Corned Brisket Strips featuring Butler’s Soy Curls™

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Corned brisket strips are made with Butler Soy Curls™. When seasoned and prepared properly, this unique product and recipe yields a texture and flavor that is reminiscent of seasoned corned beef brisket (left unseasoned, the strips have an inherent natural sweetness; proper seasoning helps mask this sweetness). Butler Soy Curls™ have a texture similar to textured soy/vegetable protein chunks but they are fundamentally different because they are made with non-GMO whole soybeans, as opposed to textured soy/vegetable protein, which is the extruded by-product of soybean oil production. As such, they are processed differently.

For gluten-free diets, replace the white shoyu with wheat-free tamari in the seasoning brine.

If you cannot obtain the soy curls, textured vegetable/soy protein nuggets can be used (but you will have seasoned corned brisket bites rather than strips).

This recipe yields about 1 and ½ lbs.

Primary Ingredient
• 1 pkg (8 oz) Butler Soy Curls™ (or 8 oz textured vegetable/soy protein nuggets)

Seasoning Brine
• 3 cups water
• ¼ cup white shoyu (white soy sauce)*
• 4 tsp onion powder
• 2 tsp garlic powder
• 2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
• 1 tsp coriander seeds
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• ½ tsp dry ground mustard
• 1 bay leaf
• 10 whole cloves
• 10 whole black peppercorns
• 5 whole allspice berries
• 5 juniper berries, lightly crushed
• 1 T beet powder

*If you cannot obtain white shoyu, substitute with tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™, however the finished product will be darker.

Additional Ingredients for Sautéing
• 2 T olive oil
• sea salt or kosher salt as desired
• coarse ground pepper as desired

Preparation
In a large saucepan, whisk together the seasoning brine ingredients (except for the beet powder), add the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 20 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the beet powder and stir until dissolved. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard the spices.

Add the dry soy curls. Fold well in the brine and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to cool for 30 minutes to allow proper absorption of the seasoning and the color. Fold occasionally to ensure that all pieces are rehydrated and seasoned.

Drain and discard the excess seasoning brine. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and place over medium-low heat. Add the seasoned strips and sauté, turning frequently until most of the liquid has evaporated. Browning the strips is not necessary. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

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‘Nog Cheesecake with Brandied Caramel Sauce

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Not too fluffy and yet not too dense, this lusciously smooth non-dairy cheesecake captures the flavor of holiday eggnog without the eggs and without the dairy. This is my signature cheesecake recipe and technique, and as far as I know, is unique in vegan cheesecake preparation because premade non-dairy cream cheese is not required – the cheesecake filling is created in one easy step. However, the proper baking items are required for success, so please follow the recipe and technique as written. The filling also requires two specialty ingredients which can be obtained from ModernistPantry.com. These ingredients are also commonly used in vegan cheese making (please see my Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook for cheese recipes).

Special Kitchen Items
• 8” springform pan
• 9” cake pan
• large pan for the bain-marie (water bath)
• large baking sheet to support the bain-marie (optional)
• large food storage container for chilling/storing the cheesecake
• parchment paper
• cooking oil spray
• blender
• food processor (optional)

Ingredients for the Crust
• 1 commercial vegan graham cracker crust

Ingredients for the Cheesecake Filling
• 2 cups (10 oz) dry raw cashews (DO NOT presoak in water)
• 3 cups homemade or commercial soymilk (sorry, no substitutes; this recipe relies on the curdling action of the soymilk when the lactic acid is introduced)
• ¾ cup organic sugar
• ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
• 3 T brandy or dark rum
• 4 tsp kappa carrageenan (available from ModernistPantry.com)
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg plus ¼ tsp for garnish
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 4 tsp lactic acid powder (available from ModernistPantry.com)

Ingredients for the Brandied Caramel Sauce
• ½ cup packed light brown sugar
• 3 T non-dairy milk
• 2 T non-dairy butter or margarine
• 1 T brandy or dark rum

Preparation
Trace the circumference of the bottom of the springform pan on parchment paper and cut. Assemble the springform pan and spray the interior generously with cooking oil. Line the bottom with the parchment paper and mist the paper with cooking oil.

8” springform pan lined with parchment paper; 9” cake pan to prevent water from entering springform pan; and aluminum roasting pan for bain-marie set on baking sheet for support.

8” springform pan lined with parchment paper; 9” cake pan to prevent water from entering springform pan; and aluminum roasting pan for bain-marie set on baking sheet for support.

Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F/165°C.

Process the graham cracker crust in a food processor until finely ground. Alternately, crush the crust into crumbs in a large bowl. Add the crumbs to the oiled and lined springform pan and pack evenly on the bottom and halfway up the sides. The oiled pan will help the crumbs stick to the sides. Set aside.

Add the dry raw cashews to a blender with the soymilk and process on high speed for 2 full minutes. Add the remaining filling ingredients EXCEPT for the lactic acid and process until thoroughly blended. With the blender running, add the lactic acid all at once. The mixture will immediately thicken and stop turning in the blades – turn the blender off.

Pour the filling into the springform pan and gently shake the pan side to side or tap the sides to release any air bubbles and help the filling settle.

Place the springform pan into the cake pan and set the cake pan into the bain-marie. DO NOT use aluminum foil as an alternative to the cake pan for preventing water from leaking into the springform pan. Water will condense inside the foil and ruin the cheesecake. Trust me on this one. If using an aluminum roasting pan for the bain-marie, place it on a large baking sheet for support and for ease transferring to and from the oven.

Pour very hot tap water into the bain-marie halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Be careful not to splash water into the cheesecake filling.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes. When complete, turn the oven off but leave the cheesecake in the oven for 15 minutes with the oven door slightly ajar (if needed, use an oven mitt to hold the door ajar).

Remove from the oven and carefully remove the cake pan from the water bath. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature and then remove from the cake pan and release from the springform mold. Leave the cheesecake on the bottom of the springform mold and transfer to the storage container. Seal and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

About an hour before serving, prepare the sauce. Add the sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a brief boil while swirling the saucepan contents occasionally. Watch carefully or the sauce may boil over. Immediately reduce to a simmer and cook for exactly 4 minutes, again swirling the contents occasionally. Set aside to cool at room temperature.

To transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate, carefully slide a thin flexible spatula between the parchment paper and the crust and slide onto the plate. Moisten a knife with warm water to slice the cheesecake. Drizzle individual slices with the sauce. Store the cheesecake in the sealed container in the refrigerator.

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Mediterranean Mixed Green Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

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Ingredients for the Salad
• crumbled non-dairy Feta
(from my Nuts about Almonds Cookbook or Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook)
• mixed greens of your choice*
• pomegranate seeds
• orange segments
• chopped walnuts, raw or lightly toasted
• sea salt or kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Dressing
• 1 and ½ cup pomegranate juice
• 1 cup olive oil
• ¼ cup champagne vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice vinegar or raw apple cider vinegar
• 2 T minced shallot or red onion
• ½ tsp sea salt or kosher salt
• ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper

*Baby spinach, kale, Swiss chard and mizuna were used for the photo.

Preparation
For the dressing, simmer the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan until reduced to approximately ¼ cup. Cool and chill until ready to make the dressing.

Add the pomegranate reduction and the remaining dressing ingredients to a shaker jar and shake until emulsified. Chill thoroughly. Shake the jar thoroughly again before using.

Arrange the salad ingredients on individual plates and drizzle with the dressing; season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Festive Sharp White Cheddar Cheese Logs

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The Festive Sharp White Cheddar Cheese Logs are made with my recipe and technique for Sharp White Cheddar Amandine from my Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook (available through this website), but rather than using toasted almonds for the crust, the cheese logs were rolled in a mixture of finely chopped dried cranberries and crushed toasted walnuts for the first log, and then freeze-dried chives and minced red onion for the second log. The colors and flavors make a nice holiday cheese plate presentation. Serve with your favorite crackers.


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Jellied Port Wine Cranberry Sauce

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dsc02090-001A whole-fruit jellied cranberry sauce made with organic sugar (commercial jellied sauce is typically made with corn syrup) and flavored with Port wine or pomegranate juice – or try fresh orange juice for a citrus flavor.

Ingredients
• 1 bag (12 oz) whole fresh cranberries
• 1 cup organic sugar
• ½ cup water
• ½ cup Port wine or pomegranate juice or fresh orange juice
• 1 and ¼ tsp agar powder

Special Supplies
• flexible silicone mold that will hold 2 cups liquid (such as used in non-dairy cheese making)
• blender

Preparation
Place the silicone mold on a small plate.

Examine the cranberries and remove any stray stems. Rinse them and place in a medium saucepan (reserve a few cranberries for garnish if desired). Sprinkle the sugar over the cranberries and the agar powder over the sugar.

Add the wine (or juice) and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may hear the berries audibly pop as they cook. Watch the cooking pot so the mixture doesn’t boil over.

Transfer the hot mixture to a blender. Cover and begin blending on low speed gradually increasing to high for 1 minute. If your blender doesn’t have variable speed settings, cover and hold the lid with a kitchen towel to prevent hot liquid from explosively erupting from the blender.

Transfer the mixture to the mold and let cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or until thoroughly chilled and set.

Remove the plastic wrap and run a dull table knife around the perimeter to loosen the jellied sauce (be careful not to damage the mold). Invert a serving plate over the mold and then flip the two plates over to release the jellied sauce. Garnish with the fresh cranberries and a sprig of fresh mint if desired. Serve cold.

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Jellied Port Wine Cranberry Sauce
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Vegan Irish Colcannon

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colcannon-001 Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish consisting of creamy, buttery mashed potatoes and tender cooked kale seasoned with green onions, salt, pepper and parsley.

Ingredients
• 3 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 large)
• ½ cup non-dairy butter or margarine,
plus 1 to 2 T additional melted butter or margarine for garnish
• 1 cup hot non-dairy milk
• 1 T olive oil
• 6 oz baby kale; or mature kale with tough ribs removed and then chopped
• 3 green onions, white and green parts, finely chopped
• sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
• coarse ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 T chopped parsley for garnish

Preparation
Peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks. Immediately immerse the cut potatoes in 4 quarts of water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, flash sauté the kale and green onions with the olive oil in a large skillet until the kale is wilted and tender. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Drain the potatoes in a colander and then transfer to a large mixing bowl or back to the cooking pot. Mash the potatoes with the butter and hot milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the sautéed kale and green onions.

Transfer the colcannon to a serving dish and garnish with the parsley. Make a well in the center of the colcannon and garnish with a tablespoon or two of melted butter or margarine. Serve immediately.

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Vegan Irish Colcannon
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