Friday, April 13, 2007

Trendy seitan and trying something new

I have a few things to show you today, and there is more to come!

There has been some kind of baked seitan explosion going on recently among veg bloggers, and to contribute to the trend I made the Seitan O'Greatness that Vivacious Vegan, Kris, and others have recommended.

Bob and I both agreed--this is very good. We are not people who have gotten very interested in meat-like substitutes, and it's a little bit strange to me that I have taken to seitan so well because it is, for sure, more meat-like than any other vegan protein out there. But I have gotten over that icky feeling and come to appreciate seitan in its own right--and it's definitely got unique properties!

Seitan sandwich with spinach and dijon mustard, mmm.

Last night I had a friend over for dinner, and I was having an itch to try something I'd never had before. Usually when I am cooking for others I do not experiment on them, but she's an adventurous gal and I knew she wouldn't mind. Plus, I've never missed with Dreena's recipes!

These are the Pumpkin Seed-Coated Lentil Patties from Vive Le Vegan! and the Ginger Dipping Sauce that Dreena recommends to pair with them. Oh yes--Dreena, you did it again! They have a mild curry flavor and a soft texture, matched perfectly with a crunchy coating. And the sweet-hot tangy flavor of the sauce really brings it together. If you make these, I highly suggest you make the ginger sauce with them. They were also low-fuss, which is always a bonus.

The side dish you see is something that I have made several times in the past, from a French cookbook that I pull down from time to time for some inspiration. It's very simple.

French-Style Cabbage and Peas

1 teaspoon margarine or oil
1 white onion, diced
1 small head of cabbage, sliced into long, thin ribbons
3 1/2 cups frozen (or fresh) peas
3 tablespoons water
Freshly ground black pepper

Sauté onion in a large pot or pan over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until it is soft. Layer the cabbage strips on top of the sautéed onion, and add the peas on top of the cabbage. Add the water, cover, and let steam until the peas are done and the cabbage is nicely wilted. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

It is delicious and very plain, so that it pairs well with any flavor you can imagine.

Final note: Congratulations to all of you Blogger's Choice nominees! You all have some fabulous blogs out there... I have to confess that I have not voted, though--you see, I feel like every one of the blogs I read deserves to win. You all inspire me every day, and I know all the blood, sweat, and tears that go into food blogging. Well, maybe it's not that intense. But you get my point--you are all beautiful people with beautiful blogs, and as far as this blogger is concerned, I choose all of you!

Peace, and fabulous weekend to all.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for answer. i too make the seitan, i will blog about it in a few days!

have a great weekend!

Melody Polakow said...

I love baked seitan... so much more than boiled.

Your Indian food looked awesome on the last post. I haven't made Indian for a while.. I think I'll at least make some dahl tomorrow.

bazu said...

Hey, I love your new layout! Very pretty.

I never liked seitan, I was always way more than happy with tofu, tempeh, and well, beans! Seitan was squishy and spongey and tasted funny... until now! I am in love with baked seitan. Not only are the spices and flavors versatile, but there are so many uses for it. Oooh, and those patties look good. congrats on a successful first try!

KleoPatra said...

i agree with you about the bloggers, Laura. So many fab ones out there! i am so happy to get to visit others and check out what you all do... and i include you with them, Laura. This post shows some great creativity with the lentil patties and sauce with the nice side of greens 'n' onions (and btw, the sandwich is groovy, simple yet substantial and stellar!) and i'm soooo jonesin' to make that seitan. It's all the rage as i see around vegan blogland...

vko said...

Yes, I too will try the seitan. The pattie with the side o'peas looks yummy too.

Welcome back from studying- which means more yummy food posts from you- yay!

Have a great weekend!

aTxVegn said...

I bought wheat gluten to make the seitan. It's not a gluten free girl's friend, but I'll make it for Chase so he can make yummy sandwiches. The lentil patties look really tasty. I'm ready for another lentil meal and yours look great. You may have noticed I've been on a cabbage kick. I've made it with beans, which was really good, but I would love to try it with peas too. Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

I just went I got that recipe !
I know what I'll be doing tomorrow :))

I have yet to try the Lentil Patties... they sound delish !

Hope you are doing well :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not a huge fan of Seitan either -- my first, and only, experience resulted in a spongy mess. I've heard a lot of good comments on the baked seitan so I may have to try it again.

Those lentil patties look great. I have some cooked lentils in the freezer so I may try that recipe.

Urban Vegan said...

Yes, seitan o'greatness has certainly become the celebrity food of vegan blogging...and I haven't tried it yet.

Those little lentil burgettes make my mouth water.

laura jesser said...

Johanna, good luck! I'm excited to see how your seitan turns out.

Melody, I like it baked better than boiled too, I think. The texture is much nicer. Dahl sounds great--I haven't made that in a while so maybe I will join you with that!

Bazu, I know what you mean! Though I still like boiled seitan all right, I think this will be my preferred method--I love the versatility of seitan! But really, nothing can replace good ol' legumes!

Kleo, thanks! Veggie bloggers are where it's at!!!

Vko, I'm glad to be back... temporarily. I'll enjoy reading your two cents on the seitan--I hope you like it!

Diann, I have to come up with creative ways to eat my cabbage because it's generally not that appealing to me. You come up with the most interesting things--when I need a cabbage idea, I'll look to you for inspiration!

Gaia, I hope you like it! :) It's good to hear from you, and I hope you're doing well too!

Midwest vegan, the baked seitan is far from a spongy mess--its texture is much better than that of boiled seitan. I would recommend you try it!

Urban vegan, any plans to try the seitan in the near future? :) I'm sure you will make it look even more delicious than me, as always!

scottishvegan said...

Mmm…the lentil patties from Vive! are awesome! Not quite as good as the Moroccan Chickpea patties though. You need to try those if you haven’t already…they are really amazing with the ginger dipping sauce! I am really beginning to feel that I am missing out by not making this baked seitan… I need to join the club!

laura jesser said...

Scottish vegan, I haven't tried the Moroccan chickpea patties--though I really want to--because I have a fear of fennel! I've never liked it before... I should probably be brave and try it, though, because the patties do sound amazing. And yes, join the club! The seitan is so good!

Veg-a-Nut said...

Yummy everything. I was finally able to cook today and made the Seitan O'greatness. I linked your post. Yours looks really good. It is lighter than mine. I wonder why?