Lime-Walnut Seitan

June 18, 2008 at 11:02 am | Posted in Vegan Recipes | 2 Comments
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For lunch, I love eating sandwiches. It’s so convenient to fix a quick sandwich in the morning, to have ready for lunch. But, I get tired of PB&J, and although I enjoy some of the vegan deli slices that are available (like Tofurkey brand slices), I get irritated that they are so expensive– they’re often more expensive than comparable meat slices. So, I decided to try to make my own seitan to use for sandwiches.

I found a recipe online for a vegan mock bologna, which involved mixing wheat gluten flour with a tofu-tomato-paste mixture (with other ingredients), and baking it. I was intrigued, and wanted to try the recipe, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients. I ended up completely changing the recipe (although I still modeled the preparation method after the original recipe), and ended up with a Lime-Walnut Seitan (somewhat reminiscent of turkey, I think). I think it turned out great!

Lime-Walnut Seitan

  • 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
  • 1/3 cup ground chickpea flour
  • 5 oz. firm tofu
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 1/2 tsp. lime juice (I used bottled lime juice, but fresh would be good too)
  • 1/8 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. sage
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Spike vegetable seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt

Mix the flours together in a bowl and set aside. In a blender, puree the remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour, and mix well, kneading until it has a smooth texture. Cover with a towel and let it sit for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375. Knead the gluten again, and place in a baking dish. (I used a round casserole baking dish.) Press down so it fills all the sides of the dish. Mix the following ingredients, and pour over the gluten. (If you have extra liquid that won’t fit in the casserole dish, keep it in the refrigerator to pour over the gluten as it absorbs the liquid while cooking.)

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp. lime juice
  • generous dashes of sage, dill, garlic powder, and cracked black pepper

Place the casserole dish in the oven, with a tray underneath to catch any liquid that spills over. Lower the temperature to 250 and bake for 3 1/2 hours. Throughout the cooking time, spoon some of the liquid back over the top of the seitan. Towards the end of the cooking time, I noticed that the top of the seitan roast was developing a nice dry texture, while the sides were gooey from being pressed to the sides of the casserole dish and immersed in liquid. So, for the last 45 minutes, I removed the seitan from the small casserole dish, placed it in a larger one, and raised the temperature to 350 to try to make the sides of the roast have the same texture as the top. I think this worked– the outside has a nice texture, while the inside wasn’t too dry.

Here’s a slice of the seitan, lightly fried and served with channa masala and wild rice (I used Vegandad’s recipe):

And here is the seitan in a sandwich (with vegan mayonnaise):

Although this recipe was time-consuming, I think it was worth it; now I have sandwich fillings for several days! And there are endless possibilities for how you could use this besides sandwiches– in stir-fries, in salads, in soups…

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Vegetable Pot Pie

June 15, 2008 at 4:54 pm | Posted in Vegan Recipes | 2 Comments
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Even though the weather here has been very hot, and already feels like the middle of summer, I found myself craving an easy, one-dish meal that would be filling, hearty and simple. So, vegetable pot pie it was! I used two store-bought frozen spelt pie crusts, and I had lots of fresh vegetables from our local farmer’s market to choose from. I like throwing together whatever I have in the refrigerator, and this combination worked out really well!

Vegetable Pot Pie

  • two pie crusts (store-bought, for convenience)
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 rutabaga, thinly diced
  • 1 cup green beans, ends trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • several mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • the kernels sliced from one ear of corn
  • 1/3 of an onion, thinly sliced
  • a large bunch of basil, thinly sliced (I used purple basil)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • several generous dashes of dried sage, garlic salt, and Spike vegetable seasoning (or other seasonings of your choice)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch

Sautee the vegetables (and added seasonings) in olive oil for just about 2-3 minutes, while preheating the oven 350. Then, fill one of the pie crusts with the vegetable mixture. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the almond milk, and pour evenly over the vegetable mixture. Top the pie with the second crust, pinching the edges together. Prick the top crust with a fork or knife to allow steam to escape, and bake for about 45 minutes or until the crust is done.

Banana Cream Pie

June 11, 2008 at 7:04 pm | Posted in Dessert, Vegan Recipes | Leave a comment
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Think a cross between a vegan cheesecake and banana pudding! I made up this recipe today, and I have to say I’m quite proud of myself! It turned out great; the picture may not look like much, but it tasted wonderful!

I used the gingersnap crust recipe from La Dolce Vegan (only substituting walnuts instead of pecans, and melted Earth Balance instead of regular oil). For the filling, I used:

  • a 16-oz package firm silken tofu
  • 2 ripe medium-sized bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. stevia extract powder
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice

Combine all the filling ingredients in a blender, puree, and pour into the prepared pie crust. Bake at 300 for 60 minutes (or until done), and then refrigerate for a few hours to set.

Jicama Salad

June 10, 2008 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Vegan Recipes | 3 Comments
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Summer is here (well, not technically, but it definitely already feels like summer)! I’m determined to eat more salads over the summer, and this was a fun start. I found a jicama at the store the other day, and while I’ve eaten jicama once or twice, I’d never made anything with jicama before. So, I had fun concocting this salad!

Jicama Salad

  • about 1/8 of a jicama, peeled and diced
  • 2 yellow tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 small package smoked tofu, diced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup orange juice
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • dashes of dill, paprika, powdered ginger, salt, and anything else to taste
  • (I may have added just a tiny dash of dijon mustard, and maybe even a little agave nectar too…. but I can’t remember for sure)

Mix the diced veggies and pine nuts in a salad bowl. In a blender, combine the olive oil, orange juice, vinegar, herbs, and whatever other seasonings you want to add. Pour the dressing over the salad, and serve! (Just a note, this salad doesn’t save well in the refrigerator, since the salad dressing hardens in the refrigerator. If you don’t think you can eat it all in one sitting, you could keep the salad and dressing in separate containers–i.e., don’t mix them in the same bowl– and then bring the dressing to room temperature to de-congeal before serving it again.)

Anyways, my big summer food plans are:

  • eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies
  • make up lots of salad recipes, and salad dressings
  • buy an ice cream maker and make lots of vegan ice cream
  • make lots of flavored iced teas and lemonades
  • make up some new veggie burger recipes

Yeah summer!!!

What a weekend!

May 26, 2008 at 6:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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We had a really great Memorial Day weekend! M. and A. were here visiting us, and it was so great to see them! We did a lot of fun touristy stuff, and ate a lot of really great food. The highlight of the whole weekend, in my opinion, was the incredibly delicious meal that A. cooked for us last night. I have to say, for not being vegan himself, A. cooked the most delicious vegan meal I have ever eaten! He started the meal off with a pureed vegetable soup, that included sweet potatoes, beets, onions, potatoes, acorn squash, some balsamic vinegar, oregano, dill, sage, and soy yogurt. The flavor was really intense, smoky, and dramatic, just like the color. It was amazing!!

The main course was lentils topped with Thai green curry-flavored vegetables (carrots, chickpeas, beet greens, beet stems, kale, onion, and 1/2 an apple). It was so filling and satisfying!

That day I also made the No-Bake Chocolate Peanut-Butter Pie from The Joy of Vegan Baking. It turned out great! I topped it with strawberries and chocolate chips.

On Saturday, we went to San Francisco, and ate at The Herbivore. I love that place! We had a great time; the food was excellent (although the service was a bit slow… we waited about 15 minutes for our dessert). I ordered the shawarma, with added potatoes and eggplants. It was delicious; I loved the combination of flavors (hummus, hot sauce, pickles, and tahini). And the salad that came with it was delicious too; the shredded beet was a nice touch.

M. and A. each ordered the Coconut Noodle Soup, and they eached finished the entire bowl! (The portion size is not clear in the picture, but it was a very large serving of soup.)

Scott ordered the Potato-Soy PIe, and he cleaned his plate too!

For dessert, we shared the mudslide vegan ice cream, and a chocolate cupcake. They were both definite winners; the ice cream was really luscious, creamy, and had a wonderful coconut hint that complemented the chocolate.

The chocolate cupcake was great too. The frosting was really rich, and Scott commented that when he was a kid he would only eat the frosting on the cupcakes (discarding the cake). I, however, would scoop off the frosting and only eat the cake!

Finally, one more picture! Scott and I often go to our favorite coffee shop on weekends; they serve wonderful coffee and breakfast panini. I love to get this sandwich: a veggie melt (adapted to be vegan by omitting the cheese and mayo, but adding dijon mustard) with lettuce, tomato, sprouts, onion, and guacamole, on multigrain bread, with a side of fruit. It’s a very healthy lunch (or breakfast)!

So, I had a really great weekend, and enjoyed lots of delicious meals. It was so much fun to be able to share such good meals with such wonderful people; I enjoyed M. and A.’s visit so much; it was great to see them and share some good food with them!

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