Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vegan Tarragon No-Chicken Salad

What do you make when catering a vegan lunch when the majority of the guests are not vegan? This "no chicken" salad will have everyone walking away exclaiming how they never knew vegan food could be so good. Somewhat of a back handed compliment, but we'll take it. I served this at a volunteer appreciation luncheon and some of the most unlikely people asked me for the recipe. If you are not vegan or don't have access to vegan mayo and sour cream, you can certainly use the real stuff.

Vegan Tarragon No-Chicken Salad

1 bag Quorn Chik’n Tenders
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup red grapes, sliced in half
¼ cup diced fresh red onion or 1 tablespoon dried onion
olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
juice of ½ lemon
dried garlic powder or granules
1 cup Vegenaise (vegan mayonnaise)
1 cup Tofutti sour cream (vegan sour cream)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (my favorite brand is Maille, but Grey Poupon is good too – these both have the kick that other brands don’t)

1. Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice and garlic. You can use the vegan products I mentioned or regular mayo and sour cream. If using dried onion instead of fresh, add it here. Some people do not like raw onion and the dried gives good flavor without that bite of the raw. This is best if left to marry in the refrigerator for a few hours or even overnight, but it is not necessary.
2. Sauté the Quorn in some olive oil along with the dried oregano and dried tarragon, about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each until browned and hot throughout. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature completely.
3. Mix cooled Quorn with celery, walnuts, grapes, red onion, fresh tarragon and dressing.
4. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Add more or less dressing to desired consistency.
6. Serve on bread as a sandwich or in butter lettuce cups. It is even better the next day!

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