Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Red Wine-Drizzled Vegan "Salmon" on a Bed of Quinoa

Ok. The vegan "salmon" finally.

I whipped it up Saturday night as planned. I wasn't sure what to expect and probably am not the best of judges as to whether or not it tasted convincingly salmony since I've only had salmon once (and it was back in like sixth grade or something). But E said that it tasted fairly similar (and he was a salmon addict as recently as a few years ago, so I figure he's a pretty good judge). And I can at least attest to the fact that I was pleasantly surprised.

Consistency-wise, the vegan "salmon" is the spitting image of Tofurky, for those of you familiar with it. Taste-wise, it's like a mildly fishier version of Tofurky, wrapped in seaweed.

I enjoyed it (though I wasn't amazingly blown away by it), and it had already grown on me even more by the second day I had it, so I suspect it's something that I will probably get again (though next time, I think I may try THIS RECIPE but veganized).

And it's uber-easy to prepare--just thaw it out (and that's probably even optional as well) and fry it up in a frying pan with some oil or vegan butter and whatever spices make your pallet tingle.

Or if you want to take the slightly more complicated route with it, you can try out my recipe instead. (I've adjusted the quinoa recipe so that it makes less actual quinoa--that way the quinoa-mushroom ratio is much better--when I prepared it, I thought there was too much quinoa and not enough of the extras.)


The "Salmon"
  • 1 package vegan "salmon"

  • 1-2 T. vegan non-hydrogenated butter

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, roasted

The Quinoa
  • 1 to 1.5 c. uncooked quinoa

  • 2-3 T. chopped fresh parsely

  • 1/2 c. toasted pine nuts

  • One 12 oz. package of baby portabella mushrooms, halved or quartered

  • 3-6 cloves garlic, roasted

  • 1-2 T. vegan non-hydrogenated butter

The Red-Wine Reduction
  • 3/4 c. vegan red table wine (I used Yellow Tail Cabernet-Shiraz)

  • 3/4 c. balsamic vinegar

  • 2-3 T. vegan non-hydrogenated butter


The Quinoa
Cook quinoa in a rice cooker (or on the stove) using a 2:1 ratio of water to dry quinoa (i.e. if you're making 1 c. uncooked quinoa, include 2 c. water). Once it is nearly done, take 1-2 T. vegan butter and use it to fry up your mushroom in a pan until they are tender but not overcooked. Remove from heat. When quinoa is done, add it to the mushrooms and mix. Add in the parsley, pine nuts, and roasted garlic. Stir and set aside.

The Red-Wine Reduction
Pour your red wine and balsamic vinegar into a small pot. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low. Simmer until the mixture is reduced by half or so (about 20 minutes?). Before serving, add 2-3 T. vegan butter and mix until it's melted and blended in. (This makes quite a bit--we ended up with leftovers--so if you are a minimalist, you may want to cut these measurements in half.)

The "Salmon"
Melt 1-2 T. vegan butter in a pan on med-low heat. Add the roasted garlic. Once butter is melted, toss in the "salmon" (cut into medium-sized pieces on a slant--a small "salmon" should yield about 8-10 pieces or so). Cook until both sides are slightly browned.

the "salmon" over a bed of quinoa, with the wine reduction drizzled over both (just don't use *TOO* much as the balsamic vinegar is fairly potent). Finish with a side of roasted asparagus, cooked in olive oil with roasted garlic, and drizzled with a bit of fresh lemon juice.

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