Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Grilled Seitan and Vegetable Kabobs

Sometimes our non-vegan friends assume we no longer cook anything on the grill, since we eat no meat. So, they would really be surprised to find we had “Grilled Seitan and Vegetable Kabobs” (page 314), a delightful and delicious vegan version of this normally meat based preparation.  In addition to the seitan chunks, the recipe includes mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes, but I think any vegetable you like grilled would also work fine.  We included pearl onions, and eggplant would be another good choice.  The marinade called for olive oil, but using the broth the seitan comes in makes a great substitution.  We had several skewers left over, so the next day I chopped everything up into small dice and made a breakfast “hash”.  Good stuff!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jerk-Spiced Red Bean Chili

"Jerk-Spiced Red Bean Chili" (page 251) is a dish that will definitely warm you up.  How warm depends on the heat of the barbeque sauce and green chilies, not to mention the cayenne pepper. So, if spicy isn't your thing, you can still enjoy this dish by adjusting those ingredients down the heat scale to your liking.  The "meat" of this chili is seitan, and the jerk spices include chili powder, cumin, allspice, oregano, black pepper, and of course, the cayenne. Crushed and diced tomatoes bring everything together.  Are you starting to get a picture of the myriad of flavors in this dish?  The only change I made to keep this McDougall friendly was to sauté the onion in a bit of seitan broth instead of oil.  The chili was even better when we had the leftovers a few days later.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chipotle-Tomato Salsa

If you like the smokey hot flavor of chipotle, you will really like the "Chipotle Tomato Salsa" on page 568.  A very simple and fresh salsa, it uses tomatoes, onion, and cilantro flavored with fresh lime, a sprinkle of salt, and a canned adobo chili.  (You can make this more or less spicy according to your tastes.) Easy, quick, and McDougall friendly as written.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Corn Relish

Akin to salad, not quite as zippy as chutney, the "Corn Relish" (page 569) makes a nice side dish, an interesting topping for veggie burgers, or something to dip a baked tortilla chip into.  Sautéing the onion and bell pepper (omit the oil and use water or broth instead to keep it McDougall friendly) decidedly tames the zestiness; next time I might opt to keep these veggies raw, or just barely cook them to retain both crunch and zip.  I ended up adding fresh minced garlic and a dash of cayenne pepper to perk things up a bit. Since I didn't have a red bell pepper handy, I used a yellow one instead.  I'm guessing you would have good results using any colored pepper, or even a combination.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Miso-Tahini Sauce

The "Miso-Tahini Sauce" on page 554 is quick to put together with just a few ingredients (miso, tahini, lemon, soy sauce, water).  Although it is cooked, no blender is required, and very few utensils.  The most important instruction to follow is not to allow the mixture to boil as you heat, stir, and gradually add water to the sauce as it cooks on the stovetop.  Like me, you might initially find it hard to believe that the sauce will be thick enough when you look at the ratio of ingredients to water, but somehow, it all works out! No changes were required to make this McDougall compliant.  This is a rich sauce, and a little goes a long way.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pecan-Lentil Burgers

Even if I never make it through all 1000 recipes, I know for sure I will eventually try all eleven of the burger recipes.  I am always looking for veggie burger recipes, and the more I can find that do not rely on isolated soy protein, the happier I am.  Today I tried the "Pecan Lentil Burgers" on page 119.  A blended mixture of pecans, cooked lentils, vital wheat gluten (for a nice chewy texture), oats, breadcrumbs and seasonings, these burgers can be served on a bun with all the trimmings (as suggested in the recipe), or on their own as part of a dinner plate, topped with gravy, BBQ sauce, or ketchup.  The instructions call for sautéing the formed patties in olive oil, but I used a dry non-stick skillet with excellent results. I'm guessing you could bake them as well. This recipe will yield 4-6 burgers.  (I easily got six very delicious patties.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Versatile Vegetable Soup

"Versatile Vegetable Soup" (page 148) is your basic and comforting veggie soup, the one you will turn to when nothing else will do. With onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, peas, and bell pepper as a starting point, you can change this up with whatever you are in the mood for, or whatever is in your pantry or refrigerator.  You can use the broth of your choice or water for the liquid, and vary the vegetables as you see fit.  I used a light tomato based broth and the vegetables as listed in the recipe.  The chickpeas add a little oomph to the soup, as well as a little chew.  A very satisfying soup all the way around.  I omitted sautéing the veggies in oil, using a little of the broth instead (no other changes needed to make this McDougall friendly).  I also added a teaspoon of Italian seasoning since it seemed to go so well with the veggies and tomato based broth.