When I decide to veganize a dish, I’m presented with a dilemma: Do I want to make it whole-food and plant-based, or do I want it to just be vegan, utilizing whatever vegan alternatives are available to me? It’s a difficult question to answer, and one whose answer can affect the taste, experience, and healthfulness of a dish. In this video, I take the concept of a teriyaki chicken sandwich, and prepare it two ways. One sandwich is made using tempeh, avocado, and a cashew-based wasabi sauce, while the other uses a store-bought vegan Chick’n, cheese, and a Vegenaise-based sauce. Which one is better? Which one is worth making again? If you add enough seasoning and sauce to anything, does it matter what it started out as? Watch and find out!
A long long time ago, I stumbled into a guest suite at some upscale hotel in Washington DC. I’m still not sure if I was supposed to be there or not, but inside I found a huge spread of fancy appetizers. One plate in particular that struck me was filled with these strange balls covered in nuts. I was expecting a dessert, but when I took a bite I was thrown off by the fact that it was actually a grape, wrapped in goat cheese, rolled in nuts.
As strange as these cheese truffles seemed, they were equally addicting, and I never forgot that flavor or texture combination.
I wanted to make a vegan version of this dish, so I set out to make the perfect vegan goat cheese substitute. Although slightly less funky than the originals, these truffles certainly do their job. These are perfect for any party or gathering, or for snacking on in front of the TV. Indulge!
I recently had my world completely interrupted by a book. (And if you want to know he name of the book, I’ll tell you later.) One particular dinner scene in that book haunted me as I planned this week’s video. It was August, in Rome. A large, drunken group of literati leave a poetry reading and decide to meet for dinner at a restaurant across town. They pile into cars and arrive at the restaurant just before closing. The are served what food remains in the kitchen. They are treated to antipasti, bread, and wine. Their first course was then tortellini in cream sauce. Their second, a pot roast with peas and salad. They continued on with cheeses and grappa, and then the meal was finished with a flan for dessert. All the while, they are treated to a poetic tale about life’s “layers and secret passageways and interlocking chambers…”
Before going vegan I was obsessed with this super spicy Korean dish. It’s one of those dishes that is so spicy that you have to keep eating more and more in order to not let the heat catch up with you. And then there is this melted mozzarella cheese on top? And Italian seasoning? But it all makes sense because the unctuousness of the cheese helps to douse some of the fire. I’ve always loved the dish for how ballsy it is, but also for its balance and complexity. For this recipe, I’ve modified the buldak recipe from Koreatown: A Cookbook by Deuki Hong and Matt Robard; using Soy Curls as my protein. The spice in this version isn’t quite as hot as I remember, but it definitely isn’t for those snowflakes who sweat at the sight of paprika. This dish could easily be made using tofu, or even just a bunch of vegetables. As with most things in life, it’s all about the sauce.
This is a morning in the life. And a journey into what’s been on my mind lately as I near the end of my second year as a vegan. I have zero regrets. But I do like checking in with myself every once in a while to make sure I’m still heading in the direction that I set off in.
*This was not intended to speak the mind of every vegan, just this one.*
Also, we’ve been really inspired lately by shows like The Mind of a Chef and Ugly Delicious, and so we wanted to use that inspiration to make a video that showed y’all a bit behind the curtain. If you like this video, give it a thumbs up, and then check out @inseidermedia on Instagram, or InseiderMedia.com to see more work by the talented videographer behind this video.
It all started with a sauce, or should I say, the memory of a sauce… I recently had a craving for a Thai dish that I haven’t had since going vegan. I’m being generous when I say that I was craving the “dish”, because in actuality, the sauce is the only thing that has stuck in my mind. It’s bright and herbaceous and spicy and funky. With my flavor memory, and the help of Google, I’m pretty sure I’ve been able to approximate the sauce enough to satisfy my palate for whenever I get that craving again. As I vehicle for the sauce, I have also created an easy mushroom and tofu filling for making lettuce wraps. Sub out the mushrooms and tofu for other veggies or proteins of your choice, or serve over rice, if you’re wanting a dish that’s a bit more hearty.
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Welcome to Monson Made This
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.
- Quick and Easy Baked Tofu Cheese Spreads: 3 Ways (Vegan, Oil-Free)
- Smokey White Cheddar Baked Tofu Cheese Spread (Vegan, Oil-Free)
- Balsamic Caramelized Onion Baked Tofu Cheese Spread (Vegan, Oil-Free)
- Sriracha-Coconut Baked Tofu Cheese Spread (Vegan, Oil-Free)
- The Best Vegan BBQ Pulled “Pork” with Simple Slaw
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