Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Seitan Chickin Fingers Recipe

Without Suspense...

Seitan Chickin Fingers


Seitan:

1 cup of vital wheat gluten
3/4 + 1 tablespoon of broth
1/4 cup of non-chicken broth powder
1 tablespoon of fresh or dried parsley
1 tablespoon of fresh or dried oregano
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of crush red pepper

Boil the broth (could be water with some spices, veggie broth or even un-chicken broth). While the liquid begins to boil, combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the boiling liquid and immediately stir until all liquid is absorbed. Then kneed the dough with your hands until all the dry ingredients are absorbed. The dough should be moist, slightly sticky and warm. If you dough is wet, add some flour and continue to kneed. On a cutting board, kneed the dough for another 5 mins. Form the seitan into a log like roll about 2-3 inches high. It should have a tan color. On to the next step.

Boiling:

6 cups of water
1/2 cup of un-chicken broth powder
1/3 cup of soy sauce
1/3 cup of hot sauce
1/4 cup of crushed red peppers

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a very large pot. Back to your seitan log. Take a bit of flour in a small bowl and set aside. With a sharp knife, cut the seitan into strips about 1/2 inch thick. This will form an oval shape from the wide angle. The cut sides of the seitan will be very moist due to the lack of air in the log. Gently dip the moist sides of the seitan into the set aside flour and it will absorb the moisture. Once your log has been fully cut and flowered, add all seitan pieces to the boiling water. Let the seitan boil for about 50 minutes. On to the next step.

Marinating:

1 cup of bar-b-que sauce
1/3 cup of hot sauce
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons of sugar

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl or baking sheet with a 1 inch (or more) lip. After the seitan has boiled, remove the pieces and add them to the bar-b-que mixture. Coat each piece of seitan well and let sit for several hours. Cover and stir often. On to the next step.

Frying:

Oil for frying
2 1/2 cups of panko flakes
2 cups of soymilk
1/2 cup of flour
1/3 cup of corn meal
1/3 cup of parsley
2 tablespoons of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of onion powder
2 tablespoons of oregano
1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper

In a bowl, gently mix all ingredients except the soy milk. In a separate bowl pour the soy milk. In a frying pan, bring about 1/2 on oil to the correct temperature. To test, sprinkle a few drops of water, the oil should make quick and rapid popping sounds. The oil should not be smoking. If the oil smokes, it is too hot. Once the oil is the correct temperature, take a small piece of seitan as a "tester". Coat the seitan fully in the panko mixture. Put some pressure on the seitan, pat it on firmly. Then quickly, dip the seitan into the soymilk and place back into the panko mixture. Again, firmly pat another coat of breading. Then carefully place the seitan into the hot oil. After about 4 - 5 mins, flip it and let cook for another 4-5 mins. Then remove from the oil, both sides should be a golden color. Set on a disposable cloth to soak some oil out. You can use the marinate as a dipping sauce. Try the seitan to see if the breading is to your liking. Then repeat the process with the rest of the seitan.

If you have additional questions on making seitan, check the Seitan Tips post and feel free to ask.



I will add some additional pictures the next time I make this dish. According to Jamie, this keeps well and you can just toss it in the toaster oven for great leftovers.

Last night we also had some strawberries and bananas.


Strawberry Banana Dessert

6 large strawberries sliced
1 large banana
1/2 water
1/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of corn starch

Bring the water to a boil in a saute pan. Add the sugar and strawberries. On low heat, simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the corn starch to thicken. Once the mixture has reached your desired consistency, pour the mixture into a bowl. Take a large banana, slice it down the middle (the long way) and then cut in half. Take two of the four pieces and use on either side of the strawberries. Serves 2. You can also add chocolate sauce and / or non-dairy ice cream to the dish.


It looks like tomorrow night Jamie and I will be headed to Florida. We are doing a day at the beach, the amusement park, wildlife refuge and another random day. We are bringing Tato too! It should be a fun trip, aside from the fact that when we return I need to to back to work. I already miss my vacation.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Trip to Charleston

The weekend in Charleston was relaxing and trying all at the same time. The drive seemed excessive for a weekend trip. Five hours may cross the line. When we got into Charleston, we were informed that the Family Circus Tennis Pro Tournament was in town and all the hotels were booked. Finding a place to stay quickly became a concern. It worked itself out and we eventually found a place to sleep.

We got out to a quick start Sat morning. An early stop at a corporate natural foods store got us the daily food and it was off to the farmers market. I found some nice pre-seeded basil, cilantro, and parsley plants. Otherwise the farmers market was kind of a bust, aside from the amazing parking spot of nabbed.

Then it was off to Folly Beach. This was the first mistake of the trip. Apparently, this is where all the cool kids go on the weekend. We sat in nearly 3 hours of traffic and traveled only 7 miles. At the time, we thought it would still be worth it as we wanted to get to the Sand and Sea Festival. Once we finally got there, mid-day, the festival was garbage. The beach was filled with clowns. The salvation was two part. First, the pier was huge and unpopulated. We spend some time out there and the weather was great. The second part was a crab. As we walked onto the beach, a large crab came up through the sand and pinched someones foot. The crab then was showing off for peoples cameras. It was one of the craziest things I have seen on a beach.

video

Back to Charleston to get into the Haunted Jail Tour. Although these tours tend to be very hokey and boarder on lame, the buildings are always interesting and the stories of half truths are entertaining. This tour was no different. The jail was amazing. Depressing and astonishing at the same time. Sadly, my camera battery died before we entered and this is the end of the pic we have for the trip.



Sunday was the Strawberry Festival. The actual festival had very little to do with strawberries. It was also extremely small for all the patrons/matrons. We did get a tour of the plantation from the back of a tractor. This was by far the highlight of the trip. The tour was gorgeous and full of information.

We headed back for a long drive to Atlanta early in the day. We saw a U-Pick strawberry place on the side of the road. After picking a bucket, we grabbed some food and hit the road again. We were happy to be back home and Tato was happy to see us. Today it is back to business and then Thu or Fri we will be in Florida. Should be another nice weekend as long as the weather is just as nice as it was when we were in Charleston.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Peanut Butter Balls recipe and more

Tonight we leave for Charleston, South Carolina. I am looking forward to a nice weekend. A trip to the beach in on the agenda but I am mostly looking forward to going to the Strawberry Festival. I am really interested in seeing what types of things they can have there. I am sure I will grumble about the non-vegan-ness of the event but there will be some highlights for sure. There also may be a Haunted Jail Tour in the works.

I have gotten everything done that I needed to this week so it will be a lazy day.



Last night I made some lentils, mashed purple potatoes, and veggies. It was really nice, refreshing and healthy. It made me feel good. Much better then the fried seitan that has been the norm.










However, for a snack I whipped up some peanut butter balls.

Peanut Butter Balls

12 oz of melted chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups of Peanut Butter
2 cups of confectionery sugar
1/4 cup of soy (or other non-dairy) milk
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter and vanilla. Mix. Slowly (about a 1/2 cup at a time) at the confectionery sugar, mixing well. The mixture needs to be firm and a little dry. Form the peanut butter into balls about 1/2 inch in size. Place in wax paper. Set in the fridge for 1 hour and let chill. Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients into a pan and melt over low heat. Do not let the chocolate burn! Using a spoon, dip the balls on peanut butter into the chocolate and return to the wax paper. Once all peanut butter balls are covered, return to the fridge for at least 1 hour to chill.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

2nd day on Vacation!

It feels great to be on vacation. Granted, I have a ton of things to get done during this week and next with the house, but it is always better to not work. Yesterday I met with a few more contractors at the house and things are beginning to shape up very well. I am confident that when it is all said and done, my house will be what I want. I am really hoping that my father will come down and help me do some extra stuff with the place once the contractors are done. It would be fun and I would love for him to see it, I think he would be proud.

Since the oven has been out of commission, burritos have become a staple in our diet. Last night I tried things a little different. I used some tofu marinated in cumin and garlic. It came out really well and Jamie thought it was the best I had made. We had an extra avocado, so I tried my hand at an avocado shake. It has potential but it not perfected yet. Not sure what it needs. If you have made them before, let me know what you did.

Two nights ago we had some Thai peanut lovers tofu stir-fry. It has also been something on the menu more recently. Partly due to the oven situation and partly because of the great 0.99 cents for fresh tofu.










Monday, April 13, 2009

1 Day Until Vacation!

It has been a very hectic week and I am more likely to have more sooner then less. Luckily, I go on vacation Wed. It should give me enough time to get most of the things done that I need. This weekend, Jamie and I are going to Charleston SC and next weekend we are going to Crystal River FL. It will be some nice beach time and Busch Gardens!

I got my school admissions taken care of for my transfer today. My fear of needles makes me less then excited about the immunization stuff, but it is all behind me now. I will still need to take a placement math test but everything else is good to go.

I had an inspector com out to the house and look over all the electric and structural foundation issues. The good news is that the bones are solid. The bad news in the place needs a new roof and HVAC. Yuck. It looks like it will run me about $15k. That will leave me in the range of $20k to fix up the place the way I want it. It should be enough. Last week I had a contractor come out and look things over. I hope to get an official estimate from him this week. I have 2 more scheduled for this week. Big choices. Big changes.

Not much time for innovation with new foods this week but hopefully that will change soon. Here are a few little pics of some things we ate this week.




Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I bought a house!

I bought a house today. They took my offer on the reduced price foreclosed HUD home. Lets just say I got the house dirt cheap. Today was spent filling out all the applications and such. I should enter the inspection period by Friday. There are a lot of issue with the house but nothing that can not be fixed. Jamie and I went to take some pictures of the house tonight. When we got back I made a version of Vegan Dad's Plum Tofu. It came out really nice and had a nice flavor. There are a few things I will change next time. I will be doing more with tofu in the future since I can buy a large block of fresh tofu for less then a buck at the local farmers market.


The next 2 weeks should be filled with stress over major choices relating to the house. I hope it all goes well and will keep everyone updated. I plan on posting pictures as the re-hab progresses.

Welcome to my new house!