Friday, 17 May 2013

Guest Post: Dave's Chikout Pita & Ranch Sauce

Today's guest post comes courtesy of my favourite meat eater, my husband Dave. As I've mentioned before, Dave is teeter-tottering between being vegan and omnivore and he sometimes struggles to find vegan food that satisfies his cravings. He made this transitional meal several times and always raved about the results. The original version had cow's milk cheese and a bottled Ranch sauce, but with a switch to Daiya and a super easy home-made sauce, the whole thing became vegan and infinitely more delicious.

Here's his story:

When my wife, The Essential Vegan (it says that on our marriage license) first became vegan, I fully supported her…with my words. I had nothing against vegans, I found that their idea of food was just boring and bland. Their hearts were in the right place, but I felt that they were ignoring their taste buds, and were basically force-feeding themselves gruel while attempting to force a smile and say, without gagging, “this vegan dish is really tasty.”

Yes, I’m embellishing – but not by much. I had a recent experience that further supported my overly generalized bias. There was a vegan food truck where I live that my wife was ecstatic to go and try at a food truck festival, which was the ONLY vegan option. My wife bought a quinoa salad and coconut key lime pie. They looked good enough and the price suggested that these dishes were oozing with quality and flavour. They absolutely sucked. They sucked so bad it was literally upsetting. How many potential vegans have abandoned this lifestyle choice because they have had ultimately inferior food? That’s where I want to come in for other meat eaters, and introduce a vegan dish that taste like, dare I say, a ‘regular’ dish.

That was my primary plight for a good year before ‘mostly’ going vegan – it wasn’t so much the flavour that was lacking (spices can take care of anything), but the consistency and texture of the meat replacement was downright shameful. Companies are finally getting it right and realizing that all you have to do is trick the mind into thinking it feels like meat in your mouth, and BAM – you’re impregnated with veganism. What a strange comparison.

This is called the Chikout Pita. Why Chikout? Well, it's pretty simple, there's no chicken in here - as I've taken it out. See how clever that is?

'Chikout' Pita

Ingredients and how to make this delicious and easy (not to mention highly ‘influential’) meal:

-preheat toaster oven to 400 degrees
-cook 2-3 Gardein Chipotle Lime Chickenless Fingers for 24 minutes, flipping halfway through
-cook naan bread from from frozen for 5-7 minutes, and if your toaster oven has room you can cook the two at the same time to save energy
-place the chikout fingers on the naan bread and sprinkle with:
-1/3 cup Daiya grated soy cheese
-¼ Thai chili pepper, sliced or cut very thin and include the seeds
-¼ clove garlic, sliced or cut very thin
-put the naan bread all loaded up back in the oven and bake open-faced for 4 more minutes
-garnish with your favourite hot sauce and the ranch sauce (recipe included) as well as lettuce, peppers and whatever other veggies tickle your fancy
-fold/roll the naan up, eat and have your mind blown

Ranch Sauce
-combine the following in a blender until smooth (this will definitely take more than a minute):
          -1/2 cup raw cashews
          -2 tablespoons lemon juice
          -2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
          -1 and 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
          -1 tablespoon olive oil
          -1 tablespoon tahini paste
          -2 teaspoons chopped green onions (green parts)
          -1/4 teaspoon onion powder
          -1 teaspoon garlic powder
          -1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
          -1/2 teaspoon sea salt
          -1/8 teaspoon black pepper
          -2 teaspoon agave nectar
          -1/4 cup almond/soy milk

Ranch inspiration from Let Them Eat Vegan