Make an Egg-Free Caesar Dressing Out of Cashews

In the realm of big salads with even bigger dressings, the Caesar—with it’s sharp garlic, salty anchovy, and sour lemon juice—is emperor of them all.

For most people, it’s addictive. But there’s a contingent that avoids Caesar salad because it requires a raw egg or two. (We’re not all Rocky Balboa, after all.)

While cooking through the entire January issue of Bon Appétit, I found the Caesar dressing even the most squeamish eater can indulge in. It swaps out the raw egg in favor of a different ingredient: cashews.

Source: How to Make an Eggless Caesar Dressing

I hope I’m not in too late with this but I can confirm cashews make some awesome creamy stuff— once I was fed a vegan “cheesecake” that was creamy-thick and delicious. (I just wish people would come up with original names for this delicious stuff though, shit’s ridiculous.)

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Use Chickpea Liquid to Make the Fluffiest Egg-Free Pancakes Ever

Recipes and techniques generally advance in baby steps. It’s rare that you find a technique so far out of left field that it changes the way people think about food overnight. Sous vide cooking is up there, as is no-knead bread. In the world of vegan cuisine, nothing has shaken things up like aquafaba—the recently coined term for the liquid inside a can of cooked beans. It’s the kind of technique that’s so mind-blowingly simple that I’m amazed nobody discovered it until just a couple of years ago.

Source: Use Aquafaba to Make Extra-Light, Fluffy Egg-Free or Vegan Pancakes

I discovered aquafaba with a recipe for two ingredient meringues a few months ago. It has since nearly completely replaced my use of prepackaged egg substitutes. I am eating a lot more chickpeas now as a result. I’ve also found that canned chickpeas freeze well and defrost quickly.

Make Delicious Vegan Waffles With Tofu Instead of Eggs

As controversial as sneaking healthy ingredients into junky kid-foods may be (I’ve been known to throw stones myself), parents need to do what they need to do. And, in at least this one case, doing the unthinkable in the name of health led to a totally genius result.

The unthinkable? Emptying an entire package of tofu into the waffle batter.

Source: Genius Crispy, Fluffy (Vegan) Waffles with a Very Strange Secret Ingredient

Sugar in a vegan recipe?!  I could just waffle on and on… 😉

I don’t get why haters are so quick to point out that things don’t taste identical to their non-vegan/etc counterpart.  Besides the ideological aspect, the health aspect is valid.  And lots of recipes we use today came from people experimenting on existing recipes.  Though, I do wonder if chasing foods deemed no longer acceptable leads to the semi-vegetarianism that’s been reported in the past

Make a Creamy, Fiber-Packed Pasta Sauce Out of Beans

I have a passion for beans, which developed back when I used to cook for the Tuscan chef Cesare Casella. The Tuscans are famous for their beans (they’re sometimes called the mangiafagioli—bean eaters—in Italy), and Cesare is no exception. When I worked for him, he’d import thousands of pounds of beans every year from Italy, and I learned plenty of tricks from him on how to use them.

One of those tricks was this simple pasta with a sauce made from puréed beans, which I’ve made with chickpeas here. It couldn’t be easier to make: You simply sauté some garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil, add some cooked beans along with some of their cooking water, then purée it to make a smooth, creamy sauce. Add a handful of whole cooked beans for some texture, and you’re basically done.

Source: How to Turn Beans Into a Creamy Vegan Pasta Sauce

Mashed beans pretty much all work the same. If you are having issues with lentils, you’re probably forgetting to ditch the lentil husks.

Make Savory, Tasty “Fish Sauce” Without the Fish

When I dine at Vietnamese and Thai restaurants and request that they leave out the fish sauce, ubiquitous in South Asian cuisine, the dishes sometimes taste as if they are lacking something. That “something” is fish sauce, South Asia’s “secret ingredient” that adds oomph to dishes, injecting that special flavor that you can’t quite put your finger on.

Here is my vegan version that can be universally added to Asian-style dishes, lending them that extra “something.” And the secret ingredients in my fish sauce? Wakame, a seaweed, and the liquid from those jars of fermented tofu, a somewhat stinky Chinese condiment made by pre-serving tofu in wine, vinegar, and other ingredients for months (don’t be put off by the description!). Give it a try and then use it in everything from green papaya salad to Thai-style curries.

Source: Vegan Fish Sauce

I think chemically the trick of fish sauce and anchovies and all that is the combo of glutamate (umami) + nucleotides like GMP and IMP (umami boosters).  Glutamate is decaying protein – Nucleotides are decaying RNA/DNA or thereabouts.  Yes, we love the taste of rotting things. And the best part is that we can get it from all sorts of places.  The “fishy” taste there is provided by the seaweed.

Make Mushroom “Jerky” For an Umami-Packed Snack Anyone Can Enjoy

Not for those allergic to mushrooms, obviously 😉

These super salty, slightly tangy slices make a great addition to wraps, sandwiches, salads, and more. Keep them in your fridge for a quick snack or a means of adding intensity and umami to any dish!

Source: Vegan Mushroom “Jerky” (Slow-Roasted Mushroom Strips)

The recipe is similar to the this one for vegan smoked mushroom “bacon”, which is liable to be cheaper than the algae that tastes like bacon

Always cool to see what substitutions/alternatives people have come up with.  Traditional jerky uses meat, and has been suggested as a reasonable source of protein.  100 grams of beef jerky contains 33.2 grams of protein, and 2.3 mcg of vitamin K (3% Daily Value).  Grilled portobella mushroom has 5.2 grams of protein per 1 cup/121 grams, and no vitamin K.  Win some, lose some…

Turn Your Carrot Tops (Or Any Green) Into a Hearty Snack

Hold onto your carrot tops! And onion tops! And turnip tops! And beet greens, too. You can turn all of those greens into a delicious snack.

Source: Instead of Throwing Away Your Greens, Make Them Into “Meatballs”

Beets are OK for those of us on warfarin/coumadin, but the beet greens are not.  I thought I had articles about this, but apparently not so I’ll say it now: the greens portion is generally/safely not a good idea for people on blood thinner to consume.   As usual, if it’s consistently part of your diet then it’s already been addressed in your medication but otherwise – the vitamin K content of vegetables greens is incredibly high.

There Is Now Nutrient-Rich Algae That Tastes Just Like Bacon, Because Science

This has been something that had been going around word-of-mouth for months…

The Pacific Northwest gives us lots of great consumables: Harry and David pears and wine that’ll help you burn fat among them. And now scientists at Oregon State University have developed an algae that reportedly tastes like pork belly.

Source: There Is Now Nutrient-Rich Algae That Tastes Just Like Bacon, Because Science

The article contains a link to a website (maine seaweed) from which you can purchase a similar product. it costs $32/lb + $15 for shipping.  According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of sliced bacon in august 2015 was $5.41 per pound in US cities, and $4.78 per pound in the Midwest.  That’s just a function of pricing a new product with no scale.  But how many vegetarian/vegan alternatives do you know of that retail for less than their mainstream counterpart?  Meat production is also heavily subsidized, which reduces the price drastically.

Vitamin loaded, fat free, basically calorie free, good protein/calorie ratio bacon?  First, the article is clear that already available dulce is not bacon flavoured.  Second, what I can’t currently find is remotely definitive nutritional data on dulce… which likely can’t be assumed against this engineered strain of dulce.  Going on the article comparing the nutritional value of kale, I’m worried that the vitamin K content is a concern.  But for most other types of seaweed, vitamin K is present (but not much).

Make Homemade Veggie Burgers that Taste Great and Won’t Fall Apart

Going veg doesn’t mean you have to give up burgers. There are lots of plant-based ingredients you can make delicious burgers with. But if you’ve ever had a veggie burger that falls apart while you’re cooking it or when you take the first bite, you know it’s a less than great experience. Burgers made with meat and/or eggs have lots of sticky saturated fats which help them hold together but vegan burgers don’t have this fat so they often fall apart. Is it possible to keep the saturated fats out of our burgers and still have them hold together? You bet! After a lot of experimentation and a lot of burgers that just didn’t hold up, I finally got a hand on how to keep my veggie burgers from turning into mush. Here are some tricks for making veggie burgers that won’t fall apart.

Source: Tricks for Making Veggie Burgers That Won’t Fall Apart

Black bean patty, guacamole… Mmmmm 🙂

Some have reported a strong flavour when using a “flax egg” replacement.  I’ve covered vegan egg replacements in the past, including using garbanzo bean/chickpea water.