Copycat Red Lobster Biscuits {Vegan}

My teenager is obsessed with American fast food.

I get it. I remember being a teenager growing up in a tiny town in Newfoundland where we had zero Starbucks, and loving going to the Mainland where our first stop was always… Starbucks. Seems a lot less exotic now, and of course fast food isn’t really my jam. When we travel to the States, I’m all about stocking up at Trader Joe’s, and finding all the vegan donut shops.

Copycat Red Lobster Biscuits Vegan

Travelling with my teenager, though… well, I’m a pretty indulgent mom. When we were recently in Seattle for spring break, we went to a few places at his request; specifically Red Lobster and The Cheesecake Factory. The Cheesecake Factory has a massive menu, so vegetarian options were there, but Red Lobster? Less so.

Having said that, it was our first time, and we were there for the experience. Much like The Olive Garden (they are actually owned by the same parent company), dinner at Red Lobster is an all-inclusive event. Your entree comes with soup or salad, and instead of breadsticks (like the Olive Garden), it comes with biscuits. Fluffy, warm, heavenly biscuits.

So, of course, once I had them, I made it my mission to veganize them. Turns out, it wasn’t that challenging to do.

To make these authentically, you need Old Bay seasoning, which is a seasoning mix used a lot in the South. If you can’t find it where you are, you can mix up a batch of your own.

The other thing that makes these biscuits out of this world is the warm, seasoned butter mixture you brush on them when they come out of the oven. So good.

Serve them hot for best results.

Vegan Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Copycat Red Lobster Biscuits {Vegan}

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup neutral non-dairy milk (not flavoured)
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter or vegetable shortening (or a combo of both)
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese

For the topping:

  • 3 tbsp melted vegan butter
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method:

  • In a small bowl, place the non-dairy milk and add the lemon juice to it. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  • Add the cheese shreds and toss with the dry ingredients to combine.
  • Break the vegan butter up into small pieces and throw them into the dry ingredients. Mush everything together until it becomes a pea-like. crumby consistency.
  • Finally, add the milk and mix together just until it comes together. It’ll be sticky, but that’s okay.
  • Drop by 1/4 cup fulls onto a greased cookie sheet, and bake at 450 degrees for about 10-12 minutes, until golden on top.
  • Remove from oven and brush all over with the melted butter topping. Serve hot.

 

How to Make Beet Powder (natural food colouring)

Well, my experiments with Butterfly Pea Tea have kicked off a whole new obsession: natural food colouring.

I’m sure many of you are skeptical when you read that item on your ingredients list that says “natural food colouring.” I mean, what even is that?? And in the case of some companies (I’m looking at you, Kraft), the ingredients might well be “natural,” but that doesn’t mean they are actually things we want to eat. Beetle shells, anyone?

Beet Powder Natural Food Colouring

Going beyond that, though, if you’re vegan/vegetarian, you may be eating things that are not vegan/vegetarian, and you wouldn’t even know it.

So after playing around with the intense blues and purples of Butterfly Pea Tea, I was curious; what other things could I make natural food colouring out of?

The first thing I thought of was beets. I mean, every time I cook with those bad boys, my kitchen looks like someone’s been murdered there, so it seems like a no-brainer.

The question is, how to harness the power of the beet without permanently staining everything around me?

The answer, my friends, lies in a few simple kitchen tools.

First, I juiced up a couple of beets. This isn’t weird for me, I like to add a little beet juice when I’m juicing because it adds a pretty pink colour. But this time, I wasn’t looking for the juice, I was looking for the pulp.

Juicing the beets leaves you with a nice, even, fairly dry final product, which is perfect for drying.

After juicing the beets, I dehydrated them overnight in my dehydrator (here’s the one I have). If you don’t have one, spread the beet pulp in a thin layer on a cookie sheet and turn your oven on to the lowest setting. I’d bake them like that for maybe a few hours, then turn off the oven and let them sit overnight (if you don’t open the oven, the residual heat lasts quite some time). Don’t forget to stir them occasionally to make sure the drying process is even.

After you’ve dehydrated your beet pulp, just throw it into a coffee grinder or a blender and blitz the crap out of it. Et Voila! Beet powder!

Add it to baking, to cocktails, I’m even going to experiment with it in buttercream frosting…

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