You asked for it, so we're giving it to you -- one of the most delicious, decadent, can't-believe-this-is-actually-vegan vegan recipes we could find.
Created by star vegan chef Tal Ronnen (the guy who helped Oprah dabble in a meat-free lifestyle), this Pine Nut Gardein "Chicken" recipe is a hearty meat-free alternative.
This dish uses Gardein "chicken," a great tasting and high-protein meat replacement that is a great transitional option for people new to vegetarian cuisine. You can find it in the frozen and fresh sections of your local grocery store.
This recipe can be found in Tal's book The Conscious Cook.
For the chicken:
1 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
5 large basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
4 Gardein breasts, thawed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons canola oil
Make the cashew cream: (Prep time: 10 minutes, plus soaking overnight)
1. Put the cashews in a bowl and add cold water to cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
2. Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water. Place in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth. (If youre not using a professional high-speed blender such as a Vita-Mix, which creates an ultra-smooth cream, strain the cashew cream through a fine-mesh sieve.)
3. To make thick cashew cream, simply reduce the amount of water in the blender, so that the water just covers the cashews. Makes about 2 1/4 cups thick cream or 3 1/2 cups regular cream.
Make the chicken:
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse the pine nuts, flour and basil. Transfer to a shallow bowl or plate.
2. Flatten the breasts with your hand to 1/2 inch thick. Season each side with salt and pepper to taste, then press each side into the pine nut dredge.
3. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute.
4. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect.
5. Place the breasts in the pan and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove to a wire rack set over a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and put in the oven to keep warm while you make the sauce.
Make the lobster mushroom beurre blanc:
1. Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke.
2. Reduce the heat to low. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half.
3. Add the cashew cream and continue to cook for 5 minutes, then whisk in the nutritional yeast.
4. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the Earth Balance 1 tablespoon at a time, then stir in the lemon juice and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Spoon the beurre blanc over the breasts and drizzle a few drops around the edge of each plate. Serve immediately.
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