Posts Tagged ‘vegan month of food’

VeganMoFo Post 12

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 There we are listed at the 3:00 demo!

A weekend or two ago I headed down to Bethlehem PA for the Bethlehem VegFest with Dianne from VeggieGirl. We were asked to do a cooking demo which I wrote about HERE. The demo was only a 1/2 hour long so we did some walking around, shopping and eating! I really wanted to eat at the Jenny Kuali’s stand but unfortunately they had a bit of an accident that involved the fire department and sending a few people to the hospital! Good news is that everyone involved is going to be ok. They are very vegan friendly and I might just plan another day trip to Bethlehem to have a meal at their restaurant.

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I ended up getting the PA Dutch Brown Bag Lunch from the V-lish stand. The brown bag lunch had a Faux Tuna with Beet Slaw sandwich on homemade bread, Dutch Potato-Onion Soup and a Debbie’s Kitchen Fresh Oatmeal Cookie. The whole meal was great. The faux tuna was a standard mashed chickpea salad. The beet slaw added something special to the common vegan sandwich. The soup was delicious but not what I really needed on what was turning into a warm day. The oatmeal cookie however was outstanding. I wish I bought a few extra to take home. I had other desserts to take home though!

Vegan Treats had their own HUGE stand at the VegFest! I have alway’s wanted to drive to the Vegan Treats bakery and have never done it so I was more then excited to finally be trying their desserts, although I’m sure I’ve had one or two while eating at a restaurant in NYC. You could smell the sugar from at least 10 feet away from the tent and then when you entered the tent you were easily overwhelmed by the sweet sugar smell. I didn’t mind one bit though!  We headed over to their table later in the day after our demo and it was quite picked through but they seemed to have everything in stock still.

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I was so happy to see cannoli’s on the table! I ordered 2 of them just for myself since my husband doesn’t like them. I also took home the biggest whoopie pie I’ve ever seen and Vegan Treats famous Peanut Butter Bomb.

I’ve been wanting a Peanut Butter Bomb for years now. My husband and I shared it while watching Breaking Bad the next night and it was everything I thought it would be. I’m at the same time sad and happy that I don’t live close to the Vegan Treats Bakery. If I lived close by I would be there all the time! It would not be good! I am looking forward though to next years Bethlehem VegFest with the hopes that the Vegan Treats tent will be back!

Cashew-Dill Sauce (Recipe)

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Seitan Wrap w. Cashew Dill Sauce

Yeah this is the same picture from my last post. Sauces are hard to photograph on their own so I’m reusing this pic just to show you a use for the sauce. Makes sense?

I originally set out to make a Cashew Ranch sauce but came up short due to lack of herbs and spices that I didn’t have/couldn’t find…whatever. I still plan on making that Cashew Ranch one of these days but I was really happy with what I made and I basically put it on everything I made last week. From the seitan wrap above, burrito’s for lunch and some sauteed potatoes another day this stuff was delicious. I made it the same night I made the seitan wraps and the raw onion in it wasn’t subtle at all but I was fine with that. As the days went by that it sat in the fridge waiting for it’s next appearance  in one of my meals the raw onion taste melded perfectly with the rest of the ingredients and it wasn’t so in your face. The sauce just kept getting better and better as the week went on. So I highly recommend making this and letting it sit in the fridge for a day or at least overnight before using.

Cashew-Dill Sauce
makes 1 1/4 cups

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least one hour or overnight
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
pinch of red pepper flake
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, lightly packed
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Drain the cashews and pour them into your blender (I use a Vita Mix to get a true creamy texture, if not using a Vita Mix or other high powered blender you might need to add more water) along with with the garlic, onion, lemon juice, dill, red pepper flakes, parsley  and water. Blend until smooth adding more water in necessary until you achieve a nice, slightly thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

veganmofo2011

Seitan and Recipes

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Seitan Sauteed with Garlic

I get weird sometimes about sharing recipes. Sometimes I’m greedy and just want to keep them to myself, like my brownie recipe, which on occasion I share with people close to me and I’m getting closer to being comfortable sharing on here. Most of the time I just get anxious that no one will like it, it won’t come out the same way for you as it does for me, I can always improve on it so I’ll just wait until then, blah blah blah. The one recipe I’ve been saying over and over again that I’m “going to post on my blog real soon” is my seitan recipe. Its falls under the category of “I can always improve on it so I’ll just wait until then”. I finally realized the other day that I’ve been making it the same way for months now and I’ve served it to a lot of people over that time. Most of those people are meat eaters and they have all loved it. So I’m finally going to share it today although I think I’ll need a few drops of Rescue Remedy to calm my nerves before I do.

Before cooking

Before simmering (these pictures aren’t pretty to look at)  :)

I love making my own seitan for a few reasons: it’s cheap, it’s easy, I don’t like any of the brands that I can buy in the stores by me and I can flavor it however I want.  What I don’t/didn’t like about making it is the 5 or so minutes that is needed to knead the seitan. You see I broke my hand about 6 years ago and kneading anything still KILLS it. On really cold winter days my right hand is basically useless. I knead away though each and every time until I can’t take it anymore. The last time I made the seitan it was a chilly day, my hand wasn’t cooperating and I FINALLY thought to just let my KitchenAid stand mixer do all the work for me. Sweet jesus that machine just made my life a whole lot easier and less painful! Why I didn’t think of it before is beyond me. So you can make this recipe either way…with your own two hands or with the help of your KitchenAid.

Simmered/Sliced Seitan

Basic Seitan
makes 8-9 thick cutlets

Broth

16 cups water
2 tablespoons concentrated broth (I use Better Than Bouillon’s non chicken base) or 3 bouillon cubes
1/4 cup tamari
3 bay leaves

Seitan

3 cups vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 cup cold water
1/2 cup tamari
1/2 cup unsweetened non dairy milk
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the broth: add all the ingredients to a large pot with a lid. (any pot that you can cook pasta/soup in is perfect). Leave it be until the seitan is ready to be added.

For the seitan: In a large mixing bowl add the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, cumin and garlic powder and stir to combine. In a medium size bowl whisk together the cold water, tamari, unsweetened non dairy milk and olive oil until well mixed.  Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix. Here is where you either get your hands dirty or throw in in your KitchenAid stand mixer if you have one. Knead for about 5 minutes until you have a giant, stretchy ball of gluten in your hands (mixer). With your hands or kitchen knife divide the dough into 8-9 pieces and stretch those pieces out a bit to form a cutlet shape. Once all the seitan cutlets are formed slip them into the pot and turn the heat onto high. Once the broth starts to boil immediately lower to a simmer and cover the pot leaving the lid slightly off so some steam can escape. Simmer the seitan for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes turn off the heat, fully cover the pot and let sit for at least 20-30 minutes.

Remove the seitan to a lidded container and add enough of the cooking broth to cover it  and store it in the fridge until ready to use.

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Seitan Wrap w. Cashew Dill Mayo

My favorite ways to use this seitan is to thinly slice it and saute it in olive oil with a lot of garlic for Seitan Wraps or i’ll cut it into thicker strips to make seitan finger type meals like my Pecan Crusted Seitan or Beer Battered Seitan. I’ll also marinate thick slices in BBQ sauce and grill it either outside on the grill or inside on a grill pan for a Seitan Rib dinner.

Now like I said this recipe falls under the “I can always improve this recipe…” If I ever do improve upon it I promise to share it. :)

veganmofo2011

Cashew Veg Stir Fry

Cashew Veg Stir Fry

Cashew Vegetable Stir Fry

Vegetable stir frys are a beautiful thing. I love the green of the string beans, scallions and broccoli, the red of the pepper and the orange of carrots (not pictured).  I like to keep my veggies crisp when cooking them so I don’t cook them for a very long time. Something about the crunch makes me a happy girl. My absolute favorite part of the stir fry are the cashews. I love em’. All time favorite nut. I add them to everything I possibly can. They are added towards the end of the cooking process. I’d say when there is about 5 minutes of cooking time left is a good time to add them. It warms them up and toast’s them a bit.

For years I would just splash some tamari or shoyu into the pan at the end and call it a day. Then I got to wondering how chinese restaurants alway’s have a thickened sauce on their veggie dishes and thought to one day add some arrowroot powder (you can also use cornstarch). I pour whatever soy type of sauce i’m using into a measuring cup, i’d say about 1/3-1/2 a cup depending on the amount of veggies I’m using and then stir in about 2 heaping teaspoons of arrowroot (or cornstarch). I raise the heat of the pan to High and then pour in it and stir the hell out of the veggies and cashews. If the pan is hot enough the sauce will thicken almost immediately. I stir until everything is coated and then serve immediately over jasmine rice with some scallions sprinkled on top.

This was a big deal dinner for us the other night. You might be  thinking what’s the big deal about a stir fry but when you are us and you ate this 2-3 times a week for years, then had kids and stopped eating it because they won’t eat it and you refuse to cook separate meals for them all the time……it’s just a big deal.  I don’t like making Reno a separate meal from us. I want her to eat what we eat but every once in awhile I just want to eat what I want to eat so the night we ate this she had a PB&J and I took a few pieces of broccoli out before adding the shoyu/tamari sauce to the pan. Interestingly enough she ate all the broccoli before eating the sandwich. Perhaps one day I’ll get her to eat this stir fry.

veganmofo2011

Happy VeganMoFo!

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2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma

I’m really excited about VeganMoFo this year! I have lots of things I want to share that I just didn’t have time to over the last few months due to having a brand new baby. Now that he’s 4 months old and napping regularly and Reno is back in preschool I think I might actually I have time to blog again! Of course though as I’m typing this out Miles has decided that he needs attention. Typical!

Anyway…I’m still in love with Isa’s cookbook Appetite For Reduction. I’m still making the Everyday Chickpea Salad all the time. I bring it to potlucks and I made it for Reno’s birthday party. Another favorite recipe of mine is the 2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma. I love Indian food. If I could I would get Indian take out a few times a week. That’s expensive though so I don’t. It’s also full of oil and fattening. So I’m thrilled that there is a Korma recipe in this book. I’m also thrilled that it is delicious. Its full of delicious veggies, curry and coconut milk. What more can you ask for? I’ll tell ya…its even more delicious the next day after all the flavors get to sit and meld together overnight in the fridge!

veganmofo2011