In my quest to find quick and easy vegan dinners to make in a short amount of time, I’ve revised my grandma’s chicken and dumplings that she made when I was a young’n. Here are the changes I made:
- replace real chicken with seitan, cut in strips
- make a quick broth by using ready-to-heat soup and two bouillon cubes
- use frozen pre-cut veggies to save time
- AND use Bisquick, my new love, to whip up the dumplings in mere seconds
The results are pretty darned good and the only thing I’d change is the seitan. I’m continuing to look for a seitan product that isn’t spongy after simmering in a broth. Not sure if that exists but I’m hopeful.
Before we get into the recipe, I wanted to pontificate a little about dumplings and dumpling texture. My grandma’s dumplings are what I’d consider a TRUE dumpling. Basically a drop biscuit that’s wet and gooey on the outside and all dry and biscuity on the inside. The dumplings we were served in the lunchline in high school were like 1/4 inch thick soppy noodles with no biscuity interior. And they were square. Obviously they had been rolled out and cut before cooking. A real dumpling—ala grandma—takes a deft hand to drop them gently into the boiling broth so they don’t stick to each other and yet get cooked all the way through.
These ingredients will make your life easier.
The secret to keeping this recipe lightning fast and easy to throw together on a whim after work are these ready to go ingredients:
Ok, on to the recipe:
SnarkyVegan’s Insanely EZ & Quick Chik’n & Dumplings
NOTE: you’ll need a BIG pot and by BIG, I mean wide rather than deep. You don’t want the dumplings sitting on top of each other so bigger is better.
Broth and Veggies
- 2 boxes of Imagine® Organic Potato Leek Soup (thanks to Jim who commented on my biscuits and gravy post for pointing out how wonderful this soup is and how it makes a great thick gravy-like base)
- 1 box of Westsoy® Seitan Strips (I’m still searching for something better but this works in a pinch)
- 2 cubes of Not-Chick’n® Bouillon (I keep several packs of this in the fridge, it rocks)
- 4-6 cups of your choice of frozen veggies (I used my old standby: carrots, corn, beans)
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups Bisquick® baking mix
- 2/3 cup soy milk (or rice milk or whatever)
- Dump all the broth and veggie ingredients in your bigass pot and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so to get flavors to mingle. Use a splatter guard because it will be thick and splattery. If you used fresh vegetables instead of frozen, simmer until they’re tender.
- Taste test broth for salt and adjust if needed. The soup and bouillon have salt so you may find that it’s good to go. My DH likes to salt everything though so to each his own.
- In a medium bowl, combine the Bisquick and soy milk with a spoon, quickly and DO NOT OVERSTIR. Mix until it JUST comes together.
- Bring broth back up to a gentle/slow boil and drop 9 spoonfuls of dumpling mix gently into broth while it’s gently boiling. When you drop the dumplings they’ll sink at first which is good and then they’ll float to the top. Drop your dumplings apart from each other so they don’t stick together. Do not stir anymore after dropping the dumplings. Keep that splatter guard handy.
- Slow boil for 10 minutes with cover off.
- Turn heat down and simmer for 10 minutes with cover on.
Here’s what the dumplings look like when they’re ready. Of course, it’s hard to tell from the outside if they’re done in the middle.
I took out the smallest dumpling and split with a spoon to see if it was done and here’s what it looks like. This is what your dumplings should look like. Notice the wet exterior and biscuity interior? This biscuity interior is the most moist and gentle texture ever.
Overall, this is a quick and yummy dish that would be easy to make if you’re in a hurry and you have a bevy of mouths to feed. You’ve got your veggies, your protein and your carbs. You don’t even have to add any fat due to the oil included in the soup base.
I can’t wait to use the Imagine® Organic Potato Leek Soup in something else. It’s very yummy on it’s own. Thanks to Jim for the recommendation!