I’m a confirmed “meatatarian”. I will always have meat in my diet. But, it’s always good to expand your base menu with dishes that may be healthier for you and appeal to your friends.
More and more people are adopting a vegetarian diet and it becomes a bit of challenge when planning a menu for those guests. With the help of my friend, Bob Winsand, a confirmed vegan, I created these two dishes. I use familiar names like ‘chicken salad’ and ‘frittata’, which obviously evoke the flavors of chicken and eggs. But, the first thing to consider when making vegan dishes is to not try to make a direct comparison to their meat flavored cousins. These recipes will always have their own unique flavors. So, instead of the comparison, treat these as brand new flavors and textures that add a new dimension to your flavor palate.
Vegan 'Chicken Salad'
developed with help of Bob Winsand
8 oz Tempeh (I used soy flavored), cubed into 1" pieces
1 cu Water
juice of 1/2 a Lemon
1 tbl Taragon
pinch of Salt
1 Carrot, split lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 Celery Stalks, thinly sliced
1 green onion, chopped
1 cu Seedless Green Grapes, halved
1/4 cu whole Almonds
1/3 cu Light Canola Mayonnaise
2 tbl Fresh Parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
Pinch of Dill
Pour water, lemon juice, tarragon and pinch of salt in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add Tempeh and cover to steam for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to fully cool.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl and add cooled tempeh. Add additional seasonings to your taste and refrigerate. Serve on a bed of lettuce or in sandwiches.
developed with the help of Bob Winsand
2 tbl Olive Oil
14oz Tofu, cubed (reserve water)
1 Carrot, finely sliced
1 Celery Stalk, finely sliced
1/2 cu Onion, chopped
3 tbl White Wine or Sherry (optional)
1 1/2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
3 tbl Nutritional Yeast
1/3 lb Fingerling potatoes, thinly sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
12 Asparagus Spears, trimmed.
1 cu Red Pepper, chopped
1 cu Mushroom, sliced
1 cu Broccoli Florets, cut down if too large
2 tbl Fresh Parsley, roughly chopped
2 Plum Tomatoes, chopped (optional, for garnish)
Saute carrot, celery and onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over a medium high heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Add wine and cook until most of liquid has cooked away (optional). Allow ingredients to cool. Pour ingredients into a food processor or blender and add tofu, cumin, oregano and yeast. Process until smooth (mixture will be thick). If mixture is too thick, add a bit of the tofu water.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Chop 4 asparagus spears into 1/2 pices. Set aside the remaining 8 spears. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan over a medium high heat. Add potatoes, garlic, red pepper, mushrooms and chopped asparagus. Saute for about 5-7 minutes. Add broccoli and saute for an additional 5 minutes until all ingredients are tender. Add parsley and remove from heat. Stir in Tofu mixture.
Transfer to a pie pan (if saucepan is oven proof, you can leave the mixture in it). Spread mixture evenly and decorate the top with the asparagus spears in a pinwheel pattern. Bake frittata in the oven for 45 minutes or until mixture is firm and set. Let mixture rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. Top each serving with chopped tomatoes.