Justin Timberlake will be performing a much-watched concert this Sunday and, as with any kind of entertainment consumption, you may want to get some snacks. If you are an omnivore trash panda like myself, this is an easy task. But, if you abstain from eating animals and their byproducts, indulging in the salty, fatty, flavor orgy that is a Super Bowl-watching spread can be a unique challenge.
Luckily, there are many tasty tweaks you can make to ensure you (a presumable vegan) and your potential vegan guests have a tasty time, because putting out a platter of carrot sticks and hummus will not cut it.
Cauliflower is not chicken but, when roasted and tossed with Buffalo sauce, it is much more satisfying (and tasty, in my opinion) than a fake chik’n-like substitute. You can bread the floretsbut I prefer to roast them until golden brown and crispy on the edges (25 minutes at 425℉), toss them with a sauce made of 1/2 cup melted vegan butter and 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, then put them back in the oven for another five minutes.
Everyone loves a damn cheeseball, or at least a snack that embodies the cheeseball spirit. Cultured cashew spread and nutritional yeast make for a very savory, spreadable orb, and this recipe takes very well to additions and variations. To make one, you will need:
- 8 ounces cultured cashew spread
- 1 cup cheddar-style Daiya shreds
- 2 teaspoons liquid aminos or soy sauce
- 1/4 cup crunchy bits, such as sunflower seeds, imitation bacon bits, crushed potato chips, or roasted chopped nuts
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- The green part of one scallion
Combine cashew spread, Daiya shreds, and liquid aminos (or soy sauce) in a food processor and process until smooth. Scrape the mixture into some plastic wrap, and use the plastic to mold it into a ball. Mix the remaining three ingredients in a bowl, and roll your ball in the crunchy, salty mixture to coat. Wrap in a fresh piece of plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm. (If you make this the day ahead, roll in the coating mixture just before serving.)
The Big Game just isn’t as big without a gooey, warm bowl of bright orange dip, and no one should be deprived of such. I like using the Food Lab’s optimized recipe as a template, adjusting the flavors as needed to fit my mood and whims. The key, however, lies in the use of vegetable shortening (like Crisco; I have also used coconut oil to pleasing results), half a potato, and a cup of roasted cashews. Click the hyperlink above to see Kenji’s full recipe, but I made my last batch with the following:
- 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 1 small onion, sliced thin
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoke paprika
- 1/2 medium potato, sliced thin
- 1 cup roasted cashews
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup cashew milk (almond works just as well)
- 3 tablespoons red miso (for a bit of funk)
- 1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
Melt the vegetable shortening over medium heat in a medium pot or Dutch oven and cook the onion, garlic, and spices until the onions are soft and the garlic is fragrant. Add the potatoes and cashews, and cook for a couple of minutes until the cashews get some color on them. Add the water and cashew milk, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add miso and yeast, and blend with an immersion blender or in a high-powered blender until smooth. For the smoothest results, pass it through a chinois. (The sauce above was not passed through a chinois, and I liked the texture just fine.) Serve immediately, or keep in the fridge for up to a week, reheating in the microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring between each blast, until hot. If you want to get truly wild, throw in some rendered soyrizo.