Vegan Fried Chicken Dinner

Am I the only one who has a handful of recipes that you can whip up with just about anything, no matter how badly you don’t want to cook? Just me?

Bummer.

Well I have a few of them. I can always go for ramen, soup or stir-fry or any other recipe I can justify. Potatoes are good any day of the week and I will build a meal around them if I’m not in the mood to cook. Pasta and sandwiches are always nice to whip up in a time crunch.

But the one meal my vegan heart goes to when I’m not in the mood to cook, or I’m just exhausted, is vegan fried chicken. There’s just something about this particular meal that is always satisfying. Vegan fried chicken. Corn on the cob. Mashed potatoes. Is there anything better?

Not that I can think of.

Vegan fried chicken with hot sauce.

Full disclosure, today’s particular meal didn’t come about because I wasn’t in the mood to cook. It does happen, but it’s rare. Actually I was browsing hot sauce options online because that’s how I roll, and I came across a giant multi-pack that I was beyond eager to try. They arrived and I needed to cook something that was the perfect test food for hot sauce.

Vegan Bar Food ~ Oil-free Buffalo Cauliflower Nuggets

As a girl from Chicago, one of my favorite foods to eat is anything deep fried and drenched in hot sauce. When I switched over to a vegan lifestyle, that meant TVP in the air fryer and dunked in my famous Frank’s-based sauce. And then cauliflower had her glow-up.

Now I’m not like most people who used to hate on cauliflower as being the paler, less delicious form of broccoli. I’ve always been a fan and I don’t need it covered in cheese or breading, no matter how good it might be.

In fact, I made it a goal to find different ways to have vegan buffalo wings without all the oil and calories.

And I’m pretty sure this is the winner.

Oil free vegan cauliflower in buffalo sauce

So what’s the trick to tasty but oil-free cauliflower nuggets? High cook temperature.

Hot & Spicy Tofu and Oyster Mushrooms w/Pickled Bok Choy

Some days you just feel like getting weird with it and on those days, well, you get weird with it.

I recently bought some new hot sauce, Crazy Bastard brand hot sauce, and so you know I had to indulge my love of all things spicy and delicious. I couldn’t go completely crazy because my partner does not handle the super hot foods all that well and I love him, so I guess I have to take it easy on the fella.

Mostly…

We still had some really good looking oyster mushrooms in the fridge and I knew exactly what I wanted, something simple so the hot sauce could be the star of the meal, and something to take the heat off if necessary. (It was totally necessary, btw)

So, if you’re ready to get hot & spicy, grab your favorite vegan meat alternative, mushrooms, bulgur and bok choy leaves and let’s do this! Oh, and let’s not forget the hot sauce.

Let’s start with the mushrooms because I like to put mine in the oven and let them get crispy on the edges while keeping the moisture in the big part of the cap. Dust off the dirt and grime with a wet napkin or towel, and trim them before you weigh them (if that’s your jam, but it’s totally mine).