The first meal I made for my now husband way back 15 years ago was Paprika Chicken. It was easy to make and I always knew it was delicious. My Hunny did love it and he has requested it often since then. The first time I made it after I became vegan, I was just going to make for him since I will never, ever eat chicken again. But I had discovered Beyond Chicken from Beyond Meat which I absolutely adore. I decided to try to see if I could make it sort of the same way and we could…my goodness…eat the same meal at the same time! It became a reality. It worked out perfectly, and so it is a meal I continue to enjoy. Paprika Beyond Chicken – and Tofu!
The tofu is new this last week. Per usual, I am late to tofu, and per usual…it was worth the wait.
Before I get to the tofu part...why is it that I have never seen a recipe blog post containing Beyond Chicken? This stuff is amazingly good and I eat quite a lot of it. For my lunch salads, I love cutting up Beyond Chicken strips and tossing into a bowl of greens and chopped veg and voila…20 grams of vegan protein for lunch!
I guess I get the fact that it is a processed food product made from carrot fiber and pea protein. However moving forward, how are we going to sustainably feed the world while not depleting every resource we find on earth? Hmmm…this is a wildly creative and tasty way to do it.
Is the lack of online Beyond Chicken blogger recipes simply vegan snobbydom in the way that some vegans would never consider anything that wasn’t pulled fresh from the ground, while looking down on anyone who does? This product is a very-close-to-the-real-thing, very tasty, versatile, sustainable high protein source. As our world’s population grows, we are going to need to get off our high horses and consider it…actual food. Small carbon foot print to produce. Nothing had to die to make it. A great transition food for those who aren’t vegan but want to consume less animal products. There we go. Beyond Meat AS the Bridge.
OK. Off my soap box.
Seriously, if you haven’t tried any of the faux meat alternatives, please do so. Gardein, Trader Joe’s, and Beyond Meat all make some really great products that if nothing else, will make a quick meal when you’re running short on time.
I’ve made this recipe several ways. Originally, you dip chicken pieces in melted butter and then dredge in a flour, paprika, salt, and pepper mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
I have swapped out the butter for melted vegan butter, but have also had great success with melted coconut oil. My real problem with this meal is that I am a sucker for the coating. Butter. Flour. Seasoning. Baked. Yes, it is like pie crust coated chicken. In some cases there was as much coating as chicken.
My husband prefers just a thin coating. Whatever. For me…I would add the rest of the dredge mix to whatever melted fat I had remaining in the bowl and mixed it up until it was crumbly, like how pie crust looks before you add the water. That Paprika Pie Crusty stuff was then spread over the top of my chicken. I did this with both real chicken when I ate meat and beyond chicken when I became vegan. Truly the best part of the meal.
Below is too much paprika coating. Well…it’s not, but it is if you’re trying to lose weight. It’s wicked good, though.
This week I tried using olive oil as my fat and it worked out great. Just a couple of tablespoons into a bowl. For this photo, I added the dredge mix to a bowl, but I usually add the flour mix to a zip lock bag and shake the dipped pieces. Less mess and clean up.
I had to make some coating didn’t I? See how thin the coating on the Beyond Chicken is? Trust me, it’s way less than I usually make.
I add mine to a lightly oiled glass loaf pan and set the chicken pieces fairly close together. The problem with baking Beyond Chicken is there is very little fat in it so you have to keep it moist. My husband tried grilling Beyond Chicken pieces open in the grill once and they swelled up and dried out like popcorn. The key to baking Beyond Chicken is keeping it moist and covered. Btw…you can grill your Beyond Chicken…just seal in a foil packet with vegetables and a bit of oil and it is wonderful!
Once you put all of your chicken pieces in the pan, then if desired – and let me strongly recommend – that you sprinkle the remaining coating over the chicken. Not just for the wonderful flavor but to keep everything moist. Cover the pan with foil, and bake for about 20-25 minutes. The last 10 minutes or so, remove the foil and return to the oven to bake for another 10 minutes to crisp the topping up.
With basil roasted potatoes, steamed green beans, and the season’s first sweet corn…this Paprika Beyond Chicken was absolutely delicious. Yes…I could do without spooning out the remaining Paprika coating from the bottom of the pan onto my plate. Next time. Promise.
Now for the Tofu part…
This last week while I was contemplating why no one uses Beyond Chicken in their blog recipes, I decided that maybe I should try something else. I had just had tempeh, and there was a fresh pack of organic tofu in the fridge. That’s all it took. I first drained the tofu and then cut it into thin slices, about 1/4 inch and then halved the slices. Big thin square pieces. I baked them at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes on an oiled, Lemon Peppered foil covered baking pan. After baking, I didn’t add any additional oil, but just put them directly into the flour, seasoning dredge.
Back onto the oiled pan and baked for another 15 minutes, flipping the tofu half way through. The oil from the pan soaked into the flour and created that beautiful Paprika orangey-red color. I tried the tofu right off of the baking pan. In all honesty I wasn’t expecting much. I was blown away by how good it tasted. The baked tofu is a great match for this seasoned coating.
How did I make Paprika Beyond Chicken – and Tofu!…healthier?:
- A serving of Beyond Chicken is a whopping 20 grams of healthy plant-based protein!
- I reduced the flour from a half cup or so to a 1/3 cup. I could have gone with 1/4 up or 4 tablespoons.
- The original recipe’s actual butter was replaced with plant-based alternatives including vegan butter, coconut oil, and this time with extra virgin olive oil.
- For the Paprika Chicken: a glass loaf pan
- For the Paprika Tofu: a heavy baking pan, covered in foil.
- 1-2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil. You may also use melted coconut oil or vegan butter.
- 1 package Beyond Meat Chicken-free Strips (Lightly Seasoned) or other vegan chicken. For Paprika Tofu, drain and slice a package of extra firm organic tofu.
- For Seasoned Dredge:
- ¼ cup, All Purpose Flour
- 1- 2 tsp, Paprika California Sweet
- ¼ tsp, Black Pepper (Ground)
- ½ tsp, Mediterranean Sea Salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- For the Paprika Chicken:
- Pour olive oil into a small bowl. If using coconut oil or vegan butter, melt in the microwave.
- In another bowl, or into a zip-lock bag add the dredge mix ingredients: flour, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Dip the pieces of vegan chicken into the oil and then into the dredge mix. Either stir with a fork or shake the bag to coat.
- Into an oiled glass, baking loaf lay the coated pieces close together, and then stack on top of each other.
- Once all pieces are coated and in the pan, if you wish you may add any seasoned flour mix to the oil bowl and mix until a crumbly mix. You can if needed add a bit more oil or vegan butter. Sprinkle the seasoned crumbs over the top of the coated chicken for even more Paprika goodness!
- Cover the glass loaf pan with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes until hot.
- Remove the foil and return to the oven to bake for an additional 10 minutes to crisp up the coating.
- Serve immediately.
- For the Paprika Tofu:
- Drain and slice the tofu how you wish.
- Drizzle the -2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto the pan and place the slices of tofu evenly throughout the pan in one layer. Sprinkle with Lemon Pepper seasoning.
- Bake the tofu for 30-35 minutes.
- In a small bowl, or into a zip-lock bag add the dredge mix ingredients: flour, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Immediately after removing the pan from the oven, take the pieces from the pan and place into the dredge mix to coat. Place each coated piece back onto the pan so the oil can be absorbed by the flour.
- Return to the oven and bake for an addition all 15 minutes, flipping each piece once half way through.
- Serve immediately.
- Both vegan chicken and tofu leftovers will last for about 1 week in a closed container stored in the refrigerator.
The post Paprika Beyond Chicken – and Tofu! appeared first on Designing Vegan. If you make this Paprika Seasoned Protein, I’d love to see how you serve it up! Post to Instagram or Facebook and tag it with #designingvegan
This morning I used leftover Paprika Tofu in my breakfast skillet hash. Hot Lodge Enameled skillet with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Warmed in the microwave, then into the hot skillet the frozen french fries make great lazy-girl hash browns. The Paprika Tofu went into the skillet with the chopped onion to warm and re-crisp up. Then added chopped poblano pepper, tomato, and green onion. Seasoned with a bit of salt and Lemon Pepper. Yummy! I have a bit more leftover tofu that is going to be great on a weekday salad.
One last thing…my posts have been somewhat hit or miss as of late and I hate that. However, my husband and I just bought a gorgeous new condo! Well it will be. They have to build it first. I have been doing so much dreaming about my new kitchen and all those WINDOWS! I cannot wait to photograph my first recipe for you in that kitchen. So looking forward to a new house and some great new recipes! Look for some great new pics in early fall this year!