DDD #31 – Sweet & Spicy Vegan Island Chicken with Pineapple

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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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This is a very easy recipe & it is very flexible.  You can use the veggies that I did or sub in ones you prefer.  You could use jalapeno for a spicy dish or add brown sugar for a sweeter dish.  Click the image below for the recipe video & please subscribe to my channel.

Sweet & Spicy Vegan Island Chicken with Pineapple

INGREDIENTS

2 TBS coconut oil

9 oz vegan chicken

1 jalapeno – diced (optional)

1-2 cups dice fresh pineapple

1 red bell pepper – diced

1 cup carrots – chopped or grated

1-2 cups broccoli florets

3 garlic cloves – chopped

2 TBS soy sauce (or liquid aminos or tamari)

2 TBS sriracha

2 TBS ginger – minced

juice if 1/2 lime

2 TBS brown sugar (optional – I did not use it as I am not a fan of things too sweet)

Cornstarch

S&P

2 cups cooked rice OR tortillas (for tacos or wraps) OR lettuce leaves (for lettuce cups)

Garnish: cilantro or sesame seeds or sliced scallions

DIRECTIONS

Thaw the chicken, cube it & toss with some cornstarch.  Set aside.

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan or wok.  Add the veggies (bell pepper, broccoli, jalapeno, carrots) & saute until soft.  Add the soy sauce, sriracha, ginger & combine.  Add brown sugar (if using – I did not). Combine & then add pineapple.  Combine & then add rice (if doing a stir fry).  Stir in the garlic & squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lime.  Season with S&P to taste.  Heat through & serve (either with rice or as tacos, wraps or lettuce cups).  Garnish as you desire & devour!

 

Vegan Crab Cake Po’ Boy with Avocado, Purple Coleslaw on a Homemade Pistolette Roll

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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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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.

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See that gorgeous slaw?   My recipe for it is HERE.  It takes ten minutes & can be made even a day or two in advance.  I used just a hint of Just Mayo in it.  If you are curious about vegan mayonnaise – there is a great article about how the various brands fared against each other & against egg mayo – HERE.

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Because I am trying to spend as little money as possible on groceries & I needed a roll for my Po’ Boy – I had to make my own bread!  I used Deep South Dish’s recipe found HERE for Pistolette Sandwich Rolls.  There were several steps but none were difficult.  Plus – the whole house smelled like freshly baked bread – a WONDERFUL thing anytime but especially in colder weather.  Here are some photos of my process:

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I put a little dish of water in the oven while they baked & they came out golden & crusty on the outside & soft in the middle.  They would make amazing dinner rolls or as an accompaniment to cheese like – maybe – my Vegan Spicy Jalapeno Cilantro Cashew Nut Cheese – seen just above.  That is a raw cheese and can be made in minutes.

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Vegan Crab Cake Po’ Boy with Avocado

Serves one

INGREDIENTS

As many Gardein Crabless Cakes as you desire – fried or baked (I fried mine in a little olive oil)

The roll of your choice

Avocado slices

Lettuce

Coleslaw

Sliced radishes (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Assemble your Po’ Boy!  It is just that simple.  Some bread, a bit of lettuce, a few avocado and/or radish slices, your crabless cakes & some slaw!  BOOM!  Enjoy!

I initially assembled the sandwich with the crab cakes whole but mashing them up made the Po’ Boy easier to eat & more appetizing to look at.  It looks like crab!

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Vegan Spicy & Sweet Purple Cabbage Slaw

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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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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.

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This is super easy.  I used purple cabbage, carrots & radishes but just cabbage would be fine.

Vegan Spicy & Sweet Purple Cabbage Slaw

INGREDIENTS

1 cup purple (or other) cabbage – shredded

3 radishes – chopped

1/2 cup carrots – grated or cut into matchsticks

1-2 jaleno peppers – diced (seeded for less heat)

1/4 cup vegan mayo

2 TBS relish

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Mix everything up & season with S&P.  Add more relish for more sweetness or more mayo for a wetter slaw.

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Vegan Thai Pad Gra Prow – Spicy Beef & Basil – with Wide Rice Noodles & Bok Choy

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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.

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.

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So – last week on Tuesday – I began a test to see how long I could go without spending ANY money on groceries.  The only cheats allowed would be the delivery of vegetables I get every two weeks from Farm Fresh To You & any restaurant meals.  I eat out VERY seldom so – that second one is not much of a cheat.  Still, I started the challenge out eating that Gardenburger from Carney’s.  That cost me $10 with fries & a drink.  Then, I spent the next week eating things like these:

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Vegans, beware!  The Morning Star veggie sausage is merely vegetarian – not vegan.  If I ever eat breakfast (and I seldom do) – it typically looks like that above.

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I eat tortilla pizzas a SHOCKINGLY frequent amount of dinners per month.  I adore them.  And that cheese there is vegan!    It is Parmela Creamery cheese.  I like it A LOT more than Daiya which – I think – tastes funny & doesn’t melt easily.

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More often than not – I eat a giant, zero-carb, 100-calorie bowl of vegan pho for lunch.  Made with shirataki noddles – it is a wonderfully filly & guiltless soup.

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That is a salad of red lettuce, tomatoes & (I admit) a bit of goat cheese.

I also ate my Vegan Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchilada Casserole with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce and my Vegan Potato, Leek, Fennel & Turnip Soup with Carrots & Pepitas – seen below, respectively, so I had a pretty well-fed week.  In the past when I attempt the pantry challenge – I do not allow the acquisition of ANYTHING if it can be avoided.  Almond milk for coffee & wine being notable exceptions.  In the past, once the fresh produce ran out, I became reduced to frozen leftovers & lots & lots of dry, white food – like pasta & rice.  Panicked friends began delivering fresh produce so – to avoid a full-scale panic – I am allowing (as I stated) a 2x monthly delivery of veggies.

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Well – everything was going great – until yesterday.  I had not spent one cent on food since that burger at Carney’s – 8 days before.  But, yesterday, I got bored.  I wanted to cook.  I wanted to post something on this blog.  So – I cheated & allowed myself a stop in the CRAZY inexpensive Thai market – Bangluck.   Shit is practically free in there but I still managed to spend $52.  Here is the bulk of what I got there:

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Those two jars of gluten look like lab specimens but I could not resist.  Each of those cans of varied mock meats are gluten & all cost under $2.  I bought that tofu above for under $2 each – far better than the price at Gelson’s – about a mile away – below.

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Drunk from my misbehavior & shopping orgy – I drove by Sacred Farts.  Yes.  Sacred Farts.

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I Googled it & I guess it is a dance & yoga studio.  Who knew?

Well, my will weakened, I decided to stop by Silom Market – also in Thai Town.  This place is super sketchy and always has a security guard at the front door.  Armed guard to protect bulk spices?  Sorta seems like Silom might be a front for something else – but I digress.   If you go there & decide to buy some of the fresh items they make & sell there – be sure to check ingredients.  By check – I mean GOOGLE.  Let me recount an experience I had there once.

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In the cooler section – they had what seemed to be a large selection of locally produced pre-made sauces & curries & pastes….sold in the lidded plastic containers delis use to sell you potato salad. I looked at a bunch of them, mouth watering as I thought of how authentic my dishes would taste if I used these expertly prepared flavorings.  I saw one that looked dark & spicy & read the ingredients

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Ingredients: Chili, onion, garlic, mangda, sugar, salt, fish, tamarind paste.  It was called Nam Prik Mang-da.  I love prik pao squid at my beloved Torung & this stuff looked like culinary gold.  I didn’t know what mangda was but wrote it off as an obscure name for a common thing – like my recent anise pepper experience.  $5.  Sold!

Upon closer inspection – I see these curries/pastes are made in-house at Silom!

When I got home – I Googled the name of the chili paste I just bought looking for culinary inspiration.  I was ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIED when the search engine spat out its results.  Here – take a peek and see what MANGDA means – HERE.  Don’t look at the horseshoe crabs.  In fact – here is a stock photo of your garden variety MANGDA:

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Yes, folks.  Mangda means giant water bug!!!!!!  OMG!  I’m gagging just looking at that thing!  And I should have known better.  This isn’t my first time crossing paths with these fuckers.  No!  I pointed them out to you guys in my Bangluck Market post.  You can buy 4 of these guys whole, in the refrigerated section, for $4.49 – and they have 35 calories in the 4 together – 15 of which come from fat.  Yeah – they are nearly 50% fat.  Gag.  Needless to say – I threw the $5 container in the trash and pronto.

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So – I have learned to be a careful label reader in Thai markets.

Anyway – here are some new things I found at Silom:

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It is vegan & it is $5.  It didn’t seem very appetizing so I passed on it.

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 Vegan crispy balls?!  I have no idea what they are but I fucking BOUGHT some!

Then I found fresh, frozen jackfruit but I already had 4 cans from Bangluck – so I passed.

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That is how the stuff is displayed in the freezers at Silom.  I dug into one & pulled out a package almost totally obscured by frost.  I scraped it off & discovered this!

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Vegan strip steak!   And then I found this!

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I was VERY excited by these two discoveries but stopped my impulse to buy the entire stock before I had put them to the taste test.

I also bought keffir lime leaves & some other stuff  (some of the stuff below came from Bangluck):

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So – I dropped another $35.  And – when I got home – I realized I wanted red bell peppers for this beef dish so – I went to Gelson’s.  I had a $5 off a $25 purchase so – of course – I had to spend $25.  I filled my basket with what I guessed would just be $25 but I miscalculated.  It never crossed my mind that two red bell peppers would cost over $6!   I also bought the chorizo below.  Gelson’s has a sorta fun (if very expensive) selection of vegan things.  I bought the chorizo – but here are a few of the other vegan delights they offer.  Anyway – I dropped another $40.  So – there’s that.

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OK!  On to this Vegan Thai Pad Gra Prow – Spicy Beef & Basil – with Wide Rice Noodles!!!  I added fresh noodles that I bought at Bangluck but this would go just as nicely over rice – or in lettuce wraps.  The revelation is this AMAZING S.P.A. vegan beef!  Read that nutrition label above.  Non-GMO soy protein.  This shit is guiltless and looks EXACTLY like slices of steak!  It is pretty innocuous in the flavor department so – like chicken – it kinda just takes on the flavors you add to it. HERE they are on Facebook.  I will DEFINITELY be buying more & more & more of this stuff.   Once my pantry challenge is over.

This dish is very easy & doesn’t use anything especially exotic.  I recommend it very highly!

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Vegan Thai Pad Gra Prow – Spicy Beef & Basil – with Wide Rice Noodles & Bok Choy

SERVES 2 well

INGREDIENTS

A few TBS sesame oil (or olive oil)

7 (or more) ounces vegan beef

12 ounces fresh rice noodles (or cooked pasta or cooked rice)

1/2 red bell pepper – sliced into strips

1/2 small onion – diced

2 jalapenos – diced

2 heads bok choy – cleaned (optional) & chopped a bit

5 garlic cloves – chopped

1 TBS liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari) – plus extra

1 tsp dark soy sauce

1 tsp vegan oyster or mushroom sauce

1 TBS sambal oelek

1/2 tsp agave nectar (or brown sugar)

1 cup basil leaves (I used a mixture of Thai sweet basil & Thai holy basil but any basil will do – Thai ones being preferred)

GARNISH – lime wedges, cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

If using noodles – separate them under cold running water.  If using pasta or rice – cook it & set aside.

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I did not bother to defrost the beef.  It might be easier if you do.  Either way – heat the sesame oil (2 or 3 TBS) in a wok or large saute pan.  Cook the beef until it is seared on both sides.  Set aside.  (I only used 1/2 of the cooked beef in the noodle dish & reserved the rest for another recipe.)  I covered the beef while it cooked to hasted the defrosting.

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In the same pan – add a bit of olive (or sesame) oil & heat it.  Add the red bell pepper, onion & jalapenos.  Saute until soft.  Add all the other ingredients except the garlic & basil (and the garnish).  Heat the noodles & meat through & let the bok choy wilt.  I added a bit of extra liquid aminos here because I thought the dish needed a tad more salt & moisture.  This is your call.  Once the bok choy is wilted & the ingredients are well-combined – stir in the garlic & basil.

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Serve with cilantro & lime wedges!

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Vegan Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut-Ginger Cream, Pistachios & Pomegranate Seeds

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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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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.

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This might – honestly – be the most delicious soup I have ever made and it is as easy as can be.  If you have a blender, food processor or immersion blender – you can wow the fuck out of your friends with this glorious, autumnal, light & healthy, rich & creamy soup!  I used all the random veggies that I had wilting in my vegetable bins.  You can add or subtract ingredients but I gotta say – this baby is kinda perfect!  Very little added oil & chock full of veggie nutrients.  The Coconut- ginger cream is certainly optional but it adds a nice level.  The pistachios & pomegranate were for texture & color – but they can go with little impact on this soup.  If you are not vegan – stirring in a little goat cheese might be a nice touch.

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Vegan Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut-Ginger Cream, Pistachios & Pomegranate Seeds

Serves 4 very well

INGREDIENTS

3 medium sweet potatoes – sliced into 1/2-inch rounds

3 bell peppers – halved & seeded

1/2 onion (or a leek or some shallots) – peeled & cut in half

10 small carrots – ends trimmed

1 jalapeno (optional)

1 TBS fresh lemon juice (optional)

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp red (or other) curry powder (or curry paste)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne

Several fresh thyme sprigs (or 1/2 tsp dry thyme)

4 cups vegetable stock

olive oil (or coconut or other oil)

S&P

Garnish – pistachios and pomegranate seeds (optional)

for the coconut-ginger cream

5.5 ounces coconut milk

1-3 TBS minced ginger (I used a squeezable kind) – or to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Toss the vegetables in a bit of olive oil & spread in a single layer on cooking sheets (covered with either foil sprayed with cooking spray or parchment paper).  Salt & pepper liberally.  Cook for about 30+ minutes or until the veggies are soft.  Some might need to come out earlier than others.  I cooked an extra sweet potato to put in my dogs’ food tonight.  They LOVE sweet potatoes.  The bell peppers should blacken a little bit.  When the peppers are done – either put them in a tightly-closed container or wrap them in foil to cool a bit.  This will make them sweat & the skins should peel off nicely under running water.  Do not worry if all the skin does not come off.

Meanwhile – combine the coconut milk & ginger – adding ginger in increments – until it tastes good to you.  Set aside.

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Once you can handle the veggies (not the sweet potatoes) – chop them a little bit.  Seed the jalapeno to make it less spicy.  I used the seeds.

Heat a little olive oil in a large stock pot & add the chopped veggies & sweet potato and garlic.  Stir to combine & then add stock & spices.  Squeeze in about a TBS lemon juice.  Bring to a boil & turn off heat.

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Puree the soup in batches or with an immersion blender.  I added about 1-2 cups of water to thin it enough to puree in the blender.  Season with S&P.

Serve garnished with coconut-ginger cream, pistachios & pomegranate seeds.

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Vegan Sticky, Sweet & Spicy Chinese Five Spice Pork for the Slow Cooker

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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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Nothing is easier than a slow cooker dish.  You could make this stove-top by simply simmering it until the sauce is as thick as you like it to be.  Not much more to say about this except that it is damned tasty & crazy easy.

Vegan Sticky, Sweet & Spicy Chinese Five Spice Pork for the Slow Cooker

Serves 2 very well when served with rice

INGREDIENTS

2 (10.5 oz) packages Gardein Porkless Bites (or other vegan pork, beef or chicken) – I threw the sauce packets away

1/4 cup Shao Xing rice wine

2 TBS minced ginger (I used the squeezable kind pictured)

2 TBS minced garlic (I used jarred)

1 TBS tomato paste or ketchup

2 TBS sesame oil

2 TBS vegan hoisin sauce

2 TBS vegan oyster or mushroom-flavored sauce

2 TBS sambal oelek (less if you do nott like a lot of spiciness)

2 TBS sweet Thai chili sauce

2 TBS dark soy sauce

1 – 3 tsp Chinese 5-spice (I used 3 but I think that was heavy-handed.  Maybe start with one & increase it as it cooks – if you think it needs more)

Cooked rice for 2

Garnish – cilantro and/or sliced hot peppers (I used red jalapenos)

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DIRECTIONS

Put everything except the rice & garnish in a slow cooker & leave on high for 4 hours.  Mine was still too thin at that point – so I cooked it a bit longer with the lid off.  If you are going to leave this on low for 8 hours – maybe add a cup of water – so it doesn’t burn – and then cook off excess moisture at the end by taking the lid off.  If it gets too thick – add water.

Serve with rice & garnish as you desire.

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Vegan Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork Ribs

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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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One of my all-time favorite foods, since childhood, is BBQ ribs – especially of the Chinese variety.  Sticky, sweet & chewy – just delicious.  I lived above a Chinese take-out while I was in high school & smelled this shit cooking every day & never tired of it.  Even as the grease filled the air & I could feel my skin breaking out – I still craved these all the time – even if I only let myself have them on special occasions – mainly because I perceived them as extremely fattening and bad for you.

Then I gave up meat in the eighties & all ribs of all varieties fell forever from my diet.

Still – I craved that BBQ sauce & would have my mother send me the Ah-So Sauce (below)  – a brand not available in Los Angeles – and I would stir it into rice or dip vegetables in it.  It was not nearly as satisfying as ribs but I learned to live with it.

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Chinese BBQ pork is called Char Siu.  Lee Kum Kee brand is widely available & certainly available online.  I saw this jar on a shelf & a great idea popped into my mind.  Why not make BBQ pork using Beyond Meat vegan chicken?  Why not, indeed!  Their chicken strips have a texture that can be experienced as chicken OR pork – as pork & chicken really do have a very similar quality.   And – I also decided to make the Char Siu sauce from scratch.  The ingredients are not terribly exotic & can certainly be purchased online – if your local ethnic or regular grocery stores don’t have them all.  The result was visually vibrant & the flavor is dead on.  I recommend this dish very highly!  You could also chop these “ribs” up & make a pork fried rice that would feel even the most deenerate carnivore.

I marinated the chicken overnight (in the bag) but that is totally unnecessary.  You can whip these up in ten minutes & feel all take-out Chinese-y & get your late night, OMG-I-drank-too-much experience right in the comfort of your own kitchen.

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Vegan Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork Ribs

Serves 2 as an appetizer – double the marinade recipe if you like lots of BBQ sauce on your ribs

INGREDIENTS

9-12 oz vegan chicken (or seitan strips)

1/2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice

2 TBS agave nectar

2 TBS Shao Xing Chinese rice wine

1 TBS hoisin sauce

1 TBS Thai chili sauce

1 TBS dark soy sauce

2 tsp vegan oyster or mushroom-flavored sauce

2 tsp molasses

1 TBS minced garlic

1 TBS sesame oil

1 tsp red food coloring (critical for the fiery red color)

GARNISH (optional) – sliced scallions or green garlic

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DIRECTIONS

Blend all the ingredients together & then add the chicken.  Marinate for a few minutes – or overnight.  I did this right in the Beyond Meat packaging.

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When you are ready to cook them – heat a pan treated with cooking spray.  Add the MARINADE first & heat until it bubbles.  Add the chicken & cook, on high, turning often.  The idea is to let them get a bit blackened.  The sauce will thicken very quickly – which is why I suggesting doubling the marinade recipe if you like lots of sticky BBQ sauce.  You could even heat part of the marinade in a separate pan & pour it over your finished ribs.

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