Friday, July 18, 2008

"The Ultimate" Barbecued Seitan Sandwich

I know it's very un-vegan of me, but I admit, I love The Food Network. It's unfortunate that almost every dish on every show is centered around animal products. None the less, I love food, and I love to watch people cook.

From time to time I'm inspired by something on The Food Network, and come up with a great vegan dish. Take the other day for example, I was watching Tyler's Ultimate, and Tyler Florence was making his Ultimate Barbecued Ribs. There are probably a million different meat analogs I could have used to veganize this recipe, but as soon as I saw Tyler make this barbecue sauce I knew I had to have a barbecued seitan sandwich. Wow, did I ever make a great choice!! This sandwich really is "The Ultimate". Rob, who usually very much dislikes barbecue loved this sandwich so much he ate 2 of them and just couldn't stop raving. And it was another winner with both of the girls!!

For the sandwich I used 1 lb of chicken style seitan. I made the sauce according to Tyler's recipe, only I replaced the bacon with a few dashes of Liquid Smoke. After the sauce had simmered I removed the onion, garlic, and thyme sprigs, then I crumbled in the seitan and let it heat through. I served the barbecue on a bun with some sliced onion. Best barbecue sandwich EVER!!

To go along with the sandwiches I also made Tyler's Ultimate Baked Beans, again replacing the pancetta with liquid smoke. An added bonus of these beans.....I got to use up some of the chipotle pepper I was wondering what to do with a few weeks ago! Again, outstanding dish. The beans had a kick and they were just incredible. Little Stella loved them, heat and all!!

In addition to the sandwiches and beans, we had one of my childhood favorites....cucumbers, green peppers, and onions soaked in white vinegar and salt water. My mom used to make this all of the time in the summer, and I've always loved it. It was perfect for cooling off your mouth after the heat of the beans!!

I can't wait to make this barbecue for my friends and's definitely the next dish I'll be serving guests.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Muffins x2

Today I spent almost the entire day in the kitchen. We are taking off on a little camping trip tomorrow (well, not really camping, more like RVing) so I spent the day getting ready for that. Mostly I made a lot of old favorites like Giardino Burgers, Snack bars, hummus, Black bean and quinoa salad and of course pasta sauce so my spaghetti lovers can eat their spaghetti. Vegan camping with children (read picky children) is quite a bit of work. I mean, it's not like my kids are going to set down and eat a bunch of grilled veggies, etc. And, after long days of hiking, biking, and hopefully horseback riding they are going to need some serious refueling come dinner time. Therefore I thought it prudent to bring along some of their favorite meals so we can assure adequate eating at dinner. I also gathered plenty of healthy snacks for the afternoons....lots of fresh fruits, raisins, soy yogurts, whole wheat crackers and smooshed fruit.

I also made some muffins for us to have as a quick grab and go breakfast option. There were a couple of really ripe bananas sitting in my fruit dish, so first up was banana oat muffins. The recipe is adapted from a recipe.

Whole Wheat Banana Oat Muffins

2 large bananas, very ripe

2 Tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup + 2 Tbs plain soy milk

1 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour

3/4 cup turbinado sugar

1 Tbs baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup quick cooking oats

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl smash bananas. Mix in oil, vanilla and soy milk and set aside. In large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix just until combined. Stir in oats. Spoon mixture into oiled muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Next up were these deliciously decadent Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins. They definitely aren't the kind of thing you'd want to serve for breakfast on a weekly basis. But they'll be a great treat for our camping trip, and would make a nice item on a brunch buffet. It's always easy to impress your non vegan friends with a bit of chocolate-y vegan goodness!!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup turbinado sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 cup + 2 Tbs soy milk

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients. Add soy milk and oil and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill oiled muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes, or until skewer inserted in center comes out clean.