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Olives for Dinner

Olives for Dinner
Wed, 29 Mar 2023 11:23:33 +0000

Interview with Thomas Wehner of Gastroplant

Gastroplant, created by NYC-based Thomas Wehner, is a fantastic place to go for globally-inspired, plant-based recipes. Thomas offers a truly unique and passionate perspective in his dishes, whether it's a lush and alluring bowl of ramen or a stunning fresh salad. Read on to learn more about his culinary heroes, and how travel influences and inspires his cooking.

A photo of Thomas Wehner, creator of Gastroplant.

When I first visited Gastroplant, I knew that the creator and cook behind it really, really loved food. This person was someone who delighted in the discovery of new ingredients, uncovered innovative ways to coax out flavors in dishes and just loved the process of cooking. Thomas brings a fresh and unique spin on plant-based cooking, and Gastroplant shines with all of the endless possibilities that it offers.

I love a good bowl of ramen, and the his variations on vegan ramen on Gastroplant are stunning! Thomas created a creamy and savory Vegan Tonkotsu Ramen Broth, then built upon that umami-rich base with his delicious Vegan Tonkotsu Ramen. I love that Thomas experimented further and created ramen dishes with kimchi, curry and soy sauce, going beyond just explaining what the recipe consists of and describing his thought process and why it works.

Read on to learn more about Thomas, and how ingredients and the process of cooking create a sense of connectedness and beauty for him. I'm so happy he's here to share more about his passion for plant-based cooking and how it has improved his running career. His words are powerful and this is definitely an inspirational read! Be sure to check out more of my Why I Cook interviews with other vegan and plant-based bloggers who provide unique perspectives and add strong and solid recipes in the vegan food blogging space.

Gastroplant: A globally-inspired food blog that celebrates the sensory experiences that cooking creates, with dishes that teach and inspire

When did you start to cook and what about the process kept you interested in it?

I did some cooking in high school as a way to share things I liked with my family, though that usually consisted of cooking eggs for breakfast, grilling something, or helping a parent with whatever they were making.

Cooking was an occasional activity for me until my third year of college, when I would try to cook new dishes as a way to procrastinate on my studies. I had one housemate from China and one from India, and I was always peeking over their shoulders as they cooked, asking questions and learning how I might recreate what they were whipping up.

I'd go to Buford Highway Farmers Market in Atlanta, which is still my favorite supermarket anywhere, to buy ingredients and just explore and witness all the possibilities of food from around the world. They have a uniquely vast offering of ingredients from different regions, including produce and prepared foods. I'm pretty sure I'd get into at least a low-level state of fascination every time I went there.

Early on, cooking (and food in general) was a chance for me to attempt a small glimpse into what life could be like for people in different places. In those days it was really the sense of novelty and connectedness that I'd get from cooking something new that would keep me interested in it.

A bowl of vegan Tantanmen ramen from Gastroplant.
Tantanmen ramen (vegan) | Photo and recipe by Gastroplant

The reason I continue to cook today is less about novelty, but the connectedness aspect of it is still really important to me. Every time I cook, if I do it well, it's an opportunity to experience a small sliver of beauty – a combination of appearance, texture, flavor, aroma – only made possible by the work of countless generations of humans cooking and sharing food before me.

I used to compare a good meal to time travel or teleportation, since it can bring you to another time or place in a powerful way. But now it's less about escaping and more about connecting with the present time and place and realizing that the distant past and faraway places are still with you.

How do you come up with fresh and new ideas on a regular basis?

The change of seasons is one thing that I've always found to be a good spur for new ideas. The first really hot day of the year makes me want to make the most refreshing salad or cold noodle dish I can imagine. Cold weather makes me want to make soups and spiced baked goodies to enjoy with hot coffee. And springtime and its longer days made me want to cook bright, energetic recipes using spring produce.

For those seasonally inspired ideas, it helps me to spend time outdoors, don't overuse heat or AC, and listen to what my body is telling me it wants.

Other inspiration comes from memories of foods I've tried, whether yesterday or long ago. Food has a special way of sticking in my memory, so some recipes I develop might come after a 10-year incubation period. Exploring new places and foods, whether in my own neighborhood or on another continent, helps plant the seeds for these types of ideas.

As far as "on a regular basis" goes, I couldn't tell you, since my ideas are so sporadic. Ideas seem to occur to me, or I'll go through periodic fits of brainstorming and exploring. I do really like The Vegetarian Flavor Bible as a creative aid. It's awesome for creating unexpected flavor harmonies.

What influenced your love of cooking?

My parents were probably the biggest influence there. Despite being really busy and having three kids to take care of, they'd cook pretty much every night of the week when I was growing up, usually from scratch. Because of their example, cooking always seemed like a really normal everyday thing, so I didn't feel any hesitation to just jump into it myself.

As I started cooking a few times a week in college and just getting lots of practice, I'd eventually figure out how to avoid ruining a dish (for the most part). With the downside minimized (or at least considered), it would become a joy to either cook something new or try a new twist on something I was already familiar with.

Still today, the love that I feel for cooking stems from either trying something new, whether a totally new dish or a new approach to an old one, or from cooking food that is deeply rooted in positive memories.

Two bowls of vegan Borscht.
Bold Vegan Borscht | Photo and recipe by Gastroplant

Describe the best dish you've ever made.

It's hard to pick a favorite, but I think my Vegan Tonkotsu Ramen is a strong contender. It came about as the result of my goofing off in the kitchen one evening, not long after I had learned about cashew cream for pasta sauce (from The Happy Pear). I started to make a cashew cream in the blender and without much thought started adding Asian flavors to it too see what I could come up with. I can't remember exactly what I added, but I'm pretty sure there was miso, dried mushrooms, sesame oil, and gochujang.

What came out of the blender was really tasty and somehow vaguely familiar, but it didn't occur to me right away. It wasn't until later that evening that I realized it had a lot in common with Tonkotsu ramen broth, which would traditionally be made from pork bones. That experiment led me to create the recipe that's on my blog now, and it spurred my series of different vegan ramen recipes, which have been among my favorites to develop, as well as shamelessly slurp down.

A bowl of vegan tonkotsu ramen from Gastroplant.
Vegan Tonkotsu Ramen | Photo and recipe by Gastroplant

For most of my recipes I have an end goal in mind from the start, and I fill in the blanks from the top down. This one was special because it was really bottom-up—trying random stuff without a clear goal and then asking "What does this remind me of?" and going from there. Creating this way is harder but it helped me make something I probably wouldn't have thought of, had I had a goal in mind from the start.

I wrote Vegan Tonkotsu Ramen when I was just starting to blog, and it's been my most popular ever since.

Culinary Influences

Do you have any culinary heroes or influences?

Anthony Bourdain, for sure. I don't know much about him as a chef, but as a storyteller he showed us how much all humans all over the planet have in common and how deeply interconnected we are, with food and culinary traditions being central to everything. He helped me see that food is one of the most fundamental and accessible means of connecting with someone from a different tribe/city/continent. Earlier in my life, watching one of this shows would make me want to travel and explore as much as possible but now it makes me want to cook something special and share it with people.

The Sarno brothers, Chefs Derek and Chad at Wicked Kitchen, are my heroes as far as plant-based cooking goes. They do some spectacular things with mushrooms – grilling, pan-searing, barbecuing – that are impressive visually and create such good flavor. This beauty of simplicity is something I try to strive for in my own cooking. The Sarno brothers have also done much to advance the plant-based culinary scene with their cooking courses and Wicked Kitchen brand and I applaud them for that.

Pan-fried mushrooms with grapes in a cast iron pan from Gastroplant.
Pan-Roasted Wild Mushrooms with Grapes | Recipe and photo by Gastroplant
Global Travels

You mention that you've done some traveling. What are some of your favorite places and best dishes/food experiences while there?

I lived in China for a few years, about 10 years back, and the food there would blow my mind on a weekly basis. Yu Xiang Eggplant (fried eggplant in a spicy, savory garlic sauce) and Di San Xian ("three treasures of the earth" – stir fried potato, eggplant, and pepper) are two very simple dishes that you could find in tiny, cheap diners as well as fancier high-end restaurants. They're both really delicious and quite unlike anything you'd find in a "Chinese restaurant" in the US.

I've named two dishes that I really like, but all over China, people enjoy all kinds of fresh veggie dishes that make the veggies truly shine, and there are dozens, if not hundreds, of dishes like these that are fairly common. Chefs in China can make a simple stir fried cabbage taste like heaven.

That I could go to a restaurant of any price range with some friends and order a whole tableful of delicious dishes made from fresh vegetables helped reframe what a meal could look like.

More recently, I was in Tallinn, Estonia to run the local marathon and had the chance to eat at Vegan Restoran V a couple of times. For me, it was super interesting to see their Nordic/Baltic perspective on global vegan cuisine and they execute so wonderfully on it. The dish that stands out in my mind had fried celery root and an herbal emulsion. I think the idea was to imitate seafood, but it was tastier and more nuanced than seafood. I'd rate the quality and innovation here as high as, if not higher than my favorite vegan spots in NYC.

Fennel and arugula salad  in a white bowl.
Easy Fennel Arugula Salad | Photo and recipe by Gastroplant
Running Marathons on a Plant-Based Diet

You mention that you run marathons. How did switching to a plant-based diet support your goals? What would you like other runners that are skeptical of eating plant-based to know?

The most obvious difference is that I have been able to recover more quickly from workouts and need to take fewer days off. Going from running 3-4 days per week to 6-7 makes a huge difference in what I'm able to do, and the quality of workouts improved alongside that increase in volume.

Previously I'd do a hard workout and make meal choices afterward that prioritized indulgence, like I somehow deserved a whole pizza and a pint of ice cream for my effort. And then I'd spend more time recovering from that meal on top of the time recovering from the workout. I found that vegan pizza and vegan ice cream, while still junk food, didn't have quite the detrimental effect.

From there, I learned to load up on sweet potatoes, lentils, greens, tofu, brown rice, etc, and found ways to make those into tasty meals. That's when I really found that my energy can have a very different quality depending on what I eat. Prioritizing those nutrient-dense foods helps me run well, which translates to better energy throughout the day.

Having more energy and running more frequently also created a virtuous cycle for me where I dropped body fat, which made it even easier to run.

On Small Adjustments and Making Plant-Based Eating More Vibrant and Varied

To a runner skeptical about eating plant-based, as long as you're at least a little bit curious, you can start to see if there's a benefit for you there, without taking much risk. Runners are constantly making small adjustments to routine, so it should be easy to experiment by nudging your diet a little bit in the plant-based direction. And you can explore ways of making food more vibrant and abundant with plants, regardless of whether you exclude anything from your diet.

  • Aim for variety over volume and find ways to make your meals more colorful. Use fruit and nuts in your savory dishes. Keep kimchi and/or sauerkraut on hand and eat it alongside everything.
  • Learn to use vinegar and fresh citrus to make dishes pop. Become familiar with soy sauce and miso outside their usual contexts.
  • Find one veggie soup recipe and one salad recipe that you love enough by itself that animal protein becomes an optional side dish.
  • Try lots of different stuff and pay attention to anything that makes you feel particularly amazing (for me this is often a baked Japanese sweet potato with no seasoning). Listen to your own energy and prioritize the foods that improve it.

Stay connected with Thomas!

instagram | facebook | pinterest | twitter

Check out some of my other Why I Cook interviews!

Cara Ansis of Fork & Beans

Timothy Pakron of Mississippi Vegan

Gena Hamshaw of The Full Helping

Jackie Sobon of Vegan Yack Attack

Amanda Logan of My Goodness Kitchen

The post Interview with Thomas Wehner of Gastroplant appeared first on Olives for Dinner.

Olives for Dinner
Mon, 27 Mar 2023 13:34:08 +0000

The Big Vegan Seafood Guide

Searching for vegan seafood recipes? Look no further … these fish-free dishes are off the hook! Check out this collection of vegan fish, vegan scallops, vegan sushi and more for plant-based seafood ideas. This vegan seafood guide will show you the endless expanse of textures and flavors that mushrooms, hearts of palm and other vegan ingredients can offer to create delicious mock seafood recipes.

The big vegan seafood guide graphic.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I have a thing for vegan seafood. When I went vegan (almost 20 years ago now!) seafood was the last thing to go, right before dairy. I used to love salmon lox, scallops, shrimp and mussels. It was years into blogging before I figured out I could just make my own vegan versions of them. I love developing vegan recipes, but developing vegan seafood recipes is where the most fun experimentation and possibilities open up for me.

Vegan Seafood Guide

Check out this roundup for some of those possibilities from my site and other bloggers doing amazing things to create vegan seafood recipes. From carrot lox to vegan shrimp and everything in between, this guide has it all … dive in!

Can You Eat Seafood on a Plant-Based Diet?

Seafood is not vegan or even vegetarian. If you are vegan for ethical reasons, it's off the table. If you are on a plant-based diet for health reasons, it's up to you whether you want to include it in your diet. However, you may want to consider this before reaching for or ordering a seafood dish. Check out this article on how fishing and aquaculture has a negative impact on our world and sea life.

Fish feel pain, and many sea creatures, like the octopus, have intelligence and emotions, just like we do. The purpose of this vegan seafood guide is to show you how you can enjoy the taste and textures of seafood without harming sea creatures. Plus, it's a way to add some creativity in the kitchen and maybe add some new produce into your diet!

Vegan Shrimp

Make these shrimp-free recipes from king oyster mushrooms, vegan sausage and store-bought vegan shrimp. I've seen king oyster mushrooms labeled as "seafood mushrooms" in some Asian markets. It's no wonder—they have such a similar texture to shrimp! Once steamed, they soften up and offer a firm yet succulent bite.

Vegan Shrimp Made From King Oyster Mushrooms

I made this recipe using seasoned panko flour, then deep fried it. Slice the mushroom stems into rounds, then create a swoosh pattern down the middle of each one to create two shrimp-shaped pieces. Serve with this bang bang sauce if you'd like to switch it up from traditional tartar or cocktail sauce.

Vegan shrimp, breaded and served with sauce and limes.

Vegan Shrimp Made From Vegan Sausages

These vegan prawns by School Night Vegan are made with vegan sausages and can be baked, air fried or deep fried. I love this recipe because it takes an unusual ingredient for seafood and manipulates it in a way that creates a legit vegan shrimp. Richard offers options for vegan dipping sauces as well!

A big plate of vegan breaded shrimp.
Vegan Shrimp | Photo and Recipe by Richard Makin of School Night Vegan
Vegan Po Boy Made With Store-Bought Vegan Shrimp

I love this stunning Po Boy from Thee Vegan Dude, made with prepared vegan shrimp. This looks so epic and something I need to try! I've never seen frozen vegan shrimp anywhere myself, so I may splurge one of these days and try ordering some vegan shrimp from GTFO It's Vegan that offers a breaded and unbreaded version.

A vegan shrimp po boy.
Vegan Po' Boy | Photo and Recipe by Thee Burger Dude
Vegan Scallops

Make vegan scallops with king oyster mushrooms as well! Slice, soak and score this mushroom stem to create a scallop you can sauté and sear to perfection! Take any recipe that calls for scallops and make it vegan with a little (or a lot) of plant-based butter or olive oil.

Creamy Pasta With Vegan Scallops

I made this dish because I used to love to eat scallops and pasta dishes. This classic combo is easily replicated using king oyster mushrooms. Find these at a well-stocked Asian market and you'll have the star of your dish ready to prep. Placing the mushroom pieces in a screaming hot oiled pan allows a beautiful sear to develop on the outside while keeping the interior perfectly succulent.

Vegan scallops over creamy pasta.

Vegan Scallops in Pasta with a Mint-Pea Puree

I was inspired to make this recipe many years ago. It was inspired by a scallop dish served in a minted pea sauce. The idea of pairing the clean and fresh pop of green with something that is rich, buttery and seared sounded fantastic.

In this recipe, you can slice and sear these, or you can score them with a sharp knife to develop an interesting texture. The bonus of scoring the vegan scallops is that they soak up the perfect amount of butter in the pan, adding to the already amazing texture. This vegan scallop dish has a sweet pea puree, cashew cream and fresh mint for a pop of color and an explosion of flavor!

Scored vegan scallops in a bowl.

Vegan Scallops (King Oyster Mushroom Scallops)

This gorgeous photo and recipe from Bianca Zapatka shows what the interior of a seared vegan scallop looks like. I love how it surrounded by gorgeous twirled pasta with lemon-garlic vegan butter and pops of vibrant green. This would make a cozy and delicious dish for a night in with a glass of wine!

A vegan scallop dish with pasta.
Vegan Scallops | Photo and recipe by Bianca Zapatka

King Oyster Scallops

Want to know what vegan scallops look like being sautéed? Check out the process by Chef Chad Sarno over at Wicked Kitchen … this is perfection!

Vegan Fish

Vegan fish is easy to make with the right ingredients. You need to start with produce that is flaky, neutral tasting and holds up to battering and frying. Canned produce is a great option and these four options are great choices. Asian markets are your best bet, but Whole Foods also carries them and they can also be ordered online.

Hearts of palm: This is a fantastic ingredient to use. This white, slightly nutty and soft product mimics fish very well. When possible, select hearts of palm that note they are produced using sustainable harvesting practices on the can.

Banana blossoms: These are a great substitute for white fish. They are soft, and slightly acidic because of the brine it's canned in. Banana blossoms are great to use for battering and deep-frying, as they hold up very well to high heat.

Artichoke hearts: Similar to banana blossoms, canned artichoke hearts can be chopped and served at room temperature or deep fried. The flaky and unique texture is reminiscent of fish, without the fishy flavor.

Jackfruit: Canned jackfruit is packed in brine or syrup. Always go with the brined jackfruit! Choose young jackfruit, which is softer and more neutral-tasting than older jackfruit, which is more sweet and tough. Young, canned jackfruit in brine is a great vegan seafood substitute to experiment with!

Beer-Battered Hearts of Palm

This recipe uses hearts of palm and preps them as you would a beer-battered white fish. This dish has a super flaky interior and a crisp and crunchy exterior, making this dish a great vegan fried fish dish! Serve with homemade radish pickles and a fresh slaw to balance the richness of the vegan fish.

Beer-battered vegan fish.

Crispy Vegan Fish Sandwich, Made with Hearts of Palm

I made this vegan filet-no-fish sandwich using hearts of palm. Keeping them whole creates sort of a vegan "fish stick" to pile onto a sandwich. This version is breaded and air-fried, but can also be baked. I slightly smashed the hearts of palm, then slid a piece of nori into the middle to introduce a fishy element into each piece. Nori is a great to use here not only for its flavor, but also because it's packed with nutrients like iodine, magnesium and iron.

A crispy vegan fish sandwich.

Vegan Fish Made with Jackfruit

In this recipe, I boiled then froze jackfruit pieces. I then thawed them and pressed the liquid out. It produced a super interesting texture that was amazing deep fried! Serve these with a mayo-based dipping sauce or malt vinegar for a vegan seafood feast.

A piece of deep-fried jackfruit.

Vegan Fish and Chips Made with Banana Blossoms

This mind-blowingly delicious dish created by Hugo over at Lowly Food uses canned banana blossoms, and the result is fantastic. Take a look at this video that details the process!

Carrot Lox

Vegan lox can easily be made with the humble carrot. I've salt baked them countless times and piled it onto bagels, rolled it up into sushi and used it in appetizers. The color is spot on, and the texture is super "loxy." It does require baking for an hour and a half and marinating for a couple of days, but the end result is worth the wait!

Vegan Lox, Made from Carrots

I originally created this recipe back in 2015, after seeing a chef salt bake a whole fish in salt and trying Chef Rich Landau's salt-roasted golden beet recipe. Can this be done with carrots? I thought. After some trial and error, carrot lox did happen and I've loved tweaking and varying this lox in different ways ever since. This is what I love so much about cooking: the endless ideas and creativity that happens during the experimentation process!

Vegan lox, styled on dark tile with capers and cashew cream cheese.

Vegan Salmon

This vegan salmon recipe from A Veg Taste From A to Z is cut with a spiralizer to mimic the look of lox. Adriana has created a marinade with liquid smoke, a seaweed mix, garlic powder and maple syrup for the spiralized carrots to soak in for a couple of days to create a soft texture. It looks so pretty and authentic!

Vegan salmon lox on a wooden board with dill and capers.
Vegan Salmon | Photo and recipe by Adriana Zifarelli at A Veg Taste from A to Z
Vegan Crab Cakes

These can be made with artichoke hearts, jackfruit, tempeh, farro, hearts of palm and chickpeas. These things all work because they provide a great flaky and neutral texture. Adding seasonings like Old Bay and dill add a seafood-like quality and aroma.

Vegan Crab Cake Sliders Made with Hearts of Palm

I made this vegan crab cake with hearts of palm. The batter has saltines added to it, which are crushed by hand to create a great binder. Once I formed the batter into small patties, I deep fried and served them with a spicy vegan mayo sauce. These are perfect for summer get-togethers!

A hand holding a vegan crab cake slider.

Vegan Crab Cakes with Hearts of Palm and Chickpeas

This recipe by Healthinut uses a mixture of hearts of palm and chickpeas to create a flaky and delicious vegan crab cake. Just look at how beautiful and delicate they are! These would be perfect for a lazy Sunday brunch.

A stack of vegan crab cakes.
Vegan Crab Cakes | Photo and Recipe by Taavi Moore, RDN at Healthinut

Prepared Vegan Crab Cake options

If you don't want to make your own crab cakes or just like the ease of buying them already prepared, there are great products out on the shelves. These two brands are my favorite!

Good Catch is a great vegan seafood brand. They offer fish cakes, fish burgers, fish fillets and fish sticks. The texture is spot on, and there is a slight hint of fishiness without being too prominent. I'm loving to see that these products are popping up everywhere lately!

Good Catch brand vegan crab cakes.
Photo source: Good Catch

Gardein Crab Cakes: I think these Mini Cr'b Cakes are the best breaded vegan crab cakes out there. They are great tossed into the air fryer and perfect with a sriracha or lemon-dill mayo for dipping.

Gardein vegan crab cakes.
Photo source: Gardein
Vegan Lobster

If you are searching for a vegan lobster recipe, then hearts of palm or lobster mushrooms are a great choice. Lobster mushrooms aren't really mushrooms. They are created when the parasite Hypomyces lactifluorum invades a wild mushroom. I'm getting total The Last of Us vibes thinking too much about that.

Serve with melted vegan butter with pasta, bread or batter it and enjoy the taste and texture of lobster without harming a single sea creature!

Vegan Lobster Roll Made with Hearts of Palm

This vegan lobster roll is so delicious on a toasted buttery bun. Chunks of hearts of palm are heavily seasoned then air-fried to create a firm exterior while the inside stays soft. Then it's tossed in a vegan mayo for a great vegan summer dish!

Two hands holding a vegan lobster roll against a dark background.

Vegan Lobster Roll Made with Lobster Mushrooms

Check out this in-depth video below from Sauce Stache on how to clean, prepare and use lobster mushrooms to create a vegan lobster roll!

Vegan sushi

This is the type of vegan seafood that can just run wild with possibilities. There are so many textures, produce choices, canned items, mushrooms and even molecular cooking techniques that can create vegan sushi dishes.

Vegan Dynamite Sushi Rolls Made with King Oyster Mushrooms

This is my absolute favorite vegan sushi recipe to make. Chunks of king oyster mushrooms are battered and fried, then tossed into a creamy and spicy dynamite sauce. It's paired with avocado and scallions for a pop of color and fresh flavor.

Vegan Dynamite Sushi Rolls, fanned out on a wooden surface.

Spicy Tomato Tuna

Lisa Kitahara over at Okonomi Kitchen is such a fantastic cook to watch. Her creativity is endless, and I love her instagram videos. Here she's made vegan tuna out of tomato and made it spicy … perfection!

Spicy tomato tuna sushi lined up on a plate.
Vegan Spicy Tuna | Photo and recipe by Lisa Kitahara at Okonomi Kitchen

Vegan Clam Chowder

Nothing is better on a cold day than a warm bowl of creamy clam chowder. You can easily make chowder vegan by using an array of mushrooms or soy curls. Cashew cream will add the creamy element. Don't forget to serve with oyster crackers or warm biscuits, which will add heartiness and comfort.

New England Vegan Chowder Made with Mushrooms and Soy Curls

I have made several versions of New England clam chowder before, and this version is the best one! Made with a mixture of soy curls and mushrooms for the clams, this creamy chowder is packed with potatoes, celery, vegan bacon and cashew cream. Indulge in this dish for an amazing dinner and fantastic leftovers!

A pot of vegan New England-style chowder.

Vegan Clam Chowder Made with Hearts of Palm

This recipe by Nora Cooks uses hearts of palm as the clam for this chowder, and it looks amazing! It's perfect comfort food, and can be made in about 30 minutes!

A bowl of vegan clam chowder.
Vegan Clam Chowder | Photo and recipe by Nora Cooks

Watermelon tuna

When watermelon is seared and baked down, the fibers condense, making it appear just like tuna. It doesn't taste like it, but I think it's fun to play around with it in sushi dishes and bowls.

Watermelon Tuna Poke Bowl

This watermelon tuna poke bowl was so fun to make! Watermelon chunks are baked until they collapse, then are marinated in a vinegar mix to gently cook it further and to counteract the sweetness. I added amaranth caviar (another fun vegan seafood caviar creation), creamy avocado, crisp pickled cucumbers, seaweed, a ponzu dressing and sambal mayo, all served on a bed of sushi rice. This is a fun dish to make for the summer!

A top-down view of a watermelon tuna poke bowl.

Watermelon Tuna Gunkan Maki

This recipe for watermelon tuna is by George Lee over at Chez Jorge. Watermelon cubes are marinated in a blend of soy sauce, sesame oil and mirin for one to two days. Then it's chopped and served gunkan maki style!

Watermelon tuna wrapped in nori.
"Tuna" Gunkan Maki | Photo and Recipe by George Lee

Vegan Tuna Salad

Vegan tuna salad makes the perfect lunch. It's portable, easy and can be served on a sandwich, with crackers or in a salad. Chickpeas are the most popular choice for their flakiness and compatibility with creamy vegan mayo, but hearts of palm are great too.

Vegan Tuna Salad Made with Hearts of Palm Vegan tuna salad made with hearts of palm.

Vegan Tuna Salad Made with Chickpeas

I adore all of Jessica in the Kitchen's creations, and she has created one stunning vegan tuna salad sandwich! She's added Old Bay, capers, fresh herbs and onion to create this mouthwatering sandwich.

A vegan chickpea tuna salad sandwich.
Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad | Photo and recipe by Jessica in the Kitchen

Vegan Caviar Plant-Based Caviar Made with Amaranth and Beets

I created this recipe many years ago by boiling amaranth grain with beet juice to create a vegan caviar or vegan tobiko (flying fish roe). It adds a stunning pop of color to any vegan seafood dish, or served gunkan maki style.

Vegan caviar made with amaranth grain and beet juice, served gunkan maki-style.

Check out this great video from Mary's Test Kitchen on how to assemble gunkan maki-style vegan sushi!

Vegan Black Caviar

This vegan caviar by Very Vegan Val is made using a molecular cooking technique called spherification. When done correctly, it produces beautiful, shiny, round pearls that can be used on blinis, in sushi, over vegan scallops and more. Val used ginger, dulse, nori, shitake mushroom, caper brine, soy sauce, agar agar, and activated charcoal to make these gorgeous and briny vegan caviar pearls.

A small jar of vegan black caviar pearls.
Homemade Vegan Caviar | Recipe and photo by Very Vegan Val

Vegan Seafood FAQs What is vegan seafood made from?

Vegan seafood can be made with king oyster mushrooms, oyster mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms. It can also be made with canned hearts of palm, banana blossoms, jackfruit and artichoke hearts. Chickpeas, watermelon, tomato and carrots can also be used to mimic the taste and texture of seafood dishes.

Where can I buy vegan seafood?

Online stores like GTFO It's Vegan have a great selection of vegan seafood, both shelf stable and frozen. Vegan Essentials also offers a great selection of prepared vegan seafood items.

If you are looking to buy vegan seafood ingredients for recipes, well-stocked Asian markets offer an array of mushrooms and canned items like jackfruit, hearts of palm and banana blossoms.

What is vegan fish made of?

Vegan fish can be made with canned hearts of palm, jackfruit and banana blossoms. When selecting hearts of palm, choose a brand that indicates it's ethically and sustainably sourced on the can. When selecting jackfruit, buy cans that are packed in brine or water, not syrup. Canned banana blossoms are acidic, so they will likely need to be rinsed to reduce the acidity.

Where can I find vegan seafood recipes?

Olives for Dinner has a great archive of vegan seafood dishes, from vegan shrimp to vegan scallops and more!

What are vegan shrimp made of?

Prepared vegan shrimp is typically made from konjac or a blend of starches to mimic the taste and texture of sea-based shrimp.

Can shrimp feel pain?

Yes, shrimp, fish and sea creatures feel pain. Changing what is on your plate is a powerful way to reduce suffering and create a more compassionate world. Plus, there are so many plant-based seafood options to choose from! You can make your own dishes from fresh or canned produce, or buy prepared seafood items online.

Do vegans eat shrimp?

No, vegans and vegetarians do not eat shrimp. However, if you like shrimp, there are so many ways to prepare it with vegan seafood recipes at home, or you can buy vegan shrimp online.

The post The Big Vegan Seafood Guide appeared first on Olives for Dinner.

Olives for Dinner
Fri, 17 Mar 2023 16:04:59 +0000

Interview with Amanda Logan of My Goodness Kitchen

Meet Amanda Logan, the very talented and down-to-earth creator of My Goodness Kitchen. I love Amanda's inviting recipes, quick wit and breathtaking photography. Read on to learn more about what inspires Amanda, who some of her favorite vegan chefs are and the best dish she's ever made!

Amanda Logan of the My Goodness Kitchen blog.

When I came across Amanda's Portobello Mushroom Burger a few years ago, I was instantly curious about the brain that put this gorgeous dish together. She made charcoal burger buns beautifully layered with five-spice seasoned portobellos and roasted Brussels slaw with wasabi oil. It's a stunning work of art!

It's these kinds of recipes that get me excited about all of the possibilities vegan cuisine has to offer. So when I asked Amanda if she'd like to be interviewed here and she said yes, I was pumped to learn more about her thought process, background and what inspires her.

When I asked Amanda to describe her style of cooking, she used the term big hug cooking. These three words sum up her work perfectly, whether she's making homemade vegan sausage rolls, lemon curd doughnuts or chocolate thumbprint cookies. I'm drawn to recipes that make me feel something, and Amanda's food makes me feel warm, cozy and comfortable. It also inspires me to challenge myself more in the kitchen, to create food that makes others feel something too. It's what keeps me coming back to see what Amanda will create next.

This Australian blogger is also the author of the cookbook Great Vegan Meals for the Carnivorous Family, as she grew up in a traditional meat-eating family and is also the only vegan in her family. (Same here Amanda!) She is currently blogging, working as a photographer and as a regular contributor to Nourish magazine.

Cover art for Great Vegan Meals for the Carnivorous Family by Amanda Logan.

Check out my conversation with Amanda below. I love how beautifully thoughtful and relatable her responses are, and feel grateful for the opportunity to share them with you here.

My Goodness Kitchen: A warm and cozy spot for rustic yet elegant food

When did you start to cook and what about the process itself kept you interested in it?

I was a late bloomer to cooking – I didn't really pick up a spoon until my early 20s. Looking back, I feel like I missed an opportunity to spend time in the kitchen as a kid. My Mum was always in there. There are 6 kids in our family so a big part of growing up was seeing her in front of the stove tending to giant pots of split-pea soup, chicken casserole with cheese scones or Irish stew.

I had an aversion to meat even back then, so I didn't recognise the commitment it took on her part to create interesting meals for us every day. I was too busy complaining about the meat floating in gravy thing. And her food was interesting. She wasn't afraid to try new things and for a large family living in a Catholic neighbourhood in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, that was unusual. My mum was a foodie – I just didn't recognise it for what it was back then.

She did teach me a few dishes – I remember it being super important to me to know how to cook an omelette of all things – but I think her influence goes beyond lessons. My best friend often says that food is my love language and I know that comes from my mother. Food was her creative outlet – she travelled the world in a bowl – and her meals were a love letter to her family.

I travelled in my 20s right out of university and food became a touchstone; something that not only tied me to my current place, but where I'd come from too. It wasn't a conscious choice, it just happened.

I experimented with simple dishes at first, but it wasn't long before food became a full-blown obsession. And it still is. I read cookbooks like novels and love learning new things because in cooking, there is always something new to learn. Food resolves the two sides of my personality – the creative and the geek that is desperate to know how things work.

Portobello Mushroom Burgers on a wooden tabletop.
Portobello Mushroom Burgers | Photo by Amanda Logan of My Goodness Kitchen

Describe your process of recipe development. How do you come up with fresh and new ideas on a regular basis?

My recipe development process varies. I may have a few weeks where it feels like I am inspired by absolutely everything. A "traditional" recipe referred to in a movie might drive me to work out a way to veganise it. A veggie or herb in our garden inspires an impulse to create something from scratch. Food porn will generally get me going. During those creative periods I will draft recipe ideas, test as much as I can, make a lot of scribbles on any paper I find lying around – I am old school and take notes with pencil and paper – and generally create.

The flip side to that productivity is the time where it feels like I can't hold on to a cohesive idea. I used to get down on myself during those periods but now I try and take this time to learn. By taking lessons or immersing myself in a field of cookery like pastry or vegan cheesemaking, I find the inspiration comes back around pretty quickly.

During the creative peaks I try and generate as much "material" as I can so that I can coast a little during the down times and invest in myself more.

Having said that, I contribute to Nourish – a vegan magazine here in Australia – and if I'm on a deadline I do whatever it takes to produce. Food porn, old family recipes veganised … whatever works, you know?

Define your own style of cooking.

Oh, I'm definitely a homestyle, comfy food, hanging-in-the-kitchen-barefoot kind of cook. Cooking for others makes me feel like I'm giving them a big hug, so I guess that's my style. Big hug cooking.

Describe the best dish you've ever made.

Vegan pot pie in a ramekin on a baking sheet.
Vegan Chicken Pot Pie | Photo by Amanda Logan of My Goodness Kitchen

I have a real soft spot for my vegan chicken pot pies. I created them for my cookbook, and they were the recipe that made me think "that's me on a plate."

There's lots of dishes I've loved and I'm proud of, but these little pies are everything I love about cooking. They are warm and comforting and straight-up delicious but they're also something you could you serve to guests. They're a little bit elegant without being stuck up.

I've had readers tell me that they can't cook – which, I steadfastly disagree with, I think everyone has a good meal in them – but these little pies are within every cook's reach. They are simple and approachable. They're a friendly pie.

I also love using vegetables as a meat substitute and these pies use oyster mushrooms – they are a dead ringer for chicken in this recipe.

Do you have any culinary heroes?

How long have we got? Roy Choi. I love his "don't overthink it and just fucking cook" style. I also love a man who swears as much as I do. It's my dirty little secret that I'm a soccer- mum-potty-mouth.

Anna Jones is awesome. She draws inspiration from so many cultural backgrounds but creates dishes that are simple, approachable, nourishing and quintessentially her.

I'm also a closet Nigella fan. I love her words. Anyone that can say "soft, warm and voluptuous – like an 18th century courtesan's inner thigh," without being ironic is a brave person.

Oh, and Hetty McKinnon! How did I almost forget Hetty McKinnon? She's a wonder.

Three jars of homemade vegan kimchi.
Homemade Vegan Kimchi | Photo by Amanda Logan of My Goodness Kitchen

If you could choose anyone to cook with in the kitchen, who would it be?

My women. My small circle of queens who know me best and love me anyway. They love my weaknesses, my strengths and my bullshit. Some are family, some were hand-picked by me (or I by them) and I adore them.

Even the ones who say they can't cook.

If you could throw a party for anyone, who would be there and what would the menu look like?

Oh, family and friends barefoot in our yard in early Summer. We lost our Mum to dementia late last year and for the four years before that, we were charged with keeping her memories alive for her. Creating memories – whether with the family you're born into or the one you make for yourself – feels more vital right now.

So, for this memory, a hillside harvest. A long wooden table piled high with fresh tomato salads, greens from our veggie patch and pitchers of boozy lemonade or punch. If there's a Vodka Mule going, I'll take one of those too.

We have this neat portable woodfire pizza oven, so I think we'd make sourdough pizza bases and top them with almond ricotta, caramelised onions and pear with peppery rocket, and maybe a grilled eggplant pizza with a spicy Shatta sauce drizzle and yoghurt. Ooohh, I'd like to try a shawarma pizza too – I make shawarma from jackfruit and it's so good. I think that would work. Finally, pineapple and coconut cupcakes because I made the recipe not too long ago and I just love them right now.

A vegan pineapple cupcake against a white background.
Pineapple Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream | Photo by Amanda Logan of My Goodness Kitchen

We should probably have some good white wine too but to be honest if this were real, I've been into the lemonade already by this stage and I'm too sozzled to know what's good.

And music. Lots and lots of music.

Stay in touch with Amanda!

newsletter | cookbook | pinterest | instagram | facebook

Check Out More of My Why I Cook Interviews!

Timothy Pakron of Mississippi Vegan

Cara Ansis of Fork & Beans

Gena Hamshaw of The Full Helping

Hannah Kaminsky of BitterSweet

Jackie Sobon of Vegan Yack Attack

The post Interview with Amanda Logan of My Goodness Kitchen appeared first on Olives for Dinner.

Olives for Dinner
Mon, 13 Mar 2023 20:30:25 +0000

Vegan Cheez-Its {One Ingredient}

These vegan Cheez-Its are a one-ingredient, gluten-free delight. Find a package of vegan cheddar slices and you have all of the ingredients you'll need. Just cut and bake to create a cracker that's cheesy, savory and crispy!

Two hands holding vegan Cheez-Its.

When this article popped up in my newsfeed for making vegan Cheez-Its, I had to try it out. It's a one-ingredient recipe using only vegan cheese slices to make vegan cheddar crackers. No flours, no mixing, no measuring. Just slice vegan cheddar cheese slices and bake. It's that easy!

Equipment you'll need

If you want, you can use a knife and just eyeball it when slicing the cheese into squares. I used:

A fluted pastry cutter: This tool will make a pretty edge with ridges. Why not?

Bench scraper: You can use this tool to cut a straight line, and to measure your cuts. However, we realized that the cheese slice shapes are already pretty irregular, so measuring wasn't completely necessary. None of the cut pieces were the exact same size, but they all baked pretty evenly.

A chopstick: You can use a chopstick to poke a Cheez-It-sized hole into the center of each square.

Equipment for making vegan Cheez Its.

Best Vegan Cheese Brands To Use In This Recipe

I used Violife vegan cheddar cheese slices for this. Here are some other brands that could work. Because this recipe is so non-fussy you should have no problems other than tweaking the time and checking it from time to time to prevent any browning from occurring.

Daiya Cheddar-Style Slices: I love the soft and fatty quality of Daiya. It's perfect in vegan reubens for the way it melts!

Whole Foods 365 Non-Dairy Cheddar Slices: The texture of this cheese is firmer and has a less cheesy taste than other brands. It's perfect melted into a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.

Miyoko's Cultured Farmhouse Cheddar Style slices: Because these slices are cultured, I like eating them straight out of the package or on crackers as opposed to heating them.

How to cut and bake Vegan Cheez-Its

Slice whatever vegan cheese brand you like into squares using a knife or fluted pastry cutter.

Cutting cheese to make vegan Cheez Its. Cutting vegan cheese into squares to make vegan Cheez Its.

Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Arrange the pieces evenly over the top. Using a chopstick, poke a hole into the center of each piece. Sprinkle with just a touch of flaky sea salt. It can get easily over salted, so go lightly.

Sprinkling salt over vegan Cheez Its.

Bake in a preheated 300-degree oven. After 45 minutes, the squares will go from this, to this. They are done when the edges look dried and sharp, but no browned. Allow the squares to rest on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before removing them.

Vegan Cheez-Its before baking. Vegan Cheez-Its after baking.

How to serve these Vegan Cheez-Its

These crackers are the most delicious after being completely cooled. Just pop off of the Silpat and serve.

These make a great:
  • snack when you're feeling snacky
  • gluten-free snack if you are avoiding gluten
  • item to bring or serve at a gathering
A handful of delicious vegan Cheez Its.

Who would have thought vegan sliced cheese could be transformed into vegan crackers so easily!?

A hand holding a vegan Cheez It.

More vegan snacking recipes to explore

If you are looking for more vegan snack ideas, check these ideas out. They range from fancy and sophisticated to everyday snacks!

  • For a fun vegan brunch or party, these carrot lox crackers will start a conversation. Serve on crostini for a sturdier bite.
  • These homemade tater tots use mashed potatoes that are deep fried to create a crispy exterior and fluffy interior. Serve with any kind of sauce you like!
  • If you are looking to change up your french fry routine, try these chickpea fries made with chikpea flour and water. They are so good!
  • If you have a dehydrator, this cauliflower jerky recipe is a great one to make! It's chewy cauliflower with a little kick of heat!
  • These loaded smashed potatoes are perfect for game day or movie night. Top with as little or as much as you like and dive in!

Print Two hands holding baked vegan Cheez Its. Vegan Cheez-Its {One Ingredient}

5 from 1 reviews

  • Author: erin wysocarski
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 1-4 servings
  • Diet: Vegan
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Description

Make vegan Cheez It crackers with just a few slices of vegan cheddar cheese! No mixing, no flours, no measuring. Just cut the cheese slices into squares, poke a hole in the middle a bake. You'll create vegan cheese crackers in about 45 minutes!

  • one package vegan cheddar slices (I used Violife brand)
  • flaky sea salt (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 300.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  3. Cut each slice of cheese into squares, to yield 9 squares per piece.
  4. Repeat this process based on how many crackers you'd like to make.
  5. Arrange the squares onto the lined baking sheet.
  6. Poke a hole into the center with a chopstick.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are dry but not browned. Keep an eye on them towards the end of the bake time.
  8. Allow them to rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then remove from the baking sheet and serve. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegan cheez it, gluten-free cracker, vegan cracker

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @olivesfordinner on Instagram … we'd love to see it!

The post Vegan Cheez-Its {One Ingredient} appeared first on Olives for Dinner.

Olives for Dinner
Tue, 28 Feb 2023 20:39:45 +0000

Gochujang Cauliflower {Vegan}

This gochujang cauliflower is a delicious pump-your-fist-in-the-air kind of delicious. I battered cauliflower florets in a spicy sauce with hits of deep umami flavors and a salty funk. We loved these flavor bombs served over rice!

A plate of vegan gochujang cauliflower, served over rice.

I'm obsessed with this baked cauliflower dish. It's so easy to make! The sauce clings well to the battered cauliflower, which is crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside. It's pleasantly spicy and feels so rich and bold with the soy sauce. It's balanced out nicely with the sweetness of the agave and mirin.

The vinegar added at the very end balances out the sweet notes. Everything works so well in this sauce together. I want to put it on everything!

What is gochujang?

I've been craving gochujang lately. Gochujang is a Korean condiment. It has a super-thick consistency and just makes me feel instantly happy. It's made from gochugaru (red pepper powder), soybeans, sugar, rice and salt. These ingredients will vary based on the brand you purchase, but it's almost always naturally vegan.

Gochujang is traditionally fermented over years in earthenware pots. During the fermentation process, the starches are converted to sugars, infusing the paste with a subtle sweetness. Some brands rely heavily on corn syrup to bypass this process.

The fermented soybeans give the paste its umami flavor while the chile peppers add heat to balance out the sweetness. It's a perfect ingredient to build a sauce around! Check out my double-dredged tofu recipe for another way to enjoy gochujang!

How to make this recipe

This recipe is really easy and non-fussy. Here's what I did:

  • I whipped up a quick batter.
  • I chopped a head of cauliflower into florets then dunked them into the batter to coat. Then I baked it until golden.
  • While the florets baked, I simmered the gochujang sauce until thick.
  • I then tossed the baked florets into the thick sauce and boom you have flavor bombs to serve over rice … delicious!
How to select a perfect head of cauliflower

I love cauliflower. It's perfect sliced into steaks and battered, roasted and baked in a curry, roasted whole and pureed into soups. When selecting cauliflower, look for compact and bright white florets, no brown spots and crispy green leaves at the base. Kind of like this beauty!

A beautiful head of cauliflower on a dark tabletop.

Key Ingredients

This recipe has two components: the batter and sauce. Both are easy to whip up. Make your sauce while your cauliflower bakes.

Key ingredients for vegan gochujang cauliflower.

Can I deep-fry this recipe?

You sure can! Baking is obviously easier and instructions for that are on the recipe card below. But I'm also including instructions here for deep-frying, which is heavenly. To deep-fry, you'll want to follow this batter recipe and instructions:

Fry Batter Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 to 1 cup cold fizzy water
  • canola oil, for frying
Deep-Frying Instructions
  1. Combine the flours, cornstarch and salt. Slowly add in the 3/4 cup of fizzy water. Stir until smooth. You want the batter to be smooth but thick enough to cling to the cauliflower. Add an additional 1/4 cup of water if needed.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in the cauliflower florets. Allow them to boil and soften for a few minutes.
  3. Using a skimmer or tongs, remove the florets from the water. Place onto a dish towel.
  4. Fold the towel over the florets. Gently press down on the cauliflower to get rid of some of the moisture.
  5. Transfer the florets into the batter. Using your hands, very gently coat them. Set aside.
  6. Place several inches of canola oil into a heavy pot over medium-high heat. After about 7 minutes, throw a pinch of batter into the pot. If it bubbles immediately, you are ready to fry.
  7. Working in small batches*, drop the battered florets into the hot oil. Using a skimmer, gently stir to ensure the batter doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
  8. Allow the florets to fry for a few minutes until golden. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

*It's important that you work in small batches here—overcrowding the pot will reduce the temperature of the oil resulting in soggy, greasy florets. Keep the temperature between 350 and 375, using a fry thermometer if you need to.

Once fried, toss your deep-fried florets into the gochujang sauce and serve over rice!

A side shot of vegan gochujang cauliflower.

How to serve this recipe

This recipe is perfect over rice, with chopped scallions, sesame seeds and crushed peanuts if you'd like. It can be the main dish for two or an appetizer for four. Serve it piping hot!

A close-up shot of a piece of vegan gochujang cauliflower.

For more ideas on using cauliflower, check these ideas out!

Hungry for more recipe ideas using cauliflower? These recipes are great ways to prep and serve this vegetable. Baked, fried or pureed, cauliflower is so versatile and delcious!

  • Craving curry? This Cauliflower and Mushroom Curry recipe will satisfy! This is a great dish to prep on the weekend so you can enjoy it as a quick and easy weeknight dinner. It tastes best as leftovers!
  • This Firecracker Cauliflower is one of my favorites! Roast an entire head of cauliflower doused in a spicy firecracker sauce and slice open for a heavenly dish.
  • Looking for some crunch? Check out this Vegan Bang Bang Cauliflower and prepare yourself for a crispy appetizer that's baked, not fried!
  • I love this General Tso's Cauliflower recipe, because the cauliflower is incredibly crispy and the tasty sauce clings so well to it.
Print A plate of vegan gochujang cauliflower with rice. Gochujang Cauliflower {Vegan}

5 from 1 reviews

  • Author: erin wysocarski
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Diet: Vegan
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Description

This gochujang cauliflower is vegan, easy to make and delicious! It's inspired by Bon Appétit's Sticky and Spicy Baked Cauliflower. This sauce is thick and clingy, and the cauliflower is the perfect texture inside, and slightly crispy on the outside. This recipe is baked, but can also be deep fried. See those instructions for that in the blog post! 

Ingredients for the batter
  • 1/2 cup rice four
  • 1/2 cup double zero (00) or all-purpose flour
  • 3 TB cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • cooking spray
  • one medium-sized head of cauliflower, chopped into florets (Bigger sized florets works well here. Try make the pieces as uniform as possible. This should make 45 cups of florets.)
for the gochujang sauce
  • 1/3 cup vegan gochujang paste
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 TB agave syrup
  • 2 TB mirin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar (don't add until the very end)
to serve
  • cooked rice (see Notes)
  • chopped scallions
  • sesame seeds
  • crushed peanuts (optional)
Instructions to make the cauliflower
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flours, cornstarch, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add in the water and whisk to combine.
  3. Dump the florets into the batter, tossing them around with your hands to coat them evenly. Pick each piece up about an inch from the batter and give it a good, rigorous shake to get rid of any excess batter. 
  4. Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with all of the floret pieces.
  5. Spray the tops of each floret well with cooking spray. 
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Flip, then spray the other side with more cooking spray. Bake for 10-12 minutes more.
  8. While you are waiting for the other side to bake, make your sauce.
to make the sauce
  1. Whisk the gochujang, soy sauce, agave, mirin and water in a small bowl.
  2. Pour into a wide, non-stick skillet over medium heat. 
  3. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, whisking occasionally until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vinegar.
  4. Place the baked florets straight into the skillet and toss gently to coat. You may need to tip to the side and use a spoon to toss over the florets to evenly coat.
to serve
  1. Spoon rice onto two serving plates. Place the florets on top and garnish as desired.

If using a rice cooker, drizzle a few drops of oil into the rice before cooking. This will prevent the rice from sticking together as it cooks. 

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked, Simmered
  • Cuisine: Korean, American

Keywords: gochujang cauliflower, soicy cauliflower, baked cauliflower, vegan cauliflower dish

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @olivesfordinner on Instagram … we'd love to see it!

The post Gochujang Cauliflower {Vegan} appeared first on Olives for Dinner.

Olives for Dinner
Sun, 01 Jan 2023 14:16:53 +0000

Best Vegan Food Blogs to Follow

These are the 12 best vegan food blogs to follow! If you are looking for beautiful photography and engaging writing that makes eating vegan look amazingly good, this bunch hits all the marks. These vegan bloggers offer creativity and uniqueness in each piece of content they produce. In this noteworthy group, you'll find fun appetizers, decadent desserts, and everything in between.

Two hands holding a ball of dough.

What makes these the best vegan food blogs?

These are my picks for the best vegan food blogs, based on:

  • creativity
  • innovation
  • beautiful photography
  • clean and inviting website design
  • a clearly defined voice and style
  • a significant contribution to the vegan food blogging space

If you are just starting to follow vegan blogs, the sheer number of choices may feel overwhelming. If that's the case, these top vegan bloggers are great ones to follow to start your journey!

In addition to the criteria listed above, these bloggers also:

  • transform plant-based ingredients in ways that feel new and exciting
  • cook, plate and arrange their food in unique and interesting ways
  • write about food in a way that makes me excited about what they are cooking and what they'll do next

With the new year here, I thought now would be a good time to share my top picks for the best vegan blogs to follow. This list is in no particular order. These bloggers are all equally amazing. I hope you'll discover something new here or this will remind you to dive back into a blog on the list. If I missed any of your favorite vegan bloggers, please let me know in the comments below!

Post Punk Kitchen A top-down shot of vegan clam chodwer.
New England Glam Chowder, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz at theppk.com. Photo by V.K. Rees.

Post Punk Kitchen: the OG vegan blogger

I grew into a vegan cook and blogger because of Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Her fun approach to cooking and dead-pan sense of humor drew me into cooking and I stayed with it because her recipes were so good. Post Punk Kitchen is a hub for vegan recipes that use accessible ingredients, are packed with fresh produce and make hearty portions that keep you coming back for more.

Most intriguing recipe: Seitan Negimaki

School Night Vegan A top-down shot of vegan fried chicken.
Vegan fried chicken. Recipe and photo by Richard Makin at School Night Vegan.

School Night Vegan: Silly personality, serious cook

I first discovered School Night Vegan on instagram. I love Richard Makin's witty personality and writing, and the recipes he comes up with are so interesting and fun. He veganizes comfort food and does so in a way that is uniquely his own. From mac and cheese to vegan fried chicken, Richard is killing it in the vegan comfort food category.

Most intriguing recipe: Vegan Char Siu Bao

Vegan Yack Attack A bowl of grilled tofu miso noodle soup.
Grilled Tofu Miso Noodle Soup. Recipe and photo by Jackie Sobon of Vegan Yack Attack.

Vegan Yack Attack: Cook extraordinaire and photography goddess

Jackie Sobon of Vegan Yack Attack is a prolific recipe developer and shoots some of the most gorgeous photos I've ever seen. Jackie's recipes combine simple and fresh ingredients to create healthy, flavorful and colorful dishes. Her food feels warm and cozy, and super inviting. Learn more about Jackie here and be sure to follow her instagram for her gardening videos!

Most intriguing recipe: Buffalo Chickpea Nachos

Eat Figs, Not Pigs A top-down shot of crispy vegan shroom sandwich.
Crispy Bang Bang Shroom Sandwiches. Recipe and photo by Ashley Hankins of Eat Figs, Not Pigs.

Eat Figs, Not Pigs: Recipes inspired by meat and made with plants

Ashley Hankins grew up in a Filipino household that focused heavily on meat and eggs. Her recipes focus on recreating those textures and flavors she grew up with but use plant-based ingredients. I am drawn to Ashley's work because I can tell she loves food so much in her beautiful and indulgent creations. I always can't wait to see what Ashley comes up with next!

Most intriguing recipe: Salt and Pepper Mushrooms

My Goodness Kitchen Blueberry pie smoothie bowl.

My Goodness Kitchen: Luscious, Rustic and Hearty Food with Gorgeous Photography

I love Amanda Logan's beautifully designed site that's easy and fun to navigate. In her recipes, she uses simple and wholesome ingredients to create gorgeous recipes. Amanda has a great talent for elevating and celebrating that simplicity with breathtaking photography and lovely styling.

Most intriguing recipe: Portobello Mushroom Burger with Wasabi Sprouts

The First Mess Grilled Carrots with Lentils and Roasted Garlic Chive Yogurt Sauce.
Grilled Carrots with Lentils & Roasted Garlic Chive Yogurt Sauce. Recipe and photo by Laura Wright at The First Mess.

The First Mess: Wholesome hearty food using fresh produce with a rustic feel

I've been a fan of Laura Wright for a long time. The First Mess Cookbook is one of my favorites and the recipes on her site are stunning, cozy and inviting. Laura has a knack for combining things like lentils, rich and bold sauces, fresh produce and bright garnishes in new ways to create dishes that taste as good as they look.

Most intriguing recipe: Creamy French Lentils with Mushrooms and Kale

Mississippi Vegan A pot of vegan macaroni and cheese with sauce being poured over the top.
Vegan White Truffle Mac and Cheese. Recipe and photo by Timothy Pakron at Mississippi Vegan.

Mississippi Vegan: Artistic vegan blogger and southern-style cook

Timothy Pakron of Mississippi Vegan creates beautiful food that reminds me of my southern roots. I grew up in South Carolina and Kentucky, and reading Timothy's blog takes me back to the food and feelings I remember from the South. I love Timothy's flair with garnish. The carefully placed herb or pop of color here and there is so simple, artful, inviting and pretty!

Most intriguing recipe: Fried okra

The Full Helping Vegan carrot cupcakes lined up against a white background.
Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes by Gena Hamshaw at The Full Helping.

The Full Helping: Wholesome food with a generous side of gorgeous and insightful writing

I love the beautiful and wholesome food on The Full Helping and am drawn to Gena Hamshaw's writing for its insight and gentle tone. It encourages compassion while her food provides nourishment which is such a supportive approach. Gena's food is always shot in a bright, light and clean style that makes her food pop and feel totally accessible

Most intriguing recipe: Moroccan-Inspired Sweet Potatoes

Vegan Richa A top-down shot of mushroom biryani.
Mushroom Biryani. Recipe and photo by Richa Hingle of Vegan Richa.

Vegan Richa: Prolific recipe developer and inspiring cook

I've been following Richa Hingle's blog for years. Her recipes are simple, foolproof and full of flavor. Richa creates content at an amazing rate. There is always something new to discover and try out. The majority of her recipes are Indian dishes, but she also creates comfort food classics, desserts and pizza. Plus, Richa is a super sweet person and has made cooking fun, easy and flavorful for a very wide and massive audience.

Most intriguing recipe: Vegan Mango Curry Tofu

Nora Cooks Vegan salted caramel cookie in a cast iron pan.
Vegan Salted Caramel Skillet Cookie. Recipe and photograph by Nora at Nora Cooks.

Nora Cooks: A talented recipe developer and beautiful photographer

Nora's blog tagline is "Simple, Tasty Affordable Vegan Recipes" and that sums up her body of work very well! Nora covers the basics like vegan butter, decadent desserts like vegan Boston cream pie and comfort food like vegan mushroom stroganoff. Nora has created an impressive archive of recipes, and is a great one to follow!

Most intriguing recipe: Vegan Jalapeno Popper Dip

Seitan Is My Motor A vegan chocolate cake against a dark background.
Chocolate Cherry Guglhupf. Recipe and photo by Constanze Reichardt at Seitan Is My Motor.

Seitan is My Motor: Beautiful, Decadent Desserts with Dark and Moody Photography

I've been a huge fan of Constanze Reichardt's blog for years. I always do a double-take when I look at her creations. Her cakes are mind-blowing and her cookies and candies are so beautiful and perfect. I love that I can learn more about German desserts on her blog, and her writing is warm and funny. Be sure to check out her Baking Tips and Tricks … Constanze knows her stuff!

Most intriguing recipe: Layered Gingerbread Candy (Dominosteine)

HealthyHappyLife An easy vegan burrito bowl.
Easy Vegan Burrito Bowl. Recipe and photo by Kathy Patalsky of healthyhappylife.com.

HealthyHappyLife: A fun and colorful blog with a holistic approach that encourages and supports balance

I adore Kathy Patalsky and her work. Her colorful photography is instantly recognizable and just feels joyful, fresh and happy. I love that Kathy focuses on the health aspect of food, but also places equal balance on self-compassion and love for animals. I come for the food, but always leave with some extra positivity to take back out into my day.

Most intriguing recipe: Easy Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

That's a wrap! I hope you've discovered a new blogger or two new here, or this was a good reminder to jump back into these blogger's sites. I'm always looking for new vegan bloggers to follow, so let me know some of your favorites in the comments!

The post Best Vegan Food Blogs to Follow appeared first on Olives for Dinner.

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