Vegetarian “Beef” Stew

1

After watching the ball drop, I managed to catch a cold. I very rarely get sick, despite what may be lingering in the air. Not this time. This past week has mostly been about honing my best seal impression, and getting more sleep than I have ever possibly imagined needing in my entire lifetime.

By midweek, all I wanted was a bowl of soup. Despite my incessant begging and pleading, circumstances were such that no one was able to magically produce a homemade soup for me. Eventually, I gave up, and created this one myself.

As I’ve mentioned before, prepared soups and stocks are far too sodium-laden for my taste. Frankly, I think they all taste the same anyway. But those same high standards are also the reason I spent the good part of a day hand-chopping all of the ingredients to put into this kitchen-sink of a soup (which turned into a stew in the process)… and promptly fell asleep shortly after finishing it.

I’d been meaning to experiment with adding seitan to my soups, if only for the somewhat obvious reason that I have a stockpile of prepared seitan that really should be used up. The addition of the seitan, along with the piles and piles of vegetables, resulted in something more stew-like than soup.

The most noticeable flavor in this comes from the seitan. Because of the Italian flavoring of the seitan, it is a spicier creation than my usual soups. The stock color deepened over time, taking on sort of a brown-ish tint, and the flavors deepened as well. This became one of those dishes that was even better as leftovers. As with all of my soups, I just followed my intuition. By necessity, I just worked with what was around, because there was no way I was going anywhere.

This is not a recipe, so much as a palette of colorful and tasty foods to work with, should you have an interest in making something similar.

I used: celery, nutritional yeast, water, red potatoes, green and yellow bell peppers, red onion, portabella mushrooms, button mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, 3 links of Italian-style seitan sausage, black pepper, Mrs. Dash.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2015! Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

Advertisements

Wordless Wednesday: Cheesy Bread

3

These were pretty awesome! The bread really worked for this- crunchy, yet still chewy enough to be satisfying. They’re sprayed with evoo, topped with mozz, garlic, basil, oregano, and nutritional yeast, then broiled. I made this several times since I had two baguettes to work with. This batch needed a little longer, but I ate them anyway and they were delicious.

Wordless Wednesday: First Successful Omelette!

d

I know, it’s just an omelette. But this was the first one I made that actually came out right, and I was very excited.

Two eggs, a touch of nutritional yeast, and a handful of shredded Italian 4 cheese for the filling.

Special Soup

2

Thank you all for your concern! I did eventually heal, it just took a little longer than I would’ve liked. Was it the flu? Who knows… Folk wisdom says that if there’s no fever, and your stomach is ok, then it’s just a cold. But, whatever you want to call it, it had me in its throes for about 2 weeks, which was flu enough for me.

I need to go back to the health food store and re-find the cough syrup I used to take years ago. This time around, the illness came so suddenly that I was just scrambling for whatever was around. So, I ended up trying just about anything and everything, depending on where I was and what was happening with my body. I *hate* cough syrup. So much. But, I drank it because I felt that lousy. There used to be a natural cough syrup out there that tasted good and worked. I have no idea what this mystery product was, or who made it, but I’m hoping I can recognize it by sight. Is this too much to ask years later? Possibly. But, I figure it’s worth trying.

When I thought I was well enough, I did (what was supposed to be) a little grocery shopping. Of course, I came back with what felt like half the store, and I completely over-exerted myself before I was ready. Yeah, that thing about medicine masking symptoms? True. Soup didn’t happen that day, needless to say. But, the next day, I just took my time and tried my memory, and made my special soup.

I am especially picky when it comes to soup, or rather, my stomach is extremely sensitive when it comes to soup. Commercial soups make me sick. I suspect it’s the preservatives, but it may also be the high sodium content. When I make soup for myself, it’s completely from scratch. Pre-packaged broth generally does not sit well. So, insofar as the general public goes, my soups are probably a little bland. But, for me, they’re perfect.

There’s no recipe for my special soup. I make it depending on what I am in the mood for, or what I have around. This time, there was a smidge of kale, a potato, some carrot shreds, some celery, some squash, some onion, some nutritional yeast, and probably a few other things that I’m forgetting. A perfect veggie counterpart to the traditional chicken soup.

Enjoy! 🙂

Pasta in Progress

1

This recipe is not yet perfected, but that’s the fun of it. I wanted pasta. I did not want to shop. So, I made this.

.

I used:

1/2 box of penne

1 bag of frozen steam in the microwave vegetables

nutritional yeast

rice milk

1/4 stick of cheese

ground pepper

pecorino romano

stovetop and pots, mixing bowl, and food processor

.

I was trying to make a pseudo-alfredo with the nutritional yeast, cheese, and rice milk. I am lacto-ovo, but my stomach can’t take real alfredo (milk/cream issues), and I’m allergic to the most common vegetarian/vegan substitutes (soy/nut issues), so I was trying to make a version I can actually eat.

I steamed the veggies and then processed them, and added them to the sauce. No problem there. If the sauce had been cheesier, this would’ve been even better. So, it’s almost there, but not quite. Because of the veggies and high quantity of nutritional yeast, this felt like good fuel. Plus, I had enough for days, which is always nice.

This was a lot of fun for me- one of those puzzles that requires ingenuity.

I can’t wait to figure this one out! 🙂

.

Rosemary and Cheese Bagel

2

Like I said, quick and easy this time of year.

.

Rosemary and Cheese Bagel

Utensils:

A pair of scissors

An oven

A cake pan

Cooking spray

Aluminum foil

.

Ingredients:

Dried rosemary leaves, to taste

4 slices American cheese

Nutritional Yeast to taste, not too much

Gouda to taste

Pecorino Romano to taste, not too much

(Did I add Italian Seasoning? Let’s just say I did.)

.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to Broil/HI if electric. If not, hopefully you can figure it out. Regular broilers are tricky. This would take far less time under one of those, and could easily burn, so be careful. You should also find another way to set these up instead of using a cake pan.

2. Line your cake pan with foil and spray it. Slice your bagel carefully, and place in pan. Then, place one slice of American cheese over each half.

3. Dice your Gouda. Set little piles on top of each bagel.

4. Sprinkle nutritional yeast, Pecorino Romano, and cut up rosemary leaves on Gouda.

5. Place one slice of American cheese over each bagel. Add Italian seasoning to top, sparingly.

6. Place in oven for about 5 minutes or less. Switch to LOW when needed. This only took about 5 minutes to cook when I did it.

.

Enjoy! 🙂

Wordless Wednesday: Mystery Soup

I made this soup last winter and forgot to take notes. I’m hoping the photo will help me remember…

Pastiche Peppers

Stuffed peppers

It seems like everyone has been doing stuffed pepper posts lately. Does it help that I typed this up at the beginning of the month and just scheduled it for now? Is it possible to get sick of stuffed peppers? This is the last post in my unofficial series of Things I Wrote Ridiculously Ahead of Time Because It’s Summer and I Want to Go Outside.

I haven’t had stuffed peppers since I was a child. All I remember about them was the fact that I used to eat the stuffing, but not the pepper, in that peculiar logic children seem to have, and that the stuffing itself was ground beef & rice. 

Since I have long since abandoned an omnivorous diet, and wasn’t in a veggie mince mood, I was faced with the challenge of coming up with something that was savory enough to do my memory justice. I was also intent on making this a make-now, eat-later meal. The recipe combines this broth recipe and the cooking temperature & averaged time from the stuffed tomatoes. I was very happy with how these turned out. 

.

Pastiche Peppers

Ingredients:

5 peppers

1 bag of boil-in-the-bag rice

The broth from the seitan recipe

1 box of babybellas

Spray olive oil

Cheddar cheese shreds (2 or 3 cups)

5 or more american cheese slices

Nutritional yeast

Romano cheese

.

Tools:

Cake pan and aluminum foil. (You just need something tall enough to stand the peppers in, & the foil makes clean-up easy).

Oven

Cutting board & knife

Food processor

2 large pots

Strainer

Mixing bowl

Cling wrap

.

Preparation: 

1. Start the broth, then start the rice. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Process the mushrooms, then place in broth.

3. Is the rice ready? If so, strain & place in broth. Stir.

4. Strain the broth, mushroom, rice mixture. Place in mixing bowl & add cheese. Stir.

5. Remove the top portion of the pepper & insides.

6. Spray cake pan & peppers with olive oil.

7. Put mixture in peppers. Place peppers in cake pan. Place a slice of American cheese with a sprinkle of Romano & nutritional yeast on each cheese slice. Do not wrap peppers before placing in oven. Just let them stand up in the cake pan.

8. Place in oven at 400F for 15 minutes.

9. Remove from oven. Place on cooling rack, pan & all, and cover with cling wrap.

10. Go watch a movie for a couple of hours.

11. Remove cling wrap. Individually wrap each pepper in cling wrap & store in fridge in new container.

12. I microwaved these at 30 second intervals both wrapped and unwrapped, & ended up with an average microwave time of about a minute. I also think they heated up better unwrapped, which was a bit of a surprise. Decide for yourself which method you prefer, & check at intervals to determine your preferred cooking time.

.

Enjoy!

So, This Is Seitan!

Seitan and Mushrooms in Fry Pan

I’ve never made seitan, though I think I’ve tried it professionally prepared. Vegan Monologue recently posted her recipe for homeade seitan, along with points about the cost of prepackaged seitan and a mention of its nutritional value. I bought some prepackaged just to be certain l Iiked it, then decided to give the recipe a try. 

.

Points I ignored which you shouldn’t:

Let it dry, even if the broth is calling to you like a siren song.

It really is enough for months. Even though the above looked pretty both in the picture and in person, you will never eat that much. Ok, *I* will never eat that much in one sitting.

Pan-frying and whatever it was I did up there with the broth are not the same thing, but it was fun and the flavor was yummy.

Seitan is chewy. Maybe it would have been less chewy if I had been more patient. If you want to try the fried flavor brothy goodness, party on, but then let it dry & fry it for real later. I liked that better than the fragrant but chewy first round.

I froze the rest, then thawed one slice, put it in the processor, fried the little seitan shreds with a dash of nutritional yeast, refrigerated it, and later made a faux cheesesteak, which I heated in the oven. (Real cheese, faux steak: I’m vegan-friendly, but vegetarian myself). I even added some ketchup for an authentic feel after the picture was taken. Good stuff!

.

Seitan Cheesesteak

.

Her recipe is perfection, but I had to change some minor details due to a combination of allergies, personal taste, & what I had around. 

.

Seitan Ingredient Modifications: 

1 tsp marjoram to Mrs. Dash

No onion powder

2 tsp garlic powder

+ a dash of nutritional yeast

+ a dash of parsley

.

Broth Ingredient Modifications: 

No soy sauce

1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon liquid smoke

1 teaspoon Habanero Catsup

.

Prep Modifications: 

I left it as one big loaf and cut it after removing from the broth.

.

Enjoy!