I'm still on my minimal ingredients kick, and still lovin' the seitan these days. There is something really comforting about a piping hot bowl of nutrition in the middle of the day, and this did just the trick. Cooking enough for lunch the next day is another favorite thing of mine these days, because it ensures that I'll have something really yummy to look forward to. Also, this little number uses bok choy, which I've been meaning to incorporate into a dish for a while now. So easy, so good, and super quick.
Seitan with Bok Choy and Mushrooms
1 package of chicken-style seitan 1 bunch of bok choy, chopped a handful of chopped white mushrooms 1 clove of garlic minced 1/2 lemon 1 tbps agave nectar 1 tbps soy sauce Whole-wheat grain, such as rice or pasta
Heat a large skillet, add garlic and brown. Add seitan, and cook until browned. Add bok choy, stir fry until nearly done, add mushrooms and cook until browned. Squeeze the lemon over the pan, add agave nectar and if desired, soy sauce. Soy sauce can also be used to garnish. I made some whole wheat penne to serve along side, but the obvious side choice would be rice. Just depends what you're in the mood for...
...and that's a good enough reason for me to bake up two dozen every weekend.
Seriously, I seem to go through a vegan baking phase every winter. Two years ago it was vegan cupcakes. Last winter it was pies. This winter it's cookies. It's not a healthy habit, but life is short, and I do have help taking care of them from a certain cookie vacuum I live with!
These two cookie recipes are, sort of, healthy. The first one is agave sweetened peanut butter cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. So, they not sweetened with sugar, which is nice. However, the three generous handfuls of chocolate chunks I added to them had plenty of sugar, I'm sure. What are you gonna do? But these were gooood people. Like, shut. up. good.
My next attempt at "healthy" cookie making was the oatmeal, walnut and dried plum cookies from Alicia Silverstone's new book, The Kind Diet. I changed them quite a bit by using raisins and pumpkin seeds instead of plums and walnuts, and had to use 1/4 cup regular sugar instead of the maple sugar called for, but that's OK. They still were low(ish) on the sweeteners (they also called for maple syrup) and used only 3/4 cup flour. These flattened when they baked, which was disappointing, but they were chewy and actually pretty good! I would make them again for sure.
On that note, I highly recommend The Kind Diet. Although I have had the utmost respect for Alicia Silverstone for years for speaking out against cruelty towards animals and advocating a vegan/vegetarian diet, I was skeptical this book would be good (sorry Alicia!). I was wrong. It's awesome, and a great book for anyone wanting to try veganism, vegans who need a diet make over, and people who just want to know how to eat a little healthier. Although it's a "diet" book, Alicia makes a point to say if you are paying attention to what you eat and striving to eat lots of veggies and grains, that's the most important thing. She also stresses not beating yourself up if you eat crap every once in a while (I didn't just eat an Oreo brownie from Vegan Treats!), and to make sure you don't deprive yourself. Her view on exercise is very similar to mine as well, there is no point in forcing yourself to sweat on a treadmill at the gym if you hate it- you're much better off doing something you love, like yoga, or going for a long walk. She even says she likes to still go to beginner yoga classes just so she doesn't feel pressured and can move at her own pace- that's awesome!!!! OK, done gushing.
OY blogging. I have made lots of food and taken photos of it lately, but actually uploading them and writing something snazzy takes a lot of mental energy that I just do not have this week. Soooo, here's the quick version.
I have found 2 recipes recently online (which is very bad of me, as I have dozens of sad cookbooks crying out for attention) that are simple, yummy and quick-ish to throw together. They are both definitely winter comfort food, and both would be great for newer vegans to take for a spin (I'm talking to you, Shashley Sunshine!)
The first recipe I would like to introduce you to is a very simple, yet tasty, chana masala from vegweb (my interweb is acting crazy so I can't get the link at the moment, just go to vegweb.com and search for it). A dish I have often enjoyed at Indian restaurants, this is super simple to make at home. After trying this twice and reading the hundreds of comments accompanying the recipe, I suggest adding more tomato paste and a half can or so of coconut milk. We also added peas, cauliflower and potatoes last time we made this, making it a complete meal, served on top of brown rice.
The next recipe I recommend giving a go is this mac and cheese. Please note, it will never taste like the mac and cheese you remember from your pre-vegan days, but it's creamy and comforting, and also has waaaaaaaay less fat than it's cheesy cousin, I'm sure. Also note I have done the legwork looking for a good vegan mac and cheese recipe, and this is the best one I have tried thus far. I added about a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and the juice of half a lemon to the sauce to bump up the flavor. I left off some sauce because I thought it looked like way too much before I put it in the oven, but in retrospect I could have used most of it. That would be some roasted Brussels sprouts featured on the side- let me tell you, you have not had Brussels sprouts until you have had them roasted. For reals.