One of the questions I’ve been asked very frequently is why vegan people love to make food like the “real” animal-based version even if they don’t eat meat.
My answer as a plantbased blogger is that I feel like my main goal is to demonstrate how eating on a vegan diet doesn’t mean having to give up on the foods that one used to like before making the change. We can have the same flavours, textures and in many cases even the smells as well. Black salt being a great example of how we can get tofu eggs to smell and taste of actual eggs.
There are a number of reasons why people decide to go vegan.
They can make the change to veganism after realising how bad the meat industry operates. They base their change around their own ethical code, realising that humane doesn’t mean humane at all, that it is an oxymoron and fallacy. The ethical change is one where you change your actions to match your morale code.
But there are of course other vegans that do it for their health, because they or one of their loved ones have suffered health problems such as heart diseases or cancer. My mum, for example, went vegan after struggling for decades because of her rheumatoid arthritis. She could barely stand, lift things up or simply grabbing them. She used to be on lots of medications that weren’t really helping. It was after my suggestion to watch a documentary on Netflix called “Forks over Knives” that she finally managed to take my advice and try a vegan diet. Her improvements were unbelievable. After less than one month she was off medications and her latest routine check-up made all doctors wonder how she managed to improve her health all of the sudden.
For those that aren’t familiar with her disease it is a long-term condition that causes pain in the joints that cannot be cured, but only softened with medications.
And in that month all she did was switching overnight to a wholemeal plantbased diet, same as her similar case on the aforementioned documentary, which I highly recommend you to watch for a new way to view why the vegan diet will benefit you and your family.
But there are also vegans like me out there, those that have never liked meat much, they don’t miss it at all, and they just enjoy good food.
For this experiment I was inspired by this recipe by Sean from the DailyVegan blog .
My base is the same as his genious combo “seitan + jackfruit”, and I gave my own twist adding pureed lentils to the gluten, because I personally like lightening it up with different legumes (click here for my bbq seitan buffalo wings with soy mince), and I didn’t use any marinate, I only brushed the drumsticks first with olive oil, then with a paste made from tomato puré, jerk seasoning and water.
Resulting with these crispy chicken-style legs, juicy and moist that actually tear apart thanks to the jackfruit.
1 can Young Jackfruit (in Water or Brine – NOT in syrup)
100 gr Vital Gluten
1/2 cup cooked Lentils (pureed with their own water)
4 Rice Wrappers (for Vietnamese Spring Rolls)
2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Liquid Smoke (optional)
2 tbsp Tomato Puré
2 tbsp Onion Powder
2 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Vegetable Stock Powder
1 tbsp Black Pepper
1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 tbsp Jerk Seasoning
1 tsp Nutmeg
Wooden Chopsticks (Disposable)
Drain and rinse well the canned jackfruit, then remove both the core and its seeds (if any).
Roughly chop or tear apart each piece and add to a pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil, liquid smoke, salt and pepper.
Add vegetable stock and 1 cup of water, set low heat and simmer until all liquid is asorbed and the jackfruit is tender (it may require more water).
Once the jackfruit is ready we can start making the seitan. In a bowl combine gluten, onion powder, garlic powder, nutmeg, smoked paprika and pepper.
Mix well then add the jackfruit and the lentils (previously pureed with their own water). Work the dough until all gluten is absorbed (may require more water depending on how wet the lentil puré is). Set aside.
Run the sheets of rice paper under cold water to soften and make plyable, this is so that you can later mould them around the filling. Place the rice paper one at a time flat onto a chopping board and from the center with a knife cut a straight line to the edge as shown in picture.
Take one chopstick and place it next to the cut you made into the rice paper so that the chopstick is a few inches in. This will resemble the bone and also help give the “leg” structure.
Now take a one fourth of the mixture and place it against the chopstick so that is resembles the rough shape of the “leg” you will form.
Wrap the rice paper fully around the seitan mix, coat them in olive oil and place onto a baking tray.
Combine tomato puré, jerk seasoning and water in a small ramekin and brush it over each “leg”, making sure to fully coat both sides of it.
Arrange on a baking tray and bake for 40 minutes at 180°C (350F), making sure to brush with extra water half way through to ensure they stay moist.
Serve as you please.
I served it with roasted potatoes, broccoli and buttery herb brushed sweetcorn cobs, finished a vegetable gravy.