Air Fryer Experiments

Hi!

As I mentioned in my last post, I bought an air fryer on sale. What is an air fryer, you ask? Well, it’s basically a healthier version of a deep fryer. It fries food with hot air instead of oil.

Personally, I am still figuring out what works and doesn’t work with it and trying to perfect temperatures and cooking times. I have found that using a lot of liquid batter without any kind of dry coating over it does not work so well. It says you can make donuts in it, but I have no clue how that’d work. I have not tried cooking french fries yet, but I really want to, just haven’t yet.

So far I have fried some soy curls using this recipe here. Those came out excellent, I think I cooked them at 350 for about 10 minutes. I also tried defrosting some Gardein chicken scallopini, coating it in watered down Neat egg substitute coated with vegan/gluten free rice crispy-esque cereal. That was okay, but not that exciting even though I had high hopes.

Then, when I botched a bunch of battered cauliflower, I came up with a splendid idea. But I didn’t have any more cauliflower, so I tried it with tofu. It’s supposed to be like coconut coated fried shrimp, but is made with tofu (and someday I need to try it with cauliflower, too!)

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Here is the recipe for it:

Coconut Crusted Air Fried Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vodka or unflavored soda water/seltzer
  • 2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • one bag sweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • sweet chili sauce for dipping
  • 1 block tofu, preferably frozen, thawed, then pressed for 20 minutes

Directions:

  1. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk in the water, vodka/soda water until a liquid, medium thickness batter forms. Water it down if necessary to be the desired thickness, but it should stay fairly thick.
  3. Cut tofu into smallish rectangles.
  4. Place some of the sweetened coconut into a dish.
  5. Dip the tofu in the batter, then into the coconut.
  6. Delicately place in the air fryer tray.
  7. Air fry for 10 minutes, 350 degrees F or slightly lower if you don’t want it as browned as I did. May take some experimentation as I believe air fryers can vary quite a bit.
  8. Use sweet chili sauce to dip in, and serve with a generous helping of veggies!

I’m sure I’ll discover some new tips and tricks about air fryers soon!

So check back here for those.

Until then, or until another recipe creation strikes!

Take care! xo

 

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Holiday Recap and a Soy Curl Potpie Recipe

I’ve been so busy lately. Between graduate school, taking an improv comedy class, the holidays, my grandmother dying, etc., I’ve barely had time for cooking. I was able to create two Youtube videos in the beginning of the semester, which you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIGj10TPGenVBNH6vySDPpw! I hope to make more videos on Youtube in the coming year.

I’ve also been regularly updating my blog’s new(ish) Instagram account, which you can follow @bananacurlvegangirl

If you’re not on Instagram or following along here, I’m going to do a quick photo recap of some of the food I made for the holidays.

For some homemade gifts, I made my famous sour cream and onion kale chips, green tea, goji, and coconut superfood energy bars (adapted from this recipe), vegan and gluten-free marshmallow wreaths, and chocolate peppermint patties from a recipe that’s basically this (not pictured).

 

We had 4 relatives staying with us from Christmas Eve day until yesterday. My aunt and uncle and cousins have a tradition at their house of making appetizers on Christmas eve. So, I made lentil faux chopped liver dip, a spinach and artichoke dip, and we made mini potato latkes because it was also the first night of Hanukkah and my dad celebrates the holiday and loves having latkes. Instead of using eggs, we used the Neat egg for the first time and it worked out really well! There was also a salad made that I was able to eat.

 

For dessert, I had these gluten-free, vegan sugar cookies I made from a recipe on Minimalist Baker. Check the recipe out here.

gf sugar cookies xmas.JPG

For Christmas morning breakfast, everyone else was having bagels. My mom was nice enough to go to a local gluten-free bakery and pick up some vegan and gluten free bagels. I topped them with Kite Hill chive cream cheese, my papaya lox, and capers.

lox-bagels

For my dinner later that day, I made gluten-free, vegan stuffed shells with Kite Hill almond ricotta and pesto. I forgot to take a picture of them. We also had my favorite vegan caesar salad ever, which I also forgot to photograph, but believe there are previous posts on this blog about it.

It was a sweet Christmas! I hope you had a very merry one yourselves! As a thank you for reading, here is a picture of my three cats, that my brother photoshopped for a card.

christmas-cats

However, the best Christmas present is that I have a new recipe! For a soy curl chickun potpie that is soooo good!

WordPress has a new feature here, so I’m going to try to see what happens when I upload a word document of the recipe.

soy-curl-chickun-potpie (link to a downloadable recipe? or something)

Soy Curl Chickun Potpie

Vegan and Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups soy curls
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 1 medium potato, chopped
  • 6-8 baby carrots chopped into rounds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • one small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tsp dried rubbed sage
  • ½ cup vegan no-chicken broth, divided
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp garbanzo flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain coconut milk
  • 1 no-chicken bouillon cube
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 gluten-free, vegan pie crusts, homemade or store bought

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Soak soy curls, corn, and peas in a bowl with enough warm water to cover. Let sit for at least 10 minutes and drain. Set aside.
  3. Steam potatoes and carrots in a steamer basket for 10 minutes.
  4. Place olive oil, celery, onions, and garlic in a skillet on medium heat and sauté until soft. Add in the soy curls, corn, peas, nutritional yeast, sage, and ¼ cup broth. Mix in the potatoes and carrots. Stir and heat until the soy curls are warm.
  5. To make a gravy for the pie, place the vegan butter and garbanzo flour in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until crumbly and beginning to brown. Slowly add in the coconut milk, continuing to whisk. You may need to lower the heat. Add the remaining ¼ cup broth and the bouillon cube. Keep whisking until the bouillon melts and the gravy is thick. You can add salt and pepper to taste once you turn off the heat.
  6. Add the gravy into the soy curl and vegetables.
  7. Spoon into a bottom of a pie crust. Place the top of the pie crust as you like it. Make slits in the top to allow steam to escape. You may have some leftover filling that you can eat separately or make into other dishes.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden in color.
  9. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
  10. Bon Appetit!

Enjoy the new year festivities if I don’t post before then (but I do have several posts lined up!) Happy Holidays from Banana Curl, Vegan Girl!

 

Buffalo Soy Curls Recipe and a review of Daiya’s Blue Cheese dressing

Whew, this summer has been so busy! So much happening in my life right now.

Girls Rock camp starts on Monday and I am super excited to help feed people there.

Today I was in the grocery and came across Daiya’s new salad dressings. I was intrigued by the blue cheese one. I never really liked blue cheese, and I hated chunky versions of the dressing. I only liked it if it was smooth. But I decided to purchase it on a whim, and then suddenly had the great idea to make something buffalo style to accompany it.

I came up with a recipe for buffalo soy curls.

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The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Butler Soy Curls
  • Water to cover soy curls
  • 1/4 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bottle Frank’s Red Hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Soak soy curls in a bowl covered with water for 10 minutes.
  2. Turn oven to broil.
  3. Drain soy curls.
  4. Place flour, nutritional yeast, garlic and onion powders, and pepper in a ziplock bag.
  5. Toss soy curls into ziplock bag.
  6. Spray a wide-rim baking sheet sprayed with cooking oil.
  7. Dump out soy curls out of bag and spray the tops of the soy curls with oil.
  8. Place in the broiler for about  5 minutes (watch them carefully, every oven broils slightly different, you may require more or less time).
  9. Toss, flip, or stir soy curls around a bit. Place back in the broiler for 2 minutes.
  10. When the soy curls are starting to get crisp and slightly brown, take out of the broiler and pour the hot sauce on top.
  11. Broil for another minute, then take out of the oven.
  12. Serve with celery and vegan blue cheese.

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REVIEW OF THE DAIYA BLUE CHEESE DRESSING:

Despite my reservations, I was quite impressed. It’s been ages since I’ve had the real thing, but once I tasted it I had to re-check the ingredients to make sure Daiya hadn’t pulled a fast one on me. It’s very convincing and there’s no chunkiness. Woohoo! It’s perfect for taming buffalo stuff.

Hope your summer is going well too!

Vegan Poutine Recipe

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Hi!

I am slowly making my way through the backlog of stuff I’ve been meaning to post! Soon you’ll also get to hear about a delicious raspberry cake batter smoothie I made and adventures in vegan Ethiopian cooking (a cookbook review).

Not too long ago I really wanted some comfort food, and I had been contemplating using the block of Daiya cheddar cheese I had in my fridge for poutine for awhile. So, I finally did it.

The gravy was spot on, but next time I will melt the cheese a little bit more on top of the fries in the oven so that when I pour the gravy on it all it will melt even better.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp Earth Balance or refined coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup gluten free or regular flour (I used brown rice flour)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups No Beef Broth (from the Happy Herbivore cookbook if you have it, or from here)
  • 1 cup vegan unchick’n broth, or vegetable broth–It’s fairly easy to find vegan unchick’n broth powder–several companies make it and I’ve even found variations of it in dollar type/discount stores near me! Just mix 1 tbsp broth powder with one cup water or veggie broth! Happy Herbivore also has a recipe for making your own broth powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 1/2 tbsp water
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • About half a package of your favorite frozen french fries, or homemade if you want to get fancy. I used Alexia brand Straight Cut Fries
  • 1/2-a whole block Daiya Cheddar, cut into 1 inch cubes

Directions:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to the temperature the fries are baked at.
  2. Make the no beef and unchick’n broths, allow to cool slightly
  3. Prepare fries according to package…in the meantime prepare the gravy.
  4. Melt the butter or coconut oil in a large saucepan. Add the flour and stir constantly until a roux is formed. This is when it turns into a golden brown color. It takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the garlic and cook for about 30 more seconds.
  6. Stir in the broth with a whisk.
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. Whisk in the cornstarch and water, stir constantly and let simmer until thickened, about 3-5 minutes…it’s possible you might need slightly more or less cornstarch. I started with 2 tbsp water/cornstarch and then added the extra 1/2 tbsp later when it would not thicken to my liking.
  9. Keep gravy warm (this can be done by turning off the heat and covering, leaving on the stovetop that you cooked it on.
  10. In the last few minutes of cooking the fries, gather them up into the middle of the tray, and randomly drop the Daiya cheddar blocks on top. I’d say only do this for 5 minutes at maximum but do it however you like really.
  11. Take the fries and cheese out, place in a large bowl, and put as much gravy as you like, I probably put close to 4 cups on top. You will have extra gravy that you can use for more poutine or something equally delicious.
  12. Maintenant, nous mangeons! (That’s French for now, we eat!) Enjoy!

 

Christmas Re-cap

Oi. So the school semester finished Sunday the 21st and I was a bit of a mess. After that, I barely stopped. It was a whir of wrapping presents, menu planning, grocery shopping (multiple times, ugh), spending time with family, cooking, etc. Since then I haven’t really stopped either, until today…Thank Goodness.

Remember my menu? I stuck to it pretty closely with a few adjustments.

My mom actually made the salad and the eggplant Christmas Eve which was great. She actually helped so much with the cooking which was a big relief because even as I write this now, I still feel like I am recovering from being so stressed during school.

First, we had the greek salad:

Isa Does It Greek Diner Salad

Isa Does It Greek Diner Salad

Then we had the main course, which for me was a piece of Spanakopita pot pie and the eggplant parm.

Spinach Pot Pie

Spinach Pot Pie

Spinach Pot Pie-Inside

Spinach Pot Pie-Inside

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

The dessert I was making for Christmas Day got screwed up because my mom was trying to teach me a trick with the roll cake but forgot how to do it the correct way and it fell apart 😦 So we decided to save the mud pie for Christmas day, and instead would have the vegan peppermint stick ice cream I had made…The frosting for the cake was already made, so we ended up making some of the crumbled up cake, ice cream, frosting, crushed peppermint candies, and chocolate syrup into sundaes. Everyone was obsessed with the peppermint stick ice cream, and I really don’t blame them! It was so good. It’s been requested that I make it again.

Vegan xmas Ice Cream Sundae

Vegan xmas Ice Cream Sundae

Then on Christmas morning we had my famous pretzel bread pudding for breakfast:

Pretzel Bread Pudding

Pretzel Bread Pudding

For an appetizer I made the Hummus Pomodoro with Warm Pizza Crust from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen which was so good. Everyone really loved it, and my grandmother was telling me I selected some really good tomatoes, haha.

Festive hummus, pizza bread slices not pictured

Festive hummus, pizza crust slices not pictured

For dinner, here was my plate:

Clockwise from top left: Caramelized onion mashed potatoes, Gardein Holiday Roast, creamed spinach, and glazed carrots

Clockwise from top left:
Caramelized onion mashed potatoes, Gardein Holiday Roast, creamed spinach, and glazed carrots

And for dessert? Well, my grandmother decided to leave before we had it, so while I was waiting for my mom to take her home, I ended up whipping up a surprise. I had so much frosting leftover from the botched cake that I decided to make whoopie pies:

Whoops, I made Whoopie Pies

Whoops, I made Whoopie Pies

And we ate them along with the mud pie! (two gross but delicious sounding “pies,” haha)

Mud Pie!

Mud Pie!

This was also the first year I barely got any cooking related gifts.  Believe it or not, I’m okay with that. This is because:

A) I have way too many cookbooks and am now trying to make my own cookbook zine so I’m mostly eating my own creations.

B) I have pretty much everything I need in the way of utensils, though I did get a new measuring cup set and a cool little frosting thingy for decorating cakes and stuff in my stocking.

C) I am trying to also eat a bit healthier, so candy and junk food isn’t wise. Although, I did get a package of peppermint Bark Thins and Supercandy (they are vegan and basically gum drops with tons of B vitamins in them) in my stocking.

D) Apparently my love of working out has almost overtaken my love of cooking, at least, gift wise. I got some cool workout gear this year!

I do hope to use the two Whole Foods gift cards I got for presents for some food-related goodies/healthy foods! Yay.

Happy holidays everyone! I will probably not be posting until after the New Year, so I hope you all have a happy one!

My Xmas Menu

Happy holidays everyone!

Just a quick post to share my menu I have planned out for Christmas. I hope to post a bit more later on in the week.

Christmas eve dinner:

  • Greek Diner Salad from Isa Does It
  • Spinach pot pie (own recipe)
  • Eggplant Parmesan from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen
  • Dessert: Mississippi Mud Pie (own recipe)

Christmas day breakfast:

My pretzel bread pudding casserole

Christmas day appetizer:

Hummus Pomodoro with Warm Pizza Crust from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen

Christmas day meal:

  • Gardein Holiday Roast
  • Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes from Vegan Table
  • Creamed Spinach from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen
  • Glazed carrots (my mom’s recipe)
  • Dessert: Peppermint stick ice cream (my own recipe) and chocolate peppermint roll cake (my own recipe as well)

I’m so excited for all this! haha. Yum.

Have a delicious holiday season! 🙂

Superbowl Snack Recipe? You got it! *drum roll* Veganized Scallops wrapped in Bacon!

Super Bowl Sunday is nearing, and I wanted to veganize a recipe my parents used to serve at their Super Bowl Parties. Scallops wrapped in bacon! I’ve been seeing hearts of palm used as all kinds of seafood substitutes lately, and I love them, so I decided to try it. And I am so excited that I thought to experiment and create this recipe! It came out so amazingly delicious and is pretty looking too.

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Not much else to say except that I am so excited to share this recipe!

So without further ado,

Vegan “scallops” wrapped in “bacon” or as I prefer to call it, “Hearts of Palm Wrapped in Tempeh Bacon”

Servings 8-12 depending on how thin you slice the tempeh and other various factors

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • ½ tsp hot sauce
  • ½ tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional if you can’t find it)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar (I used coconut palm sugar because I had some and it’s healthier for you…but brown sugar will work just as well if not better…)
  • About 3 stalks of canned hearts of palm
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • ½ tsp kelp granules (if you can’t get your hands on this, double the Old Bay)
  • 1 tbsp oil

You will also need some toothpicks, a small shallow bowl, a small frying pan, a cookie sheet, cooking spray, and some extra Old Bay…(I love to make rhymes…but it is true)

Directions:

  1. Slice tempeh with a long knife into 10-12 thin pieces.
  2. Place in a Ziploc type bag
  3. Pour all ingredients in order ending with the smoked paprika into the bag.
  4. Seal bag and gently toss to coat the tempeh. Place in the refrigerator.
  5. You probably want to marinate the tempeh bacon for about an hour, shaking the bag lightly every 15 minutes or so and placing back into the fridge.
  6. In the meantime while the tempeh is marinating, take about 3 hearts of palm stalks from a can.
  7. Slice them to be about 1.5 inches tall or so. Maybe 2.
  8. Place them into a shallow bowl and pour 2 tbsp of lemon juice over them.
  9. Then sprinkle the Old Bay Seasoning over the tops, making sure each piece has some on it.
  10. Repeat with the kelp granules.
  11. Place some plastic wrap over them and also place them into the fridge like you did with the tempeh bacon. Turn over every time you shake the bacon. The idea is to let the hearts of palm soak up the flavors a bit and marinate.
  12. Around halfway through marinating both items, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  13. When the bacon is done marinating, spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and place the tempeh in a single layer. Do not put any extra marinade or liquid into the pan. Just the marinated tempeh.
  14. Take the coconut palm sugar or brown sugar and sprinkle onto the pieces of tempeh. Rub it a bit into the tempeh with your fingers. This will make the tempeh bacon more like actual bacon in my opinion. It ends up getting crispy, sticky and extra delicious when done.
  15. Heat in the oven for 15 minutes.
  16. When there’s about 5 minutes left for the tempeh bacon to cook, take out the hearts of palm.
  17. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a smallish frying pan.
  18. Place the hearts of palm without the marinade liquid into the pan and sprinkle with some extra Old Bay, maybe some salt if you desire too. Be very careful as it may splatter a bit.
  19. Heat on each side until it begins to brown, 1-2 minutes each side.
  20. Take out the bacon at 15 minutes and let it cool while you finish the hearts of palm.
  21. Place the hearts of palm on a plate.
  22. When you can handle the tempeh bacon with your hands, take one heart of palm piece and one slice of tempeh bacon. Wrap the bacon around the circle…if it breaks it’s ok, just finagle the toothpick into it so that it sticks on as well as you can. It’s all going into the same place anyhow. It’s kind of difficult to explain the procedure though. If you look at the pictures of the recipe it might give you a better idea of a strategy for handling it.
  23. Serve as soon as possible afterward. They’ll be best when still warm. You can try reheating them in a toaster oven on broil if you have that capacity later…microwave may work too but no guarantees it’ll taste the same when reheated. I’m pretty sure if you have a lot of people over or even just you, they’ll be tasty enough to polish off quickly
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the hearts of palm marinating

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the hearts of palm after they’ve been cooked

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all asembled!

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One more picture for good measure!