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Archive for the ‘Sandwich’ Category

I try to avoid adding highly processed oils, saturated fats and mayonnaise-type products to our food.  We happen to believe that it’s a healthier way to eat.  Keeping this in mind, I will always opt away from the commercial and toward natural whole food replacements in order to create a more nutritious version of a dish if it’s at all possible.   As a consequence, a great deal more flavor and phytonutrients are incorporated into what we eat via herbs, spices, nuts, seeds and fruits.   This salad is bound together with raw cashew butter [ground cashews], while  mustard and dill are used to punch up the flavor.  You could certainly add some vegan mayo to this if you prefer.

Chopped Cauliflower Salad

This can also be used as a great sandwich filling and works especially well in wraps and pita pockets.

Ingredients:

1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into florets and lightly steamed [5 minutes]

1 T stoneground mustard

1 T cashew butter

1 T raw cashews, chopped

1 T raw sauerkraut

1 dill pickle, diced

1 T fresh dill, chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until evenly mixed and finely chopped.  You can adjust the consistency if necessary by adding more mustard or cashew butter.  Ultimately, the texture is up to your tastes.

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Grilled Curried Tofu and Almond Butter Salad

Using almond butter and lemon juice rather than a faux mayonnaise makes this salad significantly healthier for you.  Almonds are a great non-dairy source of calcium and the chia seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids.  Turmeric, in the curry powder, contains curcumin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.  Oh and that adage “an apple a day…”? Believe it.  Apples alone contain at least ten thousand identified phytonutrients.

This salad is great served on fresh, crisp Romaine lettuce spears but you could just as easily fill a pita pocket or as H likes to have it, wrapped up in a soft whole wheat tortilla.  I’ve given the amounts I used to make a salad for two.

 Ingredients:

4 slices firm silken tofu [or whichever tofu texture you prefer], sliced into ½ inch thick planks

½ red apple, diced

½ red bell pepper, diced

¼ cup raw almonds, chopped

1 celery stalk with leaves, sliced

1 T almond Butter

freshly-squeezed lemon juice

chia seeds (could substitute with poppy seeds)

sparkling apple cider

curry powder

sea salt

freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:

Add one tablespoon curry powder to a volume of apple cider sufficient to cover the tofu.  Marinate refrigerated for as long as possible, up to overnight. 

Sear the tofu until it has grill marks, cool and then dice.  Add to a bowl along with the apple, red bell pepper, almonds and celery.  Whisk together almond butter and enough lemon juice to create a loose dressing. Add to the salad and mix well.  Sprinkle with chia seeds and season with salt and pepper to taste.  [You can add more curry powder to the salad if you like a stronger curry flavor.  I would mix it in with the dressing so that it becomes well dispersed.]

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Playing with My Food, Again.

I love grilled cheese sandwiches but I wanted to do something a little more interesting than that.  I was thinking along the lines of an Insalata Caprese [mozzarella Teese, basil and tomato with olive oil]  but then flashed on the strawberries in the fridge and that then led to a longing for a thick and syrupy balsamic glaze.  Then here is where it got seriously weird.  I spied the peanut butter.  Thing is?  This sandwich was seriously delicious and I fully intend to make it again.  So there ya have it…a decidedly weird and surprisingly delicious open-faced grilled Teese.

Seriously Weird Grilled Teese

Ingredients:

Teese Vegan Cheese, mozzarella-flavor

fresh strawberries, sliced

peanut butter

ciabatta bread

balsamic vinegar

sugar

olive oil

Directions:

Add balsamic vinegar to a small pan and bring to a simmer.  Add in a tablespoon of sugar for each 1/4 cup you use.  Reduce until thick and syrupy.

Slice bread and drizzle with a light coating of olive oil.  Place under the broiler and toast.  Remove and spread a thin layer of peanut butter and then sprinkle Teese atop, leaving some room around the edges.  Cover edges of the bread with foil and place under the broiler until the Teese has melted and is bubbly.  [The reason I did this was because I like having the bread fully toasted under my cheese and having to broil it twice would burn the bread.]

Microwave a spoonful of peanut butter for 15 seconds to soften and drizzle over the melted Teese.  Top with strawberries and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

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This was a quick, easy and delicious lunch.  I schmeared it onto some dark pumpernickel and stacked on some carrot slices with dandelion greens and watercress.  Marvelous!

 

Soft Lemony Cashew and Tofu Cheese

Ingredients:

1/4 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup firm silken tofu

2 T fresh lemon juice

few sprigs fresh thyme, destemmed

1 tsp lemon zest

few dashes umeboshi vinegar [could substitute with cider vinegar]

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Simply blend together in a food processor until a smooth consistency is achieved.

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This is an incredibly satisfying and savory burger.  I was both eager and hesitant for H to try this because she loathes both mushrooms and onions.  To my profound relief, because I want to make these again they were so good, she loved them.  And yes, I said them.  She has had more than one over the past few days which is really the ultimate test needed to confirm that something is a hit.  This burger is a definite home run that would satisfy a meat eater’s appetite.  Not only did it have insane flavor but it had a real burger texture and didn’t fall apart as some veggie burgers can.  I slathered the toasted whole wheat bun with Wildwood’s Garlic Aioli and reserved some grilled mushrooms and onions to top this monster [I left those off of H’s burger, that would have been pushing it].  It really was the most satisfying burger I’ve had in years and is our new go-to veggie burger.  

 

 

Seitan Mushroom and Lentil Burger

If you want to add sauteéd mushrooms and onions to the tops of the burgers, which I highly recommend, you shall need to double the amounts of onion and mushrooms required for the recipe in order to reserve them for a condiment.  This recipe yields 8 burgers, of which extras can easily be frozen for future meals.

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup vital wheat gluten

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1.5 T garbanzo bean flour

1 T Bill’s Best Chik’Nish vegetarian seasoning

1.5 tsp onion powder

2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

1 tsp mild paprika

1 tsp Mrs. Dash’s Steak Grilling Blend [Or whichever steak type seasoning you prefer]

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp allspice

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup Puy lentils, cooked [I cooked mine in mushroom broth for added flavor]

1 yellow onion, sliced

8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1.5  T  natural peanut butter [You want the oily kind because this is the oil for the dough]

1/4 cup mushroom broth

1 T soy sauce

1 T vegan worcestershire sauce [I use Annie’s]

2 T steak sauce

Directions:

Caramelize the onions, mushroom and garlic in a pan over medium low heat.  [This will take a while but it is well worth it flavor-wise. Add the onions first and when they become soft add in the mushrooms and then the garlic in the last 5 minutes or so.] Add to food processor and pulse a few times.  Add 1/2 cup cooked lentils, peanut butter, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, mushroom broth and steak sauce.  Pulse until all are well incorporated yet keeping in mind that you don’t want a homogenous paste.  You want to retain some texture from the mushrooms.  Add in the remaining 1/2 cup lentils but do not pulse.  You want the lentils to remain intact for more texture.

In a bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix well with a whisk.  Add the wet to the dry and knead lightly into a dough.  Cut into 8 equal pieces and shape into patties.  In a skillet over medium-low heat, cook each side for roughly 10 minutes to both brown and cook the burgers throughout.

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Like I said, seitan has been preoccupying my mind.  I wanted a breakfast sausage flavored seitan that would go great on a biscuit for a quick breakfast or scrambled up with some tofu and onion equally well.  I have my heart set upon savoring  pancakes with this spicy sage and apple seitan; maple syrup to be used liberally. 

Vegan Apple and Sage Breakfast-style Seitan with Blackberry Preserves.

 

 Dry Ingredients:

 2 T dried sage

2 T Bill’s Chik’Nish vegetarian seasoning

2 T onion powder

2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

2 tsp mild paprika

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp allspice

2 ¼ cup vital wheat gluten

½ cup nutritional yeast

½ cup rolled oats, pulsed a few times in a food processor to create smaller irregular-sized pieces

 Wet Ingredients:

 1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup apple cider

¼ cup maple syrup

2 T soy sauce

2 T walnut oil

½ tsp liquid smoke

8 cloves garlic, minced

 Directions:

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

 Mix dry ingredients together with a whisk until evenly distributed.  In a separate bowl mix together the wet ingredients.  Pour the wet into the dry and combine just until there are no longer any dry patches in the dough.  Divide the dough into two and roll into separate logs using aluminum foil.  Twist the ends to secure the logs.  Bake for 90 minutes.  Allow to cool, slice and heat in a skillet to crisp up the sides.

This seitan can be very moist and chewy.  The thicker you make your roll, the chewier the texture shall be.  Also,  slicing it thinner and browning it in a skillet before serving will diminish this texture if you would prefer a dryer seitan.  I like to slice mine on the thinner side [1/3 inch or so] and brown the edges while still leaving a slight soft center.  You’ll get the knack for it once you make it and experiment on slice widths and browning times for yourself.

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Seitan. This food fascinates me with its versatility. I want to conquer it and meld its glutenous soul into fantastical creations to satisfy any cravings that H or I may be jonesing over. [I think this is the mad scientist in me expressing herself.]  I want the ability to craft it into textures and infuse it with the flavors of the world,  but most especially into some of my favorite past foods that are no longer in my playing field.  I’ve spent the past days making myriad varieties of seitan.   I have blown through so much vital wheat gluten that I nearly bought out the store.   Yet, after much experimentation and tweaking of both flavor and texture, this recipe now rocks my universe and I hope it shall yours as well. 

Greek Seitan Gyros. 

 

Ingredients:

Dry:

2 T sweet paprika

2 tsp sumac

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp fresh rosemary

½ tsp chili powder

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp lemon pepper

2¼ cup vital wheat gluten

½ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup garfava flour [garbanzo and fava bean flours]

2 T Bill’s Chik’Nish vegetarian seasoning

Wet:

2¼ cup cold water

2 T soy sauce

2 T olive oil

8 cloves garlic, minced

½ yellow onion, finely diced

1 tsp fresh lemon zest

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Sauté onion and garlic in a drizzle of olive oil until softened. While that is cooking, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and dry whisk to combine well. In a separate bowl, add the wet ingredients and the onions and garlic. Pour the wet into the dry and mix gently with your hands until all the dry ingredients are incorporated and you no longer see any dry patches of flour. Divide the dough into three.  Form three equal-sized logs out of the dough and place them, separately, upon a sheet of aluminum foil. Roll each into a cylinder and twist the ends to seal the tubes you’ve created.

Place in the oven for 60-90 minutes depending upon the consistency you prefer.  [I found that 90 minutes yielded a seitan that was soft and moist and, for H and I, texturally mimicked gyros.]  Allow to cool. Slice and sauté briefly in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil to heat through and crisp up the edges.

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