • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
    • 4 scallions, sliced thin on bias
    • 1 carrot, shredded

Directions

  1. For the sauce: Place the soy sauce, 3 Tbsp. sesame seeds, peanut butter, vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic and hot sauce into a blender or a food processor (we used a blender) and process until it’s smooth (about 30 seconds or so). While the blender’s running, add the water in, one tablespoon at a time, until the sauce has the consistency of heavy cream (we didn’t add any water since we thought the sauce already had the right consistency).
  2. Cook the chicken strips one package at a time based off the directions on the package. Once all of the chicken strips are cooked, cut the strips in half, in both directions. Set the chicken aside for now.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and salt in, stirring occasionally until the spaghetti is tender. They recommend this will take 4 to 5 minutes if you’re using the fresh noodles or 10 minutes if you’re using dried spaghetti. Drain the pasta then rinse it under cold running water until the pasta’s cooled. Drain the pasta again, placing it in a large bowl afterwards. Pour the oil over the spaghetti, tossing to coat. Now mix in the scallions, carrot, sauce and shredded chicken and serve. Sprinkle some of the remaining sesame seeds onto the individual portions if you want and enjoy !

*We didn’t measure the salt, we just eyeballed how much salt we added (we wanted to make sure the noodles didn’t stick to the pot).

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This recipe was adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe that used actual chicken. We thought that the adaptation turned out okay but we liked it even more once we sprinkled some crushed red pepper flakes on.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Skippy, Frank’s RedHot, Beyond Meat or Cook’s Illustrated.

Take care everybody !

BBQ-Glazed Tempeh

Ingredients

  • 1 (8-ounce) pkg. tempeh
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil (we used Colavita extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 2/3 cup vegan barbecue sauce (home-made or store-bought) (we used the same barbecue recipe that we also used for the Sloppy Josephs)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Take a knife and slice the tempeh in half horizontally followed by slicing those halves diagonally so you now have 4 triangles. Slice those four triangles in half horizontally and you’ll have eight triangles (all 8 triangles should be the same size)*.
  2. Pour the oil into a large frying pan (they prefer you use a cast iron but we used a non-stick skillet). Once the oil’s hot, add the tempeh in and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until each side is golden.
  3. Pour half of the barbecue sauce over the tempeh, spreading it out so the sauce completely covers the top of the tempeh. Flip the tempeh over so the tempeh can cook in the sauce, spreading the remaining half of the sauce over the top of the tempeh. Once all the sauce has been absorbed**, take the skillet off the heat and season the tempeh with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Should you have any leftovers, this will stay good for up to 4 days in the fridge if it’s in an airtight container.

*When we read the original recipe, it just seemed confusing to us on how they worded the directions for cutting the tempeh into 8 triangles. If you agree, then maybe our own of describing how to cut the tempeh will make more sense: We cut the block of tempeh in half widthwise. Then we cut those 2 pieces in half horizontally.. Then we cut those 4 pieces diagonally to get the 8 triangles.

**We’re not sure what they meant about the sauce being absorbed by the tempeh. We decided to flip the tempeh once the first sauce-coated side had a caramelized sear.

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Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Colavita.

Take care everybody !

Asian Barbecue Glaze

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (we used KA.ME brand)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (we used unseasoned rice vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Asian chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 (8 oz.) package of tempeh
  • Vegetable broth or water (we used vegetable broth)
  • Asian Noodle Slaw, to serve on the side (recipe below)

Directions

  1. Add the following ingredients to a small saucepan, stirring to combine: ketchup, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili-garlic sauce and grated ginger. Set the saucepan over medium-high heat, waiting for a boil to occur. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer, letting it simmer until thickened (they say it’s supposed to take 3 minutes to achieve but it took us longer than that). Take the saucepan off the heat and cover to keep the glaze warm.
  2. Cut the tempeh into 4 triangles. Pour a tablespoon or two of broth into a large skillet, setting the skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet’s hot, place the tempeh in the skillet, letting it cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side or until the tempeh is browned (add just enough broth in when needed so the tempeh doesn’t get stuck to the skillet). Once the tempeh’s crispy, take the tempeh out and drop it into the glaze, tossing to coat. Place the tempeh back in the skillet, cooking it just long enough to caramelize the sauce. Take the tempeh out of the skillet, pouring any remaining glaze over the tempeh before eating it with the Asian Noodle Slaw

Asian Noodle Slaw

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. dried multigrain spaghetti or soba (buckwheat noodles) (we used whole-wheat spaghetti)
  • 1/3 cup peanut sauce (we used House of Tsang Bangkok Dipping Peanut Sauce)
  • 1/3 cup carrot juice
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp. peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 (16 oz.) pkg. shredded broccoli (we used a broccoli slaw mix)
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta based off the directions on the box that they came in, draining afterwards. Using kitchen scissors, cut the pasta into small pieces (we just broke our spaghetti into thirds before cooking it). Take a small bowl and mix the peanut sauce and carrot juice together in it, creating the sauce for the slaw.
  2. Pour the canola oil into either a wok or a large nonstick skillet (we used a nonstick skillet). Set the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil’s hot, toss in the ginger, stirring constantly for 15 seconds. Now add in the carrots and broccoli slaw, continuing to stir for one minute.
  3. Pour the sauce into the skillet, stirring so everything is coated in the sauce. Continue stirring for 2 minutes or until the sauce is heated through. Add the spaghetti in, tossing gently until it’s fully coated in the sauce. Serve immediately.

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The glaze reminded us of a sweet barbecue sauce, but one that’s made with Asian ingredients. The seared tempeh tastes good but the flavor of the glaze doesn’t come through as much as we wanted it to so we added that extra glaze on and that really made the flavor pop a lot more ! The tempeh paired well with the Asian Noodle Slaw. The slaw has a little bit of sweetness to it but if you’d like it to have some heat, we found that Sriracha tastes good drizzled over the slaw.

It was our idea to use the glaze on tempeh but we don’t remember where the glaze or slaw recipe came from.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote KA.ME or House of Tsang.

Take care everybody !