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Archive | November, 2014

Ham Style Seitan

26 Nov

One of the things I miss most from my meat eating days is ham. Not the cruelty and death that comes with it, or even the texture, but the smokey, sweet flavor that’s perfect on pizzas, in salads, or with Sunday dinner. I’ve been on the lookout for a ham seitan recipe for a while, and this recipe seemed to combine all the good flavors of ham in one place.

We ate this sliced into rounds on pizza, but I think this would be a great alternative to Tofurky at a thanksgiving dinner. It would be perfect baked with a glaze and slices of pineapple.  This seitan is a bit soft as is, but if you bake it in the foil for 30 minutes at 350° F it comes out perfect for snacking and slicing.

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Alfredo with Sausage, Caramelized Onions, and Tomatoes

25 Nov

I just tried the recipe for seitan sausage from Post Punk Kitchen and I couldn’t wait to make something with it. The recipe for the sausages is linked below-I didn’t make any changes and they turned out perfect. I love the smell of fennel and these have the perfect amount of spice in them. If you can’t go through the effort of making them feel free to use pre made sausages.

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Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Casserole

20 Nov

I was inspired by a post by Princesses and the Peas and I just had to try this recipe. I love quinoa right now (but seriously, who doesn’t) and eggplant is still abundant in my garden. This was a delicious recipe that’s super filling and healthy. I added some zucchini and tomatoes from my fridge. I loved the big bursts of sweet cherry tomatoes in between bites of quinoa. You could easily use regular diced tomatoes or even a can of tomatoes if that’s what you have.

This was perfect with my coconut milk cheese, especially blended into the mixture-I kept finding big chunks of cheesy goodness as I was eating. It was even better the next day, as most casseroles are.

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Orzo with Sausage and Zucchini

13 Nov

One of my favorite side dishes to make is orzo with basil and nutritional yeast.  It’s cooked slowly in broth which achieves a creamy texture, similar to risotto.  Nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy taste and tang, like grown up mac and cheese. I’ve always liked small pastas like orzo and ditalini, they’re much more fun to eat to me.

The sausage and sage make this dish a fantastic fall meal, great for lunch or dinner. It’s hearty and rich enough to be an entrée but could easily be a side for a larger meal.

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Vegan Banana Bread

10 Nov

We always buy bananas at the beginning of the week for packed lunches, so inevitably at the end of the week we have a few very ripe bananas leftover. Because of this, I’ve been baking this banana bread almost every week for months. We always have a loaf on the counter to snack on after dinner or with coffee. The recipe is originally by Isa at Post Punk Kitchen, and it’s become our favorite.  I love adding chocolate chips, blueberries, or topping it with struesel topping.

A trick I’ve learned recently is that if your bananas are not quite banana bread ripe, but too ripe for normal eating, you can toss them in a 350°F oven until they are black and mushy.

If you love your family, make this bread. I promise they will love you back.

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Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cups white sugar
• 1/2 cup coconut oil
• 3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
• 2 cups flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Cream together the coconut oil and sugars. Add bananas, almond milk, and vanilla.
2. Mix in flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
3. Pour batter into greased 8×4 pan.  Bake for an hour to an hour 10 minutes at 350 ˚ F.

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Mapo Eggplant

3 Nov

This could easily be called sichuan eggplant, but I prefer to think of it as mapo eggplant, as that’s what inspired the recipe. I’ve expressed how much I love mapo tofu in my previous post and this dish runs a close second. I came up with this to use up our abundance of eggplant in our garden this year; my desire for spicy foods prevailed over  traditional dishes like moussaka.

The eggplant gets a perfect soft and chewy texture when fried, and soaks up the sauce perfectly. I use mushrooms and seitan to mimic the pork in traditional mapo tofu and add some green onions for color. I usually grind my own sichuan peppercorns and make my own chili oil, but you don’t have to go through all that effort if you can buy them both. The fermented black beans and chili bean paste are key in this recipe; you can make it without them, but they add a depth you can’t get without them.

Mapo Eggplant

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Fried Rice

1 Nov

I’ve previously talked about my employment at a popular Asian restaurant that shall remain nameless (hint:you find it in most rest areas across the country and it features a bear in its name.) I spent my first few weeks there solely making fried rice, which is a lot more complicated in large amounts than it seems. I never tried their fried rice, because it contained chicken broth, but I started replicating the recipe at home with great success.

The key to good fried rice is old rice, high heat and a well seasoned wok. It’s going to be really hard to achieve the latter two on a home stovetop, because most people don’t have restaurant style burners. Bearing that in mind, you can still make some pretty tasty rice. I use dark soy sauce because it gives the rice that rich, dark brown color. Feel free to use regular soy sauce, just increase the amount you use.

I love having a big bowl of this in my fridge, I sneak bites of cold rice throughout the day. It’s one of my ultimate comfort foods, especially with chili sauce or teriyaki sauce on the side.

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