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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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!

 

World Peas Wasabi Crusted Tofu with Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce

Okay, so I was eating some Wasabi peas I got from Trader Joe’s and was thinking “hmm, this would make an awesome type of bread crumb!” So after I continued to eat them, I started to become obsessed with the idea of making tofu recipe with them.

I wasn’t sure if I actually liked it at first…the heat of the wasabi wanes considerably when cooked this way. I also didn’t get a chance to try it until it was cool. However, after seeing my adult brother devour the rest of the batch, and tell me he loved it, I figured it was worth sharing.

For the Avocado Ginger cream sauce,  I was inspired by sushi. Avocado sushi is my favorite, and I guess I’m weird but I love to eat the ginger slices along with it in the same mouthful. I also got the idea of using vegan cream cheese because non-vegan sushi uses cream cheese sometimes, and thought it’d be good veganized. The added vegan mayo was mostly to make it a better consistency, but I was also thinking of the spicy mayo I’ve seen on sushi before as well.

I ate it with cooked brown rice, but it might be cool to form into onigiri and place the tofu on top, or put it in a hand roll (the rice, tofu, avocado sauce wrapped in a nori sheet).

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Wasabi Crusted Tofu with Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce

Recipe

Ingredients:

For the tofu:

1/2 cup wasabi peas

2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot

1 cup water

1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour (more as needed)

1 1 lb container of extra firm tofu (I used firm black tofu plus by nasoya and it didn’t hold together all that great, so I think extra firm tofu would work MUCH better) sliced into 8 equally sized slices width wise

canola oil, enough to cover a large frying pan/skillet and a little extra

For the Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce

1/2 an avocado

2 1/2 tbsp vegan cream cheese (I used Trader Joe’s brand)

2 tbsp vegan mayo (I used Nasoya Nayonaise but Vegenaise would be better)

1 tsp lime juice

1 tsp grated fresh ginger root

1/2 tsp vegan sugar

Directions:

To make the tofu:

  1. In a food processor or blender, crush wasabi peas until mostly into a powder but with some pieces of peas still partially in tact.
  2. Place wasabi pea powder in a bowl and mix with 2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot.
  3. Place water in a separate bowl, and flour in another.
  4. Drain the the tofu and lightly pat dry. Cut width wise into 8 evenly sized (as close as you can) pieces.
  5. Heat oil in pan at medium heat. You’ll know when it’s ready to put the tofu in it when you place a smidge of the pea mixture in the oil and it sizzles and fries up instantly.
  6. In the meantime, begin to prepare the tofu. Dip each slice in the flour on both sides, then place in water, and then coat into the pea-cornstarch mixture. Place on a plate until oil is ready.
  7. Prepare a plate with a paper towel next to the frying pan to absorb the oil of the tofu once they’re done cooking.
  8. When the oil is heated enough, place each tofu slice in the oil. Cook on each side until golden brown and crispy.
  9. Take out carefully with a spatula or tongs and place on prepared paper towel plate.
  10. Let cool until an edible temperature, and then eat along with the Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce and rice or whatever you like.

To make the Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy but not too thin.

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My results! If you make it, lemme know what you think, yeah?

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