Tyra Banks Explains How to Make Vegetarian Fried Chicken

Too funny not to love, too tragic not to share. On today’s Tyra show, following segments on “ex-ing” (continuing to see ex-boyfriends) and “my mom’s a dominatrix,” Tyra Banks unveiled her recipe for “Vegetarian Fried Chicken.” Standing before a bare table set with only a pan (which was never used), salt and pepper, Tyra asked the audience if they knew what simple item dating back to Egyptians time was a common vegetarian food still eaten today. “Soup?” suggested one member from the audience. “Nope, it’s not soup!” Tyra said, “It’s bread!” She then instructed the audience to remove a bread roll from each of their audience appreciation packets before giving a step by step, thorough explanation of how to make her “super easy” version of friend chicken. Even if armed with only a ninth grade reading level at their disposable, the audience seemed a little shocked by Tyra’s naivete. Below is the recipe in its entirety, along with commentary on how this sh*t went down):

This seemingly innocent-looking bread roll makes a mean chicken wing.

Tyra Banks’ Fake Fried Chicken

Bread (unspecified but anything from a slice of white bread or roll is encouraged)

1) Produce the roll from your audience appreciation packet or grocery store or basket o’ bread at x fancy restaurant your man is taking you out to to make up for sleeping with that stripper (which we know he only did ‘cuz he was drunk)
2) Using a butter knife (that’s the not-so sharp one) smear the butter on one side of the bread (here Tyra indicates that it’s proper etiquette to tear off pieces of bread and smear them individually. Although we believe she gleaned this tip from having the author of Etiquette Emily Post appear on her show, we’re pretty sure she had one of her nerdier assistants read it for her.)
3) Next, sprinkle the bread in salt.
4) Sprinkle the bread in pepper (here Tyra explains that restaurant pepper shakers are often difficult to shake and you might have to try a few times).
5) Viola! Share the “fake chicken” with members of your studio audience while they make confused and frightened faces to the effect of “Wait, YOU get paid 23 million a year for coming up with this sh*t?”

Thank you Warner Brothers.


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Tofu Madagascar Pita Sandwich

Photo from Vegan Ventures

Easiness: **
Greenness: Vegan

This recipe is inspired by Nil, a Sudanese Restaurant in Berlin. They specialize in Tamiya (a sudanese kind of falafel), halloumi (fried cheese), and now tofu! These sandwiches are easy to make for a quick vegetarian lunch or snack.

1 pita bread
1/2 package tofu cut into 1/4″ strips
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
1 tomato sliced
Pepper or pepper corn
a pinch of Curry Powder (can be omitted)
Peanut sauce or tahini optional but recommended for flavor. You can also use a bit of spicy sauce or other middle eastern sauce of your choosing.
1 tbsp oil

Sprinkle the tofu with pepper and curry powder. Fry on either side until slightly brown around the edges.
Slice the pita bread in half. If you have peanut sauce, spread the inside of the pita sauce with as much as you desire. Open the pita bread and stuff (equally distributing) lettuce, tomatoes, and fried tofu. Enjoy!

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Sauces! Pt.1 Hollandaise

Sometimes all you need is a little sauce to turn a vegetable (or two or seven) into a meal! Even better, many sauces can be jarred and saved for future use! In this section I’ll explore how to transform your bare naked vegetables into easy culinary delights.

Hollandaise sauce is a creamy, yellowy, buttery sauce French in origin that is a little sweet and a little sour to the taste. It is traditionally used on eggs benedict but also tastes great on a variety of vegetables.

What goes with hollandaise sauce? What vegetables can I put hollandaise sauce on?
The following vegetables taste wonderful with hollandaise sauce. Unless otherwise specified, we recommend steaming these vegetables if you plan to use them with hollandaise:
-Artichoke hearts
-Baked or Fried Potatoes
-Brussel Sprouts

How do I make it?
You can make hollandaise sauce from scratch or buy it in a flavoring packet that is sold in most grocery stores in the section for packaged sauces. Below are two recipes for hollandaise including a vegetarian lacto-ovo version and a vegan version.

Lacto-ovo Original Vegetarian Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

* 4 egg yolks
* 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
* Pinch cayenne
* Pinch salt


Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.

Recipe from Foodnetwork

Vegan Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
1/2 c. plus 1/4 c. unflavored soymilk or other nondairy milk (3/4 c. total)
2 T. Earth Balance or Soy Garden Natural Buttery Spread, melted and kept warm (or butter flavored non-dairy margarine)
1 and 3/4 T. cornstarch or wheat starch
*Note: Do not substitute arrowroot, tapioca starch, or kuzu— I tried these and the results were not satisfactory.
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of white pepper or a dash of hot pepper sauce
tiny pinch of tumeric (less than a 1/16th of a tsp—more makes a phony-looking color)

Heat the 1/2 c. soymilk until not quite simmering—pour into the blender container along with the salt, pepper or hot sauce, and cover to keep hot while you melt the Earth Balance and go on to the next step.
In a small (2 c.) saucepan or microwave-proof bowl, mix together the first 1/4 c. of soymilk and the cornstarch and tumeric, and whisk together well.
If making in a pot on the stovetop, stir constantly over high heat until thick and translucent, shiny yellow, not a dull yellow — OR:
Microwave option: Use the microwave-proof bowl for the mixture, and microwave on HI 20 seconds. Whisk. Repeat two times, or until thick and translucent, shiny yellow, not a dull yellow.
Scrape the yellow cornstarch mixture into the blender container containing the hot milk mixture, and add the lemon juice. Blend well, adding the melted Earth Balance slowly through the hole in the lid while the machine is running. Blend until the mixture is pale yellow and frothy and emulsified (you can’t see any oil globules).
Serve immediately, or, if it has cooled down too much, heat briefly in the microwave at a low setting, or in a small pot on the stove over low heat, or keep hot on an alcohol burner briefly before using. The cooled mixture may be reheated gently, as well.
Recipe from Bryanna’s Vegan Feast

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Andrea’s Easy Vegan Cooking Blog

I’m really digging Andrea’s Easy Vegan Cooking Blog. The recipes are pretty simple, creative, and look divine tasting! Give it a look!

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Food, Inc. The Movie

A good friend of mine who works in documentary film making in Los Angeles pointed me in the direction of a new film out about the truth behind the food industry. In it, the film looks into animal cruelty issues, including how animal wellfare is violated in search of producing faster growing, fatter animals. The film also tackles issues of local produce vs. import produce, branding, pricing, waste, over consumption, and capitalism in general. Below is the trailer in case anyone wants to have a sneak peak! Hopefully the film will come to Germany so I can see it in its entirety!

Food, Inc. The Movie Official Site

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Get to Know Your Spices

[a picture of asafoetida]

First of all, why bother buying herbs or spices?
I used to look at spices, particularly fresh herbs as an unnecessary expense. Now I realize by just picking up a jar of spices or a bundle of herbs when I go to the store, be it basil or parsley, I can spice up an otherwise boring dish or turn a regular ol’ vegetable into a meal unto itself.

Fresh or Jarred?
There is a definite difference here both in taste and longevity. The taste of fresh herbs is undoubtedly more distinct and therefor usually better. However, sometimes you don’t want the actual plant interfering with the texture of whatever you’re making and you want a spice. Spices in jars don’t ever go bad, but they do lose their punch after about a year (this is only for herb spices, spices that are ground like pepper last a couple years more). Whereas fresh herbs go bad within days or weeks depending on how moist you keep them (when they’ve dried out or wilted, it’s time to chuck ’em). You can keep your fresh herbs stay fresh by putting the ends in a cup filled with water, then placing a plastic bag over the top and putting them in the fridge. If you find yourself preferring fresh herbs, but hating the hassle of going back to the store to buy new ones, try keeping a couple plants on your window sill or growing your own herb garden.

The Basics
Spices that are typically useful in the vegetarian kitchen include basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, and rosemary (okay okay and salt and pepper). You can throw these bad boys just about on any vegetable, and even some fruits like tomatoes and cucumbers (still both technically fruits due to the whole seed thing) without having to worry much about ruining your meal. These also go well on pasta and with couscous, beans, or bulgar!

Mysterious Spices
That said, there are a lot of spices I haven’t tried, but am eager to. But first, I’d probably want to know what they taste like and how to use them! Not to worry, apparently there’s a whole database on the subject online at the Encyclopedia of Spices. Curious to know what sumac is? How about cardamom? Or asafoetida? Check them out below: Encyclopedia of Spices

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I just discovered the wonderful PETA-approved cooking site Vegcooking! There are a plethora of tasty vegan recipes, many of which use common (or relatively easy to find) ingredients. Best of all, you can search by the type of meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner), type of cuisine, or type of food). Surprisingly enough (or not surprising considering the author’s deep south upbringing) many of the recipes are Creole! Below are some of the recipes that really caught my eye. Aside from the Kung Pao Tofu, these probably aren’t the easiest to make and have far too many ingredients to actually post them here in Easy Greens, but they’re certainly worth a look if you’re looking to do something extraordinary!

Kung Pao Tofu
Louisianna Gumbo
Cajun-style Collard Greens
Pate en Croute

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