Friday, January 7, 2011

Mexican Shepherds Pie...Jerk Seitan and Coconut Rice

I have been wanting to try this Mexican Shepherds Pie for quite a while but have continually waffled on whether or not to do all the work to prepare it! I finally decided to make it the other night. It was pretty good but a ton of work so probably wouldn't make it again. My hubby liked it fine but it wasn't a favorite for him. It was pretty tasty the next day but again, not fabulous enough to make again. I whipped up some guacamole to spread on top which added a lot to it's goodness. The recipe calls for a TVP "meat" topping but I didn't think it added much flavor. I would use seitan chorizo crumbles if I were to make it again as I think they have much more flavor. That's what I have listed here.

Mexican Shepherds Pie (adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes)

For crust:
2 cups masa harina
1 cup veggie broth
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 t chili powder
Mix all ingredients together and press into a 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Set aside (I halved the recipe so my picture shows me using a pie plate).

For potatoes:
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup nondairy sour cream
2 T nondairy butter
1/2 t each cumin, coriander, garlic powder
1 T minced dried onions
Boil potatoes until tender. Drain. Add remaining ingredients. Mash. Set aside.

1 recipe seitan chorizo (recipe follows)
1 1/4 cups enchilada sauce (recipe follows)

Enchilada Sauce (Source: 500 Vegan Recipes)
¼ cup chili powder
1 T paprika
1 t garlic powder
1 t cumin
¼ t chipotle chili powder
3 T canola oil
2 T flour
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 ½ cups veg broth

In a saucepan, heat oil. Add flour to form paste. Add spices. Add tomato sauce and broth. Stir to combine and create a smooth silky sauce. Simmer for 15 min, covered.

Seitan Chorizo Crumbles (Source: 500 Vegan Recipes)
½ cup vital wheat gluten
2 T nutritional yeast
½ t fine sea salt
1 t ground cumin
¼ t cayenne pepper
½ t paprika
2 t chili powder
½ t dried minced onion
2 T water
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T ketchup
1 T canola oil
Combine dry ingredients. In separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add wet to dry until crumbly dough forms. Heat skillet and add a bit of canola oil to coat the pan. Fry crumbled mixture until browned.

Top masa crust with chorizo crumbles, then enchilada sauce and spread potatoes on top. Bake at 400 for 25 min.
I was looking forward to trying a marinated seitan recipe - it just looked super yummy and I had all of the ingredients on hand as well as some Seitan O Greatness already made so this was a perfect choice. THe spice blend was different and I must admit, not my favorite. It had an almost bitter taste. However, the seitan soaked up the flavors of the sauce perfectly and the consistency was so meatlike it was amazing. I will definitely be experimenting with some other marinated seitan recipes - this worked so well. My hubby really liked it. The coconut rice was very yummy - very mild, subtle flavor but delicious. I plan to use the rest of the rice to serve with the Curried Tofu and Veggies on my menu. I made a yummy sauteed cabbage to go with this meal and of course some sweet potato fries ( a favorite in our house!).

Jerk Seitan (Adapted from Vegan With a Vengeance)
3 T minced dried onion
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 1/2 T ginger, chopped
3 T lime juice
3 T soy sauce
2 T olive oil
2 T maple syrup
1 T dried thyme
1 t ground allspice
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cayenne
1 t ground or freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups seitan, cut into strips

Prepare marinade by combine all ingredients except seitan in food processor and blending until smooth. Pour into a ziptop bag and add seitan. Marinate for an hour.

2 t oil
1 onion, sliced

In skillet, heat oil. Add onions and saute 5-7 min. Add seitan strips and cook until onions are tender and seitan is browned. Add remaining marinade and heat thoroughly. Serve over rice.

Coconut Rice with Toasted Coconut (Adapted from Vegan With a Vengeance)
2 cups jasmine rice
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
1 cup waer
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 t salt
grated zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Combine all ingredients except coconut in large saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer 20 min or until tender. Let sit 10 min. Meanwhile, heat skillet over medium heat. Add coconut and toast until browned. Sprinkle over prepared rice.

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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.