Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dark Days Challenge #2 Under construction....

I've got a stuffed baked potato comin' atcha. Roasted veggies piled high. This is gonna be so totally better than any old boring 'tater skins...

But I've just GOT to go see my vampire boyfriend in Twilight first. So I'm headed into the city on this dreary day for a movie with a friend.

I'll post the local goodies Monday. Meanwhile, you can check out what everyone else is up to.


Leftovers schmleftovers

I was gonna just make a thanksgiving sammich..but I had this bit of sauerkraut in my fridge, that really just needed to get out of the way (for all the other leftovers and some bread dough.)

So I whipped up a thanksgiving ruben instead. For un-turkey day I made chickpea cutlets because I never did get around to that stuffed seitan. I also lucked out with my friend Nicole's mom's green tomato relish for the russian dressing. I'm definitely going to have to get that recipe (it's local in Ohio!)

Easy ruben:

2 pieces rye bread
1 TBS Veganaise
1 TBS Ketchup
1 TBS relish (or diced dill pickles)
1/4 cup sauerkraut
1 chickpea cutlet (or some other sammich protein-deli slices work, too)

I tend to skip the swiss cheese element, as I think the sauce/sauerkraut is the important sammich flavoring.

Lightly toast bread. Mix veganaise, ketchup, relish and spread on toast. Heat up cutlets and sauerkraut and make sammich.

A little messy, but totally yum.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Jenn is Thanking the Turkey

Just thought I'd treat my post like my facebook update.
The ninja agreed to a vegan thanksgiving, and I get to stay home and cook whatever I feel like today.

There's some broth already simmering on the stove.

Slim pickings at the last Tarrytown farmer's market last weekend, but I still have a bit of a stash to cook from. The grocery store is actually open today, but I think I'm still going to try to cook from just what I have.

We're looking at roasted veggies, squash, potatoes, the usual side dish affairs. Got stale homemade bread and some sage to make stuffing from scratch. I'm going to make seitan, and it's probably going to be cutlets, but I'm really thinking of trying to make a stuffed seitan like the field roast celebration roast thing. Making bread. Ah, it's really a holiday just for me. I can spend the entire day puttering around in the kitchen and it's considered normal. More later...

In case you didn't see the cool turkey loaf post from Susie on the PPK forum. This is the coolest not-a-turkey ever...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dark Days Challenge #1 Local food-Roasted veggies

OK, here goes...

This is going to be a meal for me, but it's all veggie with no grain or protein (because that's what I had that was local.) I gathered what I could from the last Tarrytown, NY farmer's market of the year. Lots of perfect squash and potatoes, the cauliflower had frozen, and the sparse broccoli left was broken up and sold by the stalk, a few fresh herbs to dry and it's time to say good-bye 'til next Spring.

Roasted acorn squash stuffed with roasted broccoli, cauliflower, purple potatoes, leeks, carrots, and fennel.

Simple preparation, I roasted the veggies on a baking sheet and popped them in the squash half. Topped with toasted squash seeds, rosemary, oregano, sage and warmed in the oven.

This made two, so I'm saving one to bring for lunch this week.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pimping the Vegan Babe...

I attended NYC's Vegan Drinks last Thursday and I met Brooke who runs the awesome website vegan babe.
"Vegan Babe is a free weekly newsletter and website covering the newest beauty, fashion and lifestyle trends for chic and faithful vegans, as well as those simply curious about compassionate alternatives."
Check it out! Click here to sign up for the newsletter.

Here's some picks for vegan winter coats.

Friday, November 21, 2008

From the pantry...New challenge

I'm no Morgan Spurlock but I think 20 days of not grocery shopping, bringing my lunch, and eating only items I already had in the house went pretty well.

The fridge is emptier and the plastic storage tubs a little lighter, but I still have a ways to go. What I'm going to do starting now is to try to only buy what I'm going to use that week and continue to whittle down the pantry surplus. Bringing my lunch has been a really good thing and I'm going to keep that up as well.

I am also participating in the Dark Days local food challenge. One day a week, I will prepare a meal using 90% local ingredients. This is not a vegan group, but there are a few other vegan's participating.

My local suburban farmer's market has its last day for the year tomorrow. The Union Square market in NYC is year round, so I'll have to check that out. This will be a challenge indeed, but I think I can make one meal a week local, right?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

NYC November Vegan Drinks - Beer me

Pantry Raid day 20 - Health food tastes good

It's not just because I'm hungry, my canned lentil soup is pretty good.
Yet another reason to be glad I'm cleaning out the pantry. This can o'soup expired 9/26/08, and the rice is the brown and wild rice mix I brought in for last week's make-my-co-workers-eat-vegan-and-like-it lunch.
I didn't make enough for lunches this week (I had my artisan bread with frozen TJ's veggie burgers up 'til now.) So I'm glad I found the lentil soup and was smart enough to figure out how to work the can opener on my swiss army knife.
Lentil soup on brown rice is about as hippie health food as I'm gonna get. I'll have to try to make my own and spice it up a bit. I know there's a bag of lentils in the pantry...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving Turkey Adoption

I'm totally copying Tara, but with good reason. It's Turkey time! Adopt a Turkey from the Farm Sanctuary!
We both adopted Phoenix. For 25 bucks you can sponsor a Farm Sanctuary turkey!
No, you don't get to take him home, but you can make sure he's taken care of at the awesome Watkins Glen farm sanctuary. Start a new holiday tradition today! Sponsor a turkey.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pantry Raid Day 17 - Sage pasta

Yeah I know, pasta, burritos, pasta, burritos, but after a long day at the office I can whip this up in 20 minutes and I'm not popping lean cuisines into the microwave.

1. Boil water. Add salt. Add pasta. Cook until al dente.

I had some sage from the farmer's market that I had dried. Air dry for a few days then store in an airtight container. Better than commercially dried.

I chopped 3 sun dried tomatoes and put it in a small bowl with about 1 TBS sage and a good sized pinch of salt. Added about 1/4 cup boiling water to rehydrate the sage and tomatoes.

Sauteed a garlic clove in some olive oil and add the sage and tomatoes. Saute a few minutes and add a little water so it's a light saucy consistency. When the pasta is done, add to saute pan and stir a few minutes so pasta absorbs the sauce. Voila! Dinner in a flash.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pantry Raid Day 16 - Vita Mix Rules!

Oh, Joanna you just had to go and ask about the vita-mix. I thought I raved in the MoFo, but I don't think I ever got to it. I have not the words to describe my love for what may just look like a blender....this bad boy is expensive for a reason. It's got a 2 horsepower motor.

My first crush came when I worked in a restaurant at age 16 and when the bartender got busy, I got to make the "virgin" drinks. Then I actually bartended and made more than my share of coladas for the boardwalk bar. The perfect blended drink should be thick enough so a straw stands up, not have ice chunks, and be able to pour from the blender. Vita mix delivers every time.

Basic rule of frozen drink thumb is put in some ice or (frozen) fruit and then fill up to the level of the ice/fruit with liquid (juice, daiquiri mix, colada mix, whatever.) Blend on high for not even 30 seconds, and pour and enjoy.

Yeah, you can do this in a normal blender, but I'm telling you, the consistency is better from a vitamix. One of the bartenders used to make a dirty banana with the whole super ripe banana, peels and all. Perfect consistency.

So when I moved to Boston and got a real job, I missed the vita-mix. I really did. I bought mine probably 10 years ago, at some point in my life when I had extra cash, like tax refund or bonus or something. It was roughly the same price then, expensive. I think I paid slightly less than $500 for both the wet and dry containers. The dry container grinds grains.

Works as well now as the day I got it. In fact, I don't even use it enough. The dry container lets you grind whole wheat berries, then there is a recipe for bread where you add the ingredients and the vita mix kneads the dough, and you just bake. I haven't made it for awhile, but it's totally awesome and super fast. (Sorry, Jo, there are lots of other gluten-free things you can do with it.)

And purees soup to velvety consistency. There are speed controls, so lower speeds will give you chunkier results.

The newer ones look like they have better handles, and there's an additional smaller container.

My friend Mandy's brother inherited her mom's vitamix when her mom upgraded. Forcing Mandy to shell out for a new one. She bought hers around the same time as me. All still work great.

They use them at Jamba juice, and whatever one I see in malls. Orange Julius, maybe? I haven't been to a mall for awhile.

I need to use this more for nut milks. I think I made almond milk a million years ago.

Makes perfectly smooth hummus.

I could infomercial on and on.
They do sell refurbished ones, too, that are a little cheaper.

One of the chefs in the raw book suggests that every time you use your old blender, set aside a dollar and when the motor blows, you'll have some savings to buy a vita mix. Really, you'll never ever need another blender.

Here's my green drink from this morning. 2 frozen bananas, 2 TBS Trader Joe's Very Green powder stuff, some white grape juice that came off some TJ's jarred pears, and some OJ.

And unrelated to the vita-mix, here's another loaf of bread from my now chilled artisan bread dough. The chilled dough was easier to work with and stayed ball shaped. Made a nice puffy loaf. I can't wait to dig into this.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pantry Raid day 15 - Artisan Bread

My mom had just bought this book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day the last time I visited, and I wanted to give it a try.

On this rainy Saturday, I think I can whip up a batch of home made bread. I know I've got flour in the pantry.

Tami is also a fan of the book and has made some awesome breads. Her cinnamon swirl french toast looks amazing...

The bread is not a secret recipe, it's basic bread dough with a more water to flour ratio, more like a sponge.

3 cups water
1 1/2 TBS yeast
1 1/2 TBS salt
6 1/2 cups Flour

This is the container with the water and yeast. The Swedish dough whisk is available at King Arthur and is about the awesomest thing for mixing doughs and batters. The container came from KAF also.
This is the dough before it has risen.This is the dough about 2 hours later. It more than doubled. Here a dough ball has been shaped (well, sort of) and is resting before going in the oven.

I just slashed it like a tic-tac-toe board and threw it in the oven on the pizza stone...450 degrees 30 min. For steam, I added 1 cup of water to the broiler pan in my gas oven and the pilot light went out because it had come up to temp, but I was really afraid that I had put it out with the water. Whew.

It's a little flatter than I would have liked. You're supposed to let the dough chill out in the fridge after rising, but I really wanted some now. This is only about 1/4 of the recipe (the point is that there is always dough ready in the fridge) so I'll try again with the chilled dough tomorrow.

Maybe a little too much flour on top...I wish I could post the smell.

Dipped in a little olive oil...holy cow this is good.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pantry Raid day 14 - Raw

I picked up the Complete Raw Cookbook. I don't have a dehydrator or a juicer, but I do have the awesome vitamix. I'm going to have to try some of these recipes out. Especially the raw nut things.

I like that some bloggers pick a day a week or month to have a raw day. Maybe I'll try something like that.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pantry Raid Day 13 - Vegan lunch for co-workers

I still have only eaten from the pantry for Nov, so when invited to lunch, I suggested I cook and we eat in the company cafeteria.

I made more chicken style burritos with brown & wild rice and kidney beans (used 1tbs liquid smoke in cooking liquid.) Chipotle veganaise on the side. They were a big hit with my 2 omni co workers and I got to pass along the seitan recipe. Praise Seitan! My friend brought this awesome tomatillo salsa and I'll post the recipe when I get it.

Yet again I forgot to take a photo...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pantry Raid day 12-More chicken style cutlets....

I froze a few cutlets that I made from the yellow rose recipes

They reheated beautifully. I had some broth heating up, so I plopped them in it to thaw them. Dredged them a little flour and seasoned salt, and sauteed in a little olive oil. Then made a quick gravy with the broth and some arrowroot starch. Served with rice and some peas and corn. I was hungry and it was good, so I had about one bite left before I realized I forgot to snap a photo. Oops.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged. I feel so special. :-)

Ooops, I did it again! Got tagged that

Link the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links.
Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 things about me...

1. I am addicted to grocery shopping. It's been 11 days and I keep thinking of things I need to pick up to make this or that. However, I still have PLENTY of food already in the house that needs to be experimented with so I am refraining from further consumerism.

2. I am totally enjoying blogging about vegan food. I started one blog earlier this year and didn't know what to write. Then one morning, vegan dance if you want to, vegan leave your friends stuck in my head and I just needed to put my cooking energy out into the world wide webs. I took vegan MoFo very seriously and had a blast with the Iron Chef challenges. My own personal month of purge is keeping me entertained.

3. I love facebook. I keep posting my blog and when a bunch of high school friends comment on vegan scrapple, I get happy. You can friend me if you want to.
I love Scrabble, even though Isa beat me. I think she cheats.

4. My husband is a ninja. In fact I think I will start referring to him as the ninja. The PS3 is broken, so despite our alternate schedules, I do get to spend a little more time with him.

5. I adore indie music. I'm not all that punk (I like Jeff Lewis's CRASS songs better than CRASS, sorry. That's probably too much confession.) Despite my nerdy career as an insurance accounting manager, my secret cool dream job is personal vegan chef for an indie band.
I DVR New York Noise on NYCTV and burn all the songs. Currently the ninja has The National on constant rotation in the car. Artists I'm currently addicted to and wouldn't have otherwise heard of are Beirut, I'm from Barcelona, Suburban Kids with Biblical Names and Simian Mobile Disco. My favorite show was Arcade Fire with LCD Soundsystem last year.

6. I love Jane Austin. I love Jane Austin BBC mini-series even more. I have the roku that plays the streaming Netflix on the TV. There's plenty of the old version BBC productions to be had and I'm currently watching Sense and Sensibility. I'll tolerate Keira Knightly P&P, thanks to Matthew MacFadyen (watch MI-5) but nothing beats 1995 Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy. The Bridget Jones Darcy revival also had its merits.

7. I heart New York.

Sorry for the chain letter, but I am tagging...

All these are awesome sites!!

I think I got tagged in a freezer thing awhile back...I'll get on that, too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pantry Raid day 10 - Tortilla disaster = Crepes!

So I had a bag of Bob's Redmill masa harina hanging around the pantry and I thought I'd try my hand at tortillas. What a disaster. The recipe on the package says 2 cups masa harina and 1 cup water, adding a few TBS more water if needed.

I've made tortillas before with my mom's tortilla grill press thingy. It's two heated non-stick surfaces with a hinge (like a flat panini press), and you just press down on the dough and voila, tortillas. She also had some kind of tortilla mix that I think I just added water to. Those bad boys turned out great.

Yesterday didn't work out at all. I tried adding too much water, then some more masa harina, and no matter what I did, every time I flattened them they fell apart. And there was no salt in them, so even the marginally OK looking ones tasted terrible.

So not one to waste a good dough ball of cornmeal, I improvised. Since it was already 2 cups cornmeal and 1 cup water, I tossed the dough in the blender and added about a cup and 1/4 rice milk, 2 TBS arrowroot, and 1 tsp salt to vaguely resemble the vcon crepe recipe. Blended it up and stuck it in the fridge for about an hour.
Then I made cornmeal crepes out of the batter. These are awesome. I filled 4 crepes with fajita chix, green chilis, rolled them up and stacked them in a mini loaf pan. Then topped them with a jarred enchilada sauce mixed with some soft tofu. Freakin' yum. I'm so happy I messed up these tortillas.
And because I like to flip things out of molds....

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pantry Raid Day 9 - Vegan Scrapple!

OK, this is version 2. Lessons learned from version 1: too much liquid makes it fall apart, too much spices is better.

What I'm trying to replicate is RAPA scrapple from Sussex county Delaware. I know scrapple is supposed to be a Pennsylvania thing, but believe you me, slower Delawareans love their scrapple. This is as hometown local as local flavor gets.

Scrapple sounds gross. Omnis who didn't grow up with it are generally grossed out as well, and don't always like it when convinced to try it. Scrapple is made from meat parts leftover from making sausage, but the meat part isn't what gives it the flavor or even the texture, so what the heck, why not make it vegan!

It seems some people already did. I found a recipe in Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes, that was adapted from Instead of Chicken, Instead of Turkey. So mine is further adapted from that.

Cornmeal and spices are the true stars of this dish, so if you're freaked out by the idea of scrapple, just think if it as a savory polenta cake.

Vegan Scrapple
1 1/2 cups crumbled extra firm tofu (previously frozen, thawed, and water squeezed out)
1/2 cup TVP
1 Onion finely chopped
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 cup polenta
1 tsp each, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram (optional), salt
Big pinch or a few grinds fresh black pepper
3 cups of vegetable stock (mine was previously made roasted vegetable broth with bouquet garni of above spices)
Flour for coating and a little oil for sauteing and frying.

Mix the tofu and TVP together, and break the tofu into tiny crumbles. The dry TVP will soak up the extra liquid from the tofu while you're preparing the polenta.

In a 3 qt pot, saute the onion and garlic in a little oil. Add the polenta and all the spices, and add the broth a cup at a time. Cook on medium high and stir until bubbly, then turn down to low.
Cook polenta until it is the consistency of thick mashed potatoes. When it's done, you should be able to pull it off all sides and pile it in the middle of the pan. Basically if you channel some Close Encounters of the Third Kind and can make a Devil's Tower sculpture in the pan, then it's done.

Remove from heat and mix in the tofu/TVP mixture. Grease a loaf pan and spread in mixture. Let chill for at least a few hours, or even better overnight so the flavors meld.

Slice off about 1/2 inch pieces and fry in a little oil on medium heat for 8-10 min and the flip and cook another 8-10 min. It should be crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside.
Yum I ate 3 pieces already.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pantry Raid day 8 - Buffalo pizza

OMG, two things not generally vegan that taste great together. Pizza topped with buffalo chix and blue sheese. I gotta eat this now... It's just pizza dough, sauce, marinated chicken style seitan, blue sheese I got from Food Fight!, and a little basil tofu.

There are a bazillion basic pizza dough recipes, this is what I thew in the bread machine today. Turns out this is one of the best batches I've made (I make pizza a lot.) I think the gluten REALLY helped. I rolled it out and stretched it thin without tearing it. Also I didn't add as much flour when rolling, just enough to dust the silpat and rolling pin.

Pizza dough
1 1/8 cup water
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS sugar
3 Cups KAF white whole wheat
3 TBS vital wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast

Place ingredients in bread machine and turn on dough setting. Or if you're not blessed with a bread machine, you could do it the old fashioned way...

Mix dough ingredients together and knead until smooth elastic ball forms. Coat large bowl with olive oil and place in kneaded dough. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down and knead briefly into ball. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. For 4 personal pizzas, divide dough into 4 pieces and roll out to desired thickness.

Today's pizza sauce:
2 TBS olive oil
1 small onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 cup port wine
1 TBS Penzeys Pizza Seasoning (contains salt)
1 TBS sugar
1 big can crushed tomatoes

Saute onions and garlic in oil until almost browned. Deglaze with wine. Add seasoning and sugar. Add tomatoes. Heat until bubbly and let cool before topping pizza. You "can" use it hot, but it's easier to work with if you let it cool down on the stove before topping dough.

Buffalo chix
1 chicken style seitan cutlet sliced into bite sized pieces
Enough Franks hot sauce to cover (I didn't measure, about 1/4 cup)
Let marinate a little while (mine was in the fridge about an hour)

Saute in a little vegan butter until browned.

Today's tofu basil topping
1/4 cup soft tofu
1 TBS chopped basil (previously preserved in olive oil)
Big pinch salt

Blend together.


Roll out dough. If you've got a pizza stone, put a little cornmeal on the pizza peal so it slides off onto the stone easily. Otherwise, put a little cornmeal on a baking sheet or pizza pan and spread the dough out. Top with sauce, crumbled blue sheese, plop on dollops of tofu basil, add chix pieces. Space around so that each bite will have a little of each topping. Put in preheated oven and bake about 10 min.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pantry Raid day 7 - Pasta again

I forgot my lunch today and my boss was supposed to take me to a lunch meeting, but we got busy. So, I managed to survive on some snacks I had in the office. Oatmeal with raisins, sesame stix, trail mix, fruit leather, vegetable broth, a granola bar and a larabar. Now, that's actually plenty of food, but not an actual meal. So when I got home, I was starving and wanted something hearty and filling.

Good thing I had some leftover pasta already waiting. Now, I rarely just reheat, so I added some soft tofu that made kind of like a rose sauce. Also some basil that I had previously chopped up and mixed with olive oil. Then just because I'm a sucker for my fancy olive oil, I drizzled some of that over it. I could actually taste it with the other sauce stuff. Just goes to show that good olive oil is worth it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pantry Raid day 6 Fajita burritos

Slice thin and marinate 3-4 chicken style seitan cutlets in fajita marinade. Saute 1/2 onion and 1/2 green pepper in a little oil. Add marinated seitan and saute until browned. Toast a tortilla, add filling, a little rice and beans, roll up and enjoy!

Or put a little oil in a cast iron skillet, lay on the tortilla, put filling on half, and fold over. Cook until browned, and flip and brown the other side. This also reheats well in the toaster oven or microwave.

Serve with some chipotle veganaise. Just add 1 canned chipotle or some chipotle powder to some veganaise to your desired heat level. Yum...

Fajita marinade
2 TBS fajita seasoning
2 TBS broth or water
1 TBS lime juice
1/2 cup corn oil

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pantry Raid Day 5 More leftover lunch.

Last day of roasted veggie, rice, chickpea cutlet lunch bowl.

This time I forgot the camera battery. It's charging at home.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pantry Raid day 4 - My own intervention

Photographic proof it's time for a purge. Those plastic tubs get stacked in a closet in my 1 bedroom apt. They are sort of arranged by category.

Seriously, I'm like my own intervention.

Go Obama/Biden! I wish I could go to Georgetown, DE to the returns day parade. Biden has never missed one and is expected to be there with Obama this year. Historical moment.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pantry Raid Day 3 Leftover Lunch

Roasted vegetables will last for over a week in the fridge. I know 'cuz I'm eating them for lunch. Roasted fennel, butternut squash, potatoes, carrots, celery, eggplant, mushroom; much of what went into last weeks Iron Chef stuffed potatoes. Throw in some brown & wild rice, and a chickpea cutlet (what doesn't go with chickpea cutlet) and I've got a pretty satisfying lunch in a bowl. Way better than any prepared meal from the freezer section.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pantry Raid Day 2 Outside-In Pumpkin Muffins

Adapted from a King Arthur Flour recipe

Outside In Pumpkin Muffins

1 Cup Pumpkin (yeah, I used canned)
2 TBS flax seeds blended with 6 TBS water
1/2 Brown Sugar (I used sugar in the raw)
1/4 cup Boiled Cider
1/3 cup applesauce
1 TBS Canola oil

1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin pie spice or combination of ginger, cloves, allspice, cinnamon
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup nut/soy/rice milk
1 1/2 cups flour (any combo white or whole wheat pastry flour)

1 8 oz package Tofutti cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp orange or lemon extract optional

Preheat oven 400 degrees
Line or grease 12 muffin tins
Mix together filling ingredients
Sift together dry ingredients
Mix together wet ingredients

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet in 3 batches.
Put about 1 TBS batter in each muffin tin and spread it to the sides so the bottom is covered, but there is a little well for the filling. Put about 1 TBS filling in the well you just made. Then fill with remaining batter and bake 18-20 min. Pop them out of the muffin tin onto a cooling rack after about a minute or they'll start to get soggy as they cool.

I always have seem to have extra muffin batter so this made about 12 extra small mini-muffins, too. I put some candied ginger in these instead of the filling. They are pretty gingery, but not bad. You may end up with extra filling. You can spread some on top of cooled muffins for outside inside out muffins.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pantry Raid Day 1 Iron Chef Day of the Dead

Katie from Don't eat off the Sidewalk has posted this weeks Iron Chef Challenge for the Day of the Dead. November 1 is also All Saint's Day and more excitingly World Vegan Day!

I've been meaning to try out the Chicken-Style Seitan Cutlets from Joanna at the Yellow Rose Recipes. Man I really need to get this cookbook!

Joanna's cutlet recipe is awesome and the dough was easy to roll out thin without ripping and stayed whole through the boiling. I used a silpat mat and a silicone rolling pin, instead of the parchment. I also used vegetable broth in the cutlet recipe instead of the water, but I used plain water with the bouquet garni for the cooking broth.

Chicken with red sauce was one of my Dad's favorite dishes. My Dad passed away 4 years ago after a 12 year battle with cancer. So here's my veganized tribute on the day of the dead.

Red Sauce covers 4-6 cutlets with some extra to pour over a side of rice
1 Cup Ketchup
2 TBS blackstrap molasses
2 TBS agave nectar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup soy sauce

I lightly pan fried the cutlets in a little olive oil, then poured the sauce + added some broth (you could use water-the sauce is pretty thick and pungent) and simmered for about 20 min.

It turned out surprisingly authentic. Mom always makes rice as a side with this and Dad loved lots of extra sauce on the rice. I used a mix of brown & wild rice.

Extra bonus is the cutlet cooking broth is amazing. In the boquet garni, I used bay leaves, sage, thyme, rosemary, dried onion, and dried chives. I have these great Japanese tea bags that I just filled with the herbs. The final broth needs a little salt or kombu, but this is the best unchickeniest chicken broth I've ever made. With the little bits of seitan floating around, if I didn't know this was vegan, I wouldn't believe it.