Guest recipe: Seitan in mole! »
Knifestyles of the Fit and Fabulous has an amazing recipe for seitan in mole. Yes, SEITAN IN MOLE! Delicious, spicy, chocolatey, rich, decadent mole sauce. This is a meal that will impress you and yours so inflict it upon everyone you know! Have a dinner party! Fancy it up! Gorge yourself on the happiness that is vegan food! You deserve it, you’re such a good person, and so attractive, too!
The directions are as follows: First read all about Shana of Knivestyles amazing adventures, and then DO IT UP!
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced small
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (or tomates concassés. I’m so fancy)
1/4 cup Zante currants
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1/4 tsp. each: cinnamon, ground anise seed, ground cumin, ground cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup almonds, soaked for 6 to 8 hours, drained and rinsed
1 cup water, more if needed
3 dried ancho chiles, soaked for at least 30 minutes in hot water. Make sure they are submerged by placing a lightweight bowl on top.
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
Heat medium saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil and heat for 30 seconds.
When oil is hot, add onions and a pinch of salt. Sweat for three to five minutes.
Add garlic. When fragrant (after 30 to 60 seconds), add tomatoes and currants. Stir to combine.
When currants are plump (about a minute), add spices. Stir to combine. Lower flame and stir mixture for about 5 minutes to develop the flavors. The spices will become a nice brown and very fragrant. Be careful not to burn. Remove from heat.
In a blender, combine onion mixture with almonds, sesame seeds and water. Puree until very smooth.
Remove chiles from water, remove stems and seeds. Rough chop. Place in blender. With the motor running, add melted chocolate to chiles and onion mixture. You may have to pause and scrape down the sides. Blend until pourable. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
1 lb. seitan, cut into even size cubes
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. tamari
Heat oven to 325 F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
Heat a medium enameled cast iron casserole dish over medium high heat. When hot, add oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add seitan cubes and brown.
Add spices and tamari. Lower heat to medium low and stir for five minutes to develop the flavors.
Add seitan to baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir to rotate. Bake five more minutes.
When seitan comes out of the oven, add back into casserole. Cover with mole. Stir to combine. Cover. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake for five more minutes.
The Vegansaurus Diet: Momzilla! »
Welcome back to the Vegansaurus Diet! This week features Louzilla’s mom, who “decided to try to eat vegan for a week while [Louzilla’s] dad was off visiting his family in Arizona. She didn’t end up doing it 100, but maybe something like 90, which is still really awesome!” It is awesome; good job, -zillas!
What does a meat-loving omnivore eat when she tries out veganism for a week?
Breakfasts: 2 cups of coffee (black) every morning. Then, after exercising, oatmeal with chopped walnuts and a cup of OJ, or occasionally some peanut butter spread on toast.
Lunches: Usually leftovers from dinner, or a peanut butter sandwich–no jelly for this fruit-hater.
Saturday: I made spaghetti with “wheatballs” from Robin Robertson’s Vegan on the Cheap. Topped with Newman’s Own marinara sauce and rounded out with a side of steamed kale.
Sunday: We went to the grocery store and picked up some rosemary artisan bread and veggies. I sliced and pan-fried onions, red bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant and tossed it all with a dash of balsamic vinaigrette. Spread some homemade hummus on each slice of bread and put it all together while Mom made a side of oven-baked sweet potato fries with sea salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. mmm!
Monday and Tuesday: I wasn’t home for dinner these days, so no pictures, but Mom made and ate cabbage and leek soup from 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes.
Wednesday: Puttanesca. This picture is deceiving, because there are really more veggies than that but it wasn’t mixed well and they all ended up at the bottom topped with the spaghetti! I would totally link you to the recipe for this meal that we can both always agree on (and is super easy to make) if only my mom could remember where she found it!
Thursday: Again, I wasn’t home, but Mom had the rest of the leftover spaghetti & wheatballs. She just finished heating them up when our microwave of 28 years died!!
Friday: Stir fry made with leftover veggies from Sunday’s sandwiches and seitan based off this recipe, served over quinoa and with a big salad.
My two biggest celebrations from this week are that I got my mom to try hummus (which she’s always said she didn’t like) and seitan (which she’s always been leery of) and both were successful! What does she have to say about the week? She found herself craving meat, doesn’t want to give it up for good, but is still trying to decrease her consumption of it. Overall, a huge leap forward from when I first went vegetarian 5 years ago!
VEGAN CARNE GUISADA! Wes of Don’t Lose Your Lunch is officially the Best Vegan in Texas. Title upgradable to Best Vegan West of the Mississippi if a cast-iron Dutch oven full of this manna arrives at my doorstep before spring.
Happy Thanksgiving from reader Tami! This year, her family had this “seitan rouladey thing filled with seasoned spinach, mushrooms, red peppers and shallots, all wrapped in puff pastry. The hearts on top are to show that it’s cruelty-free. We served it with gravy (of course), mashed potatoes and green beans.” Anyone else wish they could have second (third? fourth?) Thanksgiving with her family? Happy Thanksgiving, Tami!
Beats ‘n’ Brunch still killing it! »
I was back in SF last weekend and we had a regular old Vegansaurus party at Beats ‘n’ Brunch! Laura reviewed it before but I had never been. IT’S OFF THE HOOK! I got the “Freedom toast” pictured below (9/11 humor!). It was bangin’. I also got the bottomless mimosa and this I MUST RECOMMEND.
Next is some tortilla thing that almost everyone got but me. I hear it was good but I didn’t try it. It had some cutesy hip-hop-related name that I now forget. But rest assured it was cute and hip-hoppy! [Ed.: it’s called “The Durty 30”!]
Steve and I also went to town on the bread pudding of the day. Again, there was a cutesy name involved that I forgot, but the flavor was stone fruit and coconut. Scrumptious! I did my best to keep up the picture-taking though I forgot to take one before we started with the bread pudding, so here’s one midway:
Sorry! It’s still a sweet pic though! You can taste the stone fruit goodness.
Moral of the story: If you haven’t been to Beats ‘n’ Brunch yet, GET TO STEPPIN’! Also, Laura’s description of the ambience is spot-on and I was all, “OMG so SF.” I decided that, per-capita, there are as many good-looking people in San Francisco as there are in New York; they just have funnier, most likely homemade haircuts.
Weird Fish’s fried seitan recipe! »
If we can’t have it at the restaurant, at least they gave us the recipe. I will refrain from further comment because I don’t want the internet police to rape me with their billy club of street justice but WHO WANTS TO HAVE A FRY PARTY!? That was rhetorical, obvs.
Mix in one big bowl:
- 1/4 cup lemon pepper
- 1/4 cup Spike seasoning
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 5 cups water
Mix and separate into four separate bowls, Then add:
- 3 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten to each bowl (14 cups total)
Mix in 3 1/2 cups of water to each bowl and mix into a firm ball or loaf. In a large pot, boil:
- 10 cups water
- 4 cups veg stock
- 1 cup veg base powder.
Simmer the loaves on the stove; keep seitan covered with liquid, adding veggie stock as it boils. Stir at least once every 20 minutes to prevent sticking and burning. Cook for one hour and 10 minutes. Cool and wrap in plastic.
BAM!!!! Kevin at Uptown Almanac made these and professes them to be the bomb. That kid is a skinny white dude so I think he knows from food, OKAY?
Seitan Equals Downfall For First Eliminated Top Chef Contestant »
On last night’s Top Chef season 6 premiere, cheftestant Jennifer Zavala was told to pack her knives and go for a chile relleno dish stuffed with seitan. It was incredibly ballsy of her to start the show off using seitan; Top Chef is completely obsessed with their use of “proteins” and it would have been a great coup if she’d been able to pull it off. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
At judges table when asked why she used seitan, Jennifer defended her choice saying she wanted to stand out amongst all the other contestants. Judge Gail Simmons (our favorite!) said it just wasn’t very good. On Tom Colicchio's blog, he mentioned it wasn't the fault of the seitan: “In Jen’s dish, it wasn’t the seitan that did her in, underwhelmed by that protein as we were. The dish was poorly done: the breading was falling off because it wasn’t breaded properly, whatever was thrown on the side of it was just a mess…”
Here’s the recipe on BravoTV; it’s not vegan, but could easily be altered by using egg replacer and whatever vegan cheddar cheese you like. I’m perplexed by the use of honey in the tomatillo salsa, so I’m just going to pretend that’s yet another error on the part of Bravo’s copy editors. The dish actually looks pretty good on its own. If anyone wants to try it at home, let us know how it went!
Review: Jay’s Cheesesteak! »
Now, down to business.
Back in the day when food was not repulsive to me—it feels like I can’t remember such a time*—I used to love the seitan cheesesteak sandwich, minus the cheese and mayo, with extra extra onions, from Jay’s Cheesesteak. It is the perfect sandwich and vegan! Yay! If you are feeling extravagant, you can have them make any of their cheesesteaks vegan. You can choose from tomato and pepper, mushroom, pizza, teriyaki, and more. The pizza cheesesteak is especially super-fantastic, all marinara-sauced deliciousness and shit. Go on with your bad self, pizza cheesesteak.
One gripe: These fools recently started charging 50 cents extra for the seitan cheesesteaks. WRONG! And before anyone is like, “Well, Laura, seitan is probably more expensive than government-subsidized ground chuck,” I will tell you this: JAY’S CHEESESTEAK USES NIMAN RANCH DEAD COW. Niman Ranch is the poster boy for “humanely” raised, grass-fed, sustainably farmed, Michael Pollan Richy-Rich-style beef. You ain’t at Food 4 Less anymore, Dorothy. This shiz is $$$$$. And I, for one, am so sick of paying extra for food that COSTS LESS. I’m looking at you, soy milk at Starbucks. Oh also, no vegan cheese. Boo.
A few logisticalities: There are two Jay’s Cheesesteak locations, one in the Mission on 21st Street near Valencia, and one in the Western Addition on Divisadero. Both locations are open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. They are both in good bar neighborhoods, which is excellent because they are ideal drinking food. Very limited seating, so see previous sentence about going to a bar.
*About 10 hours ago. I have mild congestion/am dying.
[photos via yelp]