There are a lot of meat-free products on the market to make “crumbled meat” easy, but if you’d like a tofu, seitan, and gluten-free crumbled “meat”, look no further. Here’s my version of Ricki Heller’s Vegan Meat Crumbles recipe.
Crumbled Vegetable “Meat”
1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and washed, broken into florets
1-1/2 cups walnut halves
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons tamari
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment, or spray with nonstick spray.
In a food processor, blend the cauliflower, nuts, and mushrooms to a coarse consistency.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients. Knead everything together thoroughly.
Turn the mixture into the pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring after 30 minutes and then every 15 minutes after that, until the “meat” is dry and brown (if the layer underneath comes up looking wet and white–as cauliflower tends to do–then you need to keep baking). The mixture will begin to separate and intensify in color.
Once the “meat” is cooked, cool, package, and freeze it for later use, or use it right away. It will keep, covered, up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Notes: Use in lasagna, on pizza, in wraps, sprinkled on chili, in a “meat” pie or turnover, or sprinkled over a sauced spaghetti (If you cook it in the sauce, it will dissolve…though the flavors will still be delicious).