Archive for January 15th, 2010

So yup…it’s raining again.  I’m not complaining.  I actually love the tranquility the rain brings with it’s muted tones and sounds.  I love the way the bark on the trees darkens and shows off the richly-colored mosses and lichens growing upon it to full effect…well let me show you…*scurries out to take a photograph of the tree outside my window*

It looks as if we have some vegetative reproduction going on in our front yard! [See the tiny yellow protuberances in the dark green moss?  Thank you Mr. Radford for all those field trips in environmental biology, they have proven invaluable in so many ways.] 

Anyway, as I was saying before I took that field trip, it’s raining.  Again.  When it’s gray out I crave spicy things, yet not always chile pepper spicy but rather mustard-like spicy.  When that craving hits there is really only one thing that will do.  Mustard dog with saeurkraut and pepper rings.  So, seems it’s time to make some homemade Italian-style seitan sausage!  I love the way mixing the dough makes my hands smell, the scent is amazing and it also perfumes the house with comfort food goodness. 

Italian sausage-style seitan

2 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 cup Garbanzo flour

2 T. Bill’s Chik’Nish*

2 T. granulated onion powder

2 T. fennel seeds

2 tsp. coarsely-ground black pepper

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. dried pepper flakes

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground allspice

2-1/4 cup cold water

8 cloves garlic, minced

2 T. olive oil

2 T. soy sauce


Put a pot of water on to boil with a steamer basket.  Mix together all dry ingredients making sure they are well blended.  Add liquids and garlic and mix together gently until just incorporated, do not over-mix or you will develop the gluten.  Divide into 8 portions and place each upon a sheet of aluminium foil, forming it into a sausage-shaped log.  Roll the foil over the sausage and continue rolling until it’s wrapped completely around.  Twist the ends to seal the package.  Basically, each sausage will look like a foil wrapped Tootsie Roll or Christmas cracker.  Place the rolls into the steamer basket and steam for 30 minutes.

*If you cannot find this seasoning, I’ve substituted poultry seasoning and it worked just fine.

[Original recipe found here.]

What goes better with a mustard dog than potato salad?  I can’t think of anything.

Roasted Potato and Green Bean Salad

This salad really isn’t about precise amounts, it’s about what you like.  I wanted some mediterranean flavors with some fresh vegetable crunch to go along with the creamy potatoes.  Add whatever you like, just dress the potatoes with the vinaigrette while the potatoes are still warm so that they absorb it well.

Red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces and roasted  [400 degrees for 45 minutes]

Radishes, quartered and roasted along with the potatoes

Green beans, snapped into bite-sized pieces and steamed

Bell pepper [I used baby Bells, tri-colored]

Celery stalks with leaves, sliced


Sliced sun-dried tomatoes

Fresh flat-leaf parsley

Fresh basil

Lemon zest

Freshly cracked black pepper

Vinaigrette [I made one with freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and stone-ground mustard, 3:1 ratio of oil to lemon juice.  3 T. olive oil, 1 T. lemon juice and 1 tsp. mustard]

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Dan Buettner, a National Geographic explorer,  talks about cultures where elders live [and here I’m talking about thriving rather than merely existing] well past the 78 years that is our cultural average.   The more we learn about how humans can live, the more I wonder why it is that these stories spark astonishment at the potential of human longevity, free of disease, rather than provoking outrage at the lack of a similar quality of life in our own lives.  Enjoy Mr. Buettner’s presentation, the stories you hear and centenarians you meet shall make you smile.

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