Fakeaways

Cajun Seitan Bites

When I first went Vegan I said I needed to know how to make the ultimate childish comfort food….. Chicken nuggets. I first discovered Fry’s nuggets, then Quorn started to bring out more Vegan options like their nuggets and spicy ‘chicken’ burgers. However, as I’ve said before I always like to try and make things at home if possible. This recipe has taken a few attempts to ensure the taste and texture is there without the end product drying out, but this recipe is finally here! You can make the Seitan in batches and freeze for a quick dinner, but be warned I’ve made two batches this evening and Accidentally eaten them both… 

Chicken Seitan 

Dry Ingredients 

  • 1 cup gluten flour 
  • 1 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2tsp onion powder 
  • 2 tsp cajun seasoning, sage
  • 1 tsp garlic powder, paprika, thyme parsley 

Wet Ingredients 

  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • Dash liquid smoke
  • Drop of hot sauce 
  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce 
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs 

Stock ingredients 

  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce, BBQ sauce, tomatoes Ketchup, mixed herbs
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder, onion powder

Method

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
  2. Mix the wet ingredients in a measuring jug
  3. Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until a dough is formed,  you may not need all the wet ingredients. 
  4. Kneed the dough for 3-5 minutes, until you can see the strands of gluten when it’s stretched 
  5. Add all the stock ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer
  6. Roll the Seitan into small balls (they will double in size in the pan) and add to the stock
  7. Simmer for 30 – 45 minutes, until when cut the inside of the Seitan balls is a cooked dough texture 
  8. Take out to cool, can be left in the fridge overnight or frozen 

Batter Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs mixed with 2 tsp cajun spice mix
  • 1/4 cup plain flour mixed with 2/3 cup soy milk to form a batter 

Method

  • Take each nugget and dip in the batter then breadcrumbs, place on a greased baking tray 
  • Bake for 20 mins at 180°C

Goes fantastically with my chipotle mayo, just try not to scoff it all at once! 

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Fakeaways

Vegan Big Mac! 

I honestly don’t only cook homemade versions of takeaways…But this one is just too tasty to pass up. One thing I struggled with after moving to vegan is was how to satisfy that urge for naughty comfort food, most things are naturally low in saturated fats and as much of a fan I am of bean burgers I found they lacked the bite to replicate a burger.

I was really excited by the new Linda McCartney 1/4lb  burgers, but found the soy base had a tang to it which didn’t feel quite right. Now I know mock meats aren’t for everyone, and maybe replicating something from a company like McDonalds isn’t massively ethical, but the recipe is entirely vegan, and I can’t think of a word good enough to describe how this recipe tastes!

Vegan Big Mac’s – Makes 6 patties 

Vegan Big Mac Sauce 

  • 3/4 cup soya milk (non-sweetened) 
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp White wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle paste, garlic puree, salt
  • 1 sliced gherkin 
  • Small dash of liquid smoke

Blend together the soy milk and sunflower oil, pulsing from the bottom to the top of the container

Once combined add all other ingredient and blend until smooth. If the sauce lacks bite add a dash of white wine vinegar. Leave to set in the fridge for 2-3 hours. 

Big Mac Patties 

  • 225g Seitan (1.5 cups of flour) 
  • Half a red onion 
  • 80g mushrooms (5-6)
  • 120g mix of red kidney and black eyed beans 
  • 1 tsp paprika, cumin, garlic, mixed herbs
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder, pepper, salt
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke 
  • 1 tsp Worcester sauce (I like chipa for a good vegan version) 
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp ground chia seed mixed with 2 tbsp water

Roughly chop the Seitan, mushrooms and onion. Blitz in a food processor or hand chopper until is ground, but remains some texture, as below:


Set aside in a large mixing bowl. Pulse the beans in a similar manner. Add in all the spices, flour, liquid smoke, Worcester sauce and chia seed mix and combine with a wooden spoon. Take out a small handful and mould into a pattie, thinner patties tend to cook better and you can double up without it being too filling! There should be enough mixture to make 6 patties, if you have time leave in the fridge for an hour to firm:


Shallow fry the burgers in a tbsp of oil until crispy both sides, near the end of cooking add sliced cheese to the top of the burgers, if you have a lid to your frying pan then putting it on will help your cheese to melt. Serve in a seeded bun with iceberg Lettuce, diced onion, gherkins and big mac sauce, and let me know what you think!

Chinese · Fakeaways

Crispy Chilli ‘Beef’

The one dish I always used to order from the chinese was crispy chilli beef, because lets face it, where can you go wrong with deep fried food smothered in a sweet chilli sauce?!

I’ve found it pretty hard to get a clear answer from any of my local Chinese’s whether their vegetarian dishes are egg and dairy free, so I decided to try and make my own. Before going Vegan I never considered the possibility of actually cooking a homemade Chinese, and now I realise I’ve been seriously missing out. Swap egg noodles for rice noodles and the possibilities are endless, since I’ve made vegetable chow mein’s, raw and fried vegetable spring rolls, peanut satay soy skewers and five-spice seitan ribs. However my firm favourite is still crispy chilli seitan beef. This recipe has gone down well with both my vegetarian  and meat-eater friends (there’s nothing more satifying than someone trying your food and genuinely not being able to tell the difference from the meat version), and best of all it’s so simple. If you cook a bach of ‘Beef’ seitan and keep it in the fridge this meal can be put together in 20 minutes, and goes fantastically with some garlic soy Pak Choi!

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Crispy Chilli Beef – Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 with rice and extras

Ingredients

  •  Beef seitan – double batch (2 cups of flour) (Recipe here)
  • 1 Red pepper
  • 1 Red onion
  • 2 Spring onions
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp Chinese five-spice
  • 2 tsp garlic puree
  • 1 tsp ginger puree
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Oil (I use garlic infused oil)

Method

  • Thinly slice the seitan
  • Heat a good lug of oil in a frying pan
  • Coat the seitan in the cornflour and five-spice, ensuring all slices are evenly coated
  • Fry for 5 minutes until crispy, if it burns rather than crisps add extra oil
  • Set aside the crispy seitan
  • Add a tbsp of oil to the pan, allow to heat and then add the pepper and red onion, stir fry for a couple of minutes until soft

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  • Whilst the pepper and onion are cooking mix the tomato puree, white wine vinegar, sugar, sweet chilli, onion powder together in a jug
  • Add the garlic and ginger, stir frying for 1 minute until it becomes fragrant
  • Pour the sauce mixture in, cooking for 2 minutes, until it starts to bubble
  • Add the seitan back into the pan, toss to coat thoroughly
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Ensure the beef is thoroughly coated
  • I like to sprinkle some spring onions and seaseme seeds on to serve, and then scoff the lot!