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Hello everyone!  This past weekend I made some seitan which turned out delicious!  I used the seitan recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance with a few modifications.  I was looking to make a stringy seitan and I attempted to do that by kneading the seitan dough and then I stretched it and repeated with the kneading for about 5 minutes.  I think the stretching made a great difference in the texture of the seitan.  I really enjoyed the texture of this seitan and I will try to continue to experiment with the texture.  

Moving on to the recipe!  My grandparents were preparing to cook some stewed green beans with beef.  I asked my grandpa if he needed all the green beans and he said no, so I took about two cups of the green beans.  I really wanted them to make the dish with seitan but they were not fully convinced.  They have both tried seitan a few times but are still not convinced to use it in their dishes yet.  They always laugh at me when I tell them I am making “meat” from flour!  I keep explaning to them that it’s so pure and simple it’s just wheat gluten, a couple of spices, broth and that’s it.  I really want to get them to eat seitan instead of meat but that were probably take so long as they don’t like to explore many different foods.  Anyway I decided to make a delicous vegan adaption of their dish they were making!  I really enjoy stewed green beans and I have blogged about them before.  This time I decided I wanted to step it up a notch and add some seitan!  Stewed Green Beans is a very popular Albanian dish that my mom would make all the time when she cooked, she usually made it with smoked meat.  That is where I got the idea to flavor my seitan with some liquid smoke and smoked salt for a delicious smokey taste.  The smokey seitan really give the recipe some kick!  I like adding potatoes to my stewed green beans which I learned from my grandma.  As the potatoes cook they thicken the sauce really good.  I really enjoyed the taste of this stew!   

Stewed Green Beans with Smokey Seitan

Albanian Style Stewed Green Beans and Potatoes with Smokey Seitan
Serves 2 people
This Stewed Green Bean recipe is a great flavorful way to use green beans! The recipe makes enough for two hungry people, so if you have more people at home double the recipe. The recipe uses three tablespoons of olive oil so if you want to make this lower fat feel free to reduce some of the oil.  I use smoked salt in this recipe which is very tasty and perfect for creating a smokey flavor in addition to the liquid smoke. 

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups of Seitan, cut into bite size pieces
2 cups of Green Beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 small red potato, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
3-4 garlic cloves
1 medium tomato or one half of a large tomato diced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Pinch of chili flakes (optional)
2 cups vegetable broth or water ( You may need to add more liquid)
3 tablespoons + 1 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 1/2 teaspoons – 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke (My liquid smoke was a bit weak flavored so I had to use more until I got the right flavor, so adjust to your taste)Smoked salt to taste (Optional, if you don’t have smoked salt feel free to use regular salt)

Heat a medium pot over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot enough, add the seitan and saute until golden on all sides about 4-5 minutes. Towards the end at the liquid smoke and Smoked Salt. Remove from pot and set aside.

Now add about 2-3 tablespoons of Olive Oil to the pot. Add the onions and saute for a good 8 minutes until they are translucent and tender. If your pot has burned pieces from the seitan, deglaze it with a bit of vegetable broth. Add the garlic and saute for a minute until fragrant. Now it’s time to add the green beans and potatoes. Saute the green beans and potatoes for about 5 minutes.

Now add the tomato, paprika, oregano, chili flakes and season with salt and pepper. Saute for another two minutes. Add the vegetable broth or water and bring to a boil and then to a simmer. After a couple of minutes add the seitan that you have set aside. Simmer the stew for about 45-50 minutes until the green beans and potatoes are tender. If the stew starts to get dry simply add some more broth. Re-season with salt and pepper to taste if necessary. Remember to not go heavy on the salt because the Smokey Seitan is salt already from the smoked salt. Let the stew sit for 15 minutes or you can eat it has soon has it finished cooking. 

I like to serve these stewed green beans with some rice, bread, and a side salad or vegetable.

Hey everyone!  This weekend was really fun in terms of cooking!  So here is what I cooked/baked this past weekend.  After looking at so many blogs especially Sweet Eats and Another One Bites the Crust, I was really craving some cake.  These two amazing foodies are so fun to read, they go to various vegan restaurants and blog about them.  I spent so much time reading these blogs as I am obsessed about going to Candle Cafe.  Hopefully I can go this month!  I really want to go there and Erica of Sweet Eats and Nicole of Another One Bites the Crust both went to Candle and write countless posts about Candle and many more vegan restaurants!  They have posted so much cake that they eaten so I decided to make a cake of my own.  I saw that they had eaten a Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake which looked really good.  I set out to make my own version which sadly I didn’t complete more on that later. 
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
I doubled the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World chocolate cupcake recipe and made two round cakes.  I then also used the recipe from Vegan Cupcakes to make a tasty Peanut  Buttercream Frosting which was really good!  I baked my cakes for about 23 minutes and I took them out when the knife came out clean.  I let them cool and then when I lifted them they were so fragile!  This has never happened to me and I blame myself for not baking them a couple minutes more.  It was slightly under-baked so this stopped me from completing my mission for creating an amazing cake that I had seen on those two amazing blogs!  I just frosted my cake with the Peanut Buttercream and wasn’t in the mood to make the Ganche.  The cake was so fragile in fact one of it fell apart but lucky I was able to fix it with frosting.  The cake was also lacking in the flavor dept.  which I think is because of my cocoa powder.  I bought a big bag of Hershey’s Cocoa powder from Restaurant Depot and it has been living in my freezer for one year and has not been producing quality chocolate desserts.  The flavor does come out strong, I think it has went stale.  The best part of the cake was the frosting!  It was so Peanut Buttery and Awesome!  Hopefully one day I will be able to create that amazing cake from Vegan Treats that was featured on Sweet Eats and Another One Bites the Crust. 

Moving on to Saturday.  On Saturday my dad’s cousin came so I wanted to make some brunch!  I made her some Banana-Nut Waffles from Veganomicon.
Banana Nut Waffles
I have been eating a lot of waffles this best month which I think is awesome because I love them so much!  These waffles were sweet and tasty and very banana tasting, it was like eating dessert because I decided to add some brown sugar along with the recipe’s maple syrup.  I tasted the batter and the first waffle and it didn’t seem sweet so I just added the brown sugar but I think it was two much.  Next time I will add the brown sugar and leave out the maple syrup.  I had these waffles with just some maple syrup, these waffles really didn’t need any syrup since I already made them sweet enough.  I also served them with some blueberries and bananas and put a nice healthy shake of powdered sugar!  These were amazing!

Seitan Picatta
That same day I was craving seitan!  Thanksgiving was the last time I had seitan!  I don’t know how I lived so long without seitan!  I had an extreme craving for seitan where I though about it for about half a period in school!  After looking at so many pictures of seitan on Sweet Eats and Another One Bites the Crust I had to make it again!  Me and Seitan have had a couple of bumpy roads but we are finally learning to accept each other!  Sometimes I make seitan and it comes out rubbery, one time I made it and it was so so so chewy!  I had a couple of nice times with seitan but Saturday was the best experience  that I had with seitan!  I used the Veganiomicon recipe for the Simple Seitan.  My only addition was chickpea flour.  I find that chickpea flour makes seitan nice and tender.  I divided the seitan dough into two equal pieces.  I then set up the broth and put the raw seitan in there.  I made sure to stay right there and make sure it didn’t boil.  As soon as it started to boil I turned the heat to simmer.  I simmered it for one hour and the result was amazing.  The texture and flavor was the best yet.  It was slightly chewy, tender, dense in the middle and very meatlike.  I looked at a lot of Candle Cafe pictures and I really like how they cut their seitan.  It looks really nice to the eye.  So I took the two even pieces and cut them into slightly thin slices.  It was as close as I get to Candle Cafe.  I have been wanting to make Picatta for so long so I made it from the recipe from V’con.  The recipe was really tasty but I though it had a too many shallots.  The only changes I did was use a non alcoholic wine in place of the wine and I finished the sauce with some Earth Balance and lemon slices.  I also made some awesome mashed potatoes with lots of Earth Balance of course and some awesome Kale!  The sauteed kale came out really good better than ever.  I did this my accident but I let my pan get really hot and added the oil.  When I put the kale in it charred slighty at the bottom so I kept turning it so it wouldn’t burn.  The result was some delicious Kale with a nice slightly charred taste. I really felt like I was eating at some fancy restaurant it was so good!  The seitan flavor was the best that I have ever had yet.  I really want to get more experimental with seitan and try to create some interesting recipes!

Lastly after looking at another amazing blog, Vegan Yum Yum I saw the pancakes that she blogged about a while back. 
Pancakes
These pancakes looked so good so I gave the recipe a shot.  I normally use the VWAV recipe which is very similar.  The Vegan Yum Yum just has one teaspoon less baking powder which made flatter pancakes.  These pancakes were really good! I was really bad at making pancakes but now I am getting the hang of them.  I really want to get a griddle so I can get perfect browned pancakes like on the boxes that you see.   Does anyone know if a griddle will get the job done?  What do you use for your pancakes? 

Alright everyone, I guess that’s it.

Hey everyone!  Yesterday I made Pecan Crusted Seitan and I served with my leftover Creamy Cashew Mustard Cream Sauce and Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Asparagus in Orange Sauce from the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook.  This month I am sampling some dishes I want to serve on Thanksgiving.  I am post likely going to serve this Pecan Crusted Seitan or a Seitan Roast for thanksgiving.  And I am defiantly serving the mashed sweet potatoes and possibly the asparagus.  This dinner was really good, every thing shined on the plate!  I really liked the texture of the seitan, it has been one of the few successful seitans I have made.  I used the recipe for the seitan cutlets from veganomicon, I just added some nooch and that’s it.  The seitan cutlets had a great texture.  It was so tender, I didn’t even need a knife!  I think I can officially say that I like seitan!  I think the only thing I would change is flavor them a bit more when I baked them probably use some herbs or something.  Anyway,  I then marinaded them in a simple marinade consisting of soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and wine.  I then breaded them in a Pecan Rosemary Panko mixture.  Frying was a bit of a pain because some of the cutlets slighty burned, I don’t know why.  The oil got too hot and the cutlets browned very quickly.  Then, I also made mashed sweet potatoes for the first time but I gave it a little twist!  I used coconut milk instead of soy milk, and wow the coconut and the sweet potatoes were amazing together!  I usually just roast asparagus but I was looking for a little something new so I grabbed my Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook and I saw this great recipe for asparagusin orange sauce.  It was really simple to make just take some fresh orange juice, wine, and vegetable broth and reduce it.  I boiled the asparagus and then poured the sauce over it.  At the end I had an awesome meal! 

Pecan Crusted Seitan with Creamy Mustard Sauce, Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Asparagus in Orange Sauce

Pecan Crusted Seitan with Creamy Mustard Sauce, Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Asparagus in Orange Sauce

Here’s the recipe for the Pecan Crusted Seitan, Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Asparagus in Orange Sauce

Pecan Crusted Seitan
Serves 4-5
These Pecan Crusted Seitan Cutlets are awesome. They are a great main course to serve while entertaining. They would be perfect for a Holiday party! These are great served them with the Cashew Mustard Cream Sauce, but you can serve them with any sauce you wish.

Ingredients:
For the marinade
1/4 Cups Olive Oil
4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1/3 cup white wine or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
half a lemon squeezed
3 garlic cloves minced

For the breading mixture
1 1/4 cup pecans
3 tablespoons panko
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste

5 seitan cutlets (I used the recipe from V’con)
Oil for Pan Frying

Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Place the seitan in a small casserole dish or ziplock bag and pour the marinade over it. Marinade it for about an hour in the fridge.

After one hour, start making the pecan mixture. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Dip a seitan cutlet in the marinade and then bread it with the pecans. Make sure to press the pecans well into the seitan cutlet. Repeat with all of them.

Heat a pan over medium heat with oil. You need just enough oil to pan fry, you are not deep frying. Pan fry the seitan until nice and golden.

Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes
The mashed Sweet Potatoes are perfect to serve anywhere where regular mashed potatoes are served. They would be perfect for Thanksgiving!
Serves 4-5 people

3 medium sized Sweet Potatoes peeled and cubed into large pieces
Half a cup of coconut milk
3 tablespoons Earth Balance
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat a pot of water. Add the sweet potatoes. Then salt them generously with salt. Bring it to a low boil. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender. When the sweet potatoes are done drain them. Add them back to the pot. Add the maple syrup, Earth Balance, and coconut milk. Mash until nice and fluffy.

Asparagus in Orange Sauce
From the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds of pencil thin asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to boil. Boil the asparagus for 3 minutes. Run them through cold water.

Meanwhile, combine the orange juice, wine, and broth and bring it to a boil, reduce to 1/4 cup. Pour over the asparagus, and then season with salt and pepper.

Today I made the Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from V’con.  I will post the pictures hopefully tomorrow.

Hey everyone!  Sorry for the two day break, I was sick with a sore throat and still am sick but I just had to get on my blog and update it!  Me and seitan have had many rough times.  I remember my first time having seitan!  It was the most horrible thing I have eaten, it was like rubber.  It was so so chewy.  This was like a couple of months back when I made the Seitan Portabello Strongenoff from vwav.  Now I forget which recipe I used to make the seitan but it was horrible.  I think what I might have done wrong was put the seitan in hot water.  Another tough time with seitan was on Thanksgiving.  I set out to make some Pecan Crusted Seitan.  I started making the seitan and it looked fine and I put it in the water and it completly fell apart.  I had to take it out of the water and add more flour, luckily it formed into something close to seitan.  It was okay at the table, it turned out better than what I have expected.  After that I had a couple more seitan experiences.  My brother doesn’t seitan at all.  I like it but I find it has that “taste” and I just can’t seem to get the right texture.  I still prefer tofu and tempeh to seitan.  I don’t really cook seitan that much, it’s very rare.  This week I really want to try the baked version of seitan maybe it’ll change how I feel about seitan.  On Friday I made Isa’s seitan and added some chickpea flour so I can make it more tender as I was making a Goulash which is traditionally a long cooked beef stew where the meat is suppose to be very tender.  When my mom did a lot of cooking she would always make goulash.  It was one of my favorites on my prevegan days.  So one of my goals has been to great an awesome tasting vegan version.  I created a very close version of it but it could use a some work on the seitan texture and a little on the sauce.  I was thinking maybe putting some mushrooms in the sauce to give it a more meaty tasty.  For some reason my seitan turned out puffy  and not very dense.  I also thing I need to flavor the seitan it a lot more.  I can’t wait for the next couple of weeks as I will try to perfect my seitan making, hopefully by Thanksgiving!  I orginally started writing a recipe for the goulash but I think it needs a little bit of work before I can put it out.  Maybe in a couple of weeks I will try making it again.

goulash

My Seitan Goulash

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