Briggitte over at Good Eatz and Faux Meats always posts the neatest recipes. I'm so in love with the McVegan it's not even funny. I've gotten my best friend, Roman, who is an unapologetic omnivore to not only eat those, but get jealous when I make them and don't invite him over for some.
Roman is also my official food tester. He can be picky at times so I like to sneak some exotic veggies into food and see if he'll eat it without turning his nose up. Having lived most of his life in Texas, he's been on a pretty limited meat and potatoes type of diet for a good portion of his life. Lucky for me, he's adventurous and willing to try the weird crap that I force him to eat, uh... I mean... that I ask him to try. Except for the time when I made something with cauliflower and he asked me "What is the white broccoli?" most things end up passing the taste test without incident. Or maybe he's just trying not to hurt my feelings... hrmmmm....
Goodness, I am such the queen of tangents.
So anyway, last night I made Briggitte's Costco Style Chick'n Bake. I ended up substituting a few things based on what I could find at the market, but all in all, this was hella yummy. I will definitely be making this again and experimenting with the flavors. I'm not sure yet how this will reheat, but I brought one to work to eat at lunch today so I guess we'll see how these microwave. If that works out, it's a perfect thing to bring for work lunches. A nice little meal all packaged up in a cute little crust. Almost like sneaking onto a plane by packing yourself in your own luggage except without the felony charge. I did find this to be a little bit on the salty side (probably from the fake bacon bits) so you might want to adjust the sauce you're using or the amount of "bacon" bits accordingly. I'm not sure if anyone makes low-sodium fake bacon bits, but if you can find those, I'd use them. Maybe I should try and create that with some tvp...
Behold - the recipe and a picture that I borrowed from the Good Eatz blog since I forgot to take some of my own.
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lukewarm water (NOT hot water - room temperature)
1 tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Dissolve the yeast in the water. Mix up the dry ingredients and then add the oil to the water and yeast mixture. Shockingly, now you'll add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix it up until you get a bit of a dough. Knead it a few times to make it all cute and smooth, form it into a ball and let it sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes.
If you do this first, then start cutting the onions and other stuff, it should be ready to work with right about when you're ready to start beating the hell out of it and stretching it around your filling yummies.
Vegan Mozzarella Cheese (Lots of people recommend Follow Your Heart brand, but I can't find that around here, so I just used Vegan Rella. Really, just use whatever kind you like)
1/4 cup fake bacon bits
1/4 cup chopped green onion
Whole Package Chick'n Strips (I use Yves brand, they stay super tender even when you bake them)
2 Tablespoons per bake Amy's Goddess Dressing or Vegan Ranch or really whatever kind of sauce thing you think would rock this into submission
Preheat Oven to 400F
Grate the cheese and set aside a little of it. You're going to sprinkle this on the tops before you bake them, so however much or little you want.
Take the fake bacon bits and add about a tablespoon or so of water to them. Stir it up so that all of the bacon bits get wet and then microwave this for about 15 seconds just to soften everything up. Stir again after you take it out of the microwave. Dump those suckers into a large bowl.
Chop up the green onions (not the white parts or the parts that are at the farthest green end.) and add them to the bowl along with your "bacon" bits so they're not lonely anymore.
Open your pack of chicken strips and make sure you separate them. Chop them up a bit if you think any of them look too large. Then add them to the onion party going on in that bowl over there. Stir it all up so that everyone at the party gets to mingle and meet each other.
By now your dough should be about ready to get rockin. Separate the dough so that you have two pieces and knead the hell out of it until it's smooth and elastic. Now roll it out into a cute little square (or circle or whatever deformed shape you end up with) so that it's big enough to put half of the filling on top of it. You want to make sure that you've made the dough big enough to wrap around the filling.
And now for the moment you've all been waiting for - Put half of the filling on each piece of dough that you've rolled out. Pour the dressing on top of each piece and then pull up the sides of the dough like it's giving the filling a big ole hug. Don't worry about being pristine, be all punk rock and just fold the dough every which way until you end up with a little package of yummy.
Sprinkle a little bit of the cheese onto the top of each one and put them on a cookie sheet or baking dish to head on to the after party in the oven. Bake them until they're golden brown all over. I meant to write down how long that took and then I forgot and now I can't remember exactly how long. I think it was somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes, but you should probably start checking after about 15 just to be sure. Be sure you don't take them out too early, though!
Now you've got little packages of yum. Let them sit for about 5 minutes after you take them out of the oven. After this much fun, they need a short break before moving onto your tummy. This should go without saying, but be careful - the insides are super hot and steamy. You might want to cut a few slits in the top to let the steam escape before you start trying to eat them.