Sesame Soya Slices // Sesame "chicken", tofu.

Eerily similar to sesame "chicken" at vegan friendly Chinese restaurants. Which are, oddly, freakishly similar to sesame actually-chicken at non-vegan friendly spots in town. 

I picked up my soya slices at Dino's Grocery in Winnipeg's West End. I like Luxmi brand soya slices. Alternatively, check out Bulk Barn for their "So Soya Slices" in Bulk near the TVP.

Ingredients for Soya Slices
3/4 cup dehydrated soy slices*
2 cups hot water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic, minced
-- Oil, for frying
-- Cornstarch, for frying
-- Sesame seeds, to garnish

Ingredients for Sesame Sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced / 1 tsp jarred garlic
1 inch fresh ginger / 1 tsp jarred ginger
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice**
2 tbsp agave
1 tsp Sriracha
1 tsp sesame oil
-- 1 tbsp corn starch + 1/4 cup water, mixed in a cup, kept aside

Ingredients for Lo Mein
Lo Mein noodles
Water for boiling
1-2 tbsp sesame oil
-- Sesame seeds, to garnish

Method for Soya Slices
Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Pour 2 cups of this hot water in a large bowl and add remaining ingredients. Place a plate on top and let sit for 15 minutes. When 15 minutes is up, it ought to look like this:

Method for Lo Mein
Bring a pot of water to a boil, place your lo mein noodles in. Turn down to a simmer and cook about 4-5 minutes. Drain, then drizzle with sesame oil. In a large pan, fry up noodles on medium high. Stir and break up noodles as they start to brown and crisp up in the pan.

Frying the Soya Slices
In a large pan, pour enough oil in to lightly cover the base of the pan - about 4 tbsp.
Squeeze out the soy slices. Coat lightly in cornstarch.
Fry in 1-2 batches (fresh oil for a second batch) for 5-6 minutes, turning as each side turns golden brown and crispy.

Method for Sesame Sauce
Place all ingredients minus cornstarch + water in a pot and bring to a simmer. Once bubbling, add in cornstarch + water mixture. Whisk until thickened and glossy.
**Alternatively, sub the OJ and sweeteners for apricot jelly a la big-bad-RJ in NYC!**

Toss soya slices in sauce, being mindful not to stir in too much sauce.

Top with sesame seeds and serve alongside lo mein.

Lemon-dijon puff pastry with mushroom filling.

30-minutes from prep to finish, this vegan-friendly puff pastry is quick, simple, and easy on the wallet. Fill with any vegetables and/or protein you fancy, so long as you have about 3 cups of filing, you're golden.

1 box puff pastry - I used Tenderflake brand
10 mushrooms
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 tbsp dry vegetable stock
3/4 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Pre-heat oven to 450F. Defrost your puff pastry. Alternatively, express-defrost in the microwave.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan, on medium-high heat. Place all vegetables in the pan and saute until soft.

Once vegetables are no longer crunchy - about 10 minutes - stir in lemon juice, dijon, spices.

Roll out pastry to about 10x12".

Place filling across the pastry, width-wise, leaving about 1/2" on the left and right hand side.

Fold pastry over like a burrito.

Brush with soy milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Slice into six pieces, without slicing all the way through to the base of the pastry.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Service alongside mashed potatoes, braised tofu, etc.

Good (vegan-friendly) gravy.

Crucial for poutine, this vegan friendly gravy takes about 8 minutes to make from start to finish and puts you no more than $0.60 in the hole.

1 1/2 cups water / vegetable stock
1 tbsp plant-based butter

Ingredients II
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder / chopped garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp tarragon, rubbed

Bring the water/vegetable stock to a boil.

Make a smooth slurry with all of Ingredients II and add to the boiling liquid.

Whisk thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps. Let boil for a few minutes, it'll start to thicken up. Turn the stovetop down to low, and taste for seasoning.

Strain if there are lumps for some awful reason beyond your common knowledge.