This recipe, which game from a Better Homes & Gardens magazine a long time ago, is a great make-ahead meal for lunches. It doesn’t call for any mayo so it can usually be made on the fly. You can use white wine vinegar in this recipe and it’ll turn out great, but I highly recommend going the extra mile and getting some white balsamic vinegar. It adds a level of flavor that I don’t taste when just using white wine vinegar.
Vegan Chicken Salad
- 1-2 lbs. chicken substitute (I’ve been using seitan recently, but this also works really well with the “chicken” strips made by Morningstar Farm Meal Starters)
- 4 medium carrots, shredded
- 6 scallions, thinly diced on the diagonal
- 1 Tbsp. fresh or dried tarragon
- salt and pepper
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp. white wine or white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
Brown “chicken” in a little bit of oil on medium high heat. If using Morningstar chicken strips, shred strips with your fingers. If using seitan, cut into small chunks. In a large bowl, combine the “chicken,” carrots, scallions, tarragon, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified. Serve on bread as a sandwich or in lettuce cups (BH&G suggests radicchio cups or Bibb lettuce leaves).
My lunch – chicken salad with lettuce from the garden, radish “chips,” and water (Go Pirates!).
Part I: Burgers!
To me, summertime equals firing up the grill, a nice cold summer beer (your favorite lager mixed with lemonade – a delicious invention by my twin sister), and eating on the patio. When most people decide to grill out, they turn to burgers or hot dogs; vegans are no exception. I was recently in the mood for a veggie burger and decided to use chickpeas as the base. After searching around on the Internet, I remembered a recipe recently posted on one of my favorite blogs, (never home) maker. I stuck with the recipe, found here, except for the fact that I used a jalapeno pepper instead of a green chili pepper (in my mind, they’re all the same = hot!). I ended up making about 8 smaller burgers. Due to lack of charcoal I did bake these, but I’m sure they’d be equally good grilled up outside.
I served the burgers with French Potato Salad and a summer beer. I was excited to find a recipe for potato salad that didn’t call for vegan mayo (which I love, but can’t find anywhere in my town). The recipe was okay, but could probably use some tweaking – including cutting down on the oil to maybe 1/4 cup.
Part II: Homemade Hamburger Buns!
I’m not a big fan of those dry, crumbly hamburger buns you buy in eight-packs at the store. They’re pretty tasteless and you always have some left over. I love homemade bread and we would usually buy delicious little buns from a local grocery store. Unfortunately, they recently closed down and I’ve been hunting for the perfect burger bun ever since. But then I decided to try making my own … which was the best idea I’ve had in a long time! This recipe was so easy and quick to prepare and left the kitchen smelling amazing. I was very happy with how they turned out; Will thought they were a little heavy. I may need to adjust the amount of kneading when I make these again. The recipe can be found here. To veganize these buns, I used a flax “egg”. To equal one egg, just beat (with a wire whisk) 3 Tbsp. water into 2 1/2 Tbsp. ground flax seed. The mixture will get really gelatinous and makes for an excellent egg replacer in baked goods (plus, you know, omega 3 fatty acids and all those healthy benefits).