Vegetarianism is simply the philosophy and lifestyle where one refrains from eating meat, poultry, and fish. Sometimes vegetarians will include dairy, eggs, and honey (lacto-ovo). Some vegetarians may exclude eggs, but include dairy and honey (lacto) or exclude dairy, but include eggs and honey (ovo). Then, of course you have those that refrain from consuming not only meat, poultry, and fish; but eggs, dairy, and honey (vegan).
Recently, in the kitchen I found myself experimenting with an array of ingredients, as well as, herbs and spices. In my quest to make something “unique” that not only tasted great, but was different than my usual creations. And in my quest of doing this, I discovered how to mimic the flavor of lamb using quite a few ingredients, which include:
2 oz. Lightlife’s Gimme Lean Beef (or one pack)
2 cups of Almond Milk (unsweetened)
1 cup of Green Onions
8 tbsp. (or 1/2 cup) of Lemon Juice (Natural)
5 tbsp. (or 1/3 cup) of Olive Oil (Extra Virgin, i.e.)
4 tbsp. (or 1/4 cup) of Black Pepper
4 tbsp. (or 1/4 cup) of Kosher Salt
4 tbsp. (or 1/4 cup) of Cardamom
3 tbsp. (or 1/8 cup) of Nutmeg
3 tbsp. (or 1/8 cup) of Cinnamon
1 tbsp. of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tbsp. of Mint
1 tbsp. of Ginger
2 tsp. of Golpar
2 tsp. of Clove
1 tsp. of Dill
1 tsp. of Turmeric
1 tsp. of Sumac
Although it is easy to make your own protein base, I chose to use Lightlife’s Gimme Lean Beef because it is not only vegan, but GMO-free, as well. It is also naturally cholesterol-free and possesses an unique flavor that isn’t robust or overpowering with spice. If you are allergic to soy or are following a gluten-free diet, I recommend making your own protein base using almonds, coconut, or peas substitutions. Also, keep in mind that every ingredient used in this recipe can be substituted in case you suffer from any allergy.
First and foremost, you want to prepare your vegetarian protein source. In this recipe, I am using Lightlife’s Gimme Lean Beef. Whether you want to make burgers or balls is entirely up to you, however; you want to make sure that you have all of the right flavor fusions or your “vamb” will not turn out.
In a small pan, you want to add your almond milk. If you suffer from any nut allergies, I recommend soy, coconut, rice, or hemp milk. You want to add both cups followed by your lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Then, as you continue, I want you to add your cardamom, oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vinegar. Do not add the green onions. It is key to cook this on medium heat.
Add the burgers and/or balls. In this recipe, I am going to make simple vamb meatballs, simply because they are fun to execute in terms of simplicity. Add the rest of your ingredients and remove from heat. As it cools, you want to cover up the pan and place it into the refrigerator overnight.
After the vegetarian meat has soaked in those spices, you want to create add them to a new pan. When you look at the vamb, do you notice that it is dark in color and rich in texture? If so, you are ready to go. If not, you should repeat the above in moderation. Now when it comes to cooking the vamb, whether you want to season the pan is entirely up to you, however; I really enjoy using vegan butter such as Earth Balance or olive oil to fry the vamb on the stove top. I highly recommend cooking on medium-to-high heat for the first few minutes before removing the high heat and cooking solely on medium.
As you continue, you want to add your green onions or any other vegetable you choose. I chose green onions because they are subtle in flavor and balance this dish out. When you are frying your vamb, it is key that the edges look relatively dark, but not burnt nor black. If you are making balls, do not hesitate to cut into one as you are cooking and taste it, just to see if the flavors used were executed.
Congratulations you have just made vegan lamb aka vamb!