Tag Archives: lunch

Soy Curl “Chicken” Salad

We’ll chalk this one up to my husband being a wiz in the kitchen. When there’s ‘nothing’ to eat, he somehow comes up with something pretty magical. This soy curl ‘chicken’ salad is right up there!

Ingredients

  • Prepared soy curls
    • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • pinch of salt
    • pinch of celery salt
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tbsp mayo (or veganaise)
  • 2 tbsp bbq sauce
  • 2 garlic rolls (or any buns)

Directions

  1. Cook soy curls in pan until lightly browned … Toss with seasoning.
  2. Add mayo, bbq sauce, almonds & celery to a medium mixing bowl and toss together.
  3. Fold in soy curls.
  4. Toast buns.
  5. Assemble sandwiches … serve with a pickle if you’re feeling saucy! :)
  6. Enjoy!

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What Are Soy Curls?

Entering the world of vegetarianism/veganism can be a little daunting (there are so many foods that appear to be vegetarian/vegan, but aren’t, and it takes a lot of time to figure it all out). With that said, us veggies have it pretty easy these days. Even neighborhood groceries have started stocking their shelves with plenty of veggie friendly goodness.

Our favorite find since moving to Portland has been Soy Curls. People are constantly asking us about them, so we thought it’d be worth sharing.

Unlike most meat alternatives, Soy Curls aren’t made from the derived protein, they’re made from the whole soy bean. They’re a whole food … made from cooking & texturing the beans before drying. They are organic & preservative free. Win. Win. Win. Win.

When you buy them (we get them in the bulk bin section of our local food co-op), they’re dried up. They sort of look like chicken jerky. Then, you soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes until they’re rehydrated. Then, you can marinate/season/cook just like you’d prepare chicken or any other meat.

Here they are after being rehydrated. Looks like chicken.

We typically pan fry them with BBQ sauce, taco seasoning or just s&p. Today, we cooked them up with some onions. They turn out crispy & soooo good. It seriously tastes and feels JUST like chicken. I’m not lying, and yes, even though it’s been 4 years since I’ve eaten real meat, I still remember!

And for you assholes who ask, “Why would you be a vegetarian if you’re going to eat things that seem like meat?” … I didn’t stop eating meat because it tasted bad. So ssssuuucccckkkk it! I miss some of the tasty meals I grew up on, so this is a way to add a little more variety to our diets … all while not killing animals! :)

Thanks to Amy for introducing us … to Native Bowl (a food cart in Portland) for cooking up the first ones we ate … and to Butler Foods for making such a great product!

I should mention that they’re a bit hard to find, but the Butler Foods site has a Soy Curls locater … and I believe they ship them as well!

Buffalo ‘Chicken’ Pasta Bake

I love sharing vegan recipes here … and we really strive to eat vegan whenever we can. However,  some most days, we want a little more cheese in our lives. Last week, we made all of our meals at home. It was really nice to have that time in the kitchen, and know that we were treating our bodies a little better. We needed a little comfort food, so we decided to make this buffalo ‘chicken’ pasta bake for lunch. We say ‘chicken’ because what we treated as chicken is really something else amazing: soy curls (more on that in a post a little later this week).

You guys … this dish blew our minds. We ate it ALL in one sitting <- let’s act like I didn’t just share that detail. It was SO FREAKING GOOD!

Ingredients

  • 1 box of rigatoni pasta
  • 1 cups soy curls (soaked/drained)
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk (yes, I realize I use real cheese/butter, but also use copious amounts of almond milk when cooking)
  • 1/2 block of monterey jack cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 block of cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cups Franks hot sauce (plus a little more for the top)
  • 3 tbsp Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup green onions (diced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp ranch dressing

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  2. Soak soy curls in bowl for 10 minutes, then drain. Add to hot pan with olive oil & a few dashes of hot sauce. Continue cooking on medium heat until soy curls have developed a little color.
  3. Cook pasta in water until just al dente. Drain & set aside.
  4. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large sauce pan, then add flous and cook until flour is golden. Whisk in almond milk until smooth. Stir occasionally until mixture thickens, then add the most of the shredded cheese & hot sause. Stir together.
  5. Add soy curls to sauce.
  6. Add 1/2 of the pasta to an oven safe baking dish. Pour half of the sauce/coy curl mixture on top. Then repeat. Make sure pasta is coated with sauce.
  7. Top with remaining cheese & bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese on top is golden and bubbly.
  8. Remove from the oven and top with green onions, cilantro, hot sauce & ranch.
  9. Enjoy!

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

White Bean Spread & A Yummy Sandwhich

My friends … I think I just found a new best friend in the lunch food department! … White bean spread. I bought a can of cannellini beans this week at the grocery, just because. Today, while looking for sandwich fixins, I decided to experiement. This spread ended up being so flavorful and creamy. I am trying to eat vegan as much as possible during the day, so this bean dip let me satisfy my never ending creamy-savory-obsession.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pinch of herbs de provence (or rosemary/thyme will do, too)
  • 1 pinch of dried basil
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

How to make:

  • Put all ingredients in the food processor, and let ‘er rip. Blend til smooth.
  • Spread on toast, a sandwich, veggies … It’s so much like hummus, so you can use it several different ways.

Vegan Sandwich:

  • Sliced tomato
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Diced onion
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Mustard
  • White bean spread
Enjoy!

Brocolli Slaw Wraps

Oh goodness … This recipe is so great. My friend Erin invited us over for dinner a few weeks ago and graciously made a veggie friendly meal. These wraps (or something like them) were front & center. I made some today for lunch in about 3 minutes … They are super fast and so delicious.

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 avocado
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • Handful of mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup of broccoli slaw (the stems from broccoli + radish + carrots)
  • 2 slices of provolone cheese
  • 2 tbsp. spicy peanut dressing (from Trader Joes)
  • 2 whole grain tortillas

 

Constructing these wraps is pretty self-explanitory. The dressing is so yummy, but try to go light.

 

Two observations from this lunch:

 

  • Two wraps were WAY too much to eat. Funny how eating healthier/lighter has really scaled back how much I can eat. I felt bad for throwing food out, but in the past, I’d have no problem eating both. Today would have been best with 1 wrap and some fresh fruit.
  • I could have done without the cheese. The avocado adds that creaminess, so the cheese was really unnecessary. It even made it a little too heavy.