Thursday, October 20, 2011

My First Veganized Recipe (From Everyday with Rachel Ray)

For some reason I am super hooked on Food Network Magazine and Everyday with Rachel Ray. They are filled with food I won't eat (and don't particularly like to look at) but I like the way they think. I guess it's mostly comfort food which is what I love to eat and most of the time when I read through them I just think about how I could veganize it.

I picked up the October 2011 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray at Costco a few weeks ago. I was reading through it and then I saw it...I stood up and ran over to Ryan to show him because I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. Right there in a recipe was "vegan mayonnaise"! The rest of the sandwich was far from vegan but just seeing it written there in this magazine was crazy to me. I have only been vegan for about a year and a half and I have even noticed in that time that veganism has become a little more widely accepted. I was still extremely shocked to see it in the pages of Rachael Ray's magazine. I decided right then and there that I had to make the sandwich but make the whole thing vegan. It wouldn't be so hard anyways and that's kind of my point I guess, it's not usually hard to change up a recipe to make it vegan.

The sandwich was sort of like a Thanksgiving supper on a bun with turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce and strangely cheese. During my sandwich testing with Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes, I had tested a recipe for Gobbler Slices which was a homemade "turkey" cold cut which were incredibly good! I knew these would be the perfect "turkey" for my sandwich and lucky for you Tami has posted the recipe for them on her blog so you can make them too! I also made another one the next day for lunch and used some "chicken-y" seitan sliced thin and it was also really great so you could go either way and get great results.

The recipe for the cornbread stuffing in the magazine relied on some store bought cornbread muffins but I decided to make my own. The recipe is below if you don't have access to vegan store bought cornbread and want to make them too. I went mini but only so they would bake more quickly. I made some cranberry sauce myself as well since I had some frozen cranberries up the freezer that weren't getting much love and never have cranberry sauce in the can. It was so easy to put it together and took three ingredients. Recipe for it is below as well. They mix the mayo with the cranberry sauce which I also did but on the second attempt I just went with the mayo and enjoyed it more. I guess it depends of course on whether or not you like cranberry sauce and I've always been on the fence on that. I definitely enjoyed the sandwich, it's especially good with the pickles added which I totally forgot the first day I made this but they really do make the sandwich. I used thinly sliced dill pickles in place of the cornichons in the recipe but only because I always have a jar of dill pickles in the fridge and have never had a cornichon in my life. I also really loved the stuffing part of this sandwich too. I always thought it was strange to have fruit in stuffing but the apples were really tasty in this and provided a nice bit of crunch too. I'm definitely converted to this kind of stuffing! Here's the recipe if anyone wants to give this one a go...I recommend you do!

Pilgrim Sandwiches (Veganized from Everyday with Rachael Ray)

Makes 4 sandwiches

1 recipe of mini cornbread muffins (recipe below)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp vegan butter/margarine
1 apple, diced (suggested are gala, mcintosh or honey crisp)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped (or if you are like me and never have celery, 1 tsp celery seed)
Salt and Pepper
2 tsp poultry seasoning
Fresh thyme, a few sprigs, just the leaves removed from the stem
1 cup vegetable stock or vegan "chicken" flavoured stock
1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce (recipe below)
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (I used Organic Vegenaise)
4 sandwich rolls, split
1 1/2 lbs. sliced Gobbler Slices or any "chicken-y" seitan sliced thin
Vegan cheese, optional
Thinly sliced red onion and sliced dill pickle (or cornichons), for topping

1. Preheat broiler. Take mini muffins and crumble or cut into bite sized chunks. Place on a sheet pan and broil on middle rack of your oven until slightly browned. This should take about 5 minutes, making sure you mix them up half way so all the pieces get equally crisped. Set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil and vegan butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet until the butter has melted. Add the apple, onion, celery and salt and pepper. If you are using the celery seed, add it when you add the poultry seasoning. Cook the apple/onion mixture until it is starting to soften but still crisp. Add in the cornbread muffin pieces, poultry seasoning, thyme leaves and celery seed if using. Stir to combine then add the vegetable stock to moisten to your liking. (I added about half a cup and found it to be enough). Continue to cook until the broth has been absorbed and the stuffing is browned a bit. Turn off the heat and set aside.

3. Mix the cranberry sauce and mayonnaise together in a small bowl (or don't like I said above). Spread the cran-mayo on the tops of the rolls. Assemble the sandwiches on the bottoms of the rolls, starting with cornbread stuffing, Gobbler slices and vegan cheese if using. Broil to melt the cheese (or if you aren't using the cheese, still broil it briefly to heat up the gobbler slices and rewarm the stuffing. Remove from the oven, top with onion and pickles and roll tops. Enjoy!

Mini Cornbread Muffins

Makes 16 mini muffins

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp soy milk
1/4 cup non-dairy plain unsweetened yogurt
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Spray a mini muffin pan with spray oil.

2. Mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir with a whisk or fork to evenly distribute everything. Add the wet ingredients and stir to combine.

3. Using a mini scoop or small spoon, scoop batter into the mini muffin pan. Bake for 8-10 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then move to a rack to cool completely.

Cranberry Sauce

1 cup frozen cranberries
1 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar

1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over high heat stirring until sugar dissolves. Cover and reduce the heat to low for 5 minutes until the cranberries start to split and soften.

2. Remove the cover and turn heat back up to medium-high and bring to a low boil/simmer for 5 more minutes or until it is thickened. It will thicken more once you let it cool. Remove from heat and let cool. Place in fridge, covered once cooled to let chill.


  1. Congratulations on converting your first recipe! It feels great, doesn't it?
    And a big YES to homemade cornbread stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce!!

  2. That looks great! I love Food Network and omni food magazines. I get so inspired sometimes and I usually learn a thing or two here and there.