Hail pre-made seitan for quick, easy meals

 

seitan combo

Both these dishes were made from the same basic ingredient – seitan.

This has not been my best summer. My little cat, Molly, has been extremely ill and I’ve been to-ing and fro-ing daily to the vet after work to visit with her and feed her dinner. On top of that I was tossed on the city bus by a race-car-wannabe driver who left me lamed up and in pain with a smashed ankle. The good news – I’m healing nicely and so is Molly who has received the best of veterinary care.

Last week, my friends, Stephanie and Britton, announced their new business – The Seitanists. They make the most delicious seitan, vacuum sealed and frozen, ready to use as a super easy and fast meal ingredient. Stephanie asked me to try out their seitan and see what I thought.

What I thought is buying already-made seitan is a genius idea for busy people. It was a great solution for me with my full schedule and inability to stand for any amount of time.

I used The Seitanists’ cutlets to make two very different dishes – a spicy stir fry and pan-fried schnitzel medallions.  Check it out.

Seitanic stir fry with a hot, five-spice marinade

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For this stir fry, I cut one of the pre-made seitan cutlets into strips and marinated them for a couple hours. I then stir fried the strips and all the marinade with sliced onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and snow peas and served over rice.

Here’s the recipe for my marinade, which is more than enough to marinate a cup of seitan strips and nicely coat four cups of vegetables and rice.

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1 Tbsp paprika

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/2 tsp cayenne powder

1 tsp five-spice powder

4 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce 

2 Tbsp cooking sherry 

2 Tbsp agave

 1 Tbsp sesame oil

Seitanic schnitzel medallions

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Making these little schnitzel medallions could not have been easier. I cut the seitan cutlet into medallions, dredged them in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, dipped them in almond milk and then covered them in mix of 1/2 cup panko crumbs, two tablespoons flour and two tablespoons nutritional yeast.

I pan fried the medallions in vegan margarine on medium heat until both sides were golden and crispy, then served the medallions with lemon wedges, a pink potato salad (add some beets to your regular potato salad) and sauerkraut. My German mother would have loved this.

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Hail seitan! This amazing, versatile ingredient is inexpensive, easy to work with, delicious, versatile and good for you. Thanks to ready-to-use seitan from The Seitanists, there’s no excuse ever for me not to be able to have a great meal in less than 30 minutes.

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Esther’s Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

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Here’s a recipe from Esther’s Kitchen (Esther being none other than media phenomena and fashionista Esther the Wonder Pig) that is so easy, versatile and forgiving, I have to share it.

Esther’s chef, Linda, tried these brownies 11 different ways – each way being equally delicious I’m sure.

Then I tried the recipe two more ways. Again, all fabulously delicious!

The best part – you just bung everything into a food processor or mixing bowl and hand mix, then pour the batter into a parchment-lined pan and bake. You end up with dense, moist, chocolatey and spicy brownies that satisfy.

Here’s Esther’s Kitchen’s original recipe post:

This recipe has been tested using the following choices: almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower butter, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, dairy-free butter, coconut oil, almond flour, all purpose flour and gluten-free baking flour blend. Each one tasted great and had unique flavors. All of the ingredients resulted in a moist brownie that held together well. The brown rice syrup had the least amount of sweetness. This batch was baked with almond butter, almond flour, coconut oil and agave.

Esther’s Pumpkin Brownies

Cuisine: Esther Approved Dessert, Baked Good, Gluten-free and Nut-free options

Prep Time: 10 minutes Bake Time: 25 minutes Cool Time: 15 minutes Yields: 12 (3”x3”) brownies

By: Chef Linda | Esther’s Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin from a 15 oz can or homemade and excess water drained
  • 1/2 cup creamy almond, peanut or seed butter (almond was used)
  • 2 Tablespoons softened coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar, maple syrup or brown rice syrup (agave was used)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cacao/cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup flour of choice: almond, gluten free baking blend or all purpose (almond was used)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar Instructions

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Line an 8“ x 8“ baking dish with parchment paper. Press the paper alond the bottom edge and all 4 corners; set aside.

3. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl or food processor. Use an electric hand mixer or process in the food process until the batter is smooth.

4. Pour all of the batter in the center of the parchment lined baking dish. Scrape out remaining batter from the bowl or food processor. Spread the batter into the corners until you have a level surface.

5. Bake the brownies for 25 minutes. Cool the brownies on a metal rack for 15 minutes.

6. Pull up two sides of paper and lift the brownie out of the pan. Place the paper and brownie on a cutting board. Slice the brownie into 9 pieces or as desired.

Here’s what Chef Linda’s brownies look like.

Esther brownies

I hope you give this amazingly versatile recipe a try and make it your own! The key is to know where you can make swaps:

  • the type of flour
  • the type of oil
  • the type of nut/seed butter
  • the types of sweetener, and
  • the spices.

You can also try add ins such as chocolate chips, walnuts or pecans, even diced candied fruit.

Just do not mess with the proportions of ingredients because that’s where the chemistry is.

Here’s one of my versions:

I used, pumpkin, regular flour, a mix of maple syrup and agave, coconut oil, tahini paste instead of a nut butter, and added a cup of chocolate chips and a big pinch of cayenne pepper. This batch was made in the food processor.

Esthers Browniew mine

For my next batch, I diverged and used: mashed banana and no pumpkin, regular flour, the full amount of coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup only 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spices, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ½ teaspoon cardamon. I also added a cup of chocolate chips because it’s chocolate and more is more.

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Why are you still reading? Go make some brownies!!

 

 

 

The “Oh Hell Yeah!” of Black Bean Brownies

 

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Listen, I’m not complaining or anything, but I’m forced to eat an awful lot of amazing vegan food in pursuit of great recipes for this blog. I’m considering renaming this site The Fat Vegan.

Here’s a black bean brownie recipe that’s very closely based on Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipe.

The results are chocolately, dense and fudgy, and deliciously versatile. I’ve had these brownies three different ways. Dusted with icing sugar as shown above.

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With vanilla coconut ice cream, raspberry coulis and berries.

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And topped with maple butter and walnuts.

Rough gig. Let’s get baking. You need a food processor for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (a 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ½ cup liquid sweetener – agave or maple syrup or even corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup walnut pieces (optional)
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules (optional – but it adds depth to the chocolate flavour). Alternately, you could use 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (trust me on this).
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder

Directions

Heat your oven to 350F.

Grease a 9”x 9” pan for thinner brownies or a 8”x 8” pan for a thicker brownie. I used a 9”x 9” for these photos.

Put the rolled oats into the food processer and blitz them until you have a coarse meal. Add the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate chips and walnuts and blitz again until everything is combined. You may need to scrape down the sides once.

Remove the food processor blade. Manually stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts to combine.

Spoon the brownie batter into your greased pan and level out the batter.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let the brownies cool before trying to cut them. I like them best of all after they’ve thoroughly cooled – they seem to get even chewier and fudgier!

Get creative with your toppings… or no toppings. I see in my future that I’ll be trying these brownies with cinnamon and cayenne added to the batter. I’ll let you know how that goes.

 

Pumpkin zucchini bread

PumpkinbreadI make this bread or variations of it almost every week to have for breakfast. This is a quick bread, but it’s not sweet. It’s intended to be eaten with a nut butter or nut cheese.

This bread is super simple to make and versatile. I’ve substituted applesauce or mashed banana for the pumpkin and mixed up what other fruits and nuts I add. Use your imagination; just don’t mess with the chemistry – the basic mix of flours, baking soda and milk!

Lately I’ve been adding chickpea flour (a/k/a besan or gram flour) to amp up the protein content.

Ingredients

Dry ingredients

2/3 cup regular flour

1/3 cup chickpea flour

½ cup cornmeal

1 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsp chopped walnuts

1 Tbsp pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

1 Tbsp raisins

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp allspice

½ tsp cloves

Wet ingredients

1 cup plant milk

1 tsp vanilla

¼ cup molasses

½ – 2/3 cup pureed fruit (in this case pumpkin, but try apple sauce or mashed banana)

½ cup fresh fruit (e.g. here I used grated zucchini, but try berries, diced apples or pears etc)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.

In a smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients together.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to incorporate but no need to mix well. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes. A fork inserted in the loaf should come out clean.

TIP: Pumpkin tends to come in big cans. I dole out 1/2 cup portions of pumpkin in freezer bags and store it in the freezer for up to 4 months. This way, you waste nothing and always have pumpkin when you need it. Ditto zucchini – that grated zucchini in this loaf is from September’s harvest.