Our Texas Rangers were in the World Series last week and though they didn’t take the title, I’m still incredibly proud of them for making it to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. Plus, it inspired me to make some recipes for the first time in my culinary history.
I wanted to make some traditional game fair for us, vegan style of course, so I hit up my recipe files in search of the perfect game food. And it hit me, beer and wings! On the menu:
- Beer Bread
- Buffalo Tofu “Wings”
- Carrots & Celery and Homemade Vegan Ranch
- Beverages: Beer of Course
First up on the menu, beer bread. I remember my mom making beer biscuits when I was a kid and I thought they were delicious. We start out young in the south!
I saw this recipe for beer bread on the Food Network that didn’t require any rising time, was already vegan, and looked so darn easy. I substituted 1 cup of whole wheat flour and shortened the baking time. This was the final recipe.
Quick & Easy Vegan Beer Bread
*Adapted from Robin Miller’s Quick Fix Beer Bread.
- Cooking Spray
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons organic sugar
- 1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces lager beer (minus one swig for quality control )
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center. Pour in beer and olive oil and mix until just blended. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake 35 minutes, until golden brown.
Mix dry ingredients and make well.
Take a swig of your beer for quality control.
This beer bread was pretty good, considering how easy it was, but it felt like it was missing something. I’ve never made bread before, so I’m not sure what, but the flavor was kind of bland other than the beer flavor and the texture reminded me more of a muffin than a loaf of bread. I’d like to try a recipe that involves kneading and rising, to see if the outcome is better. Oh, and I need to attempt some beer biscuits, just like my momma’s.
Next up was the appetizer. Jared told me the other day that he missed Ranch Dressing, so I decided to whip up a batch for him to dip carrots, celery, and his Buffalo “Wings” in. I used a recipe called Best Vegan Ranch Dressing as a starting point, and ironically, when Jared tried it he asked, “Where did you get the Ranch Dressing, it’s the best I’ve ever had, vegan or not.” Score, I topped his beloved Hidden Valley! It was delicious and super easy.
Better than Bottled Ranch Dressing (Vegan)
*Inspired by Best Vegan Ranch Dressing
- 1 cup vegan mayonnaise (regular would work fine, too)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons flat parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup rice milk (soy milk would work, too, but I like the neutral flavor of rice milk better)
Directions: Mix mayo and spices together and slowly add in rice milk. Keep stirring in milk until it’s the consistency you want it to be. I used about 1/4 cup, maybe less, b/c I wanted it to be a ranch dip. Add more if using as a salad dressing.
And last, but not least, were the Buffalo Tofu Wings. I used a recipe from Cook Simple, and only changed a little bit. I added parsley to the breading, since I had some extra chopped up from the ranch dressing and I baked then pan fried them for extra crunch.
Buffalo Tofu Bites
*adapted from CookSimple.com
- 1 lb extra firm tofu — drained and pressed
- 3/4 cup buffalo sauce (check labels if you’re a strict vegan, many contain butter)
- 1 cup panko (or bread crumbs)
- 1/8 cup flax seed meal
- 8 Ritz-style Crackers (I use Late July Organic Classic Rich Crackers)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
Directions: Cut the pressed tofu block into bite sized cubes, place in a bowl, and cover with the hot sauce. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour (you can leave it overnight). In a blender, mix together the panko, crackers and flax seed meal (I didn’t have a blender, so I just smashed the crackers and mixed it all together.) Season to taste with the garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Remove tofu cubes from the hot sauce and place in the breading mixture, coating all sides evenly. Place the breaded cubes on a sprayed sheet pan and cook in a pre-heated 375-degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and pan fry over medium heat until each side is crisp. Serve with extra buffalo sauce and ranch dressing.
Gather ingredients. This wing sauce had “natural butter type flavoring” in the ingredients, so I’m not sure if that means it’s vegan or not. It was really good, though. (Update: I found out that all of Frank’s sauces are vegan. Though still read labels, because some other brands clearly aren’t.)
Coat each piece of marinated tofu with bread crumb mixture and line up on pan, coated with non-stick cooking spray.
Note: For a healthier version, don’t remove and just bake for about 5 more minutes . Otherwise, take out and pan fry on both sides in a thin layer of canola oil.
Our Kroger let’s you put together your own sampler 6-pack, so I grabbed a bunch of different ones for us to try. We split two Octoberfest beers to eat with our wings. The Leinenkugel won hands down. It was delicious. I wasn’t a big fan of Sam Adam’s, but Jared like it.
The next day, magic happened. I broiled the left over Buffalo Tofu “Wings” until nice and crispy again, then made a wrap with everything we ate the night before plus some. It was like a wing party in a wrap. One of my favorite vegan meals ever.
In the whole wheat tortilla: vegan ranch dressing, red onions, tomatoes, celery (chopped thin), carrots (chopped thin), avocado, spinach, basil, Buffalo Tofu “Wings,” and buffalo sauce. This was a home run!
Hangry Pants is hosting a challenge today that called for making something new, this is my post for the challenge full of all new recipes and some new beverages, too.