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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 ūüė¶

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 ūüė¶

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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Brownies!

30 Sep

I’m making brownies for friends and family tonight. Last time I made brownies I didn’t have the right ingredients so it didn’t come out very good. They were just ok. This time I bought cake mix and a 15oz can of pumpkin and that’s all I needed. Well I did add 1/4 cup water.
This recipe is like the weight watchers chocolate cupcakes. I used gluten free cake mix from Bob’s Red Mill. They use garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and other flours. I’ll let you know how they go over tonight in the comments.
One of the best things about baking vegan brownies is batter that is 100% safe to lick off the spoon!

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Pita Bread

2 Sep

I made pita bread for the first time today. They came out great, all but one puffed up perfectly, and my defected one still tasted great.

I got the recipe from Pinterest. The author says it it important that the dough be rolled evenly to ensure proper puff  levels. Mine here were about 1/4 of an inch. I made a few large ones for dinner and some small ones to snack on.

It was really fun watching them puff up in the oven.

I will be making these again because they come out really good and they were super easy.

Pretty much all you do is make a simple dough of yeast, water, salt and flour, roll into small discs, les sit for 35 minutes and pop them in the oven for 10 minutes. The simplicity is beautiful!

-Kerri

Throw everything in the pan curry

30 Aug

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I am a firm believer that great things come from one pan. I will throw everything i have in the fridge in a pan and serve it up about once a week or every two weeks.
This time I also used up a can of pigeon peas that I bought for the first time. I’ve never eaten them before so I didn’t know how I would like them. Turns out they were the perfect thing for my vegetable curry.
I cooked onion, garlic, pigeon peas, tomato, carrot, and mushroom in one pan and added a couple scoops of curry powder and soy milk. Simmered for 10 minutes and devoured! I will be buying more pigeon peas next time I go shopping! Next time I’ll use a little less curry powder and I think this meal will be perfect. It’s great for leftovers too!
What do you add to your curry?
Or what’s your favorite one pot meal?
-Kerri

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

Lentil Soup, lots and lots of lentil soup

28 Aug

I’ve been wanting to cook lentils for a while now. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten the before this year. They always looked weird and un appetizing to me. Some lovely Indian dal changed me mind. I’m still too intimidated to cook Indian food at home, so i made lentil soup. This recipe is simple and tastes great! It came out more like a stew, perfect with a piece of toast. It tastes way better than it looks, trust me ūüôā¬†

Simple Lentil Soup:

1 lb green lentils

1 large potato

1 large tomato

3 large carrots

1 med onion

6 leaves of kale

5 cloves of garlic

2 tbs oil

1 quart vegetable stock

2 cups water

salt and pepper

 

In a blender, pulse garlic, onion, carrots, and kale. This cuts down on the chop time.

 

Heat oil in large soup pot.

Add vegetables from blender to pot.

 

Add salt and pepper. (A good large pinch)

Chop potato into small pieces and add to pot, stir occasionally, cook for 5 minutes.

Rinse lentils with cold water.

Add Vegetable stock to pot. (I poured the stock into the blender and then into the pot so I could get every last little piece of the green vegetable mix out of the blender.

Add extra water (I added 2 cups and it came out pretty much like stew, add more water of veg. stock for a thin broth)

Cover pot and let cook for 30 minutes.

taste test lentils, continue to cook until lentils are soft but not mushy.

Serve with toasted crusty bread.

Enjoy. Makes enough for sharing and the freezer ūüôā¬†

Recipe: Chickpea Salad!

26 Aug

I recently was at the store and ran across a pre-made Chickpea Salad that was vegan. It tasted great, but I figured I could easily make my own version at home. I copied the ingredients and with the help of a few online recipes, I pieced together what turned out to be an amazing salad!

Kate’s Chickpea Salad

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed

1/2 green pepper, diced

1/2 red pepper, diced

1/2 onion, diced

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1-2 cloves garlic (or the equivalent in garlic powder)

1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt

Pepper

1. Saute onions and peppers over medium heat for about 4-6 minutes. Onions should be slightly translucent. You can skip this step if you prefer raw veggies.

2. In a large bowl, combine veggies, garlic, chickpeas, and cilantro.

3. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix and pour over salad.

4. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Refrigerate before serving so all the flavors can combine.

I also wanted to share one of the most exciting items I have received from my CSA: MELON!

The Sweet Simple Pleasures of Late Summer

24 Aug

My neighbors started a small but amazing garden this year. They generously gave me some of their tomatoes the other day.

These tomatoes are the most flavorful tomatoes I can ever remember tasting. They are far and above, way better than the tomatoes in my CSA.

I ate these tomatoes by themselves and they were awesome, but what really hit the spot was my open faced tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich.

I have a sweet memory of my first tomato and mayonnaise sandwich. I was probably 11 when I went through a pretty severe Harriet the Spy phase. Harriet love tomato and  mayonnaise sandwiches, so of corse I needed to try one.

My Nanna lived with us, and she saw me making the sandwich in the kitchen and got all excited. Seeing the tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich stirred up memories of her past and childhood when she used to make them all the time. She said that she had not seen one in years and years and decided to join me and have a sandwich of her own.

Now tomato and  mayonnaise sandwiches are like comfort food. It always brings me back to that day with my Nanna in the kitchen and Harriet the Spy on my mind.

I made my tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich open faced this time because the tomatoes were so beautiful I thought it would be a shame to cover them with a piece of bread.

I toasted scali bread in the toaster oven (an italian style bread covered with sesame seeds), and topped the toast with vegan  mayonnaise and large slices of tomato.

I could eat this everyday for the rest of my life.

-Kerri

Cold Cucumber Rice Salad

21 Aug

I’m always looking for things to make for lunch at work. This cold cucumber and rice salad is the perfect thing because I can make it ahead of time, and the flavors blend beautifully by the time my lunch break rolls around. I made a batch of this and ate it two days in a row, and it was even better the second day.

I thought of this dish because i wanted something with a light flavor, that would stick my your ribs. I had a lot of cucumbers but i didn’t think my¬†Cool Cookout Cucumber Salad would fill my up enough, and I didn’t want anything with a slot of dressing. This salad has just the right balance of flavors and texture. I’m really happy with the way it tuned out.

Cold Cucumber Rice Salad

1 cup plain rice (measured uncooked rice)

2 cucumbers

1 lime

1 teaspoon white vinegar

vegan mayo

I use extra long grain white rice. I make it like sushi rice because I love it slightly sticky. I make sticky rice by rinsing the uncooked rice with really cold water. I swish the water around and scrunch the damp rice in my fists so the grains rub against each other polishing the outside of the rice. Rinse several times until the water is pretty much clear. Drain rinsing water and add fresh water to the pot. Bring water and rice to a boil. Then turn the heat down and cover the pot to steam the rice. Simmer (watch out for boiling over) for 30 minutes.

While the rice is cooking cut cucumbers into bite sized pieces.

When rice is cooked remove from heat and place in mixing bowl, add white vinegar and fold into the rice.

Add Cucumbers to the bowl.

Add the juice from one lime.

Add a small amount of vegan mayo. Just enough to bring the mixture together. Taste test the salad until you get the right amount. People are very picky about how much mayo to use. Remember you can always add more if you want, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there.

You want to fold the ingredients together while the rice is warm and then place the batch in the refrigerator. I suggest making this at least 20 minutes before serving, but you can do it a day in advance. The flavor is better when its had time to blend.

Enjoy!

I’d love a comment if you try this recipe.

-Kerri

Homemade Salsa

14 Aug

Kate’s Homemade Salsa

4 tomatoes (I used the ones I received in my CSA), quartered

1 small red onion, quartered

A large bunch of fresh cilantro

1-2 tablespoons Cumin

1-2 teaspoons Chipotle Pepper Powder

1-2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper

Salt

Pepper

  1. First, pulse onion until it is diced up.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cilantro and continue to pulse until you get the desired consistency.
  3. Season to your liking!