I remember when I decided to go vegetarian in the early 90s. My friend Irina was in disbelief. “You’re giving up bacon? How could you do that?” I wish someone had told me back then that Irina’s comment was actually the first in a long line of bacon comments that I’d be subject to for the next few decades. Or maybe it is better that I didn’t know. As a food blogger, I receive many comments about bacon. All. The. Time. So much so, in fact, that I’ve had to block the word “bacon” from being used in comments on my Facebook page. (If you see a picture of an innocent tiny piglet, and the first thing you can think to say is, “bacon”, there’s something seriously wrong with you.)
The truth is that even though I haven’t eaten meat in over 20 years, I’ve never given up bacon. I’ve given up bacon from animals, yes, but there’s plenty of bacon to be found in the vegan world – from pre-made tempeh and seitan bacon to homemade mushroom or coconut bacon. The key to getting the salty, smoky, fatty flavor of bacon lies in the seasonings, and Leinana Two Moons shows you how to make many types of vegan bacon using simple ingredients in her new book Baconish.
Baconish: Sultry and Smoky Plant-Based Recipes from BLTs to Bacon Mac & Cheese is full of both recipes for homemade plant-based bacon and recipes that use vegan bacon. The recipes are easy-to-make (you won’t believe how easy that Quiche Lorraine is!), and use easy-to-find ingredients, which means there are no longer any excuses left for eating bacon that comes from animals.
The recipes in Baconish range from bacony classics, like Denver Omelets, BLT Sandwiches, and Wedge Salads, to creative new favorites, such as Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake with Cherries and Bacon, Bacon and Cashew Caramel Corn, and Chocolate-Peanut Bacon Truffles. You can make your own bacon using one of Leinina’s ten recipes for vegan bacon (yes, ten), or you can use store-bought. I will admit that I “cheated” and used Tofurky’s tempeh bacon and Sweet Earth’s seitan bacon for most of the recipes I made.
This is a fun book with fun recipes. I really enjoyed everything I made – everything was super easy to cook, and it was all super tasty to eat. The Quiche Lorraine and Wedge Salad were both so easy to make that it felt like I was somehow cheating. The recipes are flexible, and you can sub one type of bacon for another, if you wish. I used tempeh bacon in the Wedge Salad, and I used green leaf lettuce rather than iceberg. I also used tempeh bacon in the scones, which were the best scones I’ve ever had! The grocery store was out of arugula, so I used sautéed spinach on the BLT Pizza, which tasted great. The instructions for the BLT Pizza say not to cook the tofu bacon before placing in on the pizza, but I think I would have preferred if it had been cooked ahead of time, because the tofu didn’t crisp up while the pizza was cooking. Otherwise, it was pizza perfection! I had some marinated tofu bacon leftover after I made the pizza, and I used to make delicious breakfast BLT sandwiches.
No animals were harmed in the recipes in Baconish, and vegan bacon won’t clog your arteries. It just might make the bacon lovers in your life convert to veganism, though! Baconish is the perfect book for omnivores who want to reduce their meat intake, vegans who are looking for super delicious recipes, and anyone who wants to enjoy salty, crispy plant-based bacon!
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 14 ounces soft tofu, drained
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped seitan bacon or your favorite vegan bacon
- 1 cup vegan shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 (9-inch) vegan pie crust
- Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. In a blender or food processor, pulse the cashews until they are finely ground. Add the tofu, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, miso paste, mustard, salt, and onion powder, then blend again until the mixture is very smooth.
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook until they are browned and crispy, 5 to 6 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix the tofu filling with the bacon and cheese. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and bake for 45 minutes, until deep golden brown on top. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh chives before serving.
I have a copy of Baconish for one lucky winner this week. Follow the instructions below to enter. U.S. residents only, please. Contest ends at midnight eastern time on May 22nd. Good luck!