Food, Community, Progress, and Vegan Fried Chik’n!!

Hey hey!!

Ya know, I had a lot to say about how awesome Saturday’s pop up Open Market was, and I still do. I’m just got going to do it here.

I do want to thank Alex & Emma over at Resource MPLS for all their help.

I want to thank everyone who joined us that day.

I want to thank everyone who contributed to our Venmo campaign to fund this resource.

I want to thank and welcome the new members of this Patreon community for helping to bring this resource out of the Hamline Midway and to another community.

I do, also, want to articulate a theme of one of the great conversations that occurred on Saturday. These posts, they are not unresponsive statements; they are invitations. Invitations to engage. I absolutely love the text conversations, the coffee talks, the chats at the in-person events, and the email exchanges I have with quite a few of you in this community. Saturday was loaded with these conversations.

Conversations continued, new conversations started, folks exchanging contact information, relationships were strengthened, and community existing in a shared space and time. It was amazing.

What is our main ask? “Show up.” That is what we ask from others. Show up. There are a lot of ways to “show up”, but the most important one is to show up in person, in the community, connecting directly with our neighbors. It is in these moments that our inherent interconnectedness is most apparent.

In fact, that’s our only ask.

But, if we are not “asking” for anything else, how do we grow this community?

Well, as was discussed on Saturday, we invite.

This will continue. We will not stop using whatever resources we have to act directly in service of creating a more secure, equitable, and sustainable local network of commerce for providing the essential resources of healthful nourishment to all in our communities.

Doing this work is absolutely incredible. Someone not supporting this doesn’t harm any of us in The Chef Collective, it only denies them the opportunity to be a part of something incredible.

So, invite your friends, family, and networks to join you in this community. It is $2/month. Food is important. Control, access, and involvement in how we nourish ourselves and our families is important.

It is the foundation of existence, and it is terribly threatened right now. We ignore it and accept the status quo at our own peril. There is no product that will save us. It is only through radically divergent innovation in our perspectives, behaviors, values, and habits that we will construct the alternative path that we can direct our communities towards that will save us.

Food insecurity is at a 20 year high here in Minnesota. Europe is wracked with food shortages. War, drought, changing weather patterns, extreme weather events, and so much more are threatening our access to the foundation of existence. The work all of us are doing here is proven to be incredibly impactful.

I feel great about how the story of my life reads. I’m getting ready to go serve a Community Dinner in support of Women’s Advocates here in St. Paul. I got to hang out talking with the community on Saturday, serving up chili, muffins, and scones, and listening to records with some amazing people. My success is a state of being, not a goal. By creating the alternatives, by actively engaging in these radically innovative actions, I have succeeded. It’s fucking great. I hope all of you feel great about this, too. I hope you can express in the comments below how being in this community makes you feel.

And, if you are available, please stop by Hamline Church tonight between 4:30-8:30 to be in community with us as we gather for a meal in support of Women’s Advocates:

And now…..

Here’s John’s recipe for the perfect, vegan fried chik’n patty!!

You can look back and find a recipe for vegan mayo, for sandwich buns, and for pickles. The whole kit and kaboodle!!



1 cup Vital Wheat Gluten

2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast

1 tsp Onion Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Poultry Seasoning

3/4 cup “No” Chicken Broth*

2 Tbsp Tahini

*(Note: There are great, vegan “Chicken” bouillons available from Edward & Sons or Better Than Bouillon. Both are available at your local Co-op, or online from plenty of retailers that ARE NOT AMAZON!!! Using ingredients purchased from Amazon will make the Chik’n way too salty, because of all the tears from independent business owners in secure, equitable, and sustainable local economies destroyed by a racist, colonizing corporation.)


2 cups All Purpose Flour

1/3 cup Powdered Sugar

3 tsp Paprika

2 tsp Black Pepper

1 Tbsp Cayenne

1 tsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Garlic Powder

“Egg wash”*

5 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed

1 cup Water

1/4 cup Pickle Juice

*Or, 1.25 cups of unsweetened soy milk with a splash of apple cider vinegar added to help curdle it. You just need something to help the dredge stick to the dough.


For the Chik’n:

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl or countertop mixer using the whisk attachment.

2. Mix the tahini with the prepared Chik’n broth, and whisk together.

3. Add the tahini and broth to the dry ingredients and mix into a stretchy dough. If using a countertop stand mixer, switch to the dough hook for this process.

4. Knead the dough until strands begin to form in the gluten, and the dough “bounces back” when flattened.

5. Divide the dough into 1/3 cup pieces, press into a patty shape, and bring 6 cups of Chik’n broth to a boil.

6. Once the broth is boiling, drop the divided Chik’n dough into the broth 3-4 at a time depending on the size of the pot. If you have a large enough pot, you can put all the dough patties in at once, just make sure there is plenty of broth to keep the dough from resting on the bottom of the pan. Boil the dough for an hour. The dough will double in size as it boils.

7. Remove the boiled dough when done, and place in a colander to cool and drain.

8. Marinate the boiled dough in pickle juice for 45-60 minutes. Do not marinate longer than an hour.

9. While the dough is marinating, mix together your “egg” wash and the dredge.

10. Heat the cooking oil in a cast iron skillet (Wholesome brand vegetable shortening is a great choice, but almost any neutral oil will work). To get a nice cover to the fry, you’ll want at least a 1/2 inch of oil in the pan.

11. Remove the dough from the marinade, and set up your dredge line.

12. Toss a dough patty in the dry ingredients, dip into the “egg” wash, then dredge in the dry ingredients again, then carefully place into the oil.

13. Fry for 3 minutes on one side, and then carefully flip to fry the other side. Fry another 2-3 minutes.

14. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined plate.

There you go. This may seem a little complex, but once you get the hang of it, it goes really fast. The finished patties can be kept in the fridge for up to a week, or frozen for use later. They reheat really well in the oven!


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