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23 Sep 2010 Veganized! Hoisin Chick’n Lettuce Wraps

These taste a lot like the lettuce wraps at the Yard House and they are super easy and fast to make. After tasting this, I felt it needed a little heat to contrast with the cool, crispness of the lettuce so I added a pinch of red pepper flakes while I was sauteing the veggies. I also opted to include some diced red bell pepper because I had some in the fridge and, well, because they’re pretty… I’ve made this with both the Gardein Chick’n and store-bought teriyaki flavored tofu and both are equally delicious!

Hoisin Chick’n Lettuce Wraps

2 cups diced, cooked Gardein Chick’n Scallopini (or one pkg. of four cutlets)
2 tablespoons oil (1 for sautéing chick’n, and 1 for cooking vegetables)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated or chopped is fine
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1 ½ cups chopped mushrooms
¼ cup diced green onion
8 oz. can water chestnuts, drained and diced
½ cup Hoisin sauce
1/8 cup vegan Worcestershire sauce (check the label for anchovies, Lee & Perrins has anchovies, the generic store brands usually don’t)
2 tablespoons regular rice vinegar (NOT seasoned)
½ cup minced cilantro
1 head of iceberg or butter lettuce

Brown the Gardein Chick’n, in a skillet with a smidge of oil according to package directions. Remove from skillet to cool, then dice into ½” pieces. Meanwhile, chop celery, green onions, bell pepper mushrooms and water chestnuts.

Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in the same skillet, add ginger and sauté until fragrant. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and red pepper flakes (if using) and sauté until veggies start to soften, about three minutes. Add diced chick’n, water chestnuts, hoisin sauce, Worcestershire and rice vinegar to veggie mixture. Stir to combine and sauté for an additional minute or two until everything is saucy and heated through. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and place in a medium sized serving bowl.

Make lettuce cups by carefully pulling off individual leaves of lettuce. Be careful of how big you make your cups; think appetizer size, not soft taco size. The larger I made these, the more difficulty I had eating them without dropping filling on my shirt! Place lettuce cups around the bowl of Hoisin Chick’n and serve with a slotted spoon.

This is a great vegan addition to your buffet table and if you use the Gardein Chick’n, no one will know it’s not the real thing 🙂 . Double the recipe if you’re feeding a crowd.

Thank you, Polly, for the inspiration!

Hoisin Tofu Filling

18 Sep 2010 Vegan Chocolate Cranberry Orange Marmalade Cookies

This is a tweaked version of a Veganomicon recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Cookies. I didn’t care for the seeds too much, in the original recipe, and I thought the raspberry flavor wasn’t quite strong enough. It was kind of a “there’s something fruity about this cookie, but I can’t quite figure out what” kind of thing. Besides, chocolate and orange are one of the best flavor combos around, IMHO, and a personal fave, so I subbed orange marmalade for the jam, added chocolate chips, orange extract, orange flavored cranberries AND managed to cut 1/4 cup of sugar from the original recipe. They have a nice orange flavor, tangy cranberries and gooey chocolate that will invariably end up on your eyebrow, jeans and elbow for some reason. Technically, you could make the dough without the chocolate chips and cranberries and add those in a nice symmetrical pattern when you smoosh the cookies flat before you bake them. Not that I’m the type of person that would DO that kind of thing…, no siree, not me. I have a sister who would do that, but I don’t have time for that kind of silliness… Much.

Chocolate Cranberry Orange Marmalade Cookies

½ cup canola oil
½ cup orange marmalade
¾ cup organic sugar
1 tsp orange extract
½ tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup orange flavored dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350, lightly grease cookie sheet or use parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Assemble your dry ingredients and sift directly into the marmalade mixture, stirring with a fork after every ½ a cup or so. Dump in the chocolate chips and cranberries and use your hands to fully combine all the ingredients. The dough may be a little crumbly and that’s okay, just try to get it as pliable as you can.

Roll the dough into walnut-size balls (or use a cookie scoop) and place them on cookie sheet. Flatten them with your hands into 2 ½” discs. They’ll only need to be a ½” apart since they don’t spread out when baking. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Thanks for visiting my little vegan corner of the web today!

16 Sep 2010 Veganized! Smokehouse Chick’n Sandwiches
 |  Category: Sandwiches, Veganized!  | Tags: , , , ,  | One Comment

Super easy and deliciously smoky, these sandwiches are an all around winner… Even your non-veg peeps will like them!

Smokehouse Chick’n Sandwiches

1 pkg (4 cutlets) Gardein Chick’n Scallopini, prepared per package instructions. Cool then dice.
1/3 – 1/2 cup Vegenaise, to taste
1/3 cup minced shallot (if you don’t have shallots, minced green or red onion will do nicely)
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped smokehouse almonds (chop almonds first, then measure)

In a medium bowl stir together the diced chick’n, Vegenaise, shallot OR onion, tarragon and diced almonds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread on good bread or serve with whole grain crackers!

Makes four to six sandwiches (depending on the size of the bread, how much filling you put in each or how many teenagers are lurking around your kitchen 🙂 ).

This is my vegan version of Polly’s posted recipe: Smoked Chicken Almond Sandwiches.

13 Sep 2010 Veganized! Banana Chocolate Chip Coffeecake

This is a lovely, moist banana cake with a crunchy, cinnamon-y, chocolate chip-y topping. I reduced the amount of sugar in the original recipe from 3/4 of a cup to 2/3 cup and eliminated the struesal layer in the center since the topping has both brown sugar and chocolate chips. It’s plenty sweet and I think it may have brought out the banana flavor of the cake a little more. I wasn’t happy with the egg substitution that I used the first time around so I went with the silken tofu in lieu of an egg. It really improved the texture and the crumb of the cake. This is an easy recipe and a great little cake for snacking or breakfast.

Thanks for the inspiration, Polly!

Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Coffeecake

For topping:

1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup organic brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

For coffeecake:

2/3 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup non-dairy margarine, at room temperature (I like Earth Balance)
1/4 cup silken tofu
3 T soy milk + 1/4 tsp cider vinegar
1 1/3 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 3, large)
1 1/2 cup all purpose, unbleached flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with non-stick spray and mash the bananas in a small bowl. In another bowl stir together chocolate chips, brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon and set aside. In your blender (or Magic Bullet) combine the soy milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.  In the large bowl, cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. I’ve used both a whisk and a mixer for this and either one worked fine. Add the silken tofu to the soy milk mixture in the blender and whirl ’til creamy. Stir the mashed banana and tofu/soy milk mixture into the creamed margarine and sugar. Mix ’til everything is nice and gloppy and then add the flour in 1/2 cup increments. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Pour the batter into a prepared pan and top with the chocolate chip/nut mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (mine was done after 35 minutes).

07 Aug 2010 Veganized! Pecan Praline Toast
 |  Category: Breads, Breakfast & Brunch, Veganized!  | Tags: , , ,  | One Comment

Polly’s Pecan Praline Toast recipe sounded so good that I just had to see if I could veganize it. And it turned out great! Full of buttery, gooey praline goodness…

Vegan Pecan Praline Toast

for French Toast:

1/2 c. vanilla soy creamer (soy milk will work in a pinch)
1/4 c. chickpea flour (available at middle eastern markets. I guess regular flour would be okay, but the chickpea flour adds a nice, light crispy crust to the french toast)
2 T. cornstarch
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
1/2 loaf French bread cut into 1 1/2″ cubes

for Praline:

1 stick vegan margarine (I use Nucoa)
2/3 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dice butter and place on a rimmed cookie sheet (12 x15). Place cookie sheet in preheating oven to melt butter–be careful not to burn. Remove cookie sheet from oven when butter is melted. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of melted butter and then sprinkle with chopped pecans. Return to oven for a minute or two. Meanwhile, combine creamer, flour, cornstarch and spices (if using) with a fork or whisk. Mixture will be a little lumpy.

QUICKLY dip each side of the bread cubes into liquid mixture. The bread will soak up all the liquid very fast if you let it sit too long, so be quick! Arrange over praline layer and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes (mine was done after 22 min). Remove from the oven when the top of the bread has started to brown. I made a half recipe and inverted my baking dish right onto the serving platter but you can also lift out with a greased spatula and turn over so praline layer is on top.

I will definitely be making this again and again, props to Polly for the inspiration!