“How’d you get this so creamy?” one of my roommates asked me, sitting on the couch next to my other two roommates, too preoccupied with their own bowl of rice to ask questions.
Vegan pesto. It never fails to pull a bunch of ingredients together and make them taste coherently awesome. Originally, I pulled out my last batch of pesto frozen from the fall with intentions of slathering it on baked eggplant. But when I pulled out the eggplant housed in my bottom refrigerator drawer and noticed tan, soft spots speckling its purple skin, I abandoned ship and fleeted towards a different route.
My first thought was pasta, but then I stumbled upon a bag of rice on the way to fetch that pasta, and ended up making this dish: Pesto-Infused Rice with Seitan. It was a hit with everyone in my apartment, and my bet is that it’ll please the people in your household too. If you don’t have pesto stashed away in your freezer, find yourself some basil and simply let your food processor do the work. You can find my vegan recipe inserted below.
Click here for recipe…
“I’m craving veggie wings. They were soo good.” I received this text from a high school friend about a week after she visited me in Philly. While she was up, I took her to El Camino where I assured her she had to try the veggie wings — crispy fried seitan smothered in spicy buffalo sauce, served with a side of the best blue cheese dip I’ve ever tasted. While hesitant in ordering them, she was hooked, not once touching her smoked turkey BLT until the plate was empty.
El Camino’s veggie wings might have to be my favorite snack to get out in Philly. I can’t eat the majority of the other meat-heavy, Tex-Mex options on the menu, but the veggie wings keep me a frequent customer at the No Libs restaurant.
My non-veg. friend actually introduced me to them, raving about the fact that they were better than any of the actually chicken one’s he’d ever had. He too has become a regular customer, and not for their focal BBQ, but for their highly addictive seitan wings.
Ever since my first taste, I’ve been bringing all my friends with me to feel the veggie heat alongside a cold brew. Recently, however, I decided to explore making my own, allowing me get my hands a little saucy without ever stepping out of my own kitchen.
A few weeks ago, I came across this recipe for “Seitan Hot Wings” in Vegetarian Times. It had been Scotch-taped to my bedroom wall ever since, until the other day when I ripped it off and took it with me to the kitchen. After making a batch of homemade seitan (for this particular one, I actually tested out VT’s version), I decided to utilize it in my current favorite usage of seitan — thanks to El Camino, that would be the veggie wing. These weren’t quite the crispy wings in which I got hooked, but this baked version was still entirely glorious. Plus, I can guarantee there’s a whole lot less oil going on these than the one’s I get out. While I’ll still remain a regular customer at El Camino (you can’t beat someone else preparing and plating your favorite snack for you), this will definitely become a repeat recipe. Oh, and did I mention these would make the perfect Super Bowl snack?
I’ve been experimenting with making homemade seitan lately. It’s surprisingly easy and definitely cheaper than buying it from Whole Foods. (Luckily it requires wheat gluten, still necessitating a trip to my local Whole Foods. AKA, I still get to be a grocery store nerd and spend my time window shopping through the aisles.) Once I refine the seasonings and simmering broth, I’ll write up a seitan post.
In the meantime, I’ve devised this soup, inspired by a batch of homemade seitan that erred slightly on the salty side. Rather than let it go to waste, I decided to give it a good rinse and throw it in a soup. Hence why I leave you to decide your own dosage of salt for this one.
The soup was also sparked by some beautiful dinosaur kale that I picked up on one of those habitual Whole Foods outings. I had to justify my liquid Kombucha spendings with something of actually substance, so I went for the kale. It builds a nutrient-rich, colorful base for this hearty soup/borderline stew. For a warming winter meal, serve with a slice of warm, crusty bread or corn bread. And since I’m on the whole “free PR for Whole Foods” roll today, let me add that the WF vegan cornbread is pretty darn good.
Click here for recipe…