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  • The Scrivener


Updated: Jun 17

When I learned recently that my LDL cholesterol level was high, I decided to implement a vegetarian diet for myself.

I had been deterred in the past by the prospect of having to design and concoct those savory black bean cobblers that precious girls in long flowered skirts serve up in pyrex oven dishes in communes.

I was reassured by the frozen vegan offerings now on display in supermarkets, by the Beyond Burgers offered by Carl’s Jr., and by the vegan curry on the menu at Thuy’s Vietnamese Noodle Shop in Bisbee.

But you can’t live on TV dinners and takeouts; sooner or later you have to bite the bullet and come up with something of your own.

I already knew how to make Madras style curry; so I adapted it to incorporate Gardein Plant Based Chick’n Strips. That constitutes Recipe No. 1(Imitation Chicken Curry).

Recipe No. 2 (Soy Chorizo Burritos) came about because I got tired of eating nothing but oatmeal for breakfast and I found some soy based chorizo sausage in Walmart.



Long Grain Brown Rice ¾ Cup

Gardein Plant Based Chick’n Strips 8 Oz.

Vegetable Bouillon Paste ` 1 Tsp.

Medium to Large Onion 1

Cloves of Garlic 2

White Wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay,

Pinot Grigio, like that) ¼ Cup

Vegetable Oil* 5 Tbs.

General Purpose Flour 1 ½ Tbs.

Lemon Juice 2 Tbs.


Ground Cumin 4 Tsp.

Turmeric 3 Tsp.

Ground Ginger 1 Tsp.

Fennel Seed 1 Tsp.

Ground Cinnamon 1 Tsp.

Crushed Chili Pepper ¾ Tsp.**

*Whatever is politically correct.

**Less if you have a sensitive palate; crushed chiles are HOT, but the strong flavor kills the slightly soupy aftertaste of the artificial chicken strips.

First put the brown rice in plenty of salted boiling water. Stir it once and then LEAVE IT ALONE. Let it simmer for about forty minutes. Check that it is cooked, strain it, and put it to one side in a pan of cold water.

Semi-defrost the plant based imitation chicken strips; so that they are still hard but no longer rock hard. Cut each strip into two shorter strips, and fry them in a pan with a little vegetable oil. Turn them occasionally until the surfaces show initial signs of browning. Remove them from the pan and put them to one side too.

Stir a teaspoonful of vegetable bouillon paste into a cup of boiling water. Add some white wine.

Cut the onion into about four disks comprised of concentric onion rings. Chop half the disks fine, Slice the other two into quarter rings and separate each quarter ring. Cut the garlic cloves into thin slices.

Make up a mixture of the spices in a bowl or cup.

Fry the onion and garlic in about 5 tablespoonsful of vegetable oil, in a large saucepan.

Add the spice mixture and stir. Let the spices cook a little, then add the vegetable stock slowly, to create a thin paste and to eliminate

the danger of burning or sticking.

Keep adding the stock until the consistency of a light soup has been achieved.

Now stir in the fried imitation chicken strips. Treat them as gently as possible.

Then mix up a generous tablespoonful of general purpose flour with a little water and stir it into the stew to thicken it. Then stir in the lemon juice.

Bring the pan containing the rice back to the boil. Strain the rice and serve it. Make a ring of rice on a dining plate and ladle a portion of curry sauce and imitation chicken into the middle.

(This recipe will provide four helpings, but you can always save three in the refrigerator for later).



Medium Onion 1

Medium Potato 1

Soy Chorizo 5.333...Oz. (2/3 of an 8 oz. package)

Garlic Cloves 2

Vegetable Oil* 2 Tbs.

Large Flour Tortillas 4

* Whatever is politically correct.

Cut a medium size onion into disks (say four disks). Chop two disks fine and cut the other two disks into quarter rings. Separate the rings. Slice the garlic fine, Put to one side.

Prepare the potato for microwaving. Microwave both sides on high for one minute each.

Slice the potato into two equal hemi-ovoids, cutting along the longest axis. (See photograph). Spread margarine on both flat surfaces; microwave for another ninety seconds.

Slice the microwaved potato into cubes ½ “ x ½” x ½” (or each 1/8 cu. in.)

Fry the onion and garlic in a large frying pan. Remove and put to one side.

Now you take the 5.333… oz. ( or 2/3 of an 8 oz. package) of soy chorizo and fry it slowly in the same pan until it darkens.

When the chorizo has darkened, add the onion/garlic mix back in and stir in the potato cubes.

Let everything heat gently for a couple of minutes. Then remove the mix from the heat and divide it into four equal portions in the pan. Each of these portions will constitute the filling for one burrito.

Next take the four large flour tortillas and construct your burritos with the stuff from the frying pan. At first the burritos won’t be terribly elegant; but persevere.

There is an instruction video on YouTube on the subject of rolling burritos. You can find it at:

Store the four burritos in a freezer bag in the refrigerator. You can eat them one at a time for breakfast. Microwave each one for two minutes, flipping it halfway through.

(They’re actually pretty good with ketchup, even if that isn’t terribly Mexican).


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