Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chick'n Parmesan Sandwich

Someone requested I make a chick'n parmesan dish, so I made this! Feel free to put this over spaghetti (I just didn't have any or else I would have done that probably).
Chick'n Parmesan Sandwich

* Prep Time: 10 minutes
* Cook Time: 30 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 2 Gardein Chick'n Scallopini*
  • 4 Ener-G egg replacers (follow box instructions)*
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs*
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp vegan Parmesan*
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 6 1/4" slices vegan mozzarella
  • 4 slices Italian bread, toasted
 * Recipe:
  1. Place 2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium skillet. Turn on medium heat.
  2. In a bowl, mixed the egg replacer ingredients together. Whisk until lumps are gone.
  3. In another bowl, put the Italian bread crumbs and 2 tbsp vegan Parmesan. Mix well.
  4. Dip the chick'n patties in the egg replacer making sure it is thoroughly covered. Dip into the Italian bread crumbs and cover completely. Repeat this process one more time.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Place the breaded chick'n in the hot skillet and fry both sides until golden.
  7. While the chick'n is frying, in yet another bowl combine the crushed tomatoes, oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, black pepper, sea salt, remaining vegan Parmesan and garlic slices. Mix well.
  8. At the bottom of a small Pyrex pan, add the remaining olive oil. Spread about 3 tbsp spoons of your tomato sauce over the top of the olive oil.
  9. Place the chick'n patties in the pan, top with the remaining tomato sauce.
  10. Finally, place the vegan mozzarella on the very top of the pan.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes.
  12. When done baking, serving as a sandwich with the Italian bread.
*  Note: Gardein is a great vegan brand that has these excellent Chick'n Scallopini's.If you haven't had this brand yet, you must! You can find it at many chain grocery's such as Jewel and Whole Foods. You can alternatively order it online. Ener-G is a type of egg replacer. It is my personal favorite. If you have another, please use that. A  lot of bread crumbs contain milk, so be sure to check! Lastly, for vegan Parmesan I used Galaxy brand.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Italian "Beef" Sandwiches with Homemade Giardiniera

As a Chicagoan, I do not participate in the city's love of Italian beef with all the gross juiciness. Instead, I create much healthier versions that lack meat and share for all the world to make as well. :D

Cute humor aside, this turned out freaking fantastic. This is coming from a vegan, vegetarian, and the two omnivores that all had it. If anyone tries it (or any recipes for that matter), could you please send a picture my way at I would appreciate it! On the Facebook and Flickr for Vegan Miss, I post pictures of people's recreations (with credit, of course). 

If anyone has gone to Revolution Brewing here in the city (owned by the Handlebar people), there are these awesome polenta fries with vegan aioli. With it comes their homemade giardiniera. My friends and I always love it and so I decided to make my own. It turned out pretty good! I didn't add any spice to it (via jalapenos or serranos) because I don't like much spicy stuff.

Italian "Beef" Sandwiches

* Prep Time:  15-20 minutes
* Cook Time: 1 hour
* Ingredients (for seitan):
  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tbsp basil
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetarian "beef" broth*
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 (14 oz.) firm tofu package
* Ingredients (for au jus):
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetarian "beef" broth
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp tobasco
  • 8 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce*
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 jar pepperoncini juice (16 oz.)
  • 8 pepperoncini, sliced
  • 2 tbsp basil
  • 1 bottle of ale beer (12 oz.)*
* Ingredients (for sandwich assembly):
  • 5-6 french rolls*
  • 2-3 tsp homemade giardiniera*
  • 1 pepperoncini, sliced 
* Recipe (for seitan):
  1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Blend tofu and other wet ingredients in blender or food processor until tofu is smooth.
  3. Put wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl. Mix well.
  4. Roll into a log that is 2.5 - 3 in. wide. Loosely roll foil around the seitan log and twist both ends like a tootsie roll.
  5. Place in a pot with au jus. Have something holding it from the bottom so it is not touching the broth (ex: a deep cookie cutter).
  6. Steam for 1 hour. While you are steaming, the au jus is cooking.
  7. When done steaming, take out of pot, allow to cool. When cool, slice thinly like deli meat.
* Recipe (for au jus):
  1. In a medium pot, add all the ingredients together. Cook with the seitan (see recipe above).
  2. Serve with the Italian beef, either dipping the bread or the seitan.
* Recipe (for sandwich assembly):
  1. Slice the french roll in half lengthwise. Dip the bread in au jus, if desired.
  2. Add a heaping pile of au jus soaked sliced seitan. Top with giardiniera and pepperoncini.
* Note: For vegetarian beef bouillon, I used Better Than Bouillon brand No Beef Base. For vegan Worcestershire sauce, I used The Wizard's brand. For ale beer, make sure it is vegan on Barnivore. Make sure the french rolls are vegan. For homemade giardiniera, see my recipe below.

Homemade Giardiniera

* Prep Time: 24 hours
* Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours
* Ingredients:
  • 2 green peppers, chopped fine
  • 2 red peppers, chopped fine
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped fine*
  • 3-4 medium to small celery stalks, chopped fine
  • 1 large carrot, chopped fine
  • 1 small white onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • water, to cover
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cup olive oil
* Recipe:
  1. Chop the first seven ingredients and mix in a big bowl. Add the salt and enough water to cover the vegetables. Cover the bowl. Allow to sit in the fridge overnight.
  2. The next day, drain and rinse the vegetables of the salt water.
  3. Wash canning jars with soap and water. Dry completely (inside and out). Bake the jars at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes. Allow jars to cool to touch (do not touch the rim or inside, though).
  4. Spoon the vegetables into jars almost to the top (3/4th to 1 in. from the top).
  5. Boil the jar lids in a small pot for about 10 minutes.
  6. In a pot, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil. Once at a boil, bring to a low simmer and then spoon the mixture into the jars with the vegetables.
  7. Using prongs, top the jars with their lids. Screw on ring until tight to touch.
  8. Place the jars into a large pot of boiling water (so the jars are submerged). Boil for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove and allow to cool before touching jars.
* Note: I used half pint jars for canning this giardiniera. It made about 10 jars. Canning the jars like this should allow one to be able to leave them as is until the seal is broken. If one does not want to can it, they could just put the vegetables and liquid mixture in a jar and keep it in the fridge. Lastly, feel free to add jalapenos or serranos to this recipe. I don't like spicy stuff, so I put in the poblano.

Speaking of canning, two weeks ago, I made a whole ton of pickled vegetables. Included were several dill pickle jars (slices and spears), beats with ginger, cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms, green tomatoes, and cauliflower. I'm waiting a few more weeks until I open them. Really, one can wait for a week and then try your pickled concoctions, but the longer the better. When I do open them and if they are good, I'll post the recipes. I'm looking forward to making pickled fried green tomatoes!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Product Review: Nacho Mom vs. Food For Lovers Queso's

I've been hearing a lot of buzz regarding vegan queso lately. So, I ordered both Nacho Mom's Ultimate Vegan Queso and Food for Lovers to try them both! I've heard rave reviews for each, so I wanted to see which I thought was better. They both boast soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free, cholesterol-free benefits too.
I found Nacho Mom to not have that much of a "cheesy" taste. It was sort of bland. It was not my favorite. I would give it a 2.5/5 stars.

Food for Lovers, on the other hand, was much better. It had a more "cheesy" feel and a kick to boot (no pun intended, heh), Overall, I would give this a 4/5 stars. If you are going to buy some vegan queso, I'd certainly go for Food for Lovers!
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