Who knew vegan could taste this good?
(A big thanks to Gardein for sponsoring today’s post!)
Truth be told, Tim and I are not very good at doing #MeatlessMondays. I know, I know… It’s good for the environment and all, but what can I do if I married a cave man?
So I teamed up with Gardein to come up with a recipe that would fool this cave man of mine. And I’m proud to announce that my mission was accomplished and these Vegan Croquettes will now be making the menu more often!
Even though we are not vegans, I feel good about making small changes, that are better for the planet, every now and then. And even better if those small changes taste as good as these croquettes…
I chose to make croquettes because I’m homesick.
What do vegan croquettes have to do with Brazil, you might ask. I mean… nothing, really! My grandmother does make a KILLER beef croquette, but that’s not what I was going for here.
These croquettes were a (successful) attempt to create these soy croquettes I used to have at this bar in São Paulo that me and my friends went all the time. They were served with a sour cream dip and I ordered them every time we went there, even though I’m a meat-eater.
Oh, how I miss those long nights, drinking beer and eating appetizers with my friends. Not a worry in the world… No bills to pay (thanks, Mom and Dad!), no dog to take to the vet, no difficult building management company to deal with!
Oh yeah, that’s where I’m transported to when I eat these vegan croquettes!
However, I have no patience to look for/cook with soy. So I’m very thankful for Gardein’s The Ultimate Beefless Ground for making my life easier. I made these as I would make a beef croquette recipe. Very easy, quick and delicious! (? My favorite words right there! ?)
Gardein makes delicious, convenient and healthier versions of the foods we all love to eat. This plant protein is better for your body and better for the planet. Made with non-GMO soy and wheat, ancient grains and veggies it provides the taste, texture and nutrition of meat but with less calories, less fat and no cholesterol.
The Ultimate Beefless Ground could fool any carnivore. It is a good source of fiber and iron, with 12g of protein per serving and 84% less fat than regular ground beef. Oh, and it’s gluten free! (Not in this recipe, though, as we use flour and Panko.)
This afternoon, as I was making the croquettes, Tim walked to the door and went straight to the croquettes. I allowed him to have one, just to see his reaction! He took one, had a bite and was immediately pleased.
The conversation that followed went like this:
“What are those? Beef?” * I shook my head. A mischievous smile on my face.*
“Oh, I know. The chicken from yesterday?”
I finally answered: “No! It’s the Beefless Ground you were snorting at the other day!” ???
Lesson learned? Do not judge vegan food without trying it first! Sometimes you won’t even notice it’s vegan.
And before you go, grab a COUPON so you can try Gardein for yourself! I promise you won’t regret it! ❤️
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 large sweet (or yellow) onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, whole (with skin)
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 package (13.7oz) Gardein's Beefless Ground, thawed overnight in the fridge
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- A bowl of cold water
- 2 cups Panko
- Vegetable oil for frying
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and sauté the onions and garlic until the onions start to brown, about 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato and cook for about a minute.
- Add the beefless ground and stir to incorporate. Then add the chopped parsley and season the mixture with salt, pepper and the nutmeg. (You can also add a dash of cinnamon if you'd like!)
- Once the mixture is fragrant, add the broth, stir and then add the flour (all at once). Cook, stirring constantly, until the dough starts coming off the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and wait for the dough to cool so you can make the croquettes.
- Wet your hands with the cold water and shape the croquettes (you can do small balls or mini logs). Immediately pass them through the Panko and transfer to a clean plate. The cold water works as the "glue" for the Panko, since we are not using eggs to keep this recipe vegan. (I sometimes use this technique even in my meat recipes, as it is very efficient and whatever I'm frying gets very crispy!)
- In a large pot, heat enough vegetable oil to cover the croquettes. Once the oil is at 375 degrees, add the 3 cloves of garlic (it will add even more flavor to your croquettes) and start frying the croquettes in batches.
- Fry the croquettes until golden brown, about 1 minute, and transfer to a plate covered with paper towel to absorb the excess grease. Discard the garlic cloves.
- Serve hot with your favorite vegan dip. I like to serve it with sour cream, but then it is not vegan anymore!
P.S. Wanna keep in touch? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest to stay up to date with my posts! If you end up making one of my recipes, I would love to see it! Just take a photo and post it on your preferred Social Media and tag me or use the hashtag #oliviascuisine!