Now even when I ate meat all those decades ago, I was never a fan of the beef jerky or slim Jim. I do, however, like the idea of chewing on a dried-out hunk of something savoury. A friend I used to travel with always seemed to be chewing away on a piece of beef jerky and I always wanted to like it because he seemed to enjoy his little dried out hunks of meat so much.
Anyway, I’ve been power-watching all of Laura Miller’s Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. videos and am rather fascinated by the episodes that involve picnics and packed lunches because she makes the wackiest kind of hippy food that manages to somehow always taste delicious. I’m still astonished by how well her raw (raw!!!) chili wraps turned out! In fact, I made so many that I took some over to the ever-carnivorous household of Bid and Paul, and they both loved them! Mind you, the phone call beforehand was a bit hilarious:
Me: Hey, do you want me to bring over some of these raw chili wraps I made? They’re delicious!
Bid: What are they?
Me: Well, they’re all raw. You start with a cabbage leaf and then add some sprouts and carrots and….
Bid (cutting me off): Is this a joke?
Me: NO! They’re really good!!
Bid: Oh, sorry…I thought it was a joke….like all those times you invite us for dinner and when I ask what you’re making, you say, “tofu and eggplant.”
As you may have gathered, Bid’s least favourite foods are tofu and eggplant. Anyway, I did end up taking them over, and they snarfed them down lickety-split.
So, today I decided to make Laura Miller’s vegan Slim Jims. Here’s her video:
Here’s my very slightly adapted version of her recipe:
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water
- 2 TBS maple syrup
- 2 TBS apple cider vinegar
- 2 TBS soy sauce
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder*
- ½ tsp salt
- *In future, I may try sambal oelek instead of chili powder.
Whip that all up in the blender until it’s nice and smooth. The consistency is like runny peanut butter.
Next, spread it in a thin line on half a nori sheet:
Wet the nori and roll it like this:
And then wet the nori with your fingers on the other side and roll it up:
Next, put them in the dehydrator* for an hour at 145 and 22 hours at 115.
Aaaaaand I’m afraid I’m going to have to wait until tomorrow to tell you how they taste!
*Yes…I BOUGHT A FREAKIN’ DEHYDRATOR!!! As I may have mentioned, I have a bit of a problem with acquiring appliances (my specialty being the single-purpose appliance that takes up an enormous amount of counter space). However, I’ve been jonesing for a dehydrator ever since I started this last experiment, and this one happened to be on sale at LD for under fifty bucks, so WHAT COULD I DO BUT BUY IT.
And I do think I should get kudos for resisting these amazingly cool appliances. I may have to go back for the cookie-shot-glass maker when James isn’t around to drag me away:
So after patiently waiting the twenty-three hours (okay, so maybe I cut off a few hours at the end because I was a teensy bit impatient), I tried the vegan slim jims! They are rather amazing in terms of texture–they really have the feel of a dried hunk of something meaty. Well…maybe not the exact texture, but kind of a suggestion of the texture. It’s actually a surprisingly pleasant texture: crispy and chewy, but not TOO chewy. They also taste kind of meaty!! My first thought was that the filling for the spicy chili wraps, if processed a bit more, would be DEE-licious in these, so perhaps I’ll give those a try.
And as I was sitting on the couch munching away on my slim jim, I decided to take a quick picture of the finished product….and this happened:
So, of course, I had to give Stella a little bite…and then Buster wanted a little bite as well. The fact that they gobbled it up with relish isn’t really a testament to its meatiness, however. These two will invariably reject their homemade meaty dog food to beg for bits of tofu from our plates.