VeganYumYum » fake meat Yup, I'm back. Thu, 08 Nov 2012 23:25:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Seitan and Broccolini with Clementine Teriyaki Wed, 20 Jan 2010 20:21:05 +0000 Lolo 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

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BLT Salad Tue, 21 Jul 2009 21:03:48 +0000 Lolo 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

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A YumYum Thanksgiving Tue, 25 Nov 2008 02:00:42 +0000 Lolo A YumYum Thanksgivng

Like a lot of people, I usually travel for Thanksgiving instead of hosting myself. This year, however, I’m able to create a full Thanksgiving dinner. I decided to do it a few days early in case any of you are still looking for some ideas for your own holiday meals.

I was really inspired by Vegan Menu’s Seitan Roulade and decided to take my own stab at it. It seemed like the perfect centerpiece. My recipe is very different than his, but if you’re looking for another filling idea, definitely check out his post!

The seitan in this recipe is easily made from vital wheat gluten. It’s wraped around a delicious, homemade herbed chestnut stuffing and then baked. I served it with fresh tangerine cranberry sauce, broiled green beans with slow roasted tomatoes, and fluffy mashed potatoes. Not pictured is a lovely mushroom gravy made with fresh vegetable broth.

You did all make your own vegetable broth, right?

The majority of this meal can be prepared in advance, so if you have the day before Thanksgiving to start cooking, your meal will be well under control by the time you wake up on Thanksgiving morning. Less time in the kitchen means more time celebrating with your loved ones! I’ve included a game-plan at the end of this post so you have an idea of exactly what you can do in advance.

To save even more time, stop by Trader Joes and pick up a box of their already prepared steamed and shelled chestnuts, packed in an airtight bag–not canned! This will save a ton of prep work and roasting time. I haven’t seen these available in any other store, but if you have any tips, do let me know in the comments. Prepping them from scratch works, too.

Alright, there are a lot of recipes to get to, so let’s get started!

Edit Dec. 2008: The seitan part of the roulade apparently sucks! It worked fine for me, but lots of readers are having trouble with it. Until I revise the recipe, beware! Make it at your own risk! :)

A YumYum Thanksgiving
Serves 8

Seitan Roulade with Chestnut Stuffing

2 Cups Vital Wheat Gluten, (1 box of Arrowhead Mills brand)
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tsp Salt
2 1/3 Cups Warm Vegetable Broth

Mix gluten, yeast, and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Add the vegetable stock and gently mix with your hands until all of the dry mixture is moistened. You should have a soft, squishy, wet dough. Knead a few times, and agitate the dough by squeezing and pressing it.

Dump the dough out onto a large cutting board and use your fingers to press it out to a 12×18″ rectangle. If the dough is too springy, let rest for 15 minutes before rolling it out. Cut the dough into quarters:


Heat a large, non-stick skillet over high heat with some olive oil. Briefly pan-fry the seitan pieces until just barely golden brown on both sides. This gives color, flavor, and kick-starts the cooking process so your pieces will be easier to handle.

Pan Fried Seitan

Set aside until you’re ready to roll up the roulades. Make the stuffing.

Chestnut Stuffing

2 Tbs Olive Oil
2-3 Shallots, chopped finely
10 Cremini Mushrooms, chopped (1 cup after chopping)
2 Ribs Celery, chopped
1 Box Trader Joes Prepared Chestnuts (about 1 1/4 cups, chopped)
7 Fresh Sage Leaves, chopped
2 Thyme Sprigs, leaves only
1 Tbs Fresh Chopped Marjoram
5 Cups Cubed Bread, (for homemade, see note)
1/2 to 1 Cup Warm Vegetable Broth

Note: If making your own bread, take 1/2 of a 1 pound loaf of sourdough and slice into cubes. I leave the crust on! Spread out the bread on a baking sheet and bake at 300º F for 30 minutes, tossing half-way through.

In a large, deep skillet, heat oil and saute shallots until beginning to color. Add mushrooms and carrots and cook until softened. Add herbs and chestnuts. Add bread and toss. Add broth 1/2 cup at a time until stuffing is softened but not overly soggy. Season with salt and pepper. If not using for roulades, place stuffing in an oiled casserole dish and bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. If using for roulades, set aside to cool.

Place stuffing on top of a piece of seitan, covering the whole surface. Roll up the seitan, stretching it to make as tight a roll as possible. Let the roll rest on the seam.

Rolling the roulade

With kitchen twine or any cotton string you have, tie up the roulade so that it doesn’t unroll:

Tying the Roulade, method #2

Repeat for the three other sheets of seitan. Place the tied roulades on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Lightly brush with olive oil. Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes, turning half-way through, until golden brown.

Seitan Roulade with Chestnut Stuffing

Let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing. Remove strings before serving!

Seitan Roulade with Chestnut Stuffing

Broiled Haricots Verts with Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Broiled Green Beans with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Slow Roasted Tomatoes
2-3 Pints Grape Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350º F. Coat tomatoes in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Bake for 40-60 minutes until very soft and beginning to color. Can be made a day in advance.

Broiled Green Beans
16 oz Haricots Verts (or regular green beans)
Olive oil
1 Pinch Sugar

Coat green beans in oil, and season with salt, pepper, and sugar. Place them on a baking sheet covered in foil.

Green Beans

Broil beans (just a few inches from the heating element of your oven) for 4-6 minutes or until softened and slightly browned. Toss with warm slow-roasted tomatoes and serve.

Mushroom Gravy

2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Cup Chopped Cremini Mushrooms (measured after chopping)
1 Pinch Salt
2 Fresh Sage Leaves, chopped
1 Stem Fresh Thyme, leaves only
1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
Black Pepper
3 Tbs Earth Balance Margarine
3 Tbs Flour
1 Cup Vegetable Broth
Soymilk, for thinning

Heat oil in a large skillet and add mushrooms, salt, and herbs. Cook for 4-5 minutes until softened and add vinegar. Stir well. Add a few grinds fresh black pepper and remove mushrooms from pan. Don’t clean out the pan! Turn the head down to low. Add margarine and flour and whisk until a paste (or roux) forms. Slowly add vegetable broth, whisking all the time, until mixture is smooth. Turn the heat back up and whisk until the mixture thickens into a gravy. Add soymilk in small splashes if gravy becomes too thick. Season with salt and more pepper to taste.

Tangerine Cranberry Sauce

1 16 oz Bag Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
Juice from 1 Tangerine (about 1/3 cup)
Zest from 1 Tangerine

Heat all the above ingredients over medium high heat in a sauce pan. Stir occasionally.

The cranberries will pop, and after 10-15 minutes of cooking the sauce will thicken and no longer be watery. Refrigerate and serve when needed. Garnish with fresh slices of tangerine if desired.

A YumYum Thanksgivng

I also served fluffy mashed potatoes, but I figured you probably don’t need a recipe for that. However, I can say that making mashed potatoes in a pressure cooker is my favorite way to prepare them. Since the potatoes are not submersed in water, they are extra light and fluffy. And they cook so fast, too! If you have a pressure cooker, dig it out to make your potatoes this year. You won’t be sorry.

Here’s how you can save time by preparing parts of this meal ahead of time:

Anytime before:
-Make vegetable stock, refrigerate for 1 week or freeze

One or Two Days Before:
-Make bread cubes for stuffing
-Make seitan, roll it out, pan fry it
-Make the stuffing
-Roll up the roulades, cover in plastic wrap, refrigerate
-Make the cranberry sauce
-Slow roast the tomatoes

The Day Of:
-Bake the roulades (40 Minutes)
-Broil the green beans (4-6 minutes)
-Make the gravy (10-15 minutes)
-Make the mashed potatoes (15-20 Minutes)

So yeah! That’s what I’m having for Thanksgiving this year. What are you having?

Seitan Roulade with Chestnut Stuffing

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Smokey Miso Tofu Fri, 25 Jul 2008 20:33:08 +0000 Lolo Smokey Miso Tofu

I hate it when I order a tofu sandwich somewhere, and it pretty much just tastes like (or actually is) blocks of watery, plain tofu stuffed between two pieces of bread. What’s up with that? You might as well be eating a wet, mushy sponge. I love me some tofu, but you got to treat it right, you know?

So I was thinking about tofu, and imagining thin slices of flavorful goodness to stuff into sandwiches.  I knew wanted to use miso as the base for the flavor.  The first sauce I mixed together used a bit of maple syrup, which seemed like a good idea until I tasted it.  Something about the combination of red miso and maple syrup did not sit well with me, so down the drain it went.  I moved on to pure, unadulterated sugar, a twist of lemon, a splash of tamari… I was definitely getting close.  I scooped in a little bit of nooch (nutritional yeast, aka vegan pixi dust) and liquid smoke and it was finished.  It’s a dead-simple marinade, tangy, salty, smokey and rich.  I wanted eat it like a soup.

I thought some pan-frying was in order, but when I heated up my cast-iron skillet and proceeded to burn all of the sauce right off the tofu, I decided the oven was a better choice.  The oven baked the flavor into the tofu, and 20 minutes was all that was needed since the slices were so thin.

This tofu will keep well, so it’s nice to make a whole block and set it aside for sandwiches, salads, or.. umm… snacking directly out of the fridge.

Smokey Miso Tofu

Smokey Miso Tofu
Makes 18-20 Thin Slices

2 Tbs Red Miso
2 Tbs Lemon Juice
2 Tbs Sugar
2 Tbs Tamari/Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke

1 Tub Extra/Super Firm Tofu, drained and pressed

Preheat the oven to 425º F.  Wrap your drained tofu in a few paper towels, then again in a terry cloth bar towel.  Press with something heavy – a cast-iron skillet, a plate with some cans on top, etc, for 10-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the marinade together.

Unwrap the tofu and make many thin, width-wise slices with a large knife.  I got 18-20 slices out of one block of tofu.  They’ll look something like this:

Thin Sliced Tofu

Line up your slices on a baking sheet topped with a non-stick baking mat. Brush both sides of the tofu with the marinade.

Smokey Miso Tofu - Basting

Let the slices absorb the marinade for 10 minutes or so, then brush just the tops again. Bake for 20 minutes at 425º F. Remove from oven and let cool on the sheet. The tofu should be darkened around the edges, but not burnt. Use immediately or refrigerate for later use.

Smokey Miso Tofu - After Baking

I’m a simple girl, so some vegan mayo, baby spinach, and sourdough toast were all I needed to make a delicious sandwich. Whatever your favorite sandwich fixin’s are will go great, most likely. This would tofu would make a nice vegan BLT!

Now that’s a tofu sandwich!

Smokey Miso Tofu

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Tamarind Seitan Kabobs Fri, 11 Jul 2008 21:00:05 +0000 Lolo Tamarind Seitan Kabobs

Comments are working again, thanks for your patience!

Hello July!

I’ve been sitting on this tamarind glaze recipe for a while.  It needed something summery, something involving a grill, and something you can eat with your hands.

It needed seitan kabobs!

Who doesn’t love a kabob?  You can put anything you want on a kabob, and these are no exception.  I made my own seitan chunks (based off of Susan’s Seitan Ribz from FFVK) and added some freshly blanched broccoli, but any veggie that floats your boat, tofu, store-bought seitan… if it’s vegan and you can poke it with a stick, it’ll probably work.  Because this recipe?  It’s all about the sauce.

I LOVE this sauce.

I used to have to drive to a specialty Indian grocer to get tamarind concentrate (I prefer it to the pulp, if you have a choice), but I recently saw it sitting at Whole Foods near the grilling sauces.  The brand I use is called Tamicon, and it comes in a little yellow and red tub.  It keeps forever.  Buy some.

The base of this glaze is the tangy tamarind concentrate and sweet, sweet agave nectar (also available pretty much everywhere nowadays, near the honey).  I give it a little depth with tamari, and some spicey notes with cumin and ginger.  It’s awesome.  And if you have a whisk, or a fork for that matter, you can make it.

Tamarind Seitan Kabobs

Tamarind Seitan Kabobs
Makes 10 Kabobs (3 Pieces of Seitan Per Kabob)

1 Recipe Seitan, below
1 Recipe Tamarind Glaze, below
20 Broccoli Florets, or 20 Veggie Pieces, your choice
Wooden Skewers, with pointy ends

Seitan Cubes
1 Cup Vital Wheat Gluten
2 tsp Smoked Paprika
2 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
2 tsp Bill’s Best Chik’Nish Seasoning, optional
3/4 Cup Water
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Tbs Soy Sauce

Vegetable Stock, for simmering

Tamarind Glaze
1 Tbs Tamarind Concentrate
1/4 Cup Agave Nectar
1 Tbs Tamari or Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Molasses
Black Pepper

Chopepd SeitanBegin by making the seitan.  In a medium bowl, combine the gluten with the dry ingredients and mix well.  Add the wet ingredients and knead for a few minutes. With a large knife, divide the seitan in half, and in half again. Continue to cut each piece in half until you have about 30 bite-sized chunks of seitan.

Place a large skillet (one that has sides) on the stove and fill with 1-2″ of vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, then add the seitan cubes. The stock should be about level with the seitan, the same amount of liquid you’d use for braising. GENTLY simmer (no boiling allowed!) for 8-10 minutes. When the seitan chunks are done, they should be larger, paler, and springier than when you started. Remove the seitan chunks with a slotted spoon. Set them aside until they’re cool enough to handle.

Save the braising broth to blanch any vegetables you’ll be using on your kabobs.

Simmered Seitan

Blanch any veggies in the leftover broth and drain and set aside.  Stir together your tamarind glaze and set aside.

Making Kabobs

Begin assembling your kabobs.  Be careful with smaller pieces of veggies (especially broccoli), as they’ll split and fall off the skewer if they’re not large enough.  I like to alternate veggie/seitan/veggie, but it’s your kabob, so make it the way you want!

Kabobs, ready to grillAt this point, you can refrigerate the assembled kabobs for later. Wrap them up and they’ll be ready for grilling whenever you (or your party guests!) are ready for them.  Everything can be made a day ahead, even the sauce, so all you’ll need is a few minutes to grill before serving.

Speaking of the grill, here are a few tips:

  • If you’re grilling outside, soak the skewers in water for a few hours before assembling the kabobs. This will prevent them from, um, catching on fire.
  •  Larger pieces of veggies will stay on the skewers more securely
  •  Like all sweet glazes, be careful or they’ll burn!  Add the glaze towards the end of grilling, not right away.
  • This will work just as well in a grill pan inside.
  • Once you’re ready to grill, unwrap the kabobs and throw them on. Everything is already cooked, so you don’t need to worry about anything other than 1) heating the kabob up 2) getting some nice grill marks and 3) caramelizing the sauce a little.  I failed at getting grill marks, but the kabobs were still pretty.

    Grill for a minute or two on each side, then brush the sauce over the kabobs. When the sauce starts to sizzle and bubble, your kabobs are done. Serve immediately with lots of napkins.

    Tamarind Seitan Kabobs

    ]]> 41
    Apple Cranberry Salad with Fried Seitan and Almond Dijon Dressing Tue, 25 Mar 2008 19:03:08 +0000 Lolo Apple Cranberry Salad with Fried Seitan and Almond Dijon Dressing

    I rarely post salads. As tasty as salads can be, I want to do my part in convincing the world at large that vegans don’t survive solely on lettuce. But this salad? Whoo boy. I love this salad.

    My husband calls salads like these “tossed sandwiches” and I’m inclined to agree with him. Our favorite salads aren’t just lettuce; they usually included our favorite veggies, a tasty homemade dressing, tofu or seitan, and sometimes fruit and/or nuts. We don’t make wimpy “house salads” with a few leaves of lettuce and some sliced tomatoes. Our salads are entire meals that look like they’ve exploded in the bowl.

    While I think this is a perfect salad, the fried seitan is really tasty and would go great as part of a non-salad meal (with mashed potatoes and gravy? Yes please!) or shoved in a sandwich. It’s crispy and delicious and meant to resemble country fried chicken.

    I’ve given directions for making the seitan from scratch (it’s not hard!), but any pre-made seitan should work. The main benefit of making it from scratch is being in control of 100% the flavoring and texture, but feel free to sub store-bought seitan if you want. It’s FANTASTIC with homemade seitan, but I bet it would still be pretty good with commercial stuff too.

    The dressing is almond-based, flavored with lemon, mustard, and spiced with Old Bay seasoning. The fried seitan also relies on Old Bay. It’s a wonderful commercial spice blend that you should seek out if you’ve never tried it. You can find it at any major grocery store, and it gives the perfect seasoning to the fried seitan. The ingredients are (copied from the bottle): Celery salt, Spices (Including mustard, Red Pepper, Black Pepper, Bay Leaves, Cloves, Allspice, Ginger, Mace, Cardamom, Cinnamon), and Paprika. It’s so good.

    You can make the seitan ahead of time (up to a few days in advance) and then deep-fry it when you’re ready.

    Apple Cranberry Salad with Fried Seitan and Almond Dijon Dressing

    Apple Cranberry Salad with Fried Seitan and Almond Dijon Dressing
    Makes two entree salads

    1 Head Lettuce (Romain, Green, Butter, whatever)
    1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
    1 Granny Smith Apple, thinly sliced
    1 Recipe Creamy Almond Dijon Dressing (recipe below)
    2 Fried Seitan Cutlets (recipe below)

    Creamy Almond Dijon Dressing
    Makes enough for two salads

    1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds (blanched or raw)
    1/2 Cup Water
    2 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
    1 1/2 tsp Tamari or Soy Sauce (low sodium)
    1 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
    2 Tsp Dijon or Stoneground Mustard
    1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning

    Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and no pieces of almonds remain. Refrigerate until needed.

    Chicken-Style Seitan
    Makes four cutlets

    1 1/2 Cup Vital Wheat Gluten
    2 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
    1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
    3/4 Cup Cold Water
    1 Tbs Tamari or Soy Sauce (low sodium)
    3 Tbs Soymilk
    1 Tbs Olive Oil

    Braising Broth
    2 Cups Water
    1 Vegetable Bullion Cube

    Mix the dry ingredients together. Combine the wet ingredients and stir well. Add wet to dry and knead until a dough is formed. Add more liquid if needed. The gluten will develop very quickly. Knead a few times on your counter, forming a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, forming four triangular wedges. Squish/Pound/Pull the wedges into 1/2″ thick cutlets. Take your time shaping, letting them rest if needed.

    Once they’re the right thickness, put a large, high-walled skillet on medium heat, adding the water and bullion cube to make a braising bath. Once it starts simmering, add cutlets and turn down the heat and cover. It’s important that you DO NOT boil the cutlets. Check several times to make sure the broth is just barely simmering. Boiling isn’t a disaster, but it will change the texture of the cutlets, making them spongier and rubbery.

    Simmer, covered for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. You can now refrigerate the cutlets in their broth for later, or fry immediately. I think cutlets that have been refrigerated over night before frying have a better texture, but you can use them right away.

    Fried Seitan
    For four cutlets

    4 Seitan Cutlets (recipe above)
    32 Oz. High Heat Oil (for frying: canola, peanut, etc)

    Seasoned Dry Mix
    3 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
    1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
    1 1/2 Cup All Purpose flour
    4 tsp Baking Powder

    Wet Mix
    1/3 Cup Seasoned Dry Mix
    3 Tbs Mustard (dijon or stoneground)
    1/4 Cup Water
    1/4 Cup Soymilk (or more water)

    Fried SeitanHeat the oil to 350º F in a 10″ skillet, cast-iron is best. Mix together all the dry ingredients except the baking powder. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients together. Add baking powder to the remining dry ingredients and mix well.

    When oil is heated, dip a seitan cutlet in the wet mix coating well. The dredge the cutlet in the dry mix and gently slip it into the oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy. Drain well on a paper towel and slice if desired.

    Assemble the Salad

    Toss lettuce with the salad dressing and plate. Add sliced apples and dried cranberries. Place 1 sliced fried seitan cutlet on top and drizzle with more dressing. Serve while the seitan is still warm.

    Apple Cranberry Salad with Fried Seitan and Almond Dijon Dressing

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    Colcannon Tue, 02 Oct 2007 18:24:35 +0000 Lolo Colcannon

    I try to sneak kale into as many dishes as I can. I didn’t eat a lot of kale in my pre-vegan days, probably because I assumed it was something only vegans eat. Now, as a vegan, I eat it all the time. I guess I was right!

    Everyone should eat more kale, vegan or not. When I was trying to figure out the least painful way to add it to my diet in my first, uncertain weeks of veganhood, I decided to slip it into mashed potatoes. As if I was trying to trick myself into eating it, I cut it up really small, steamed it until it was very tender, and mixed it into salty, creamy mashed potatoes.

    And it was good! Turns out I accidently invented a dish the Irish have been fond of for about three hundred years: colcannon.

    Food historians generally agree that colcannon was traditionally made with cabbage, not kale. Modern recipes online will call for one or the other, so use whichever green you favor more. I always use kale.

    I added little bits of seitan to this to take the place of salt pork. But just as you can make non-vegan colcannon without the pork, you can make this vegan version without the seitan. I only toss it in when I happen to have it on hand.

    If you want to make a different amount, I find these proportions work well: 4 parts potatoes, 4 parts uncooked, chopped kale, 1 part seitan.

    Serves Four as a side dish

    4 Cups Chopped Potatoes, I like Yukon Gold
    4 Cloves Garlic, minced (optional)
    3 Tbs Earth Balance Margarine
    4 Cups Chopped Kale
    1 Cup Chopped Seitan
    1 tsp Soy Sauce
    1 Tbs Nutritional Yeast (optional)
    2-4 Tbs Soy Milk or Soy Creamer, warmed
    3 Sprigs Thyme, leaves leaves only (optional)
    Salt and Pepper to taste

    Chop your potatoes into 1″ cubes and bring them to a boil in some salted water. You can peel your potatoes if you like, but I keep the skins on for added flavor, texture, and nutritional value. Meanwhile, add Earth Balance and garlic to the bottom of a pot. Cook until the margarine is melted and the garlic is fragrant, then add kale and toss well to coat. Add seitan and soy sauce and cook over medium heat until kale is tender and reduced in size. If you think it’s cooked enough before the potatoes are finished, reduce heat to the lowest setting to keep the mixture and pot warm. When it comes time to add the potatoes, the warm pan will ensure they won’t get cold while finishing the dish.

    Kale and Seitan for Colcannon

    Drain potatoes when they’re fork tender but not waterlogged. Add well-drained potatoes to the warm kale and seitan mixture. Mash as you usually would. You can also rice or mill your potatoes directly into the warm pot; this prevents lumps if you worried about that kind of thing.

    Mix in the nutritional yeast (if using), herbs, and 2 Tbs of the warmed soymilk. Add more if needed for a smooth and creamy texture, but not so much it loses its fluffiness. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.


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    Yucatan Seitan Sat, 05 May 2007 20:07:18 +0000 Lolo Yucatan Seitan

    Everywhere we went in Belize, people were eating a red-colored chicken dish. One of our guides told me that red color comes from a spice mixture called recado, which contains red annatto seeds. The powder (or paste) is sometimes called achiote, which is the name of the tree that produces the annatto. Annatto is tangy and is mixed with oregano, cumin, clove, cinnamon, pepper, allspice and garlic to spice chicken in Belize and other parts of the Yucatan.

    Recado PowderSince I couldn’t try it while I was there, I picked up a jar of recado powder at a grocery store so I could try it on some seitan when I got home. A lot of recipes call for recado rojo, or paste, instead of powder. I’m not sure if there is any substantial difference in taste between the two. The powder seemed like it’d be easier for me to transport, so I went with that. It has a beautiful red color, and I’m excited in experimenting with it more.

    Obviously I have no way of comparing this to the original dish to see if it’s close, but I can tell you it’s pretty tasty, if not authentic. I’m sure traditional recipes don’t ask for tamari, but I prefer it’s flavor to salt in many dishes, so I’ve included it here. The first time I made it I found the lime juice to be overwhelming, so this recipe calls for a reduced amount. It’s delicious served with some salty black beans, lettuce, shredded carrots, and wrapped up in a tortilla.

    Happy Cinco de Mayo!

    Yucatan Seitan
    Serves four

    1 8oz Package of Seitan
    1/4 Cup Orange Juice
    2 Tbs Lime Juice
    1/2 tsp Salt
    2 Cloves Garlic
    1 1/2 tsp Recado Powder
    1/4 tsp Oregano
    1/4 tsp Cumin
    1/4 tsp Allspice
    1/4 tsp Cinnamon
    1 Clove, crushed
    1/4 tsp Black Pepper
    2 Tbs Tamari

    Preheat oven to 400º F.

    Marinating SeitanSlice the seitan into wide but thin strips. Place all other ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Place seitan into a small baking dish, so it is roughly in one layer, overlappng some. Pour over marinade and cover tightly with two layers of aluminum foil.

    Bake for 30 minutes, but give it a shake at 15. Don’t peek! You don’t want to let the moisture escape. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes if it’s too liquidy. Serve immediately.

    Yucatan Seitan Fajita

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    Chipotle Sausage Chili with Apple and Black Beans Fri, 30 Mar 2007 17:41:11 +0000 Lolo Mexican Chipotle Sausage Chili with Apple and Black Beans

    I made this in 20 minutes, and that included time to straighten up a bit. My lunches can get a bit weird sometimes, as I tend to rummage around and try to make something that uses up the food we have. Here’s what I found today:

    Chili Ingredients.

    So why not chili with apple and sausage in it? The only things I used that aren’t pictured here are tamari, worcestershire sauce, and cumin. I saw the “grain meat” sausages at Whole Foods and they intrigued me. They ended up being pretty good, but towards the end I was eating around them. Maybe I’m just a tofu/tempeh/seitan kinda gal. I’d be interested in trying their other flavors, since the apple-sage variation sounds tasty.

    Chipotle Sausage Chili with Apple and Black Beans
    Makes two hearty servings

    1 Can Black Beans, mostly drained
    2 Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
    2 Plum Tomatoes, diced (1 Cup, scant)
    1 Cup Rehydrated TSP, see directions
    1 Veggie Sausage Link, diced
    1 Apple, diced (any kind, really)
    3 Tbs Tamari
    3 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce (make sure the label says it’s veg)
    1 tsp Cumin

    Chili CookingHeat 1 scant cup of water to boiling and mix it with 1 Cup dried TSP (or follow package directions). While that is soaking, heat a large skillet with some vegetable oil. Add carrot and stir every once in a while to soften. Meanwhile, dice apples, tomatoes, and sausage. Add these plus the beans and cumin to pan. Stir and cover.

    Chili FinishedCheck on your TSP. Dump out excess water as soon as it is fairly soft and add to pan. Add tamari and Worcestershire sauce, stir well, and cover. Let simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes. Serve with fresh cilantro or parsley.

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    Crispy Sweet and Sour Seitan Fri, 16 Mar 2007 00:21:33 +0000 Lolo Sweet and Sour Seitan (like No Name from Grasshopper)

    Grasshopper Restaurant’s most popular dish seems to be the No Name, and for good reason. The seitan is crunchy-crispy and coated with a delicious sweet and sour sauce. I was really craving it today, so I decided to try my hand at making it. I was pretty surprised how close I got to the real deal. This definitely satisfies my cravings for the No Name, and it’s not hard to make either!

    Crispy Sweet and Sour Seitan
    Serves two

    8 oz Seitan, chopped into strips (a loose 2 cups after chopping)
    1 tsp Ener-g Egg Replacer
    1/4 Cup Cornstarch
    1/4 Cup Peanut Oil
    Steamed Broccoli
    Sesame Seeds for garnish


    3 1/2 Tbs Seasoned Rice Vinegar (you can eyeball the 1/2 Tbs)
    1/4 Cup Water
    2 Tbs + 2 tsp Sugar
    1 Tbs Tamari
    1 Tbs Ketchup
    1 tsp Molasses
    1/4 tsp Ginger Powder
    1/2 tsp Salt
    1 1/2 Tbs Cornstarch + 2 Tbs water

    This recipe is not nearly as complicated as it seems. I’m just feeling verbose tonight!

    Add all the sauce ingredients except for the cornstarch and water into a small saucepan and heat on low until sugar dissolves. Mix cornstarch with 2 Tbs water and add to sauce. Turn up heat to medium-high and whisk until sauce thickens. Sauce should be moderately thick, but not so thick it’s gel like. If you scrape a spoon down the middle of the pan, it should take a second for it to fill in the groove you made, but it should fill back in. Does that makes sense? Add more cornstarch to make it thicker if needed, or add water (or seitan juice) to thin it out if it gets too thick. Take off heat and set aside.

    Heat 1/4 cup of peanut oil on HIGH in a large skillet, non-stick if you have it. Place chopped seitan in a large bowl. Sprinkle with egg replacer powder and mix well. It should dissolve from the moisture of the seitan. Add cornstartch and toss seitan until it’s completely coated.

    Test oil with a piece of seitan. If the oil bubbles up immediately when you drop a piece in, you’re good to go. Add seitan to oil in one layer – you might need to do batches depening on how big your pan is. Fry on high for 5-7 minutes, stirring and turning the pieces often, until crispy and golden. Drain oil out of pan (it’s safer to remove the seitan with a slotted spoon and pour the oil out of the pan, but I take the whole thing over to the sink and use the pan lid as a barrier. This way the seitan stays in while I pour the oil out. If you get severe burns doing this, don’t blame me. I shouldn’t do it, but I do.)

    Put the pan back on the stove with the seitan in it, but NOT over heat. Wait a sec for the pan to cool down, then add sauce. Use a rubber spatual to get out every last bit, as the recipe makes just enough to coat. Toss to coat seitan and serve immediately.

    If your pan is too hot when you do this, your sauce might get CRAZY thick CRAZY fast, as cornstarch is wont to do around heat. It’s not a big deal, but you’ll be happier waiting for the pan to cool a bit.

    Serve with steamed broccoli and top with sesame seeds.

    Additional (Untested) Ideas:

    Lemon Ginger: Omit ketchup and add 1 tsp more vinegar and 1 tsp more sugar. Add more ginger to sauce, fresh if you got it, and stir in 1 Tbs of organic lemon zest to the sauce.

    Orange Sesame: Add 1 Tbs of organic orange zest while dissolving sugar. Stir in 2 tsp of toasted sesame oil before tossing with the seitan.

    Spicy Garlic: Add 1-2 cloves of minced garlic to the sauce along with 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes. Alternatively, mix ground cayenne pepper with the cornstarch before tossing the seitan in it.

    ***This is the updated sauce recipe.  If you want to use the old recipe, click the link below!

    Old Sweet and Sour Sauce 

    1/3 Cup Seasoned Rice Vinegar
    4 Tbs Sugar
    1 Tbs Tamari
    1 Tbs Ketchup
    1 tsp Non-Blackstrap Molasses
    1/4 tsp Ginger Powder
    1/4 tsp Salt
    1 1/2 Tbs Cornstarch + 2 Tbs water

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