Monday, February 25, 2013

Keep On Crunkin': Don't Be Afraid To Fry!

This is the seventh in a series of blog posts for my cookbook's social media campaign, cleverly titled "Keep On Crunkin'." My publisher, Book Publishing Company, and Vegan Mainstream have joined forces for this seven-day promotion filled with giveaways, contests, etc. I'm inviting you to get crunk with me! Every day, I'll share recipes, giveaways, and tips, and there will be a social media action that you can take on the 7-day Vegan Crunk Challenge for a chance to win a copy of my cookbook, another BPC cookbook, or a Cookin' Crunk apron!

All taking the challenge means is that you'll read along and cook along with me. If you don't have my cookbook yet, pick one up! You can even buy one right here on my site using the Paypal button on the right side of the blog.

There's a big oil-free vegan diet craze going on right now. And that's all fine and good if you're trying to lose weight or make some radical health change because you've spent most of your life eating a Standard American Diet.

But if the above doesn't apply to you, don't be afraid to fry every once in awhile. Deep-fried food may not be the healthiest thing you can eat, but a serving of fried okra or a plate of French fries won't kill you. In fact, it'll probably make you feel pretty happy. You see, fried foods may not be beneficial for the body, but they do wonders for the soul.

Don't eat fried foods daily. Hell, don't even eat them once a week. Twice a month, maybe. Once a month, even better. But treat yourself every once in awhile. I'm no Paula Deen. Most of my recipes are fairly healthy. I use whole wheat pastry flour and unrefined evaporated cane juice. I call for low-sodium soy sauce and canned tomatoes. I offer baked alternatives to the majority of the few fried recipes in the cookbook.

But to keep things fun, I have included a handful of fried recipes in Cookin' Crunk. Today, on the last day of my challenge, I'm sharing pictures of those fried dishes. At the end, I'll include my recipe for deep-fried squash.

Southern Fried Tofu Chicken Biscuit

Country Fried Tempeh Steak with Soymilk Gravy

Fried Cucumbers (try them with my homemade Country Buttermilk Ranch!)

Curried Sweet Potato Fries

Fried Summer Squash

Alright, the recipe is coming right up! And even though summer squash isn't totally in season yet, you can find squash year-round at the grocery store. Or you can hold on to this recipe until the farmer's market stocks squash in the next couple of months.

Today's social media giveaway action: Post a Facebook status about your favorite thing to fry and tag @Vegan Crunk. We'll choose a winner for a cookbook later this evening. Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Fried Squash
Yields 6 to 8 servings

1 cup unsweetened soymilk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons dried parsley
3 cups canola oil
4 medium summer squash, sliced into thin medallions
Sea salt, to taste

Combine the soymilk and apple cider vinegar in a small mixing bowl. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the soymilk to curdle.

Combine the flour, onion powder, pepper, salt, and parsley in a medium mixing bowl.

Heat the oil in medium-sized saucepan for about 5 to 7 minutes. Check to ensure the oil is hot enough by dropping a tiny drop of water into the hot oil. If it sizzles, the oil is ready. If is doesn’t, give the oil a few more minutes to heat.

When the oil is ready, dip one slice of squash into the soymilk mixture and then into flour mixture. Carefully drop the slice into the oil by holding just above the surface. Dropping the squash from too high above the saucepan may cause the hot oil to splatter and burn you.

Bubbles should immediately form around the first squash slice. If they do not, give the oil a few more minutes.

Repeat the coating process with the rest of the squash slices, carefully dropping each one into the oil as you go. Fit in as many coated squash slices as you can. You’ll likely have to cook the squash in 2 or 3 batches.

Fry slices for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the squash from the oil using a metal slotted spoon. Place each batch of fried squash on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Salt to taste.


Lisa Viger said...

I love raw, but I don't fear the fry ... The tempeh with soy gravy looks ah-MAY-zing.

Kyleigh said...

Mmm... the southern fried tofu chicken biscuit looks fantastic!

xvavaveganx said...

I definitely agree with you that the once in a while allowances are good for the soul and keep you on track with your healthy eating by allowing yourself to indulge in a craving every once in a while. The southern fried tofu chicken biscuit looks absolutely delicious.

Renard Moreau said...

[ Smiles ] Although I don't fry foods often, I am willing to give this a try.

Barb@ThatWasVegan? said...

I'm sitting here drooling over that fried tofu biscuit when it hits me- I HAVE YOUR COOKBOOK! I can make that! :)

Cooking Quidnunc said...

Droool...all of that food looks incredible.

tender b. said...

You make frying look so alluring...

Lesley Eats said...

Try as I might, I just SUCK at frying. I would love, love, love to make chicken fried tofu and fried green tomatoes at home, but it's just not happening. I stink up the house and I still don't cook that stuff as well as a restaurant. :(

Sheridan said...

Southern fried chick'n biscuit. YES!!