Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vegan MoFo - BBQ Seitan and Ice Cream Sandwiches

I've been going nonstop all day it feels good to finally sit down and blog! My day started an hour earlier than I would have liked it to thanks to the Daylight Savings Time stuff. I thought clocks switched tonight but apparently it was last night. I had my alarm clock set for 8 so when it went off and I started getting out of bed I looked at my cell phone and realized it was really only 7. I tried to go back to sleep but I couldn't. Usually if I wake up earlier than I need to, or just don't feel like getting up, I can stay in bed and Gizmo will stay sleeping. The second I lift my head, sit up or make any noise she is wide awake and in my face ready to go. That's what happened this morning. I'll just go to bed a little earlier than normal tonight to make up for it.

Even though I've been going going going all day, I've been home and in my sweats so that was a plus. And I got to spend a lot of time with my dogs, even bigger plus. I started my day with a few small buckwheat pancakes that my mom made. I was a little hesitant because I always imagined buckwheat as a bland starchy thing but I was wrong. These little pancakes she made were great. Even just plain, which is how I had my first two. My third had a little smear of Earth Balance and a drizzle of agave nectar. I am definitely going to be looking more into using buckwheat now!

After breakfast I decided to make use of the new running gear I got so I leashed up my 12 year old bloodhound and went for an hour long walk/jog/run. It was really cold out, he's old and I'm out of shape so we alternated. Hopefully if I/we keep up with it, it will be more running than walking!

I spent the rest of my day cooking, doing dishes, making Gizmo's food for the next month and stoking the fire for Gizmo and Dain to lay in front of it all afternoon.

While Gimli followed me everywhere I went, ALL day.

Today was the day I decided I was going to face my seitan fears and just make it. I didn't want to do anything too complicated with it since it was my first time so I went with the Simple Seitan recipe in Veganomicon. After I mixed everything together I started getting a little discouraged because it didn't look appetizing, at all, but I was determined to see this through.

After I got it boiled, simmered, strained and cooled I took a cutlet out of the fridge and sliced it up

While I had the seitan simmering, I was also making the Backyard BBQ Sauce from Veganomicon. It has been years since I have made homemade BBQ sauce so I was really excited about this. I did make a few changes though. I used shallots instead of onion, I added wayyyyy more garlic than the original 4 cloves, I used brown sugar instead of white, apple cider vinegar instead of white, no liquid smoke, can of diced tomatoes with zesty jalapenos, and a healthy squirt of ketchup. I let that simmer for the entire hour the seitan was cooking and when it was done I threw it in the Vitamix to smooth it out. This is a really versatile sauce that can be changed however you like, mine came out more of a sweet and spicy version which is just fine with me.

I wasn't really hungry for a meal but I was really anxious to try the seitan so I took my slices and lightly fried them in a skillet. When they were heated through I gave them a coating of the BBQ sauce and cooked for another minute or two. While that was cooking I grated some Follow Your Heart Monterey Jack and warmed a pocketless pita in the microwave. It made the perfect little snack wrap. The seitan was perfectly firm but still tender. And also slightly chewy and meaty. I will definitely make it a few more times exactly as the recipe is to make sure I have the hang of it before I start changing and adding things. All in all my first time seitan was a sucess. I don't what I've been so afraid of!

Prior to eating my snack wrap, while the the BBQ sauce and seitan were still cooling in the fridge I decided to make some ice cream sandwiches. I started out with the basic chocolate chip cookie recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar but added a little dash of cinnamon to the dough. Usually when I make these cookies I am able to roll them into little balls in my hand so I figured these would be perfect because I'd be able to control the size and shape better than a regular drop cookie. For some reason todays batch did not want to be rolled at all. It was a gooey mess when I tried. I quickly gave up and grabbed and ice cream scoop. I did my best to make sure they were all the same size and shape even though I knew they were going to spread alot more than normal due to the wetter than usual dough. They still came out great, albeit a little thinner than usual due to the spreading. After the cookies cooled I pulled a pint of my favorite coconut ice cream out of the freezer and went to work scooping the ice cream and pressing the cookies together. Once they were pressed together I rolled them in flaked coconut, wrapped them up and tossed them in the freezer. I just had one and it was the perfect little dessert. Two cookies and a small serving of ice cream all together in a sandwich? Yes, please.

That, my friends, was the perfect end to a long day in the kitchen.

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