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Post Punk Kitchen’s Homemade Seitan — Great Taste, Horrible Texture

28 Oct

First of all, I apologize for being an absent blogger the past 6 weeks or so. My husband and I had to put down my beloved Gladys on September 22nd and since then, life has been quite busy. To make up for my absence, I decided to present you all with a seitan recipe I found on the web from the well-known vegan cook, Isa Chandra Moskowitz. To be perfectly honest, after being spoiled with Happy Herbivore’s amazing recipes, I find her a bit overrated.

This morning, while searching for a good seitan recipe, Post Punk Kitchen’s website popped up. I figured this would be the best recipe since ICM is so famous in the vegan community. Well, I am extremely disappointed 😦

Here is the recipe:

1 cup vital wheat gluten flour
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup cold vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated on a microplane grater

For the simmering broth: 
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce

Fill a stock pot with the water, broth and soy sauce, cover and bring to a boil.

In the mean time, in a large bowl mix together gluten and yeast.  In a smaller bowl mix together broth, soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Pour the wet into the dry and combine with a wooden spoon until most of the moisture has absorbed and partially clumped up with the dry ingredients. Use your hands and knead for about 3 minutes, until it’s an elastic dough. Divide into 3 equal pieces with a knife and then knead those pieces in your hand just to stretch them out a bit. Let rest until the broth has come to a full boil.

Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. Add the gluten pieces and partially cover pot so that steam can escape. Let simmer for 45 minutes, turning occasionally. Turn the heat off and take the lid off, let sit for 15 minutes.

Remove from broth and place in a strainer until it is cool enough to handle. Slice and use as desired.

Here is the link: http://www.theppk.com/2009/11/homemade-seitan/

The flavor was good, but the texture was pretty awful. Very porous and mushy 😦

I am keeping the broth combination in the stock pot so I can make a second round of seitan later today using a different recipe. I will let you know how it goes! If you have any recommendations, send them my way!

~Kate

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Product Review: Amy’s Light and Lean Spaghetti Italiano

11 Sep

 

Tonight, I decided to try a vegan microwaveable dinner by Amy’s. For 240 calories, the Spaghetti Italiano has a nice blend of veggies, pasta, and vegan meatballs. I wish they sold the meatballs separately because these are the best I have tried so far, and I feel like I could consider myself a vegan meatball connoisseur. Meatballs are one of the few meat-based items I miss, but these seem to be a pretty good alternative!

~Kate

Beer Bread, Pasta Sauce, and Granola Bars

3 Sep

I recently purchased “Every Day Happy Herbivore” and LOVE everything I have made so far! Here are a few of the things I made today:

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Beer bread using Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead to give it a little bit of a pumpkin-y flavor

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Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Sauce with quinoa pasta. DELICIOUS!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Restaurant Review: Spoon Revolution Vegan Bistro ****

30 Aug

Today I finally made it to Spoon Revolution in Concord! Their dishes are 100% vegan and gluten-free. Their menu is very limited so don’t expect a lot of choices if you visit. Today, they had 1 soup (Vegetable Bean), 2 salads (Hummus salad and a garden salad), 3 entrees, and 1 dessert. Each day, they offer a 3 course meal for $8.99, which is what I opted for: Soup or salad, entree, and a dessert, plus iced tea. If you choose something outside of the designated 3 courses, you pay an “a la carte” price. Check out their site for more information.

Mixed greens salad with fresh hummus

Courgette and quinoa cold casserole (Grated young zucchini, quinoa lightly cooked in house vegetable stock and seasoned with walnut oil, fresh oregano and lemon juice, blended with uncooked fresh organic tomato and basil sauce.)

Iced Tea

Mango Madness Mango, banana and apricot with coconut milk, oats and brown rice syrup.

I will definitely go back to Spoon Revolution! Three things stood out to me, though, that prevented me from giving them 5 stars: the limited menu, the sluggish atmosphere and the lack of organic ingredients. Sorry, Spoon Revolution… you just can’t compete with Susty’s!

Frizzled Cabbage and Smashed Bean Club

29 Aug

I recently received a massage head of cabbage in my CSA and wanted to make something interesting with it. After requesting help from my facebook friends, I decided on the following recipe. Unfortunately, I got nervous with using 8 tablespoons of butter, so I tweaked it a bit. Still delicious, but not quite “frizzled.” If you would like to try the true frizzled version, click the link below. Otherwise, try out this sauteed “frizzled” cabbage alternative:

Frizzled Cabbage

(Adapted from Food.com)

1 head of cabbage

2 tablespoons of vegan butter

Salt

Pepper

1.Core and very thinly slice the cabbage.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet (I use non-stick) over medium heat.

3. When it is bubbling, add the cabbage.

4. Salt and pepper the cabbage.

5. Stir occasionally and cook until mostly wilted, about 10 minutes.

6. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let cook, stirring frequently, until cabbage is starting to caramelize (brown), about 10 minutes.

7. Do not let burn.

Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/frizzled-cabbage-83524?oc=linkback

For lunch today, I followed another one of the Happy Herbivore’s meal plan recipes: Smashed White Bean and Avocado Club. Definitely one of my favorites!

~Kate

A little sweet and a little savory

23 Aug

I recently subscribed to the Happy Herbivore’s 7 day meal plan with the hopes of losing a few pounds. One of the recipes I have already fallen in love with: Peanut Butter Cup Quinoa. It’s my new favorite way to start the day!

 

For dinner, I made corn fajitas. I sauteed some black beans with onion, cumin, salt, and black pepper. In a separate frying pan, I sauteed peppers and onions. I layered the beans and peppers on top of a corn tortilla with salsa and guacamole. Delicious!

 

~Kate

Restaurant Review: Susty’s Vegan Cafe, Northwood, NH *****

20 Aug

This is hands-down my favorite restaurant. I first tried Susty’s in September 2011, shortly after I moved into the area. I was excited because, being lactose intolerant, I could eat anything on the menu. Little did I know that it would become my favorite restaurant. I am there usually once a week and the owner and staff now know me by name.

Yesterday, my mom came to visit and it is a ritual that we go and grab food at Susty’s. Since I have already tried everything on their menu, I love to order their specials. Yesterday, it was a Grilled Harvest Plate with Tofu and Fingerling Potatoes. My mom chose the Chili Con Corn Soup and then we split a slice of Chocolate-Chocolate Cake. The food was AMAZING, as always! If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend stopping here.

Obviously, it goes without saying that Susty’s gets 5 stars in my book 🙂

Grilled Zucchini, Sugar Snap Peas, Swiss Chard, Fingerling Potatoes with a Cheeze sauce, and Grilled Tofu and Tomatoes.

Chili Con Corn with Organic, Local Wheat Bread

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Veganized Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

17 Aug

One of the first weeks of picking up my CSA bounty, I received several pieces of rhubarb and had no idea what to do with it. Everyone I asked recommended making a pie, but I hate the process of making the crust so instead. I stumbled upon a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp recipe by Ina Garten on Food Network’s website and thought I would give it a try. The results we fantastic. I brought it in to work and everyone was pleasantly surprised when I told them that it was vegan!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh rhubarb, 1-inch diced (4 to 5 stalks)
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved, if large
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (make sure it is raw cane sugar)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal, such as McCann’s
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced (use Earth Balance, or some other dairy-free butter alternative)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

 

For the fruit, toss the rhubarb, strawberries, 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar and the orange zest together in a large bowl. In a measuring cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the orange juice and then mix it into the fruit. Pour the mixture into an 8-by-11-inch baking dish and place it on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

 

For the topping, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, salt and oatmeal. With the mixer on low-speed, add the butter and mix until the dry ingredients are moist and the mixture is in crumbles. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit, covering it completely, and bake for 1 hour, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream.

Original Recipe and photo:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/strawberry-rhubarb-crisp-recipe/index.html

Steaz: The second best drink in the world

16 Aug

I stumbled across this beverage at A Market, in Manchester, New Hampshire. I first tried the Lime-Pomegranate and loved it! The next time I was in the area, I stopped at A Market again just to pick up a few more cans. I was disappointed to see that they were out of the Lime-Pomegranate and decided to try their Zero Calorie Peach Mango. HEAVEN! Not too sweet, but with strong fruit flavors. I cannot recommend these enough!

Last week, after searching all the Shaw’s and Stop N Shops in the area and still could not find any cans of Steaz, I returned to A Market to purchase a case of the Peach Mango. They also had a new flavor I decided to try: Blueberry Pomegranate Acai. Very delicious, but still not as good as the Peach Mango.

I picked up the Mint iced tea for my husband, Tim. I just tried it and hated it, but I think it reminded me too much of peppermint schnapps. 😉 Tim said it was pretty good.

I plan on going to A Market again tomorrow to try the Unsweetened Lemon. I will let you know how it is!

Restaurant Review: Agave in Portsmouth, NH ***

15 Aug

http://www.agavedos.com/

Agave is a Mexican bistro in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I went there this past Saturday for a friend’s birthday. Fortunately for me, one of her other friends is a vegan! We sat next to each other to look over the menu. We both decided on the Classic Burrito with veggies. The waitress told us that their refried beans were NOT vegetarian, so we both opted for the black beans. Since we chose not to have cheese or sour cream, my veteran vegan friend politely asked for it to be replaced with guacamole at no additional cost. I need to take some lessons from her on how to be more assertive with restaurant staff!

In the end, our meal was fabulous! I would Agave 3 out of 5 stars. The food was delicious, but it was one of only a few vegan options.

Agave has another location in Newburyport, Massachusetts which, from what I heard, has better food, even though it is the same menu.