Tag Archives: soy curls

Steak & Potatoes

I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight when I spotted this:

Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick is a pretty damn good spice blend. “Hmm,” I thought. “This seasoning makes steaks so delicious. It’s too bad that I don’t eat steak anymore. But I can still use the seasoning!” Then I spotted some red potatoes and decided that I wanted steak and mashed potatoes for dinner, dammit.

I used soy curls for my ‘steak’ and I mashed my potatoes in the laziest way possible.

Soy Curl ‘Steak’ Ingredients

1 cup soy curls
1-2 tbsp McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
a sprinkle of Butler Chik-Style Seasoning (optional)

Lazy Mashed Potato Ingredients

um… potato(s)
Earth balance
salt
pepper

First, I put my soy curls in a bowl with water to rehydrate. Then, I washed my potatoes, covered them in a wet paper towel, stuck them in the microwave, and pushed the “baked potato” button.

These are the post-microwave potatoes.

Once the soy curls were rehydrated, I mixed them together with the other ingredients. I set it aside while I prepared the potatoes. Okay, stand back while I amaze you with my dazzling mashed potato method: quarter the ‘baked’ potatoes, throw them in a bowl, plop some Earth Balance on them, and then mash. Once they’re mashed, add salt and pepper to taste. I would have added some almond or soy milk, but I didn’t have any. Crazy, right?

Next, I heated the soy curls in a frying pan. Baking is good, too. Do whatever floats your boat.

Holy crap, you guys! I didn’t expect this to taste so good and be so satisfying. This was super easy to make and didn’t take a ton of time.

I will never crave real steak again! Okay, that’s probably not true… but I have a great vegan alternative and that makes me happy. –Melissa

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Happy Labor Day from Turning Veganese!

It’s still a holiday in the USA for the next three hours or so (at least in Chicago). I ended up having a laid back, no frills day. In terms of food, I celebrated with some soy curl barbecue which is so easy and fast and delicious!

Speaking of Labor Day and barbecue, I am pretty pleased with myself for surviving summer without eating meat. I have definitely been tempted at times: the aroma that wafts over from backyard barbecues still makes my mouth water. But I made it you guys! I’ve been turning veganese for over nine months now and it’s been… well, it’s been really great, and this blog is a huge part of why going vegan has been fun, exciting, and painless.

Happy Labor Day, wherever you are! –Melissa

Did you hear about our giveaway? Read this post for all the details and thanks for visiting Turning Veganese. You are awesome!

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Southwest Soy-curl Salad

I needed a break from cooking so I decided to make something easy. I assembled the following:
1 tomato, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 Hass avocados or 1 green avocado
1 cup of soy curls
1/4 cup salsa verde or fajita seasoning and juice from 1 lime
flake red pepper and salt to taste

I reconstituted the soy curls according to the package directions and sauteed them lightly in olive oil with salsa verde. When they were lightly browned I set them aside to cool.

Brent diced the avocado while I chopped the tomato and onion with a device Brent got for me after I cut off the end of my finger last spring. I recommend it; it’s easy to clean and makes dicing onions and other spicy, fragrant or acidic foods virtually painless.

We mixed it all up in a big bowl.

Chopped cilantro and minced garlic might have improved this but it was excellent on bread with some spinach. It was exactly what we needed: creamy, lightly acid, buttery, spicy, and hearty.

We hope you get to try it!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Stuffed Bitter Melon (Ampalaya)

This dish originated from a craving for soy curl BBQ, believe it or not. One thought led to another, and next thing I knew, I was grabbing a bitter melon or ampalaya from the fridge and getting to work. I’ve eaten a lot of ampalaya and I’ve eaten it in many, many ways, but I’ve never had it like this.

I made this using one relatively small (6-7 inches) bitter melon, so adjust the recipe measurements as needed if you have lots of melons.

Stuffed Bitter Melon

1 bitter melon
1 cup soy curls (I use Butler)
1 tbsp plum sauce
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
olive oil
salt

I cut the bitter melon in half lengthwise, scooped out its guts, and then put it in a bowl of salt water and let it soak. This helps to remove some of the bitterness. I then took the soy curls and put them in a bowl of water to rehydrate. While the melon and soy curls were both soaking, I minced the garlic and ginger.

When the soy curls were ready, I chopped them into small pieces to facilitate stuffing the melon halves. Then I browned them in a pan for about three minutes. I have started sprinkling Butler’s Chik-Style Seasoning whenever I cook soy curls to give it a more meaty flavor. This is totally optional!

I removed the soy curls from heat, placed them in a bowl, and coated them with the plum sauce, chili garlic sauce, and minced garlic and ginger. While the flavors marinaded for a bit, I got back to my bitter melon halves and rinsed them very well to remove all the salt.

I placed the halves in a baking pan and stuffed them with the soy curl mixture. Then I baked them at 325 degrees in the toaster oven for 10 minutes and raised the temp to 350 for the last five minutes. If you use a regular oven, I would bake them at 350 degrees straight for 15 minutes. You may need to keep it in there longer if you want the bitter melons to be tender. I like my melons with a little crunch.

Oh my goodness. OH MY GOODNESS! This was so delicious. It was sweet, spicy, and subtly bitter. I ate it with some rice, but it’s yummy all on its own. I’m glad to report that this was omnivore-approved. If you don’t have bitter melon, bell peppers would probably make a good substitute.

Let me take a minute to praise Butler Soy Curls. This product has seriously upped my excitement for vegan cooking. You can buy them directly from Butler in bulk or from Vegan Essentials, which is a Turning Veganese favorite.

Soy curls stuffed in bitter melon. Who knew?! Happy eating and experimenting, everyone! –Melissa

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Soy Curl Adobo with Eggplant Salad

Adobo is a quintessential Filipino dish and cooking method. Pork or chicken are usually used, however, seafood and even vegetables can be cooked adobo-style. Clearly, soy curls are a great substitute. I’m still amazed by what a great meat substitute they are. I’m also amazed that it took me so long to try making soy curl adobo because it’s so quick and easy. Special shout-out to my cousin Dulce for motivating me!

Here’s what you’ll need for soy curl adobo:

soy curls
soy sauce
white vinegar
garlic cloves, very coarsely minced
black peppercorns
bay leaf
Butler Chik-Style Seasoning (optional)
turbinado (optional)

I’m not listing measurements because all you need to know is this: use equal parts soy sauce and vinegar and use more if you want the adobo to be soupy and less if you don’t. The amount of garlic is your call, too, but adobo is meant to be garlicky. With about 1 cup of soy curls, I used 2 tbsp each of soy sauce and vinegar and two garlic cloves.

I put the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and peppercorns in a small bowl (I didn’t have a bay leaf). Then, I fired up a small frying pan (you can also use a saucepan or pot), heated some olive oil in it, threw in my rehydrated soy curls and some Chik-Style seasoning, and mixed it all together.

Immediately after that, I added in the soy sauce-vinegar mixture. I mixed it again and let it cook. Optional: once the liquid starts cooling off a bit, you can add some turbinado (I did not).

I didn’t use a lot of liquid, so I ended up with some dry adobo, which suits me just fine.

To accompany the adobo, I made an eggplant salad using one roasted eggplant, diced tomato, and minced shallot. My dad pickles his pepper surplus, so I took one of these little chili peppers, minced it, and threw it in the salad along with some salt.

So yummy! The best part is, this dish can last for several days. It’s a road trip favorite for Filipinos for this very reason. I hope you’ll try it. Oh! I made another great discovery today. My sister usually has an allergic reaction to soy milk and tofu. She tried this and so far, no reaction. Yay! –Melissa

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Kare Kare

Kare Kare is a Filipino dish that is usually made up of oxtail and vegetables in a peanut butter sauce. It’s also one of my favorite things to eat, like, ever. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present: Easy Vegan Kare Kare.

1 cup soy curls
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 a big eggplant, cut into about 2 inch chunks (approx. 2 cups)
1 cup sitaw (Chinese long beans), cut into about 2 inch pieces — regular green beans are fine, too
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp achiote powder (optional)
olive oil
salt

First, take your one cup of soy curls and rehydrate them. While that’s happening, prepare your veggies. Any type of eggplant will do. You can put in as much veggies as you would like and even drop the soy curls altogether if you’d like. Eggplant and sitaw are the usual veggies we use; we also use bok choy most of the time. The sitaw came from the freezer… I can’t wait to show you guys the fresh ones once they start to pop up in my Dad’s garden.

When the soy curls are ready, drain the water. In a medium pot, heat up the olive oil and brown the garlic and onions. When it stats to get fragrant (and before the garlic starts to burn), toss in the soy curls and saute them with the onions and garlic. Once they’ve dried out a little, it will be time to add your veggies.

Toss the eggplant in first as they will take a bit longer than the beans to cook. Then, add about a cup of water to the pot. Cover and let the eggplants cook for about 5 minutes.

Add in the beans and then cover it again for a few minutes.

Once the veggies are cooked, stir things up a bit. Then, make a well in the center of the pot and put in the peanut butter. The PB should melt completely and acts as both a flavor and thickening agent.

Taste the sauce and add some salt to taste. Add the achiote powder as the final step. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but this gives the kare kare its reddish color.

You can eat the kare kare on its own, but I prefer to have it with white rice. The soy curls are a good protein to use, particularly because it is reminiscent of tripe (I know… gross) which is also used a lot in kare kare. What’s the green stuff, you ask? Kare kare is nothing without some bagoong or salted shrimp paste. I was so super jazzed when I found this recipe for raw vegan bagoong on ASTIG Vegan. I couldn’t follow it exactly because I don’t have any dulse, so I improvised and crushed up about 4 sheets of salted seaweed snack instead. It’s wacky, but it actually worked really nicely as a bagoong substitute.

OMG, you guys. You have no idea how excited I am that this recipe worked. BTW – Happy Independence Day. Be safe! –Melissa

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The Lazy (Filipino) Vegan: Soy Curl Sinigang

Since I started eating soy curls, which have to be one of the best things about being vegan, I’ve gotten lots of bright ideas: soy curl kalbi, smoked soy curls, soy curl caldareta. I’ve been pretty excited about the idea of making soy curl sinigang and soy curl kare kare.

I had soy curl sinigang today, but I’m not going to elaborate because I didn’t do any actual cooking. I just baked some soy curls and then added the sinigang broth and veggies that were already prepared by my parents.

This looks pretty tasty (and it was) but I gotta say that our sinigang is usually a lot more exciting. We usually put lots of eggplants, long beans, and taro root in it. The veggies today consisted of only some “wild spinach” from the backyard. The broth has a sourness to it that is oh so good.

I’ll get into detail when I finally make some of this myself. I love veganizing Filipino food! –Melissa

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Smoked Soy Curls

This morning, I found myself missing smoked sausage. On weekend mornings, we would often have smoked sausage or hot dogs with fried eggs, fried rice, and tomatoes (we’re Filipino so this is completely normal for me). While Gimme Lean has a great vegan soy sausage product that would be great for this type of meal, I was really craving something smoked. So, I grabbed half a cup of dry soy curls and improvised.

While the soy curls were rehydrating, I mixed together about 2 tbsp of soy sauce, 2 tbsp of agave nectar, and added a few drops of liquid smoke. I have never used liquid smoke before, but I read in some places to be careful about the amount used. So, I tried to be conservative without even really knowing what that meant. Let’s just say that I wish I had put a few more dashes of liquid smoke in the mix. Once the curls were rehydrated, I drained them and let them marinade in the mixture for a few minutes.

I baked the soy curls in the toaster oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. While it was baking, I fried some brown rice in garlic, and cut up some tomatoes and green onion which I seasoned with salt and pepper.

Breakfast was served! My smoky marinade can use some tweaking, or maybe I need to let it marinade for a bit longer. I was worried that I used too much soy sauce and was surprised when the sweetness of the agave nectar seemed to be the prominent taste. I’ll probably use maple syrup next time, too. I don’t have any right now which is totally tragic. This still tasted great, though, and is one recipe I won’t mind experimenting with repeatedly. I’ll take whatever suggestions y’all may have! –Melissa

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How This Vegan Did Memorial Day

Memorial Day in the United States is (or should be) a day of remembrance and a time when we should stop and thank those who have shown their bravery and made sacrifices to serve in the armed forces. Memorial Day in the United States is also a day of grilling… grilling meat. Lots and lots of meat. Hot dogs, pork chops, brats, ribs, steaks and are you ready to vomit yet?

I had a packed Saturday and Sunday with the nieces so today was a day of relaxation. It was hot out today, too hot to grill in my opinion, and it was just me and my parents anyway, so we didn’t do anything fancy. For lunch, I made some guacamole and some bean burgers.

I used Christie’s recipe for the burgers but minus the mushrooms. My mom and I went back to Jerry’s today, which is still one of the most annoying places on earth to go to, but we also got a crapload of stuff for less than $100. Seriously. If you are in the Chicago area, a trip to Jerry’s is worth whatever it takes to get there and be there. That said, all they had in terms of mushrooms were button mushrooms (packed or you could pick) and giant portabellas. I wasn’t quite feeling either of those.

Now, get ready to vomit again. I really miss the McRib. I know, I know!!! It’s so nasty. But, even after reading what actually goes into a McRib, I still found myself craving it. CRAVE NO MORE, MELISSA. Soy curls and BBQ sauce to the rescue!

I soaked the soy curls and then covered them with some barbecue sauce. It’s as easy as that — the proportions you use are up to you. Unfortunately/fortunately, we had a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s which is the best BBQ sauce but is not totally vegan because of the brown sugar. I baked the soy curls in the toaster oven for 15 minutes at 325 degrees, turning over once, and then for another 5 minutes at 350 to get them a little crispy.

It looks dry, but I like having the BBQ flavor without having sauce dripping all over the place. This was tasty and just about one of the easiest soy curl recipes ever. I finished off the day with a slice of vegan chocolate cake and some blueberries and raspberries (not pictured on account of I ate it all).

Finding vegan ways to celebrate what are essentially food-centric holidays is a small victory. VICTORY! –Melissa

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Vegan Kalbi with Mustard Salad

I miss Korean BBQ. A lot. So I veganized it using soy curls.

Traditional Kalbi uses short ribs. The meat is thinly sliced, quite fatty, and can take a lot of work to get “right” because the meat will need to be tenderized quite a bit lest it end up tough. Soy curls are a lot easier to prepare. Soak them in some water for ten minutes, drain, and… well, that’s it. As a bonus, you don’t have to worry about icky stuff like e. coli. For this batch, I used about 3/4 cup of dried soy curls.

Kalbi marinade

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2-3 cloves garlic, coarsely minced
sesame seeds
1 tsp turbinado sugar (optional)

I mixed everything but the sesame seeds in a plastic container and then added the soy curls. I mixed it around so the soy curls were covered. After I mixed it around, I sprinkled some sesame seeds on top.

Here are before and after shots of the soy curls. The photo on the right was taken about an hour after I added the curls to the marinade. My advice: don’t let them marinade for much longer than that. I baked the soy curls for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Okay, I totally burned them, but they still turned out yummy!

I had planned to go to the store to pick up veggies and seaweed salad to accompany the kalbi, but the store was CRAZY. If you’re in the Chicago area, I’m talking about Jerry’s. Oh, Jerry’s. Prices and product are so good, but I feel like I die a little every time I go there because it’s so crowded. Anyway, I asked my Dad to pick some fresh mustasa (mustard greens) from the garden for me and made it into a little side salad with lemon, olive oil, salt, and freshly ground pepper. The mustasa was in prime form and gave a serious mustard kick to the kalbi. It was delicious.

Here’s my niece, granting peace to all of you and posing with the food. She didn’t try the kalbi and opted to have cereal for dinner. I was glad I didn’t have to share.

It’s Memorial Day weekend and I’m spending it hanging out with family. I’ll be away from home most of the weekend, so I cooked the rest of my soy curls this morning so I would have something vegan to eat. I opted to cook them in a pan this time, mostly because I didn’t want to burn them again. It ended up looking more like bulgogi than kalbi, but regardless — this wins out over meat versions because look at the lack of fat and oil on the plate! Soy curls have the perfect texture for this. This is also where I learned that marinading soy curls overnight in soy sauce is probably not the best idea. It’s still good, though, and I am still amazed by the soy curl.

I am so happy that I can still have Korean BBQ! All that’s missing is one of those little grills that I can put in the middle of my kitchen table… Have a lovely Saturday! –Melissa

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