I was going to wait until July 4th to do a USA-based recipe for The Art of Plant-Based Meal Creation. But last night, I went to a surprise birthday party for a friend, and they were having barbecued chicken catered in from one of the local BBQ restaurants. There were only a couple of us whole foods, plant-based vegans there. So, I decided to make a complete barbecue meal that we could eat too.
It turned out to be so incredibly good; I decided that I needed to make it my USA recipe selection, and I needed to post it now. This is a meal well worth making. The barbecue Soy Curls are from a recipe from a club member and friend, Carol Korbutt. I modified her recipe only slightly. The baked beans are inspired by a recipe posted online by Paula Deen. She's a very popular chef in Savannah, which is close to my home. Tourists line up down the block just to get a taste of her food. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, it is heavy in creams, butter, salt, sugar and so on. But these baked beans lack all of that. I left out the sugar, and used a little extra maple syrup instead, and I added Liquid Smoke to the recipe as well. The mac 'n no cheese is straight from The PlantPure Nation Cookbook by Kimberly Campbell.
The one recipe I didn't make for the dinner last night, but I've made several times now, is the Cherry Nice Dream, which I think is a lot like Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream. Except my nice dream, as opposed to ice cream, has no dairy products in it. It pairs well with the rest of this meal, so I'm including the recipe here. This recipe is very similar to one made by Dr. Karen Holland at the local 7th Day Adventist Supper Club and also very close to one that I've found online at Forks Over Knives.
The ultimate test to me is when my non-vegan grandchildren and my son-in-law say something is good and they ask for it again. The Cherry Nice Dream is one of those things with my grandchildren. And the Soy Curls are that with my son-in-law. So, I believe that this is an all-American meal that everyone will enjoy. And I'm even betting that you could serve the Soy Curls to your friends and tell them it's chicken, and they will never by the wiser. This is a meal that works on all cylinders.
Start by making the Soy Curls the day before and soaking the pinto beans overnight as well. Also, if you don't have cut up frozen bananas for the nice dream, that will need to be done a day in advance too.
Quantities for all of the recipes below are based on making 4 servings of each.
Barbecued Soy Curls
1 8-oz bag of Butler Soy Curls
2 cups of low-sodium, fat-free vegetable broth
2 cups of very warm water (almost boiling)
1/2 large diced vidalia onion
2 t black pepper
1 package taco seasoning
1 16-oz jar of Bone Suckin Sauce
Place the Soy Curls in a very large bowl and cover with the vegetable broth and very warm water. Be sure the soy curls are completely covered. Add more water or broth as needed. Soak for a minimum of ten minutes.
Place the diced onion in a large frying pan with a small amount of water and saute the onion until it glistens. Squeeze out the moisture from the Soy Curls and place them into the frying pan one handful at a time. Sprinkle with the black pepper and the taco seasoning. Add the Bone Suckin Sauce and stir.
Heat on medium heat while continuing to stir until everything is hot.
Then let the everything cool and place into the refrigerator for 24 hours in order to let the flavors fully develop.
When ready to serve, simply heat the BBQ Soy Curls either on the stove or in the microwave until they are at the desired temperature.
This can be served on an open toasted whole wheat bun or an Ezekial bun with 1/3 cup of slaw mix (shredded carrots, red cabbage and green cabbage) if desired. However, it is good on a plate all by itself too.
1 cup dried pinto beans
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
3 Tbsps dijon mustard
1/3 cup maple syrup
4 Tbsps ketchup
Juice of 1 lemon
Soak the pinto beans overnight and then cook either in a large pot or in an InstantPot. If cooking in a large pot, cover with water (3 to 1) ratio, bring to a boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 1-1/2 hours. If using an InstantPot, use the same water ratio and cook at pressure for 4 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally.
Put the cooked pinto beans in a Dutch oven pot and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well. Bake covered in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 60 minutes.
Can then be served immediately.
Macaroni 'n No-Cheese
I am going to refer my readers to my friend, Kim Campbell's cookbook, PlantPure Nation Cookbook for this recipe. I made it exactly as contained on page 206 using frozen butternut squash.
The only comment I would add is that if you have leftovers, or if you make it the day before, you may find it hardens a little in the refrigerator. This is easily remedied by pouring in a little nondairy milk before reheating.
Cherry Nice Dream
6 large ripe bananas, cut up into bite-sized pieces and frozen
2 cups frozen cherries
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp plant-based nondairy milk
4 Tbsp. vegan chocolate chips
a handful more of frozen cherries and
a handful more of vegan chocolate chips
Place all ingredients into a high-powered food processor. Pulse to break up the fruit. Stop the food processor as needed to break up the frozen fruit chunks with a spoon. Then process continuously until smooth throughout.
Open top of food processor and add additional frozen cherries and chocolate chips. Pulse one or two times so as to give chunks of cherry and whole chocolate chips throughout the creamy mixture.
Serve immediately. And of course this freezes well.
J Lanning Smith
February 26, 2017