Vegetarian meat is a divisive issue. It gets crap from omnivores because it doesn’t taste like “the real thing,” and purists in the veggie camp often claim to be grossed out by the concept of soy masquerading as animal flesh. But for many compassionate cooks, vegan versions of burgers, chicken, and even seafood are lifesavers when the hankering for comfort food rears its hungry head – especially in wintertime.
Animal rights activists Annie and Dan Shannon know these urges all too well. Their fascination with ’50s food prompted them to veganize hundreds of recipes from that old Americana standby, The Betty Crocker Cookbook. And the fruits of their labors are being released today in their debut recipe collection Betty Goes Vegan: 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Family.
Before trying out this recipe for Vegan Shrimp Scampi from their tasty tome, I took a fun field trip to N.Y.C.’s Chinatown to visit the mecca of vegan meat known as May Wah. It’s a modest little storefront, but inside is a mind-boggling array of plant-based products crafted overseas to replicate any animal your heart desires. If you’re in a New York state of mind, I highly recommend a visit. But they ship anywhere, so a visit to their Web site is just as good.
Vegan Shrimp Scampi
They might not be the cutest vegan shrimp on the market, but May Wah shrimp balls are, in my opinion, the best. They’re bite-size, don’t get mushy, and have the perfect subtle fishy flavor and texture. Really, the only thing I’d change about this product is the name—shrimp balls.
Makes 2 to 4 servings
- 1 package whole wheat spaghetti or angel hair pasta
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup vegan shrimp, defrosted (we recommend May Wah shrimp balls cut in half)
- 1 teaspoon margarine
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus a little extra for garnish
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed sea salt
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dry white wine
- Vegan Parmesan, nutritional yeast, and freshly ground black peppercorns to sprinkle over the top
- Make the pasta per the instructions on the package.
- In your cast-iron skillet or deepest frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the vegan shrimp and turn it with a spatula until your vegan shrimp is completely coated.
- Once your vegan shrimp reaches the desired tenderness, add the margarine, parsley, lemon juice, salt, green onions, garlic, and white wine.
- Mix with the vegan shrimp until the green onions are caramelized and the margarine melts.
- Serve the vegan shrimp and sauce over your pasta.
- Sprinkle vegan Parmesan and nutritional yeast over the top, followed by chopped parsley and ground black pepper
Excerpted from BETTY GOES VEGAN: 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Family by Annie & Dan Shannon. Copyright © 2013 by Annie & Dan Shannon. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.