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Vegans Chow Down … On Banana Peels?

"I can think of better things to eat." – Allan C. Johnson, Jr. (1921-2020)

THE NEW YORK TIMES – In November, the British cookbook author and food personality Nigella Lawson shocked her nation when she demonstrated a recipe from her latest cookbook, “Cook, Eat, Repeat,” on her BBC television show of the same name.

It wasn’t royal family-level scandalous. Still, based on public reaction, you’d think she’d caused a major controversy.

And all because she’d prepared a fragrant dish of cauliflower — and banana peels.

“I certainly didn’t expect newspaper headlines about it!” she said in an email. “It’s hard to overcome the cultural assumptions about what is and is not edible, and to start eating what we have customarily regarded as waste.”

A few months earlier, another British culinary television star and cookbook author, Nadiya Hussain, had appeared on a “Good Morning Britain” segment on cooking during lockdown.

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“Everyone’s making banana bread,” she explained, offering resourceful tips on using scraps to avoid food waste. “Don’t chuck the peel away. Cook it up with some garlic and onions and barbecue sauce, stick it in a burger, and you’ve got, like, pulled pork, pulled chicken.”

After Ms. Lawson’s show aired, Ms. Hussain’s previous appearance resurfaced, and the peels became a culinary cause célèbre.

Ms. Hussain, whose parents are Bangladeshi, credits her father, a former chef and restaurant owner, for introducing her to cooked peels. In Bengali cuisine, unripe skins are cooked until soft, then puréed with garlic and green chiles, and sautéed with additional seasonings.

In the southwest region of India’s Kerala state, unripe bananas are most commonly associated with a thoran, a type of stir-fry for which they’re soaked then sautéed with a bouquet of bloomed spices and an aromatic, chile-warmed paste of ground coconut.

Some adaptations include the peels, while others feature them on their own … Click here to read more. 

Slutty Vegan to Launch Special Limited-Time Vegan Fried Chicken Menu

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Maxwell Rabb, May 17, 2021

THE BEET – Atlanta fast-food stop Slutty Vegan is looking to rival Chick-fil-a and Popeye’s with a totally plant-based pop-up chicken menu.

The vegan restaurant chain is partnering with Incogmeato – a subsidiary brand of MorningStar Farms – to debut a limited-time vegan fried chicken menu.

The celebrity restauranteur and Slutty Vegan founder Pinky Cole plans to host this special menu on May 19, showcasing a full line of plant-based chicken options for just one day at the Old Fourth Ward location.

The special menu brings three exciting spins on classic fried chicken dishes including an Incogmeato Side Chik Tender Basket, an Incogmeato Mutha Clucker Chik’n Tender Sandwich, and an Incogmeato Chik’n Tender Tac-Heaux. Slutty Vegan’s mission is to encourage people to try the Incogmeato substitute, which claims to taste and tear just like conventional fried chicken.

“I know that vegans and meat-eaters alike will definitely love it whether they are vegan or not,” Cole told Paltrocast. “If you just want to make some chicken tenders at home, if you want to make a sandwich, if you want to make a sandwich, if you want to make a taco you can do that, and not feel like you’re eating meat or feel like you’re eating something vegan that doesn’t taste good. So, I am excited about the partnership that I am doing.”

Vegetarian giant, Morning Star Farms, released its Incogmeat range in 2020, revamping the company’s plant-based chicken offerings.

The company has been moving away from animal products in recent years, previously criticized for using egg whites in some of its chicken alternatives. Last month, the company launched a new Chik’n Tenders in both Original and Sweet BBQ flavors, which can be found in H-E-B, Wegman, Southeastern Grocers, Walmart, and Kroger nationwide.

Cole has partnered with plant-based companies in the past to promote vegan cuisine. Her restaurant’s signature burgers are made with Impossible Foods patties.

The recipe combines the classic Impossible Burger with Cole’s signature Slut Sauce alongside several toppings that include vegan cheese for a traditional cheeseburger experience. Read more here.

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