Tag Archives: seitan

Saved by Spinach Seitan Curry

13 Nov

Excessive hunger drives me to eat some rather strange things: a whole bag of Trader Joe’s sweet potato chips, a bag of Garretts caramel/cheddar mixed popcorn, multiple peanut butter snickers, greasy hamburgers with fried egg on top… I get a bit desperate when there’s nothing to eat in my fridge and my stomach starts to growling. It’s sad, and its scary. And no one should have to endure such pain. 

Therefore, at about 3 pm this afternoon, just as I was beginning to feel a bit whoosy and delirious, I decided to save myself from myself. I had to get in the kitchen and grab a damn skillet before things turned serious! A quick scan of my fridge led me to a package of premade curry sieten, an expired pound of tofu and a cupboard full of miscellanous items like artichoke salad, peanut butter-filled pretzels and dried black-eyed peas. Curry it is.

In just under 20 minutes, I ate the most delicious lentil curry I’ve ever had the pleasure of making. To make matters even more delightful, it was easy and contains things we (well, some of us) already have in our cupboards. Bon apetit, hungry monsters!

Spinach Seitan curry

What I Used

2 cups red lentils

3 cups broth

1 cup water

1 red onion, sliced

2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp asafetida

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp coriander

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 can diced tomatoes

q tsp liquid smoke

6 tsp curry paste (I realized that I didn’t have any curry powder at the last minute)

1 tbsp butter

1 tsp sea salt

Optional

handful of spinach (Mine was frozen)

1 package of seitan

What I Did

1. I melted one tablespoon of coconut oil in a Dutch oven, and sauteed the onion until it was carmelized, about 15 minutes.

2. While the onions were cooking, I mied all the spices together and, once the onions were tender, mixed them into the pot. I let this cook for a couple of minutes, and then added the garlic, cooking for another couple of minutes. 

3. Add the tomatoes, curry paste and liquid smoke, cook for a couple of minutes, then add the lentils, broth and water. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes.

4. If you’re using them, add the seitan, cook for another 10 minutes or so, then add spinach and butter. 

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You can eat this with rice or naan or really whatever you’d like. I just ate mine with a spoon.

Enjoy!

Gingered Split Pea Wraps

19 Jan

Growing up, I was never a big fan of southern greens. My grandma would make a big pot of combed mustard, turnip and/or  collards greens with a few ham hocks thrown in for flavor. I would often pass in favor of the yummy goodness known as hot water corn bread. I always was a sucker for carbs.
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The last few years, however, I’ve come to appreciate the pungent freshness of many different types of greens including collard greens. So when I was finalizing my ingredients for this week’s Food Item Challenge, for which I chose split peas, I thought I would give a gingered split pea collard wrap a try.

This week’s challenge was multi-layered and probably way more complicated than it needed to be. The result was nothing less than delicious, though. I would gladly make these wraps again.

Before I began the earnest task of cooking, I soaked the collard greens in water and vinegar as instructed by this wonderful tutorial. (And she’s got beautiful photos!)

Soaking Collards

I started by making the split peas. I chopped up an onion, sautéed that with a little oil and garlic, and then added cumin to the mix. I threw in the peas, chopped lemongrass and chunks of ginger. For liquids, I used a mixture of coconut milk and water. I don’t know exact measurements because I had to keep adding water later as the liquid absorbed and the peas were Split Peas on Stovestill a little too firm for my purposes. Once these were cooked, I drained off the liquid to be used later and pureed the peas with the ginger without the lemongrass slices.

While the peas were cooking, I tossed the seitan in the oven. I make my own seitan at home (I use the recipe from Viva Vegan), however, my last batch was a little bit moist, so you’ll need to adjust cooking times if you decide to use a store bought version. These wraps would definitely be just as delicious without seitan, though. I preferred a little more protein in the mix as split peas tend to be higher in carbs than protein. With thin slices of green pepper and more garlic, I put the strips of seitan in a baking dish and roasted them in the oven for about 40 minutes. Remember, my poor seitan was a bit overwatered and so yours might not need as much time.

While both of these things were cooking, I took canned sliced beets (no time for fresh ones. Besides, they’re such a mess…) and pureed them, then set them aside. Next the sliced cabbage was pureed and set aside. Once everything was finished, I quickly sautéed thinly sliced chard in the drained juice of the split peas.

Sliced Chard

Assembly was fairly easy, though I had to return to the collard tutorial once or twice. Me and the collards were in a serious battle. Two collard leaves head to foot, split peas spooned down the middle followed by a layer of cabbage, beets, greens, seitan and peppers. Fold it all together and voila! Delicious.

Plated wraps

And the meal was light and filling and energizing. I expected the collard greens to be bitter, but they weren’t. Raw collard greens: 1. Ham hocks: 0. A side of hot water corn bread would’ve been nice, though.

 

Mint and the Geographical Truce

13 Jan
Homemade seitan, savory grits and honey mint thyme crema

Homemade seitan, savory grits and honey mint thyme crema

There’s a great debate going on across the country. Middle America and those rug rats in the South have been going at it for years. Warring, raiding, generally acting a fool. And who can blame them? It’s an issue with a definite, exquisitely drawn side of right. Which is better: sweet grits or savory grits.

Being a midwesterner at heart, I’m going with sweet grits all day, every day, Homie. I have loved (and cooked for) a southerner or two in my day, though, and therefore I have learned to embrace the oddity known as cheese grits. I have learned to see the beauty in salt and pepper in harmony with hominy – not the same as grits, I know. But it sounded too sweet to pass up.

This week’s food challenge was mint. Well, I like mint in my smoothies. I like mint with rum. I even like mint with my lemonade. Cooking with mint? Sigh.

Being the woman that I am (and knowing my house would be shitbombed if I didn’t come through this week), I rose to the challenge. I opened my non-judgmental heart and decided I would pair savory grits with my favorite breaded seitan and concoct a lovely mint crema. The sauce was honeyed and thymed and a perfect hint of sweetness to parlay over the bed of grits and seitan.

Cold. Sweet. Thick. Delicious.

Cold. Sweet. Thick. Delicious.

I created a cherry mint fruit cream to go with the meal.

I don’t know if the battle will ever be won between those who worship sugary, buttery grits and those who like their grits prim and proper and salted. I do, however, know that I am all about peace. And I shall spend my life creating a happy balance in the middle.

Honey Mint Thyme Crema
1 cup of cashews (soaked overnight)
2-3 cups of mint
2 cups fresh thyme
1 cup water
3 tablespoons honey
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt

Throw it all in your blender/food processor/soda can and mix it up. Pair it with your favorite savory dish and enjoy.