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Chickenless Chicken Nuggets

June 25, 2010

Happy Friday evening, friends!

A little while ago I was in the mood to try out something new in the kitchen: cooking with Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) and Vital Wheat Gluten (VWG). For those that don’t know, these acronymic ingredients are wacky things vegans use to recreate the texture of meat. Now, recreating the texture of meat is not something I typically strive for in my dishes, but after years of vegetarian and vegan cooking, I thought that it was about time that I at least try these things out and see how they work. And so last week, with the help of this Chickenless Nuggets recipe from Happy Herbivore, that’s exactly what I did!

These nuggets were basically a mix of chickpeas, TVP, and VWG, breaded in crumbled cereal (I used Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise). For those that are interested, the TVP comes in the form of little crispy protein bits (similar to granola, actually) and the VWG just looks like flour. What’s fun is that the VWG makes gluten strands form as you knead the dough. In this way, the VWG both acts as a binder to better hold the dough together and makes the mixture more, well, meat-like.

As for the taste of these nuggets, I’d rate them as above average: not out of this world, but definitely tasty enough to heartily enjoy. On my end of things, I think I should’ve crushed the cereal a little finer so to make a better coating. On the recipe’s end, I think the dough mixture could’ve been spiced a little more or differently to make for a more interesting flavor. However, these nuggets made for a nice meal with a grain and vegetable on the side, and later in the week I also used them in a sandwich to great success. In addition, I whipped up this great homemade dipping sauce:

This is just BBQ sauce, leftover tomato juice, and Korean gochujang, mixed to my taste, but boy was it good. Those three flavors really work well together and make for a delectable spicy and tangy sauce.

And that’s all I have for today. Enjoy you weekend, everyone! I’ll talk to you again soon!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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