Beef jerky was not one of those foods that was hard to give up when I went vegan. Sure, I enjoyed the occasional endless chewing sensation of some teriyaki flavored gas station jerky, but whenever I contemplated giving up animal products, I didn’t hesitate because of the inevitable jerky deficit in my life. And when I saw vegan jerky in stores, or online, I was never really tempted to buy it. How could they possibly reproduce the dry rubbery texture of dehydrated animal flesh? How could something plant-derived possibly give me that jaw-popping, tooth grinding sensation?
A few (like 10) years ago, my friend Tony and I “summered” in Chicago. We spent the month of July in a sublet that had a box fan (that we purchased) and no air conditioning. Coming from Vegas, we had no idea that such places even existed. The thought of cooking or even eating hot food seemed too much to deal with, so we devised a meal planning strategy. Our idea, you see, was to make cold salads (pasta, macaroni, green… but mostly pasta), and serve those as our side dishes along with a main dish which we cooked in a Crock Pot. I wasn’t vegan at the time, and I did consume more mayonnaise that summer than anyone has the right to, but the point is that we survived a hot summer strategically planning our meals around cold salads.
So, as I was planning this week’s recipe video, I thought about that summer in Chicago. And I thought about how great it was to just have cold dishes in the fridge that could be made in advance, and eaten at any time, without having to heat up the house. I also thought about how much I missed green bean casserole… Inspired by that summer, and my favorite comfort food hot dishes, I came up this recipe.
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Vegan Food for Everyone!
Hi! I’m Michael, and I’m obsessed with cooking vegan food and developing vegan recipes. I love reinventing my childhood (and even my adulthood) favorite foods into vegan works of edible art. I’ve been vegan for just over two years now, so join me on this journey of discovery in the plant-based world of incredible food. Click the YouTube link above to watch all of my videos, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.