Braised Cabbage and Seitan with Roasted Vegetables

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope everyone had a great holiday.  Ours was…busy.  It always is, and I’ve come to accept that, but it still wears me out!

One of my resolutions for 2012 is to update the blog more.  I love sharing vegan grub with people.  It seems more and more people are looking to cut out some, if not all, animal products from their diets and plant-based recipes are where it’s at.  I’m continually passionate about vegan food and I hope to reflect that on the blog.

Seitan!  And cabbage!  So freaking good.  This recipe comes from Appetite for Reduction and comes together in a snap, assuming you’ve got your seitan already made.  I am kind of afraid of making any type of simmered seitan — I’ve been burned so many times by it not turning out — so I always make the Seitan o’ Greatness recipe that has been floating around the PPK for years and years.  I’ll post it below since it’s pretty much public domain at this point.

Everything is better with a side of roasted vegetables that have been drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper.  Here I’ve got zucchini, cherry tomatoes, broccoli and sweet onion.

Seitan o’ Greatness
Originally created by PPK member Lachesis

1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp allspice (I never have all-spice so I leave this out)
3/4 cup cold water
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (I can never find this so I always just use soy sauce)
1-3 cloves garlic, crushed (I just sprinkle in about 1/2 tsp garlic powder)

Preheat oven to 325°.
In a large mixing bowl mix dry ingredients. Mix the rest of the ingredients (liquid ingredients) in a smaller mixing bowl. Whisk well until mixed.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well, then knead for several minutes.
Form into a log (6-8″ long), wrap tightly in foil, twisting ends. Bake for 90 minutes. When done baking, unwrap and leave out to cool all the way. Then wrap it foil or plastic and refrigerate. Slice to use as desired.

– Crystal

Veg News Mac and Cheese

It’s been a very stressful week around our house, and I came home from work tonight wanting nothing more than some good comfort food.  To me, nothing is more comforting than mac and cheese!  Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to go without.  There are quite a few good vegan mac and cheese recipes out there, but the Veg News Mac and Cheese in the best one we’ve tried.  The cashews in the sauce give it a gorgeous texture that is very rich and filling.  It’s yummy enough for anyone to scarf down…no vegan membership card required.

We decided to pair this with roasted balsamic asparagus with capers.  This is sooooo good.  I made it once when I was home alone and accidentally ate the whole batch!

Trevor’s Balsamic Asparagus with Capers
1 bunch of asparagus
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp (or more) capers, drained
2 tsp caper brine
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F.  Trim and wash asparagus.  The easiest way to trim asparagus is by holding both ends and snapping it – it will naturally break where it needs to, so you get rid of the fibrous end.  Lay stalks flat on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic and with sprinkle capers and caper brine; toss gently to coat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Bake for 12 minutes, flipping halfway (or more if you like it more crispy – and we do!).  Dish up and don’t forget to scoop some of those crispy yummy capers onto your plate!

– Crystal