Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Dinner 2008

The Voluptuous Vegan served us well for last year's Christmas dinner and that Seitan Bourguignonne recipe has been on my list for a long time so there you go. We sort of followed the menu idea in the book, starting with a simple salad of mesclun, carrots and an orange champagne vinaigrette (which is a fancy way of saying I mixed Trader Joe's orange champagne vinegar with olive oil, mustard, salt & pepper). The menu suggestion is to serve the seitan with mashed potatoes and parsnips but I wasn't too keen on the look of the parsnips we found in the grocery store so I made mashed potatoes and celery root instead.

Speaking of the grocery store, the first thing that dawned on me, shortly after arriving, was that this is not an inexpensive meal. Start with the alcohol (red wine and mirin) and already we'd spent more than we do for most meals. Then there's the shiitake and porcini mushrooms (we subbed plain 'ol button 'shrooms for some of the shiitakes), and red bell pepper isn't cheap this time of year either. Having said all that though, this recipe makes a lot. We had it for dinner three nights in a row and there's still a little left over. Oh, and the flavor. Layer upon layer of rich complex flavor. Definitely something worthy of serving company. And worthy of a holiday meal too. Especially Christmas, what with the red pepper and green peas and all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Quinoa with Seitan and Vegetables

I've managed to check off at least a couple of things from my list. The Sauteed Seitan with Mushrooms and Spinach from Veganomicon made for a fairly simple but very delicious meal a few nights ago (sorry, no pictures of that one). I also went back to the test kitchen with my seitan patties this past weekend. This time it was for sort of a chorizo style, seasoned with smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, cayenne, fennel seed and garlic. And once I made the seitan the idea for this quinoa dish started formulating. Actually it was going to be a rice dish but we were out of white rice and I didn't feel like waiting for brown rice, so quinoa made a fine substitution. Here's how it went down.

1 lb. seitan
3 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 med. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
pinch saffron
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
3/4 c. water
1 c. quinoa
1-2 c. broccoli florets
1/2 c. frozen peas
salt & pepper to taste

Short version: cook onion in 1 Tbs. olive oil; add garlic, thyme, paprika, saffron. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile chop the seitan and fry in 2 Tbs. olive oil until nice and brown. Stir into the quinoa at the end.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

To Do

I know it's been a lot of the same 'ol same 'ol when the best thing I could come up with to post about was a tofu scramble. Actually I did manage to make the Pumpkin Baked Ziti from Veganomicon for a holiday potluck but I've already posted about that. So now I'm resorting to a post not about something I've cooked but about some things I'd like to cook. Maybe one of these days soon. In no particular order...
  • Seitan Bourguignonne from The Voluptuous Vegan. Might try this for Christmas dinner.
  • Sauteed Seitan with Mushrooms and Spinach from Veganomicon. Something fairly simple I might get to soon.
  • Cajun Meatloaf from Vegan Dad. Well, I'd really like to make almost everything that Vegan Dad posts.
  • Continue experimenting with my seitan patties.
  • Re-visit the Apple Uglies. But instead of apples use pears and ginger.
  • Delve more into the Real Food Daily cookbook. I checked it out from the library again but I've hardly touched it and now it's due in 3 days. Maybe I can renew it...
  • Another video. Any requests? Is anyone actually reading this?
So what's on your list?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Simple Wraps

Are there any Annie's Goddess Dressing fans out there? Well here's an idea for you. Put some rice on a tortilla, add whatever veggies you like, slather on some Goddess dressing and roll it up. This was a quick meal from a few nights ago. I had already cooked brown rice and a couple sweet potatoes the night before. When it was time for dinner on this night, I started by cooking a couple chopped scallions and some garlic in olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Then I added a can of black beans and the sweet potatoes. I mashed this mixture up a little bit, cooked until it was heated through, then put it on whole wheat tortillas with the rice and Goddess dressing. If you're not a fan of the Goddess then pick your own personal favorite.

On another note, if you visit this blog in a web browser you may have noticed that I updated the template. When I did that, the blogroll and other links that used to be on the side went away. I added some links back based on what was in my Google reader but since I rarely use Google reader that wasn't an exhaustive list. So if there was a link to your blog there before and there's not one there now, my apologies - hopefully I'll get around to adding it again soon.
I'm still not totally happy with how the site looks so if I can ever find more time I'll probably keep futzing with it.