Category: fake meat

Seitan and Broccolini with Clementine Teriyaki

Seitan and Broccolini with Clementine Teriyaki

So how about we get this yummy vegan train back up and running again? Let’s talk teriyaki.

This isn’t a real teriyaki sauce, but it’s definitely inspired by one. Teriyaki sauce is one of those things that is really easy to make at home successfully, so if you’ve been going without or buying expensive bottles of the stuff, you can stop! It literally has three ingredients, but you can obviously get fancier with it if you like.

Soy Sauce
Mirin or Sake

That’s it, people. Mix, reduce over heat, and eat up.

So this sauce isn’t really a teriyaki sauce because I use rice vinegar instead of mirin. Mirin is a sweet, thick rice wine that’s very commonly used in Japanese cooking, but I happen to be out of it at the moment. I’ve found that rice vinegar makes a good substitute (though not 1:1, necessarily), and can be much easier to find in supermarkets.

I’m not sure if this is a common substitution or not, and perhaps people familiar with Japanese cooking would screw up their face at the idea, but it works. And it’s tasty. So there you have it.

I also added clementine zest and juice to my teriyaki sauce. I love the sweetness and the bright citrus note it adds to the dish. I think any citrus you have would work here, and you can even leave it out altogether if you like (sub water for the juice, add a little more sugar if you like).

Clementine Zest

It’s winter, and it’s high season for clementines. If you haven’t already picked up one of those enticing wooden crates full of them at the supermarket, I encourage you to do so. They are sweet, seedless, easy to peel, and all-around amazing. You will finish the entire crate, I promise you. And if not, now you have a recipe to use some of them in. And if you still have leftovers, send them to me.

Sushi Rice

As with most of my recipes, this one is pretty flexible. I used broccolini because I LOVE the stuff, but regular broccoli, asparagus, or your favorite veggie will stand in nicely. I served this with sushi rice, but noodles would be welcome. The seitan is perfect here, but tofu or even tempeh would be lovely as well. Orange juice will cover for clementine. This is a great recipe to adapt to use your favorite ingredients, or at least the ones you have sitting in your fridge at the moment.

If you like, add some sesame oil, or garlic, or ginger to the sauce. I love it how it is, and appreciate its simplicity, but this sauce can be used more as a base sauce you can embellish any which way you like.

Seitan and Broccolini with Clementine Teriyaki

Seitan and Broccolini with Clementine Teriyaki
Serves Two

8 Ounces Sliced Seitan (I use West Soy brand)
1 Cup Sushi RIce
6-8 Stalks of Broccolini
2 Clementines
1 Tbs Vegetable Oil
Japanese Seven Spice, optional

Clementine Teriyaki Sauce
1/2 Cup Low Sodium Tamari
1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Fresh Clementine Juice
1/4 Cup + 1 Tbs Rice Vinegar
1/4 Cup Water
Zest from 1 Clementine

Rinse your sushi rice in cool water and drain. Cook in your rice cooker or on the stove according to package directions, but 1 cup of sushi rice is usually cooked in 1 1/4 cups of water. Allow to cook completely and steam for 5-10 minutes off the heat while you are preparing the rest of the meal. Total cooking time for the rice will be around 20 minutes.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small pan let it go at a lively simmer for 20 minutes, until reduced and slightly thick. The sauce will NOT be super thick when it is hot. It will very slightly cover the back of a spoon and look syrupy, but it’s not going to be thick until it cools, so don’t worry if it seems runny. At the end of the cooking you should see large, excited bubbles (this is the sugar caramelizing), so if you don’t see those, keep cooking. Once the sauce is done, it’ll taste good but pretty strong. Set aside.

Sliced Seitan

While the sauce and the rice are cooking, prepare your seitan and broccolini. Slice the seitan into 1/8″ thick medallions, or something similar. I usually don’t prep broccolini any more than rinsing it and chopping off the ends, but if the stalks are particularly thick, you may wish to half them lengthwise. This shouldn’t be the case with most bunches you find in the store, however.

Heat a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the seitan and let brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl, turn up the heat to high, and add broccolini in one layer. Once you get color on one side, flip, reduce heat to low, and cover the pan to finish the cooking, another 2-3 minutes. The broccolini should be bright green and cooked to a tender-crisp.

Once you are ready to serve, add the seitan to the pan with the broccolini. Drizze enough teriyaki sauce in to coat everything. Beware, if the pan is too hot you risk burning your sauce, so take good care here. Once everything is heated and covered in a nice glaze, serve immediately with the sushi rice. Top with seven spice if you like a little heat.

This sauce is strong so you just need enough to coat — save any extra for a future meal.

Seitan and Broccolini with Clementine Teriyaki

BLT Salad

BLT Salad

This salad isn’t exactly… healthy. What it is, exactly, is delicious. And it has a surprise. There’s no lettuce. The greens are baby spinach, and raw kale.

Stay with me, here!

Yes, I said raw kale. I know you are thinking that I have finally gone off the vegan deep end. But I swear, the water is nice!

You can eat raw kale, too, if you pay attention to these three things: the kind, the cut, and the preparation. Follow these three steps and I swear you’ll be eating your kale raw and loving it.

The first step is finding the right kind of kale. Lacinato kale is perfectly suited to eating raw. I find that it’s thinner and more tender than the other varieties, but sadly, it’s not nearly as common. Look for long, thin, flat leaves that are slightly dimpled.

Lacinato Kale

It’s not always obvious what the best cut is for a certain dish. Small, thin strips of kale is integral for this salad, or any meal where the kale is served raw or lightly cooked. When the kale is cut this way, the dressing has a much easier time tenderizing the kale without having to cook it. Larger pieces of kale would be much harder to eat.

With regular lettuce, you wait to add the dressing until just before serving. Otherwise the salt and acid in the dressing starts to break down the fresh, crisp greens, leaving you with a soggy mess. With a kale salad, this is to your advantage! Dress the salad ahead of time and refrigerate it for a bit. The dressing will soften up the kale just the right amount. Plus, the addition of a creamy dressing compliments kale’s flavors nicely.

BLT Salad

There are many fake bacon products out there. My favorite is what I’ve used in this recipe, Lightlife’s Smoky Tempeh Strips. While the package says “Fakin’ Bacon” I find that it’s not at all like what I remember of the real thing, but I still like it. It’s smoky and salty and tangy, and it’s AWESOME in this salad (or on sandwiches). But as awesome as it is, bacon it is not. If you’re looking for something that more closely approximates the texture and flavor of bacon, there are probably other brands out there, but I haven’t found one that I like.

One last note: due to the sturdy nature of kale, this is the perfect picnic and pot luck salad. You can throw it together ahead of time and it’ll be perky and crisp when you get around to serving it. If you’re looking for a side dish that can stand up to summer entertaining, this recipe is a good bet.

BLT Salad
4-6 Side Salads

1 Head Lacinato Kale (aka Tuscan or Dinosaur Kale)*
1 Package Lightelife Organic Smoky Tempeh Strips**
2 Tbs Peanut Oil, divided
1 to 1 1/2 Cups Baby Spinach, Packed
1 to 1 1/2 Cups Sweet Cherry Tomatoes (about 25)

1/4 Cup Vegenaise Mayo
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Agave Nectar
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

*You can also use regular lettuce if you like, just make sure not to add the dressing until just before serving.

**Sub baked tofu, another mock bacon, or my Smoky Miso Tofu.

Wash and dry kale. Using kitchen shears (or a knife, or your fingers), remove and discard the center stem from each leaf. I find scissors makes the job quick and easy:

Deveining Kale

Stack the kale leaves on top of each other and slice into thin strips with a sharp knife:

Chopping Kale

Place the cut kale into a large bowl. Whisk the dressing together and toss with the kale until evenly coated. If you are using regular lettuce, keep the dressing separate until just before serving. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, longer is no problem.

Meanwhile, prepare the “bacon.” Slice the tempeh strips into thin, small pieces, and pan-fry in 1 Tbs peanut oil for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp on the edges. Drain on a paper towel and set aside:

Fakin' Bacon (tempeh)

Next, add another tablespoon of peanut oil to the same pan you cooked the bacon in (don’t wash it out!). Cook the tomatoes with 1/4 tsp salt for 3 minutes over high heat, or until beginning to soften and the juices are starting to come out. Remove to a bowl, with juices, and set aside.

Assembling the salad

Once you are ready to serve the salad, chop up the baby spinach and toss it with the kale, making sure everything is now covered in dressing. If you are using regular lettuce, mix in the dressing now. Add 3/4 of the bacon and the tomatoes and toss again. Plate, topping the salad with the rest of the bacon and some freshly cracked black pepper. Serve.

BLT Salad