Monday, April 30, 2007
IT'S ALL GOOD? A NEW PRODUCT INSPIRES RECIPE EXPERIMENT
Is that poultry? No-- it's a new product I got in my health food store made by a brand called "It's All Good", which is, in turn, made by a Canadian company called Gardein, which makes vegetarian products for the restaurant and food service market. (They make the veggie strips for Morningstar Farms and Yves and President's Choice.) (UPDATE: They now just brand as Gardein, and have dropped the "It's All Good".)
Spice Island Vegan told me about tasting their "Chick'n Breast" in a vegan restaurant in southern California and thought they were very good, so I couldn't resist when I saw them in my local health food store. I also bought the "Veggie Chick'n Strips". They aren't cheap, but not unduly expensive for two good servings (up to 4-5 servings for the strips if you mix them with other foods).
The "breasts" come already in a light sauce-- I got the Dijon mustard one. I saved it for a night when I was exhausted from working on the newsletter (I have had the computer week from hell!!-- corrupted files, disappearing uploads, internet service down....). I Just heated them in the microwave while I made a salad and cooked some orzo in veggie broth with mushrooms, green onions and choppped peppers (I cook it like rice, 1 part orzo to 2 parts broth for 15 minutes.)
The texture is pretty amazing! (Aside from the usual wheat gluten and soy protein, it contains pea protein, and carrot and beet fiber.) The sauce was very light, nothing exciting. If I buy this again, which I may or may not, I will rinse off the sauce and make my own. But we enjoyed it with the orzo.
Last night I used the strips to try an interesting-sounding Palestinian recipe called "Chicken Fatteh" (I'm in a Middle Eastern cooking mode just now). "Fatteh" means that the recipe has fried bits of pita bread in it-- it can be a meat or a bean or a vegetable topping. I had some rather old pita in the freezer and thought I'd use some of it up in this and toast the reast for hummus dunkers.
So, here's the recipe:
BRYANNA'S VEGAN "CHICK'N STRIPS" FATTEH (WW CORE PLAN COMPATIBLE)
I used white basmati rice because I was in a hurry-- cooked 15 minutes in 1 1/2 cups water with a little salt. You could use brown basmati if you have more time (45 minutes). This sounds odd, but it was nice and garlicky, but comforting at the same time. I might add more herbs next time. My husband loved it! The crunchy pita was good.
1 large wholewheat pita bread, cut in little squares
1/2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup (dry) basmati rice, cooked (see recipe text above)
1 cup vegetarian "chicken-style" broth
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 Tbs olive oil
200 g vegan "chicken" strips (It's All Good; Yves; Morningstar Farms; Lightlife; or President's Choice)
OR use about 2 cups reconstituted Soy Curls (2 oz. dry) (NOTE: read more about Butler Foods Soy Curls™ here.)
1 pinch nutmeg
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups tofu sour creme (can be commercial or homemade)
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or chopped cashews
fresh parsley or mint, or dried mint
Heat oven to 400°F.
Heat the first 1/2 Tbs of oil in a nonstick skillet and fry the pieces of pita until golden.
Place in a 10" round casserole. Pour 1/2 the broth over the bread, and add 1/4 of the cooked rice and the one clove of garlic. Mix well.
Heat the second Tbs of oil in the skillet and brown the strips in it, adding some broth to keep from sticking. Add the nutmeg and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Spread the rest of the rice over the pita mixture and drizzle the remaing broth over it. Mix the 2 cloves crushed garlic with the Tofu Sour Creme and spread that over the rice.
Top with the Chick'n Strips.
Cover and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, just to heat. Garnish.
Nutrition (per serving): 320.9 calories; 25% calories from fat; 9.7g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 483.3mg sodium; 440.4mg potassium; 38.7g carbohydrates; 1.3g fiber; 2.4g sugar; 37.4g net carbs; 21.4g protein; 7.0 points.