If you’re new to Vegan Rhapsody and reading this post – thanks for stopping by! For those who have visited Vegan Rhapsody before, you may notice this post takes on a different format. Up until now each blog post has featured a delicious vegan recipe I’ve developed in my home-based test kitchen. Since this blog started as a passion project rooted in my love of cooking I will continue to showcase a vegan recipe on each post (today’s recipe is a Soy Curl Chick’n with Rosemary Lemon Sauce). Moving forward I will be expanding our foodie-inspired content to touch on a wider range of topics — everything from trends in the vegan food movement to sharing our experiences finding the best vegan eats here in Vancouver. Essentially any topic that intersects with food and veganism is something I’ll dive into. With a more holistic approach to each blog post my goal is to better align with Vegan Rhapsody’s goal of promoting ‘vegan inspired living’. Whether you are vegan, vegan curious or flexitarian I hope this blog educates, inspires and empowers you to embrace a vegan lifestyle with passion and purpose.
This & That
Tech Talk: Plant-pushing apps now in your produce department
Limoneira, a California-based citrus grower powerhouse, is harnessing the power of technology to influence shoppers. Limoneira recently announced it has launched The Produce Department is Nature’s PharmacyTM — an in-store touch screen program that spotlights what fruits and vegetables are linked to addressing health problems such as high cholesterol and improving digestive health. Hopefully we see this trend make its way to Canadian supermarkets soon enough!
Trending: Dill pickle brine as “background magic”
Next time you toss dill pickle brine down the sink you may want to think twice😊. According to Stuart Brioza, chef-owner of State Bird Provisionsin San Francisco, dill pickle brine is comparable to a good bottle of vinegar, fish sauce – even Worcestershire sauce. Case in point, Brioza swears by using dill pickle brine when sautéeing mushrooms in butter to elevate their ethereal appeal. “It’s just a contained burst of acid, salt, and mulled seasonings that together work background magic. Used in tablespoons, not pints, it doesn’t announce itself, but somehow makes the butter and mushrooms speak louder and more clearly” says Brioza. I’m definitely going to give this a try – stay tuned~
Check out Brioza’s Mushrooms in Pickle-Brine Butter recipe here:
Cookbook launch by Tesco’s ‘Wicked Kitchen’ line
Between the likes of Facebook and Pinterest – not to mention the online “recipe” section of most natural food product websites — it’s hard to justify buying a cookbook. That being said, every once in a while a cookbook comes along you just need to have in your collection. With the likes of Woody Harrelson endorsing this new cookbook from top plant-based chef-brothers Derek and Chad Sarno, I can’t wait to get my hands on Wicked Healthy Cookbook(released May 31stin the UK). The duo describes themselves as ‘plant-pushers’ not ‘meat-shamers’ which I hope will resonate with vegan and meat-eaters alike. At its core, this cookbook celebrates the love of great food which is a reason we can all get behind. I’ll be sure to review once I have a copy in my hands 😊.
For a review click here:
My Favourite Things
In this section I spotlight an ingredient, a product or a cooking technique I’m in LOVE with. I think my love of cooking has flourished over the years because I’m always challenging myself to do different and better. Whether I’m scouting out grocery stores and local markets for the next ‘discovery’ or on a ‘quinoa kick’ and experimenting with cooking vs roasting quinoa, every meal is an opportunity to learn and discover something new.
These past few weeks I’m all about roasting. It started a few weeks ago when I roasted eggplant and zuchinni (with a touch of olive oil, rosemary and salt) to create a more refined vegan pizza (as compared to the tomato sauce and cheese version the kiddos prefer!) The other night I roasted pineapple (with rosemary) for the first time. The roasting elevates the fruit’s natural sweetness making it the perfect ingredient for a sweet and sour stir fry sauce (more to come later!) The easiest and most versatile fruit to try roasting is the tomato. Recently I’ve started roasting a medley of tomato varieties – notably the juicy, sweet varieties such as cherry, cabernet and mini san Marzano – and using them to prep everything from spaghetti sauce to chili. Add in a head of garlic and some fresh herbs to the mix and you’ve got a delicious sauce that’s incredibly versatile. Here’s a few recipe ideas for roasted tomatoes:
Quote of the Week
The more we are a choir, the more the tune is forced to change.
Maria Forrester, Vancouver
Petitioner behind “Compassion for Canines – Please end the Yulin dog festival”
To learn more click here:
Soy Curl Chick’n with Rosemary Lemon Sauce
If you’re not already a fan of soy curls this recipe will make you one! Crispy pan-fried soy curls are paired with a creamy sauce made with a blend of fresh rosemary, lemon zest and cashew parmesan cheese and served over a bed of basmati rice. This dish can be prepare in under 30 minutes and is deliciously simple.
Note: Some steps in this recipe make reference to a T5 Thermomix appliance; however, the recipe can easily be adapted using any multi-function prep tool that chops/minces.
- 1/Make one batch savoury parmesan cheese (makes 1 – 1 ½ cups)
- 2/Cook 2 cups basmati rice as directed
- 1 pkg Butler’s Soy Curls (8oz/227g)
- Lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- Fresh parsley (15g)
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled (15g)
- 1 medium onion, halved (70g)
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 cups vegetable broth (I recommend using 1.5 tsp vegetable bouillon powder dissolved in 1.5 cups boiling water)
- 1 Tbsp sweet paprika powder
- 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice + extra for finishing (optional)
- 1 batch savoury parmesan cheese
- 1/Rehydrate soy curls:
*Place soy curls (8oz/227g) in water. Add enough warm water to completely cover the curls. Let soak for 10 minutes.
*Drain soy curls and rinse in cold water. Using the underside of a spoon, press gently on the soy curls to release any excess water.
- 2/While soy curls are soaking:
*Add lemon peel and handful of fresh parsley (15g) to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Chop 5 sec/Speed 7.Set lemon zest-parsley mixture aside.
* Add garlic and onion to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Chop 5 sec/Speed 7.Set garlic-onion mixture aside.
- 3/Pan-fry soy curls:
*Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Add garlic-onion mixture and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add soaked (and drained) soy curls to the skillet and pan-fry for 10-15 minutes or until they become crispy on the edges.
*While pan-frying the soy curls add the following to the skillet:
-Paprika powder, fresh rosemary and 2 Tbsp lemon juice
-Half the lemon zest-parsley mixture
Transfer all but approx. one quarter (25%) of the cooked mixture to a large prep bowl.
- 4/Add 1.5 cups vegetable broth, remaining lemon zest-parsley mixture and remaining parmesan cheese to the skillet (Hint: I always like to reserve a Tbsp or so for garnish!)
Don’t be afraid to break down the soy curls as you cook. You should end up with a fairly smooth sauce!
Plate your cooked rice. Top with reserved, pan-fried soy curls (from prep bowl) and prepared sauce. Squeeze fresh lemon juice to finish (optional) and garnish with fresh rosemary.
*Each 8oz bag Butler’s Soy Curls yields 1.5 lb soy curls when hydrated.
*If this recipe inspired you to make soy curls a new staple ingredient in your kitchen make sure to try our Soy Curl BLT Sandwich recipe