Vegan Cooking Tips
All About Soyrizo
Chorizo is the name of a family of sausage, originally from Spain but now embraced all over the Spanish-speaking world. Traditional chorizo is made from pork seasoned with dried red peppers, chile peppers, garlic, and possibly other spices. When cooked, it is usually crumbly, like a very fine ground round. Chorizo can be 'sweet' or 'hot,' dried or fresh, and spiced depending on the region of origin.
The vegan version of this sausage is often called 'soyrizo' and is most commonly available in the fresh, or moist, variety. Brands differ in the amount of 'heat,' so you'll want to do a taste test to decide which one may be right for you.
Keep in mind that most vegan soyrizos are not low in fat or sodium. For example, El Burrito SoyRizo is vegan and kosher. However, a 2-ounce serving has 120 calories (which is good), but 80 calories are from fat. Plus, there are 440 milligrams of sodium. This brand provides some calcium and iron, but still, you should save soyrizo for special occasions.
Vegan soyrizo must be refrigerated, but it can be frozen and then thawed when you're ready to make it. Soyrizo turns out the best when it is cooked quickly over very high heat. Preheat a frying pan without oil and place the soyrizo into the pan, stirring and mashing constantly to avoid sticking. Once the soyrizo is heated, it is ready to eat.
- Heat soyrizo as described above. Stir in soft silken tofu, and cook until the tofu has coagulated. Serve mixture alone, in hard or soft tortillas, or over rice or cooked grains.
- For a baked meal, heat soyrizo as above. Grease a baking pan, add soyrizo, pour soft silken tofu on top, and bake until bubbly.
- For a skillet dinner, chop leftover cooked potatoes. Heat soyrizo as described above. Then, add in the potatoes or cooked rice, cooked beans, cooked veggies, chopped tomatoes, and chopped onions.
- Use soyrizo crumbles as a topping for baked potatoes, with some vegan sour cream, chopped scallions, and bell peppers or onions.
- Make soyrizo crumbles into a topping for homemade pizzas.
- Combine soyrizo crumbles with onions and either fresh bread crumbs or stuffing mix. Stuff into bell peppers or tomatoes and bake.
- Blend soyrizo crumbles with cooked grains and cooked mixed veggies for a one-pot meal.
- Use a small amount of soyrizo to season white, black, or kidney beans or garbanzos. It's also a great addition to bean soups, such as split pea or minestrone.
Sources for Soyrizo