American Mains

Mashed Potatoes And ‘Chicken’ Tenders

Gravy Pour Over Mashed Potatoes and Crispy Tenders

I Eat Food, Don’t You?

I think it’s rather hilarious when people ask me, “So, you’re Vegan? What do you eat?” I find it funny because I’m still a human being and, yes, I do still eat food! I probably just eat more of it than the average person.  My candid response to this question is always, “I eat everything you eat, just more of it.” So, someone has a little side of broccoli, I have a bowl of it. If someone’s eating mashed potatoes with fried chicken, guess what? I eat that shit TOO! The misconception is that eating plant based is just not exciting because you’ll miss out on all of those traditional eats that typically are made with animal product. And while yes, you can’t replicate everything, you can definitely replace 90% of it.  What you’ll find along the way is a discovery to new ingredients and a more exciting flavor profile that pushes the boundaries of your taste buds.

Plant Based Goodness

So let’s take a very traditional, fried chicken with mashed potatoes dish, and Veganize it. Easy! It’s already 50% Vegan because potatoes are plants!

Dice potatoes

For the chicken, there are so many alternatives out there that are excellent. For this recipe, I’ve chosen to feature Gardein 7 Grain Crispy Tenders, which primarily consist of soy and wheat protein.

Gardein Crispy Tenders

You can easily find Gardein at your local Safeway or Target. It’s THAT accessible and it’s really easy to make crispy in the oven with minimal attention.

In this post, we’ll primarily focus on the mashed potatoes and the Gardein chicken. There are two other parts to this meal that I’ve posted here:

  1. Rich Vegan Gravy
  2. No Frills Kale

To make this meal quicker, you can make the gravy the day before and keep that in the fridge ready to go for this meal, or tackle this as the first step to this meal as the gravy will take about 45 minutes to make. For the Kale, it’ll be best to get that done prior to everything here, as a veggie dish can easily be reheated before serving. Don’t feel like you need to do too much at one time!

Let’s GO!

We’ll begin with getting our potatoes into boiling water. If you cut potatoes into quarters, boiling them to be the right consistency should only take 10-12 minutes. To check on potato readiness, just stick a fork in it and make sure it comes out easily. The potato may even break apart and that will let you know we’re ready to mash!  Just strain and drop into a mixing bowl.

Mashed Potatoes

We’ll begin with mashing the potatoes using a little bit of coconut creamer and garlic butter.

I use Trader Joe’s coconut creamer as it gives the mashed potatoes a really creamy texture. For the garlic butter, I always lean on Miyoko’s butter. Just chop up three cloves of garlic and place into a bowl with 2 tbsp of butter.

mmmm…butter

Garlic Butter

We’ll microwave this for 30 seconds to extract the garlic flavors and melt the butter. Then drop it into the mashed potatoes and keep on mashing!

For the final step, we’ll need around 1/2 tsp of truffle salt. This is such an important ingredient because it gives the mashed potatoes that special savory flavor we all love! When the mashing is done, just put them aside or keep them in a warm environment. If your oven is going for the crispy tenders, you can keep the mashed potatoes on top of the oven in a glass bowl.

San Francisco Salt Co. Black Truffle Sea Salt

Gardein Crispy Tenders…Just killin’ the game.

For the Gardein Chicken, start cooking this while you’re waiting for your mashed potatoes to boil. It will take around 15-17 minutes at 420 degrees, to get these bad boys nice and crispy.

Gardein Crispy Tenders

For non-stick convenience lay them on some silicone baking sheets. These things are great for most toaster ovens, so if you typically use foil or hate to clean the oven pans every time you make something, these will be life savers.

Breville Oven

As a quick side note, I have to talk about my Breville oven because I love it so damn much. I probably use my Breville oven twice per day and if you’re looking for a seriously versatile, well built convection oven, this would be my recommendation to get these tenders perfectly crisp!

DSCF7655

Finally, we’re ready to plate! You’ll want to get some flat leaf parsley and sprinkle that all over for a nice herby freshness.

Mashed Potatoes and Crispy Tenders

Then it’s graaaaavy time!

Gravy Pour Over

Mashed potatoes and crispy tenders with kale

What’s the difference between a plant based version of this dish vs. using meat? Well, I’m hoping the answer is, “Not much!” Aside from just being healthier for you by reducing your cholesterol intake and eating ethically, this dish should be just as flavorful to keep up with that soul food goodness, we all love.

Hope you enjoy this hearty meal!

Print Recipe
Rich Vegan Gravy
A rich vegan gravy useful for pouring over mashed potatoes or anything that comforts you.
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Prepare all vegetables. Cut bottom of leek into quarter sized pieces. Cut one small carrot. Slice 1/4 onion. Dice one stalk of celery. Tie up a bunch of flat leaf parsley and set aside.
  2. Heat small gravy pot over medium heat with 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Add in onions, carrots, leeks, and celery to char stirring constantly for about 6-8 minutes. Add in 4 cups of water with flat leaf parsley, miso paste, soy sauce, and balsamic vinaigrette. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, and half cover pot with lid for reducing broth. Simmer for 25 minutes.
  3. Prepare a quick roux. In a separate sauce pan, add 1 tbsp of Vegan butter, with 2 tbsp of all purpose flour. Heat on low and stir until the flour cooks in butter. Set aside.
  4. When broth has simmered for 25 minutes, carefully strain all veggies out and place gravy broth back into pot. Add in roux, stir occasionally, and simmer on low for another 15 minutes to allow for further reduction. Add in salt and cracked pepper.
Print Recipe
No Frills Kale
Kale with sauteed mushrooms and onions
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Instructions
  1. Prepare kale by rinsing under cold water. Cut kale into quarter pieces. Slice a quarter onion and all mushrooms.
  2. In pot of boiling water, boil kale pieces for 3-4 minutes, until tender. Strain and set aside.
  3. Heat avocado oil in non stick pan, over medium heat. Sautee onions for 1 minute, then add in sliced mushrooms to caramelize for 2 minutes or until browned. Add in Kale and sautee for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, garlic powder, and lemon juice.
Print Recipe
Mashed Potatoes And Crispy Tenders
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut russet potatoes into quarters. Boil for 10 minutes or until fork tender. Strain and set into mixing bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Place crispy tenders on silicone baking sheet and heat for 15-17 minutes.
  3. Chop garlic cloves and add to small bowl with 2 tbsp of Vegan butter. Microwave for 30 seconds so garlic infuses with butter. Pour into mixing bowl of potatoes along with 1/4 cup coconut creamer. Mash until smooth consistency. Add more creamer if necessary to make more smooth.
  4. To plate, add 3-4 pieces of crispy tenders with mashed potatoes and kale with mushrooms. Heat rich vegan gravy in pot and pour over entree. Sprinkle with flat leaf parsley.
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