I recently interviewed the vegan latina herself, Terry Hope Romero, author of Viva Vegan and Veganomicon. We were talking about holiday-friendly vegan dishes. Or should we say vegan-friendly holiday dishes?
Terry offered some fresh and flavorful takes on healthy seasonal dishes that sacrifice nothing (but saturated animal fat!). Her tip: If you're vegan, offer to bring a vegan dish with you (and no one has to know it's technically vegan, since all that means is it's most likely vegetable based!). And if you're hosting a vegan or two this year yourself, know that vegans do more than eat salad. There's a host of dishes you can make vegan by just swapping out the butter and animal fat for olive oil, coconut milk, and beans.
Terry was nice enough to share one of her favorite dishes--a cutlet made of chickpeas that appeared in her first book, Veganomicon. It's got heft and texture and loads of flavor. A great addition to any holiday feast:
MAKES 4 CUTLETS
TIME: 30 MINUTES
(From Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books)
We try not play favorites, but this is one of our babies and a recipe that we are sure will take over food blogs worldwide. A combination of chickpeas and vital wheat gluten formed into savory cutlets, it’s perfect for when you want something “meaty” but don’t want to go through the trouble of making seitan.We serve these cutlets in myriad ways, packed into sandwiches or smothered in mustard sauce, with a side of mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. It’s vegan food that you can eat with a steak knife and, best of all, it is fast and easy. You’ll probably want to double the recipe if you’re serving it to guests.
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄2 cup vital wheat gluten
1⁄2 cup plain bread crumbs
1⁄4 cup vegetable broth or water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated with a microplane grater
1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest
1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
1⁄2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1⁄4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
Olive oil for panfrying
In A mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas together with the oil until no whole chickpeas are left. Add the remaining ingredients and knead for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed.
Preheat a large heavy-bottomed nonstick or castiron skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, divide the cutlet dough into four equal pieces. To form the cutlets, knead each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a roughly 6 ~ 4-inch rectangular cutlet shape. The easiest way to do this is to first form a rectangular shape in your hands and then place the cutlets on a clean surface to flatten and stretch them.
Add a moderately thin layer of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Place the cutlets in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Add more oil, if needed, when you flip the cutlets. They’re ready when lightly browned and firm to the touch.
Just in case you were wondering, you can also bake these too! Baking these patties gives them a toothsome chewy texture and firm bite. Preheat oven to 375ºF, lightly oil baking sheet. Brush both sides of each patty with olive oil, place on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Flip patties and bake another 8-10 minutes till firm and golden-brown.
What's YOUR favorite veggie or vegan holiday dish? We'd love to know!
Terri Trespicio is senior features editor at Whole Living magazine and the host of "Whole Living" on Martha Stewart Living Radio, which airs every day at 10a East / 7a West on Sirius 112 / XM 157. Follow her on twitter @TerriT.