Ok, let it be known that I am not a vegan. I do truly believe eating vegan is better for you, which is why I prepare so many vegan dishes. Some people cut out or down on meat, dairy and eggs for medical reasons, some for ethical reasons. But no matter what your reasons are, we all stay attached to certain comfort foods or cravings for something from our childhood. These chicken-less dishes can help with that as well as feed our meat-eater friends and relatives.
While vegan recipes on the web have become easier to find, finding ones that your meat eater guests like can be a little more problematic. Not to mention how hard it is cooking for picky eaters of all kinds and ages. So, I thought a few recipes that are almost effortless and quick would be welcome for last minute company, or just a day that you hardly had time to breathe. Come home and make a meal in less than 30 minutes – without meat or watching Rachael Ray!
The ‘fried’ chicken patties I use are Boca Original Chik’n Patties. They are vegan, 160 calories each with 6 g of fat, 16 g protein and 430 sodium. The sodium is a little high, but I have trouble finding pre-made food that has much less. If you know of a brand, please let me know.
Directions are for 4 servings. All of my meat eater friends love this. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but they say it’s similar to veal parmigiana. I think it’s the white interior.
- 1 box Boca Chik’n Patties
- Pasta – Whole wheat angel hair is a great introduction to a healthier pasta, and if you cook it about 5 minutes more than normal, most people have no idea they are eating whole wheat.
- Pasta Sauce – You can use your favorite bottled sauce, or make a marinara if you have the time
- Grated Mozzarella – You can use the real thing if you’re not a vegan, or I recommend the Follow your Heat VEGAN GOURMET Almond Cheese
Preheat oven to 350 and place chicken patties on a baking sheet, unless it’s non-stick, oil it first.
In a large pot put your water on to boil for the pasta. Put chicken in oven as soon as it’s preheated, it takes about 12 minutes for the patties to cook. Once the water is boiling put in the pasta. You can turn the patties in the oven is you like, I don’t and they turn out just fine.
When the pasta is done to your liking, drain in a colander. Take the chicken patties out of the oven and top with a small handful of cheese and put back in the oven for it to melt. Put sauce in the same pot you cooked the pasta in, and heat it over medium heat until hot. Plate up the pasta on plates and spoon sauce over. Reserve some sauce to top the patties with. Add a patty per plate and pour some of the reserved sauce over.
Top with Parmesan – regular or vegan depending on you! Serve with salad and garlic bread and your guests will be very happy.
Chicken and Gravy
There are tons of vegan gravy mixes on the market, but if you have time the fresh gravy is well worth the 15 minutes it takes. I serve this with either white rice or mashed potatoes. Depending on where you’re from, you may have a leaning to one more than the other. I’m sure brown rice would work, but this is childhood comfort food for me and this is one of the few meals that I eat white rice.I always serve a veggie side of green beans to round it out. It only takes a look around in your fridge or freezer to find out what you’ll be serving!
- 1 box Boca Chik’n Patties
- 1.5 – 2 cups Milk – soy, almond or rice
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms or 4 links Boca sausage
- 1 Tbl. Flour – for thickening. I have used wheat only, but feel free to experiment!
Start your rice or mashed potatoes before the gravy. Put the chicken patties in a preheated 350 oven.
Gather your ingredients around the stove. This will go faster than you expect.
In a nonstick skillet, over medium heat, add your mushrooms and cook until soft. If you decide to use sausage, put the frozen links in and as they thaw a little chop them with your spatula. Sprinkle the flour in, and be careful not to burn it. Add the first cup of milk and whisk until thick. Depending on timing you may need to adjust the milk or flour to make the gravy thinner or thicker.
If all works right, the rice cooker will ding and your veggies are steamed when you pull the chicken patties out. It’s a super easy meal that hits that comfort food spot.
The gravy is also delicious over biscuits, and no one complains about biscuits for dinner.