Ok, so months ago, maybe even a year? I got all overly excited and ordered a big ass box of soy curls, and by big, I mean freakin’ huge! I was all excited about the prospect of making all kinds of soy curl related foods and then after like, maybe 3 recipes, my mind wandered onto something else (because I have the attention span of a 4 year old) and I kind of just forgot about them. The box got tucked away, underneath the pantry shelf and I guess it was one of those out of sight, out of mind situations. Poor soy curls, I had such grand plans for you , only to leave you alone and neglected *tear tear*. Talk about a rediscovery, I’m really hoping those things don’t go bad because for one, that would be gross, and two, I’ve once again fallen in love with their weirdly chewy meat-like texture and their ability to absorb all things tasty.
Now before all you soy curl newbies get all RAWR GMO’s RAWR on me, let me just fill you in on the awesomeness of these things. For one, they’re made out of non-GMO whole soy beans, so none of that soy protein isolate stuff, two they don’t contain any preservatives or additives and three, you can make them taste like anything you want! Some people rehydrate them with just water or vegetable broth, but that seems pretty boring, so instead I went with an adaption of old faithful, the Smoky Soy Curl recipe in Vegan Diner. If you’ve never tasted soy curls before, this is the recipe to start with. Holy fuck or those things good. Like little bits of chewy smoky heaven good. I wanted to go with a smoked chicken type flavor, so I chickenfied the recipe by adding some Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base, which is the best broth mix I’ve found yet by the way, and some different spices.
Now that I had my smoky chickeny soy curl bits, I figured I should probably do something with them. I assume telling you all to take baggies of the stuff to snack on wouldn’t be the best lunch idea (hmmm, or would it?), so instead I came up with a some smoky salad rolls! To make these, I pretty much just bastardized a Waldorf salad recipe, which from what the interwebs tells me, is just apple, walnuts, celery and dressing. That sounded kind of boring, so instead I chucked the walnuts and added some toasted sliced almonds, because almonds are to walnuts what paper is to rock, they just always win. Along with some red grapes, the soy curls and a mayo based dressing, I threw these on a bun for a quick and tasty sandwich. Word of advice, buy buns that are a little longer then they are round or use a pita, otherwise you’ll end up with a sandwich that looks like pac-man with his mouth full, plus you’ll get way more bread then salad, and that just ain’t cool.
The sweet and crunchy flavors went so good with those chewy smoky chickeny soy curls and to top off my meal, I had some juicy strawberries, grapes and one of my go-to Clif Bars. The Blueberry Crisp flavour is one of my favourites! I discovered it when we were in Hawaii, since I don’t think they’re available in Canada yet, but thanks to iHerb I started ordering them by the case.
Lunch Lady Tips:
- Pack your salad in one container and your sliced roll in another (or a baggie), along with a spoon and assemble before eating.
- If you happen to buy a super high bun like mine, scoop out some of the bread to make room for more salad, this also helps prevent the filling from falling out.
- To add some more veggies, place a handful of greens (of your choosing) on your bun before topping with the salad.
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 tablespoon no-chicken bouillon
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 ounces dry soy curls
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons agave
- 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/4 cup celery, sliced
- 1/4 cup granny smith apple, diced
- 1/4 cup red grapes, sliced
- 3/4 cup Smoky Chickeny Soy Curls, roughly chopped (recipe below)
- 1 tablespoon green onion
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon agave
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Sandwich roll, pita or hoagie bun sliced in half
- Lettuce greens (optional)
- For the soy curls: In a medium bowl, mix together the boiling water, bouillon, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon liquid smoke, poultry seasoning, onion powder and garlic powder. Add the soy curls and stir until well mixed. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the soy curls are soft. Transfer to a colander and squeeze out any extra liquid. Return the soy curls to a dry bowl and stir in the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, liquid smoke, salt and pepper. Stir until evenly coated.
- Preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the soy curls, stirring every so often for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the soy curls are nicely browned. If you notice them start to burn, decrease the heat. Drizzle the agave over the soy curls, tossing them until they are evenly coated. Cook for another minute or two or until they are slightly caramelized, then remove from heat and enjoy!
- For the salad rolls: In a small bowl, mix together the green onion, mayo, lemon juice and agave.
- In a large bowl, mix together the almonds, celery, apple, grapes and soy curls, toss with the dressing and season with salt and pepper.
- Top one half of your bun with lettuce greens and then as much salad as will fit, then top with the other bun half.
SMOKY SALAD ROLLS
Sweet and crunchy flavors mix with chewy smoky chickeny soy curls to make for a delicious protein-packed salad that can be eaten on top of a fluffy sandwich roll, pita or hoagie bun.