Real vegans fake it – rice paper bacon

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So my Facebook friend, Bob Kurtz, casually mentions to me in a chat “Have you tried rice paper bacon yet?” No, I had not. But once Bob showed me this video and pictures of his own creations, I was IN!

This is faux bacon made from rice paper and marinade. It’s ridiculously easy to make, inexpensive, tasty, crispy and gives you the salty, smoky, chewy flavour which is what any sane human is actually craving when they think they want bacon.

I googled a few different ways to make this bacon and this is my version.

Ingredients

8 sheets of rice paper

6 Tbsp nutritional yeast (Bob grinds his in a coffee grinder to get a fine powder)

2 Tbsp neutral tasting oil like canola oil

3 Tbsp soya sauce

½ tsp liquid smoke

½ tsp maple syrup (Bob and I both agree on this)

A pinch of smoky paprika

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Directions

Heat your oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all the ingredients except the rice paper in a small bowl. Add about 2 Tbsp water to get a gravy-like consistency.

Cut your rice paper into strips about 1” wide. I had difficulty cutting the dry rice paper without it snapping so I took two sheets at a time and quickly ran them under tap water and cut them while damp.

When you have your strips cut in a double thickness (see video again), dip them in water once more, use your fingers like a squeegee to slip off the excess water and then coat them in your marinade.

Place each strip on your parchment lined pan.

Bake for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees. Watch them. Just like pig-bacon, they can go from crisp to burnt quickly.

Bob fries his bacon as per the video and also lets it cool off on a baking rack so that that his strips have the classic wavy ripple to them.

I want to have breakfast with Bob some day.

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Mushroom broccoli quiche with a brown rice crust

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This quiche is a tasty, low-calorie way to get the perfect balance of complex carbs, veggies and protein. It’s also extremely low fat yet filling. I love it with Franks hot sauce for breakfast.

If you’ve got leftover rice, here’s a great way to use it up. You’ll need 2 cups of cooked rice.

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked brown rice (or 2 cups cooked rice)

12 oz package medium-firm or firm, silken tofu

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp cornstarch or tapioca powder (I only had tapioca powder so that’s what I used)

1 Tbsp tahini

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp turmeric

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 Tbsp A-1 sauce

Freshly ground pepper to taste (I used about ¼ tsp)

1 bunch asparagus cut into 1” pieces or about 2 ½ cups broccoli florets (whichever is in season)

¼ cup shallots minced

1 clove garlic minced

1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms

1 red pepper diced

Olive oil or cooking spray

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Directions

Cook the brown rice in 2 cups of boiling water. The rice will take about 30 minutes to cook. You can cook the rice ahead of time. Allow it to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9-inch, round baking dish with the olive oil or other cooking spray.

Put the tofu, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, tapioca powder or cornstarch, tahini, A1 sauce, onion powder, turmeric, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. You should have a thick, smooth pancake batter-like mix.

Mix about ¼ cup of this batter with the rice, then pat the rice into the greased round dish to form a crust. Bake the rice crust for 8-10 minutes and remove from the oven. Leave the oven on at 350F.

Sprinkle the shallots, broccoli or asparagus, red pepper and mushrooms over the rice crust. Pour the remaining tofu batter over top evenly and smooth out.

Bake for 60 minutes. Allow the quiche to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Enjoy!

My recipe is an alteration of Susan Voisin’s original from her blog the Fat Free Vegan.

 

A stack o’ quesadillas with black beans and sweet potato

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So this happened in my kitchen the other night. Someone had told me, quite definitively, that quesadillas must have cheese and could not have beans. “Oh yeah,” I thought to myself. Let’s see about that.

I created a stack of beany, cheesy, creamy quesadillas and baked them all together. Black beans and sweet potato give the dish an incredible creaminess. The result is , if not authentically Mexican, still a fiesta in your mouth!

Ingredients

3 large tortillas or even flat bread

1 cup of shredded vegan cheese – I used Daiya pepperjack flavour cheese

1 cup of bottled salsa

1 cup of unsweetened, unflavoured plant-based milk

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 ½ cups cooked black beans (a 15 oz can drained and rinsed)

1 red pepper diced

1 clove garlic minced

1 onion diced

1 sweet potato

1-2 Tbsp chipotle adobo sauce (optional but mmm… the spice!) or a jalapeno, deseeded and minced

1 Tbsp chili powder

1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro (optional)

1 cup fresh spinach finely chopped (optional)

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp dried basil

Directions

Wash but do not peel the sweet potato. Dice it and either microwave it or bake it until it’s soft. If you’re baking it – 350F for about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Mix the milk and the salsa together and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper and saute until the onion is softened. Add the chili powder, cumin, basil and oregano and heat through. Add the chipotle adobo sauce or jalapeno if using and heat through. Switch off heat. Add the beans, sweet potato, spinach and cilantro and mix together.

Oil a 9” pie plate or other casserole dish. If you’re not using a round dish, you will have to cut the tortillas to fit the dish. Line the bottom with one of the tortillas. Add half of the black bean mixture. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Spoon 1/3 of the salsa/milk mixture over top. Repeat with another tortilla, the remaining bean mixture, 1/3 cup of the cheese and 1/3 of the salsa/milk mixture. Place the last tortilla on top. Pour the remaining salsa/milk mixture over then the remaining cheese.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Let the dish stand for a few minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

 

 

Creamy mac and cheese – finally!

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It finally happened. After testing quite a few vegan mac and cheese recipes, I have found one that I like. Hooray! This recipe is straightforward (like Grade 8 Home Ec straightforward), uses only inexpensive pantry/fridge staples, and can be ready in the time it takes to cook pasta.

The result is a creamy, satisfying and filling meal that will keep you revved for hours.

My coworker refers to this as mac and yeast and you’ll soon see why.

Ingredients

12 oz of macaroni, fusilli or other firm, short pasta

½ onion minced finely (or even whizzed in the blender)

4 Tbsp vegan margarine

4 Tbsp flour

3 cups unflavoured plant-based milk

1½ cups nutritional yeast

1-2 tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

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Directions

Cook the pasta in a large pot according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the margarine on medium heat in a 1 quart pot. Sauté the onion in the margarine until the onion is softened. Add the flour and stir until you have a roux (a thick paste of flour and margarine/onion). Add half the milk and whisk constantly until the roux is incorporated into the milk and you have a smooth sauce. Add the rest of the milk, the mustard and all the seasonings. Stir to incorporate everything together and simmer stirring regularly. This will make the sauce thickens slightly. Add the nutritional yeast and stir in to combine.

Once you have a sauce that’s the consistency of a thin pancake batter you are good to go since the sauce will thicken slightly as it cools. Pour over your pasta and enjoy.

This dish is great with hot sauce or chili sauce and a side of green peas and broccoli.

I want to add that I have heavily based this recipe on an existing Internet recipe that I printed off months ago with no attribution showing. So…. if you come across a similar recipe elsewhere on the ‘net, they, not me, are the originator!

The reincarnation of the Waldorf Salad

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When a good Waldorf Salad dies, it comes back in its next life as this salad. Gone are the eggy mayonnaise and whipping cream. Instead you get all the Waldorf deliciousness and crunch with a halo of compassionate goodness.

Ingredients

½ bunch of kale (about 4 cups) cleaned and torn into bite-size pieces. If you don’t like or have kale, raw spinach is an excellent replacement.

1 red apple cored and diced. A red delicious apple is ideal.

1 cup of grape halves

1 stalk of celery diced

Sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts for garnish (optional)

Dressing

¼ cup Vegenaise or other vegan mayo-style dressing

¼ cup unsweetened, plain vegan yogurt (Yoso is my chosen brand)

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

Pinch of salt

Few grinds of pepper

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Directions

Place the kale, apple, celery and grapes in a salad bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or mug and pour over the salad. Toss to combine and serve. Garnish with sunflower seeds or walnuts, if you like. Enjoy!