Made for Love

Rigatoni with Seitan102710_1

Another week, another wonderful episode of GLEE! While last night was not one of my favorite ones (thank you Terri), it was still a great episode and I really enjoyed seeing GP.  I might be one of the few people who saw Duets. and thanks to my time serving at Macy’s I still know the words to the main song from that.  However even with the knowledge of her vocal chops I was still impressed with her version of Forget You.  I also enjoyed the Tots Rebellion…even though I can’t stand those things…even if they are in the form of Tatter Tot Casserole.  To me they are a form of potato abuse, but to be fair I’ve never had fresh tots so maybe that’s the problem.  If anyone has a recipe for this please send it my way because I would love to give them a go! Tonight’s recipe does not involve potatoes, but I’m sure there is a way to incorporate them.  This is one of those dishes that can be quickly tossed together which makes it great for this crazy time of year.  The ingredients are all easy to find, and most of them are probably already in your pantry/fridge so no need to venture near the grocery store, which is also great this time of year.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
8 oz seitan
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 cup peas
1/2 cup Marsala
1 lb rigatoni (I used whole wheat)
1 cup half & half
1/2 cup grated Mozz.

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan.  Add the onion and garlic and stir over low heat until the onion is tender. Add the seitan and mushrooms, cook 10minutes.  Stir in the wine and bring to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer an additional 10minutes.

2. Meanwhile cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and return to pan.

3. Add the half & half and mozz. to the pasta along with the mushroom seitan mixture.  Toss well, season to taste and serve!

Nothing like a quick easy meal during a time period that can be anything but easy.  Tomorrow I’ll be posting one of my favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes, and one that I hope to serve to Joe’s family next week.

Do You Remember

Seitan Tips w/Mushroom Sauce and Maple Carrots

I started writing this post many moons ago…and thought I hit the publish button.  Apparently that was not the case.  Things have been crazy over here, but the good kind of fun crazy where people come visit and other people get older.  I am still preparing myself for the egg challenge coming up later this month (!) so lots of recipe research has been going.  I have also developed a slight addiction to using Sherry and Marsala wine in almost everything, they have this amazing ability to cover up almost any flaws.  If the dish is flawless than the amazing flavor of the wine just enhances the combinations of taste that are happening on your plate…or something like that! So without further stalling here is another down home classic gone Vegan!

(for the tips)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound seitan
2 basil leaves, chopped
1 pound baby bellas, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup vegetable stock
(for the carrots)
8oz carrots, sliced
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
1/4 tsp cinammon
1.Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, add the seitan and brown 3 minutes on each side. Remove and reserve on plate.

2. Add remaining olive oil to skillet, add mushrooms and saute 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 5 minutes. Season mushrooms to taste with salt and pepper. Add basil and sherry, reduce 1 minute, add vegetable stock and seitan to pan. Reduce heat and cook 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile begin heating a medium pot over medium high heat.  Add the 1/2 tbsp olive oil along with the carrots.  Toss well in the oil and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the Maple Syrup and the cinammon, turn heat to medium-low and cover.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring ocassionally, until the carrots are tender but still crisp.
4. Serve!


Joe’s Corner: Hearty Seitan Ragout

This may be called a ragout but when I cooked it felt more like a stew. Then again I don’t even know what a ragout is. After the initial cooking of the seitan, tofurky and vegetables this pretty much involved a large pot of broth, the vegetables and spices. And what’s nice is that you cook the pasta with it, rather than serving it like a sauce. I had fun with this dish; it has a lot of wiggle room with how you spice it. I was constantly tasting it as I added more of one spice or another. I also thought the cheese taste never really came out, and honestly would have been just as good if not better without it. Some dishes are made for cheese, and some don’t need it. If the cheese isn’t a large part of the taste why add it? I think this is one of those situations, but to each their own. Also, using tofurky sausage still didn’t get me away from the need to remove the “sausage” casing. Having never done this, I didn’t quite figure it out… So I just cut it into slices. The original recipe calls for ground meats, but the sliced tofurky along with the cubed seitan gave this dish a very different texture. I enjoyed it. This was one of my favorites so far.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground seitan
1/2 lb tofu sausage (italian preferred), casing removed
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
4 beefsteak tomatoes, diced
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tbsp parsley
1 (16 oz) can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup uncooked elbow pasta (I used ziti)
6 oz fresh baby spinach leaves, washed (didn’t have this either unfortunately)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oil in sauce-pot over medium-high heat. Add seitan, onion, and pepper then cook until  seitan has browned. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
2. Add broth, spices, basil, tomatoes and beans. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pasta and cook until pasta is done.
3. Add spinach and cook just until spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Serve hot with fresh crusty bread.

I added mushrooms and used 2 cups pasta instead.  As you can guess this is a very versatile dish, but without adding those I think it would have been too light, but maybe that’s just me.


I don’t know what you’ve done to me

I wonder if they offer rehab for True Blood addiction, if so I need to consider signing up. “hello my name is Amanda and I am addicted to True Blood.” The latest DVD arrived from Netflix the other day and in honor of the marathon that was to come I decided to make a vegetarian (actually wound up Vegan) Jambalaya. I have been fortunate enough to have true Jambalaya thanks to a dorm-mate in college who was from just outside of Baton Rouge, and this recipe is the closest non-meat version I have ever found with one exception that I’ll mention later. This is also a recipe that can easily be tailored based on how spicey people prefer their jambalaya as well as those who like it “juicier.” This is considered a Creole Jambalaya since it does have tomatoes in it however I did omit celery due to personal preference, something that would never be done in a true Jambalaya. For those of you who want to keep the traditional ingredient it should be added with the peppers and in an amount proportional to the peppers. The combination of Onion, Pepper, and Celery is referred to as the “Holy Trinity” of Creole/Cajun cooking and is normally done in a 2:1:1 ratio.   If you are looking for more of a Cajun Jambalaya skip the tomatoes.  This recipe can also be easily adapted for a slow cooker, or tossed in a slow cooker towards the end and kept on low heat for a stronger taste.

– 1 tsp olive oil
– 1 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1/2 tbsp red chili flakes
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 1 green bell pepper, chopped
– 1 red bell pepper, chopped
– 1 jalepeno, deseeded & chopped (leave seeds if you like it spicey)
– 8oz seitan, crumbled (if you can’t find crumbled then cubed will work, it can be broken up while browning)
– 1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
– 3 cups vegetable stock
– 2 large tomatoes, chopped
1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch Oven over medium heat. Stir in the cayenne pepper and the red chili flakes and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the onion and saute 3minutes, or until onions are slightly translucent. Add the peppers and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
2. In a separate skillet brown the seitan over medium heat, breaking up into smaller pieces as it cooks if needed.
3. Add the seitan to the pepper and onion mixture. Turn heat to high and add the tomatoes, rice, and broth bringing to a quick boil.
4. Cover and reduce heat to low, cook for 30minutes or until rice is done.

I don’t always place this in the slow cooker at the end, in this case it was done so the dogs could be walked before the mini-marathon began. I put the temperature on high and had the slow cooker set to turn off after an hour, just in case I wasn’t back in time. I could have kept it in the Dutch Oven on low heat but I trust the slow cooker more than the oven when it comes to leaving something on and unattended.