Wasn’t it hard to give up meat? Didn’t you crave your old favorite foods?
Asked about my conversion to a plant-based diet, the questions are as predictable as they are consistent. When I went vegan, despite what my culinary background might suggest, I was not the least bit interested in food. In fact, I was a terribly picky eater, shunning all green vegetables, most fruits, and yes, any sort of meat that resembled the original animal. It wasn’t hard to make the switch because I barely ate anything to begin with!
Staple foods like ramen, mac and cheese, and hotdogs were my primary sustenance, despite my mother’s valiant attempts to expand my palate. Only after making the switch did I declare that veganism would not become a limitation, and declared that I would try absolutely everything cruelty-free.
Prior to that moment, however, one dish that would bring everyone to the table was chicken paprika. Despite the difficulties posed by two fussy children and one equally discerning husband, my mom did enjoy cooking, and tried repeatedly to find something that we could all eat together, in health and happiness.
Chicken posed the least threat; bland and anonymous, it’s really the tofu of the animal world, and thus got a pass from all of us. Onions were a bit contentious, but she was very carefully cut them into large chunks, so us kids could easily sweep them aside on our plates.
It’s incredibly basic, as the most comforting dishes tend to be. In tough times, when I miss my parents, my cozy home back on the east coast, and all the tenderness they showed me as I grew into a self-sufficient little herbivore, I do crave these flavors. Swapping out the meat is effortless now, thanks to the rapidly expanding array of plant-based options in stores.
I still don’t miss the chicken one bit. All I’m missing now is the company.
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Chopped Onions
- 1 Tablespoon Sweet Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Hot Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Pound Vegan Chicken Strips
- 2 Cups Vegan Chicken Stock
- 2 Teaspoons Cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon Water
- 12 - 16 Ounces Pasta, Cooked Al Dente, to Serve
- In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook the onions in olive oil until translucent; about 5 - 6 minutes.
- Add spices, salt, and stock. Bring to a full boil and add the vegan chicken. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour.
- Mix the cornstarch into the water to create a slurry before adding it to the pot. Stir well to incorporate. Simmer until thickened and glossy, but do not return to a boil.
- Serve immediately over pasta.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 663Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 1361mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 27gSugar: 13gProtein: 105g