Oh My GOODNESS

 

 

My mom’s hot fudge sauce, made vegan, over homemade almond-milk ice cream…can I get a drool, please?

Peanut butter coconut chocolate chip bars…’nuff said, eh?

Honestly, I am just too sleepy to write a real post, but I CAN write  a thumbs-up post, because those are relatively easy. Part of last week’s hecticness was a trip to Boston, where I got to see family, buy ethically-sources running sneaks, and indulge in some take-out from one of my new favorite restaurants, Red Lentil in Watertown. Red Lentil is pretty new; I used to live in Watertown and it definitely wasn’t there 10 years ago. It is vegetarian but has a HUGE vegan selection, and a lot of things can be made vegan even if they are not listed as such on the menu. I really like their Ethiopian teff seitan; I’ve had it before, and enjoyed it again this time. We got a number of dishes to split, so I also tried the risotto (made vegan). It is not something I would have ordered on my own, but it was DELICIOUS! Creamy, a nice chewiness to the rice, lots of veggies mixed in…..delish!

One thing that is absolutely mandatory if you eat at Red Lentil is their gobi Manchurian. It is fusion Indian food. It is a fried cauliflower dish in a sort-of-spicy sauce. It is seriously the best thing ever. Newspaper reviews of Red Lentil always mention the Gobi Manchurian, and always in an awed manner. The chef of the restaurant published the recipe as part of a newspaper interview; I’ve made it once and it was fabulous, but not quite as good as the restaurant’s version. I think that my fault, though, because I did not use chick pea flour and instead used regular flour. I bought chick pea flour today, though, and so now I can make my own Gobi Manchurian!

Another necessity on a trip to Red Lentil is the desserts. This time I tried a cinnamony-molasses-y cake with an intensely-Earth Balance frosting. The cinnamon flavor was strong without being overwhelming; the cake was sweet and moist but not wet or overly sweet; and the super-rich frosting was a nice contrast to the spice of the cinnamon. I have got to re-create that cake somehow!

http://theredlentil.com/location-home

If you are ever in the Boston/Cambridge area, I HIGHLY recommend Red Lentil. It is just a T bus ride away from the red line, and well, well worth it.  Boston does not have a huge vegan scene, or at least it did not until recently, and this is really one of the best restaurants I’ve been to, ever. Score one for Boston!

 

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Easy Marinated Seitan

Grilled seitan and tofu in a wrap – on a homemade whole-wheat flax tortilla, natch!

this stuff was good – as in, one of the best things we’ve ever made at home, ever, and on a par with meals we’ve eaten in veg restaurants. Plus, it’s easy to make, and relatively quick. I’m sure it’s high in fat, but fat’s good for you, right? This reminds us of the seitan we got at one of our favorite vegan restaurants, Grasshopper in Boston. The seitan is dense without being gummy/chewy (as boiled seitan can be), and it is packed with flavor. I’ve tried many, many seitan methods/recipes over the years, and I really think this is now going to be my standard, go-to seitan recipe. It’s that good (and that easy). The texture is far superior to that of boiled seitan, plus this is a non-finicky recipe; you don’t have to worry about keeping the water at gentle simmer. TRY IT! You won’t regret it.

3/4 cup wheat gluten

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Italian herbs, optional

1 tablespoon oil

~1/2 cup water

Mix dry ingredients. Stir in oil and water; you might need slightly more water. You want the dough to come together in a mass; you don’t want it crumbly (dry) or so wet that it doesn’t hold shape.

Let the dough sit for at least an hour, and up to several days (in the fridge).

Prepare a marinade. I used the following, approximately (this will make more than you need; just save it for the next batch):

1/3 cup oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons dijon mustard

several large garlic cloves, pressed

Whisk together until the oil and liquids are emulsified.

Slice the ball of seitan into thin slices – not paper-thin, but thin. I usually get about 20 slices out of one ball of seitan using these proportions.

Place the sliced seitan in a 9 x 13 or other large pan. Cover each piece with marinade and let sit for at least an hour or so; flip each piece so that there’s marinade on both sides. You don’t need it to soak in the marinade; sometimes I just let the marinade soak into one side, and that seems to sufficiently infuse the seitan with deliciousness. You will probably have leftover marinade.

Heat up a stove-top grill for a few minutes. Put the seitan on the heated grill and cook on each side for 5-7 minutes, or until browned.

This is good in sandwiches, as a side, cold, hot, WHATEVER. It is just plain delicious.

You can almost see it sizzling……yum!

Question: Do you like seitan? Do you have a favorite brand or recipe? When I lived in Ithaca, I looooved Susie’s Seitan, which was a local product. Here, in rural SC, it is hard to find seitan, so I either make it or do without. I don’t use it a whole lot, but everytime I have some I enjoy it.