Archive for Vegan

Vegan Scallops

I am Top Chef obsessed. Always have been. I’ve watched them all. My favorite, of course, were Top Chef Canada, because I loved seeing my local chefs (whose work I was a big fan of) shine on a national level.

The Top Chef Canada franchise only lasted 4 seasons, sadly, but just recently, they brought it back, with Top Chef Canada All Stars.

vegan scallops

A couple years back, I got to attend a Top Chef event that featured the food of the ladies who had competed. One of my faves on the show was Lauren Marshall, who has been the only vegan, as far as I know, to compete. There was this one episode where she made a vegan scallop dish, and we got to try it that night. It was amazing.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when I got invited to a lunch at Diva at the Met. Now, we have some great restaurants here in Vancouver, but weirdly, Diva was a place I had never eaten at, and upon reflection, I’m not sure why. The food was wonderful, and they represent all the things I love: they cook locally, in season, and they strive to make as much as possible in-house (including these incredible chocolates made by their pastry chef!).

scallops diva at the met

One dish that was served at the lunch was a scallop atop a kind of salsa made from avocado, hearts of palm and cucumber. I was determined to veganize it.

The key to vegan scallops are King Mushrooms. I had to go to a few places before I found them, but I eventually found them at a little Korean produce store in my ‘hood. When you slice the stems into rounds, they look exactly like scallops. They even have that slightly rubbery bite that you get with scallops. They are dead ringers.

Given that rhubarb is so in season right now, I wanted to incorporate it into the recipe as well.

You could serve this on a platter (like the Diva version) or as I did, in individual portions on spoons. Either way, it’s an elegant starter for your next party. In fact, I think I’ll serve this at my book launch!

Shameless plug: my cookbook, Aquafabulous!: 100+ Egg-Free Vegan Recipes Using Aquafaba is now in bookstores! You can also order it fromĀ Amazon.ca or Amazon.com and Chapters-Indigo.

Vegan Scallops with avocado salsa

Vegan Scallops

Ingredients

  • 4 king mushrooms
  • 1-2 stalks rhubarb, cut into 1/2″ squares
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (preferably apple cider)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into 1/2″ squares
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut into 1/2″ squares
  • 1/4 cup edamame beans or fresh corn
  • fresh chives or green onion

Method:

  1. Quick pickle the rhubarb. In a small saucepan on the stove, heat together the water, vinegar, sugar and salt until they are all melted together. Bring just to the boil. Place the rhubarb in a heat-proof bowl and pour the pickling liquid over it and allow it to stand while you do the rest of your prep.
  2. Chop the avocado and cucumber, and place in another bowl. Add the edamame and stir well.
  3. Top and tail the king mushrooms. Set aside the caps and ends for another use. Cut the mushroom in half and then each half into halves, giving you 4 circles of mushroom stem.
  4. Heat a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, and add oil to the pan. It’ important that the pan and oil are hot to get a good sear. Place the mushrooms into the pan, and allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and a little garlic powder. Once they are caramelized on one side, flip, and allow to cook to a similar doneness on the other side.
  5. Drain the rhubarb, reserving some of the pickling liquid. Add the rhubarb, a little of the pickling liquid and some olive oil to your salsa, and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Place the salsa on a plate in a pile, and then top with “scallops.” Garnish with sliced green onions or chives.

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Apple Sage Seitan Sausages (Vegan)

In the world of vegans and vegetarians, there are two opposing camps: there are the fake-meat eaters and the non fake-meat eaters.

There are those who are vegetarian who don’t believe in eating meat substitutes. I’m not one of them. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of meat; I don’t crave a big steak, for example. But I do live with a young carnivore, so our diet at home does include fake meat.

We eat veggie burgers, for example, and we love Gardein products. We also have been known to eat fakin bacon and Michael likes sausage for breakfast sometimes.

I have tried a few different kinds of veggie sausage, but most of them, quite honestly, are disappointing and pretty tasteless. Field Roast does a decent one, but they aren’t cheap.

Weirdly, I have completely missed the seitan train. I’m not sure why, but it’s only recently that I’ve joined that particular party.

Apple Sage Seitan Sausages Vegan

Seitan is homemade, vegan fake meat. Its base is vital wheat gluten, which bakers add to their bread to make it fluffier and more tender. It is also packed with protein. Just 100g of the stuff has 75g of protein, which is more than the average person even requires on a daily basis.

Seitan creates a meaty texture, and can be flavored however you like it.

It can be tricky, though; vital wheat gluten can get very tough and rubbery if overworked (which I learned the hard way).

This recipe is also a bit of work. You have to roll out the sausages and cook them in individual foil packets, so it’s a bit fiddly. But I really like having these on hand for breakfasts, to put on pizzas, I even fried them up with some onions and made a miso gravy, which I served with mashed potatoes. There are myriad of recipes on Pinterest.

Apple Sage Seitan Sausages (Vegan)

Ingredients (makes about a dozen–they freeze well)

  • 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (nooch)
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • oil

Method

  1. In a small frying pan, heat a little oil and add the onions to it. Season with salt and pepper. Saute them until they are soft and a little browned on the edges, 5-10 minutes. Add the fennel and stir well, allow to cook another 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, spices and chopped sage leaves along with the sauteed onions.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the water, soy sauce, and applesauce together until smooth.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and add the wet in. Stir just to combine, then use your hands to mix it all together to make a consistent dough. Don’t overhandle the dough, this will make it tough.
  5. Roll the dough into a ball and the out into a log. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a log of your desired circumference. If they are too long, cut into 6-8″ lengths.
  6. Tear off a series of aluminum foil squares. Wrap each sausage in a square of aluminium foil, twisting off the ends.
  7. Heat a large pot of water with a steamer basket over it to boiling. Drop the sausages into the steamer basket and allow to cook for 30 minutes.
  8. After 30 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to cool enough so you can handle them.
  9. Unwrap each sausage, discard aluminum foil, and store in the fridge until use. I usually brown them in a bit of oil before serving.

 

 

 

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