Tag Archives: vegan

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!

Vegan Chocolate Shake

Last night, we had a little sweet tooth that needed to be satisfied. We made these amazingly simple vegan chocolate shakes & they were gone in about 2 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 4 frozen bananas (peel & slice them before freezing)
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 3 tbsp un-sweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter (or PB2 mixed with a little water)
  • 2 tbsp protein powder (we use the vegan hemp protein from Trader Joes … it’s really tasty) – This is completely optional by the way: we hadn’t eaten dinner, so we wanted a little protein to fill us up!

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in blender & mix.
  2. Enjoy!

This makes 2 big shakes, so 1/2 the recipe if it’s just for you!! 

 

Chickpea Noodle Soup

Even though I’ve been a vegetarian for several years, I still have a way of remembering exactly what some of my favorite ‘meaty’ foods tasted like … a McDonalds cheeseburger, my mom’s fried chicken, and the number one comfort food in my book: chicken noodle soup. Who cares that it was from a can? It was so freaking good.

Thankfully, since becoming a vegetarian, I’ve only been sick a few times (maybe just two times), so it’s not like I had to suffer through yearly flus/colds without a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Though, I have to admit, there are rainy days when it just seems like the perfect meal.

Well, now, I’ve found a replacement. A really good replacement. Chickpea Noodle Soup may be one of my favorite ‘I-need-comfort-food’ meals ever.

Ingredients

  • 7 cups water
  • 3/4 box of elbow macaroni (about 3/4 of a pound)
  • 1 can of chickpeas (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 tbsp. canolla oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter (use a tbsp of olive oil here to make this vegan)
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • a pinch of pepper for seasoning

Directions

  1. Bring water to a boil in a large sauce pan
  2. Add pasta, chickpeas, salt, garlic salt, oil & butter to the pan. Cook until the pasta is tender.
  3. Serve. Be sure to add a little pinch of pepper in the bowl. Yes, seriously, it’s that easy. The water becomes the broth … a seriously tasty broth that gives the canned stuff a run for it’s money.
  4. Enjoy!

Adapted from Fresh 365

Why Being A Vegetarian Is Easy

Whenever the topic of vegetarianism comes up with new friends, I typically like to take a back-seat to the conversation. It’s inevitable that I’ll hear things like, “but how do you get your protein?” or “I could totally be a vegetarian if I could eat bacon!” I never judge anyone for their food choices. Ever. If someone wants help or information or recipes for the vegetarian lifestyle, I’m happy to oblige. Obviously, it’s something I believe in … I’m coming up on 4 years! By the way … my responses to those two questions is: DO YOUR RESEARCH! There’s more absorbable protein in plant sources than in meat sources … and I loved bacon too! However, pigs are smarter than dogs, and I just couldn’t imagine knowing that and not caring about eating them. So sad.

Giving up meat was never hard for me. In fact, I had been suffering from severe stomach problems as long I could remember … and once I stopped eating meat, the problem was completely solved. That, within itself, was enough to keep me from eating meat ever again. Being a vegetarian has helped me eat more healthy, whole foods … and most of all, it’s forced me to be more adventurous while cooking and eating. It’s easy, because the food is good.

The only difficulty has been learning to live with a non-vegetarian. Our current situation is this: our home is vegetarian. No meat in the house. If he wants to eat meat outside the house … he’s more than welcome. One time J told me he couldn’t be married to me if I decided to be a vegan. WHAT?! It just couldn’t work. Well, over the past month, I bet 1/2 of our at-home meals have been vegan. Guess what, we’re still married! Take that Mr. Stadick. I never forced him to be a vegetarian … We got into a few fights early on about it. Basically, he told me he’ll never be 100% vegetarian and that I just have to get over it. So I did. I’d obviously love it if he never ate meat again, but it’s not really my business. Our future kids are another story: we fully intend on raising little, nerdy vegetarian kids.

This whole post leads to me this: J and I talked last night about doing a 30 day vegan diet. Once we get moved to Portland, we’re gonna do it. The only exception will be Thanksgiving (I can’t keep my man from enjoying turkey). After reading some amazing vegan blogs … I realized, we don’t really eat much dairy anyway. Everyday things like eggs can easily be substituted with something called a ‘flax egg’ (water & flax seed mixed … forms a gooey egg-like texture), and instead of cows milk, almond or soy milk will do the trick. There are several brands of vegan cheeses … and using nutritional yeast is a great way to get a creamy texture in a dish. Lastly, coconut ice cream is the icing on the cake. It’s vegan … and dreamy!

Vegan Asian Lettuce Wraps! Mmmmmm.

In the next month or so, I’m planning a blog post for links to my favorite vegan/vegetarian blogs, and I’ll be sharing more vegan recipes. I think it’s interesting that more of our friends & family have adopted Meatless Monday and/or vegan food into their diets. I think it’s awesome that people are becoming more aware of their food choices! Kudos to you for taking a stand!