November has arrived, the temperature is dropping, and soup and stew season is in full swing. These one-pot wonders are the perfect end-of-a-long-week way to use up all the odds and ends at the bottom of the produce drawer. Virtually any vegetable can be rendered tender and delicious within an hour (or less!) of slow simmering, with a flavorful, nutrient-rich broth as a bonus.
Soups and stews are economical, convenient and endlessly versatile, just like our Plant-based Protein Crumbles. Longève is an easy addition to so many cool-weather dishes…and here’s a great tip you can use all season long to make the cooking even easier: Don’t bother to rehydrate them before tossing them into the pot! That’s right, because Longève crumbles absorb twice their volume in moisture, you can totally skip that step when using them in dishes containing plenty of liquid.
Not only will they rehydrate right in the pot, they’ll soak up all that flavorful liquid and act as a natural thickener. Your three-bean soup a bit thin? That squash stew a little lean? Add Longève at the end of cooking to add body, heft and heartiness. You’ll be pumping up the protein and fortifying the flavor, with absolutely no pre-soaking required! Check out our super-versatile Moroccan-inspired tagine recipe that uses this technique to full effect.
Part of what makes Longève’s Plant-based Protein Crumbles so great is that they’re so easy to use. A quick, five-minute soak in hot water is all it takes to render them toothsome, tender and recipe ready. But why just use water when you can infuse them with flavor? Common pantry ingredients will transform the hot water soak into a full-flavored instant marinade that will amp up the taste of all your Longève meals.
The easiest way to go is to dissolve a small amount of a high-quality concentrated flavor base into the hot water before adding the dehydrated crumbles. We love the range of “Better Than Bouillon” with their line of vegetarian and vegan versions of chicken, beef, vegetable and mushroom bases. Any miso paste, from sweet white to hearty aged brown, will also work great and you’ll reap the added benefits of Vitamin B12 and beneficial probiotic enzymes. No miso? No problem! Many liquid seasonings (including tamari soy sauce, Bragg’s liquid aminos, coconut aminos, Worcestershire sauce, Vietnamese fish sauce, Maggi seasoning and others) are super-rich in umami-enhancing, naturally occurring glutamates (aka flavor!).
Here’s how to use what you’ve got to create a super-flavorful liquid soak: Start with at least 3 tablespoons of water as a neutral base and replace the rest of the water with the flavorful liquid seasoning(s) of choice. Heat to boil, add crumbles and let sit for five minutes to rehydrate. One, ¾ cup portion of Longève crumbles requires 6 Tablespoons of water (and/ or flavorful liquid) to fully rehydrate. Any liquid seasoning can be used to replace water 1 for 1. Dry seasonings, such as onion powder, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, bouillon powder, ramen noodle seasoning packets or your favorite spice blend can also be added to further boost flavor. Simply whisk into the hot liquids to dissolve.
Here’s an easy and tasty way to apply the technique: For one, ¾ cup portion of dry crumbles, use 3 tablespoons boiling hot water, plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon mirin and 1 tablespoon sake for an instant teriyaki marinade. Once rehydrated, brown the flavor-packed crumbles in a tablespoon of vegetable oil for 2 – 3 minutes and enjoy the authentic Japanese taste with steamed rice and vegetables.
Did you know that you can use Longève Original Crumbles as a high-protein, low-carb flour for cooking or baking? All you need is a high-speed blender or food processor to quickly and easily turn your Longève crumbles into a light, versatile, gluten-free flour substitute that can be used in countless sweet or savory applications. It’s simple to make and simple to use! Just replace some or all of the flour in recipes with an equivalent portion of the Longève flour.
Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
Try replacing 25% of the total flour called for in your favorite cookie, muffin or quick bread to add a boost of pure plant protein. Longève’s subtle, nutty flavor will complement the flavor of many recipes, from chocolate chip cookies to banana bread.
To reduce empty calories and carbs from weeknight dinners try using up to 100% Longève flour in savory recipes where regular flour is used to coat proteins before pan-frying. The Longève will form a beautifully brown crust and lend a welcome, savory flavor to a variety of dishes from Southern-fried chicken to portobello mushroom piccata.
The type of recipe will dictate how much Longève flour to use and there’s no hard and fast rules. Experimentation is the best way to discover what works for the dish and for you.
Longève products boast a great nutritional profile: high in powerful plant protein, low in overall carbs (but not in beneficial fiber) and super low in fat. While a nutritionist might be pleased by the numbers, as a chef, I am left wanting more. More fat, that is! Because in the world of good cooking (and good eating), fat = flavor. Yet, cooking with Longève never has to mean sacrificing great taste for good nutrition. Swapping meat for Longève in your favorite recipes often requires replacing the missing fat with cooking oils. This means you can not only control the amount of fat you’re eating; you can also control the type of fat and the flavor it brings to the dish.
Cooking with Longève allows you to be generous with the fat and still end up with healthful (and great tasting) meals. Just make sure you’re choosing high-quality fats, and are tailoring your choice to the dish you’re preparing: Italian or Mediterranean dishes on the menu? Let the EVOO flow! Cooking an Indian-inspired dahl? Add a knob of grass-fed clarified butter (a.k.a. ghee). Chinese stir-fry? Try finishing the dish with a drizzle of dark, full-flavored toasted sesame oil. Experimenting with Thai curries? Use coconut oil and full-fat coconut milk for richness and authentic flavor. Looking for something neutral for high-heat cooking or baking? Choose a high-quality refined coconut oil. It can stand the heat and won’t bring any of that coconut-y flavor. Bottom line: Don’t be afraid to add more fat to your recipes when replacing meat with Longève. Choose those fats carefully, and you (and your nutritionist) can relax and enjoy.
Hello! My name is Lee Gross, and welcome to my Chef’s Corner.
Cooking is an adventure! I love how food can transport me to far-flung places and right into the heart, soul (and belly) of a country or culture. Understanding how ingredients have been traditionally used around the world has given me insight into the historical, social and rich culinary traditions of the planet’s diverse cultures. This knowledge has not only enriched my cooking, it has enhanced my awareness and appreciation of our shared experience as human beings.
Ultimately, cooking (and the sharing of food) is an act of compassion. I love that Longève makes it easy to explore the world’s flavors and traditions, while simultaneously helping people make the shift to a more (compassionate) plant-based diet. Those mighty, protein-packed crumbles and crumbs are great at taking on a myriad of international flavors, exotic spices and fragrant herbs.
Through the Chef’s Corner, I hope to share insights, tips and tricks that can help you expand your culinary horizons and gain more satisfaction out of your daily meals. Be sure to bookmark this page, as I’ll continue to add new entries here.