DDD #64 – My “You Are Not Vegan Enough” Rant & Holiday Leftovers Shepherd’s Pie & 14 Other Ideas



All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.


Ok – so I posted my Vegan Whole Turkey (seen above) – and the vegans on Facebook lost their collective shit.  Despite knowing it was a vegan item – I got blocked & banned & verbally assaulted SAVAGELY.  This video below is my response to the “You are not the right kind of vegan” attacks I got from the most self-righteous douchebags ever.  I also show you how I reinvented a bunch of random leftovers into and epic Shepherd’s Pie.

Below the video here are the 14 recipes I suggest as potential uses for your holiday leftovers.

Click the image to watch the video.

Thanksgiving Vegan Torta Rustica with Creamed Spinach and Chicken, Scalloped Potatoes & Sweet Potato-Butternut Squash Puree

Vegan Chicken & Mixed Vegetable Pot Pie

Vegan Spicy Chicken Enchilada Soup with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Vegan Marinated Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich

Vegan Horseradish Chicken Salad with Pecans and Jalapeno Potato Salad in Baked Wonton Cups

Vegan Chicken Salad Wraps

Cool Vegan Cashew & Cranberry Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado

Sweet & Spicy Vegan Island Chicken with Pineapple

10-Minute Spicy Vegan Sriracha Chicken & Broccoli Bowl

Healthy Vegan Chicken Fricassee with Tarragon

Healthy Vegan Chinese Chicken Salad with Spicy Asian Dressing

Vegan Cold Chicken Piccata Pasta Salad with Asparagus & Spinach

Vegan Firecracker Chicken

Vegan Beef and Vegetable (Shepherd’s Pie) Empanadas

Vegan One-Pan Chicken Piccata with Green Beans & Roasted Potatoes

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is a very, very easy dish.  It can be made with your favorite vegan chicken (or even real chicken, if you eat it, put in the pan skin-side up).  I have not eaten chicken since the eighties & I pretty much always use Beyond Meat chicken when making vegan chicken dishes.    You can use as much chicken to potato to green bean as you desire.   I prefer a heavier vegetable content.  Others like more protein.  You can decide for yourself how much of each of the three ingredients you need to feed your head count.


 Vegan One-Pan Chicken Piccata with Green Beans & Roasted Potatoes

This recipe feeds two very heartily


9-12 oz vegan chicken

3/4 lb green beans – trimmed

8-10 potatoes – cut into large bite-sized pieces

3 lemons

6 TBS olive oil

4 oz (more or less – to taste) capers

2-6 cloves garlic – chopped


Garnish – chopped fresh parsley, additional capers, lemon wedges





Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or treat a casserole dish with cooking oil.

Whisk the olive oil & about 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice with the garlic & season with S&P to taste.



Thinly slice one or two lemons & layer the bottom of your cooking pan.

Toss the green beans in the lemon juice & olive oil in a pan or bowl.  Using tongs – put them on one third of the cooking pan – leaving the remaining olive oil mixture in the bowl.  Toss the chicken & place it in the center of the pan.  Toss the potatoes & put them on the pan.  Reserve the remaining oil & juice.  Add a bit of S&P.  Do not add the capers yet.  My photos show that I did but they got a bit too dried out.

Roast about 25 minutes & then mix each of the rows up a bit so the other sides of things can roast.  Add the capers.  Cook another 25 minutes or so or until everything looks done to you.  You can remove anything that seems done & keep roasting other things – the potatoes, for instance – until they are done to your liking.

Plate & garnish with the remaining olive oil & lemon, extra capers, parsley & lemon wedges.







Vegan Chicken Piccata

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)


All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.



I always adored chicken piccata.  I love capers, I love lemon and, defiantly, I love parsley!  But, about 25 years ago, I gave up meat from mammals & poultry.  “Meat from mammals” sounds like something they found at Jeffrey Dahmer’s because – well – that IS what they found there.  But I mean I gave up red meat which, sorry folks, includes pork, and I gave up chicken & the like.  I only gave up seafood this year (because of lots of things but Fukushima was the last straw).

I miss the oddest things from the meat & chicken world.  Costco hotdogs.  Big Macs (which I would no longer eat because of pink slime etc – even if I ate meat).  Really, really rare steak.  Any real selection of any ethnic food beyond Indian.  Tacos (fish tacos).  Street cart kinda food.  And chicken piccata.

So – with all this fake meat suddenly deluging the market – I have begun to get quite busy experimenting with it.  In the past, fake meat was seitan or tempeh – which I find have flavors too specific to mask easily and tofu which has always underwhelmed me- and now soy is all GMO & shit & so I try to avoid that, too.  Then there are veggie burgers & veggie dogs – which are reasonable replacements for the real thing but they can’t be turned into chicken piccata.  And the fake breakfast sausage patties they make are great!  A decent fake bacon is still an apparition on the horizon – except for the chemical-burn inducing Bacos – which I have been known to eat, by the jar, with a bottle of red.

Sometimes, I am really gross & pathetic.

Anyway, it seems that overnight – there is a selection of fake meats in even the most mainstream supermarkets and I have been having great success with them!  Look at how delicious a vegan chicken (firecracker chicken) can be!


Prefer beef?  Behold!



HERE are some other vegan chicken selections from my recipe book.  And HERE are some vegan beef ones.

Better yet – here is a coupon for some FREE fake meat – good until the end of May 2014!



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OK – so – chicken piccata!  OK – the first time I attempted it this week – I used these cutlet things because they seemed to replicate real chicken piccata visually better.

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So – I whipped them up into a piccata & made myself that garlic baby broccoli, and some lemon-basil baby squash & some jalapeno mashed cauliflower – plated it up & commenced photographing it.  Here are the results:

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While this was all very delicious (though these cutlet-style pieces retain some of the stronger and not altogether awesome flavors of earlier faux meat products) – I did not like the darkness of the “chicken” piccata in these photos.  So – I endeavored to make it again using some chicken strip-style faux meat I had.

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I picked around in this bag & pulled out all the larger strips I could find.  I used about half this bag in the recipe here.  (UPDATE – I would suggest using Beyond Meat – if you can find it near you.)

And look at how convincingly it looks like chicken once it is cooked!  Isn’t that amazing?  I am very excited about this & VERY glad I attempted this recipe a second time.  This brand of fake chicken tastes way better than any of the Gardein products I have tried but Simple Truth products are really Kroger products & this Simple Truth folks were recently exposed as being lying motherfuckers.  Or MISLEADING motherfuckers, at the very least.   Read about the lawsuit HERE.  And PS – I once bought a few cans of Kroger pitted black olives & they tasted SO MUCH like chemicals – I actually returned the unopen cans for a refund.  That marks my ONLY return of a grocery item in my life!  I avoid Kroger now whenever I can (no pun intended!).  🙂  So – I still highly recommend the Trader Joe’s faux beef & chicken products & the Beyond Meat stuff that the coupon above is for.

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Chicken piccata is a dish that allows a bit of wiggle room.  I REALLY like capers & I love lemon – so I go heavy on these.  I will admit, I actually used real butter here but a vegan option is perfectly fine.  There is a shallot in my pictures but I forgot to use it.  Oops!

Say – have you heard?  I wrote a comedy NOVEL!!!!!  Go to http://www.BathingBook.com & find out more – and maybe BUY it!  The reviews on Amazon are pretty awesome!

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Vegan Chicken Piccata

Serves 2


About 1/2 lb of vegan chicken (like Beyond Meat)


2 lemons – one sliced into thin rounds.  One quartered for garnish.

1/2 cup Parsley – chopped

2-3 TBS Vegan (or real – if you ain’t vegan) butter

Olive Oil

3 garlic cloves – minced

1 cup dry white wine (or cooking wine) OR 1 TBS Dijon mixed into a cup of water

Capers (I used 1/2 of a 4 oz jar – but I LOVE capers!)

Vegetable bouillon (I used 1/2 of one of the large ones seen below – enough for 1 cup stock – and I am not certain they are vegan)


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Toss the faux chicken in enough flour to lightly coat the pieces.  Add some S&P & toss.

In a large saute pan, heat about 1 TBS olive oil & 1 TBS of whatever kind of butter you are using over med-high heat.  Add the fake chicken.  I pressed the chicken flat in the pan.

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My chicken cooked up nicely but I did have to add another TBS or so of olive oil to keep the pan from becoming too dry.  When the chicken (and this would even apply to real chicken) is heated through & browned, take it from the pan & set aside.

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At this point, I added about another TBS of butter & a dollop of olive oil & the bouillon.   Be very careful NOT to burn your butter.  Once the bouillon dissolved, I added the garlic.  After 30 seconds – THIRTY SECONDS because garlic burns fast – I added the wine.  I increased the heat to high & added HALF the lemon rounds and the capers.  I saved the other half of the rounds to put under the piccata when I served it.

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This came to a boil pretty fast & I let it do its thing there for a minute or two until it thickened just a bit.  If yours doesn’t thicken quickly, a few PINCHES of flour whisked in should help.  Add the chicken & a few pinches of chopped parsley & heat it all through.

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Once it seems hot – serve that shit up!   Plate it over a few fresh lemon rounds & garnish it with LOTS of parsley & maybe more capers & a lemon wedge.  This goes really will over pasta noodles or mashed potatoes.  I used mashed cauliflower & I was VERY pleased with myself!   I nice white wine & a veggie side & you are good to go!  Go & buy my BOOK, that is!  🙂


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Cauliflower Piccata with Red Cargo Rice & Roasted Beets

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.


Yesterday, I attended my first acting class with Risa Bramon Garcia.  She has one of the most impressive resumes I have ever seen – casting, directing, producing.  Look at it HERE – and start from the bottom & work up.  Just incredible.   Anyway, it was a terrifying but gratifying afternoon. I only mention this because I wasn’t able to start dinner I got back from class.  This meant starting dinner much later than usual.  This meant I was starving by the time it was done & too impatient to properly photograph it.  So – apologies for the under-documented process & the redundant imagery of the finished product.

Chicken Piccata is one of the dishes I miss most, having given up eating poultry & red meat about 25 years ago.  I like mine very lemony.  Replacing the chicken with cauliflower satisfied me completely.  You could use some sort of seafood option if the cauliflower isn’t substantial enough for you.

The red cargo rice can be replaced by any rice you prefer but here is a little info on the red rice from Wikipedia:

Red Cargo rice is a type of non-glutinous long grain rice, similar to brown rice, in that it is unpolished rice, only the color of the bran is red, purple or maroon. Only the husks of the rice grains are removed during the milling process, retaining all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals intact in the bran layer and in the germ.

Red rice is a good source of thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), fibreiron and calcium. The flavor of cooked red cargo rice is generally more sweet and nutty, and the rice is more chewy than standard white polished rice. Red rice takes longer to cook than white rice, but not as long as brown rice. Soaking the rice in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking produces a softer texture.

I love beets!  I find that a great many people who think they hate them do not hate them if they try a home roasted one.  It frustrated me immensely when people dig in their heels & refuse to even try them.   I can’t understand their controversial nature.  I think they should be as broadly accepted as carrots – earthy & sweet.  But they are not.  Maybe due to canned ones & watery, bland ones in shreds on low end salad bars.  Anyway – I love them.  They are robust & delicious & gorgeous & good for you.  If you have never had a home roasted beet – I beg you to try them at least once.

Finally – please forgive my obsession with my food ring.  I just love making little food towers.  I know I make them too often & they have lost their impact but fuck it.  I like them!  🙂





Red Cargo Rice

Basically – cook the rice (or whatever rice you select) according to the directions.  I cooked mine in vegetable stock rather than water & I added 1 TBS of Herbes de Provence.



Roasted Beets

Cut the tops & bottoms off the beets.   Place them on a sheet of foil & drizzle with olive oil & salt. I added about a dozen garlic cloves to the beets because I love roasted garlic.  Wrap the beets up & roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until tender.  Remove & chop the beets into course chunks.


Cauliflower Piccata


1 large head cauliflower

2 cups vegetable stock

6 cloves garlic (or less) – chopped

4 TBS butter

2 TBS fresh lemon juice

3 TBS capers

3 TBS flour (I used potato flour)

olive oil

S&P to taste

Chopped parsley as garnish


Heat the oven to 375.

Cut the leaves off the cauliflower & cut the head in half.  Try to cut at least one 1/2 inch steak of the thickest part of each half & continue outward until it is all cut.  Place on a baking sheet & drizzle with olive oil & a little salt.  Roast for 20 minutes or so or until the edges start to brown.

While the cauliflower roasts, heat the butter in a sauce pan.  Add the garlic & saute until it softens.  Add the flour & stir to blend.  Saute over medium-high heat until it begins to brown.  Be careful not to burn the butter.  This flour mixture will thicken pretty quickly.  Add the veggie stock in small increments, allowing the sauce to thicken each time.  When all the stock is incorporated, add the lemon & capers.

Serve your cauliflower with the lemon sauce poured over it & plenty of fresh parsley.  Additional lemon wedges are nice so folks can add more lemon if they desire.  The sauce is nice over the rice, too.