Thursday, September 30, 2010

Being less than thrilled with my past attempts at making seitan (always turns out so spongy - even if I don't allow it to come to a boil), I was skeptical yet determined when I decided to try out Vegan Dad's version of "Chicken" Seitan. I was particularly intrigued by his addition of tofu to the wet ingredient list as well as chickpea flour as an addition to his dry ingredients. Further, the recipe uses the crockpot to allow the cutlets to simmer half the day away. Needless to say, the recipe was much different than most and I was hopeful tha perhaps this was the recipe I had been looking for. Unfortunately afte simmering for many hours, the cutlets appeared pretty much the same as my past seitan cutlets. They looked spongy and I was really bummed. I put them in the fridge for future use in this week's recipes. Well, today, I pulled them out to make lunch - a new creation - and yay yay yay, the meal was great! If eaten in large chunks with very little seasoning, I think these cutlets would be pretty spongy and not real appetizing but they worked perfectly in this wrap. I was thrilled!! I am excited to try this seitan in my Asian tacos later this week. I still wish I could find a recipe that created seitan like store-bought seitan that is very chewy rather than spongy but as of yet, I have not discovered one. For now, I am pretty darn pleased with this seitan!

Southwestern Seitan Wraps

For the seitan:
4 "chicken-style" seitan cutlets ( I used Vegan Dad's recipe -
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup flour
1 t chili powder
1 t garlic salt
1 t ground cumin
oil for pan-frying

Mix all ingredients except seitan and oil. Place cutlets in crumb mixture and press crumbs into seitan to coat as generously as possible. Heat oil in cast iron skillet and add cutlets. Cook until browned on each side (about 3-4 min each side). Slice each cutlet into 1/4-1/2 inch thin strips. Set aside and keep warm.

For the Slaw:
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/4 cup Veganaise
1/8 cup salsa verde

For the Fixin's:
Flour tortillas (I use Tortillaland brand from Costco - they come raw and you cook them at home. They have only a handful of ingredients and are delicious!! I have made my own tortillas from scratch many times and these are every bit as good and soooo easy!!)
Guacamole (my recipe below)

1 ripe avocado, mashed
1/2 t garlic salt
1/2 t chili powder
1 t dried minced onions
Mix all ingredients together.

Take a tortilla, spread guacamole on it (about 4 T). Place 1/2 cup slaw over guac. Pour desired amount of salsa on top of guac and finish the wrap with several slices of seitan. Wrap up and eat. Yum!

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Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack
I was going to try a recipe for herbed scalloped potatoes and at last minute decided to do something fast and easy. I made up the recipe and it was yummola! I layered sliced russet potatoes in a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, basil, rosemary, paprika, and garlic powder. Then I baked them at 425 fr about 45 minutes. They were crisp and very flavorful!

My thrown-together salad today - after discovering I had no leftovers for lunch!

Tamale Fixings

Tamale Fixings
Plain pintos (for Keith), pintos, corn and onions; corn, jalepenos and Daiya; mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and chard

Making these was a bit time-consuming but kinda fun! They didn't turn out as good as I had hoped - the outer tamale part (not the filling) just wasn't as flavorful as tamales I have had in restaurants. I have another recipe I will try for the dough next time. Tamales are one of my favorite foods so I won't give up on this one!

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes
I modified one of my favorite pancake recipes to make it vegan and then I added blueberries. Turned out quite yummy. Soymilk sours and thickens well - very similar to buttermilk. I have been really impressed with it's ability to substitute for real buttermilk.

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

Egg replacement for 1 egg
1 1/4 cups soured soy milk (put 2 T vinegar into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough soy milk to equal 1 1/4 cups)
2 T canola oil
1 cup flour (I wouldn't recommend whole wheat or whole wheat pastry - it really takes away from the fluffiness of these pancakes)
1 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Blueberries, optional

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Heat griddle pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Sprinkle blueberries on pancakes after ladling onto griddle. Cook just until golden on both sides.

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein
Overall, this was fabulous! However, I don't think the seitan added much so I would just leave it out next time. The lo mein also needed about double the sauce so I would simply do that next time for added flavor. This was especially spicy and yummy with some Sriracha drizzled on top. I made our favorite veg egg rolls to go with this and it was truly a Chinese treat!!

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

I really did my own thing for this recipe so I am just going to outline the instructions and include the sauce recipe. I heated oil in a large skillet and added 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of half-moon cut onions (I was out of green onions but next time I would use green onions as I like them a lot in Chinese food) and about 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots. After about 5-6 minutes, I added about 1/4 lb of whole green beans. I cooked these veggies until tender. Meanwhile, I cooked a 16oz package of chow mein noodles. Once the veggie mixture was cooked, I poured the sauce on the veggies, heated through and tossed with the noodles. Next time I would double the amount of sauce and have adjusted amounts below to reflect double recipe.

Sauce (Source:Adaptable Feast)
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice wine (I used 3 T rice vinegar and 1 t sugar as I didn't have any rice wine)
3 t sugar
4 T black bean garlic sauce
Mix all ingredients and toss with above mixture.

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth
Pretty yummy. I found that steaming the wontons worked much better than the recipe suggestion to boil them. The broth was very mild and a bit too mellow for us. Still pretty yummy though. I added extra veggies to the wontons and scallion to the broth. The seasoning in the wonton filling was quite tasty!

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)

(As usual, I modified several things so it's not exactly the recipe in Vegan Yum Yum!)

1 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 T oil
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1/2 t hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 t hot Chinese mustard
2 T plus 1 t soy sauce
4 cups water ( I think this might have been more flavorful had I used vegetable broth or faux chicken broth???)
6 slices fresh ginger
1 T mirin (I used a splash of cooking wine as I didn't have mirin)
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t rice vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
16 wonton skins

For filling: Heat oil in skillet and add broccoli, ginger, garlic, carrot, onion and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Add chili sauce, mustard, 1 t soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make wontons, take one skin and place in diamond shape. Fill with 1-2 t filling. Fold in half to make a triangle and moisten edges with water and pinch sides to seal. Set triangle in front of you with point up and take the 2 side points and bring them together in front to cross. Set aside and prepare remaining wontons. When finished, place wontons in a steamer basket and steam over pot of boiling water until translucent.

Meanwhile, in a pot, combine remaining ingredients (except wontons) and simmer 10-15 min.

Place 3-4 wontons in bowl and ladle broth over wontons. Serve.