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Simple Brown Gravy

I made a Shepherds Pie for dinner a couple nights ago and wanted to come up with some sort of sauce or gravy to add to it and punch up the flavor. Years back I used to make a decent beef gravy, but haven’t tried to veganize it since going vegan; until now. This is a super easy recipe and I will go through it step by step. There are no photos, I wasn’t thinking of it at the time. Maybe if I make it again soon I will append this post.

Ingredients

2 Cups Veggie Broth
2 tbsp of A1 Steak Sauce
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 black pepper
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp corn starch

Start by boiling the veggie broth.

While you wait for that to come to a boil whisk together the water and corn starch in a separate dish then set aside.

Once the broth is boiling add the steak sauce, onion powder and garlic powder. Mix well.

Add the water mixture and whisk quickly as it will start to tighten up quite a bit. Take off the heat when you’ve reached the consistency you are looking for. Add salt and pepper, feel free to add more depending on how salty you want it. I find a tsp of each is fine though, especially with shepherd’s pie as there is a bit of salt in the mashed potatoes already.

There you have it!

Seitan Ground Sausage

My kids just wanted plain old pasta and sauce for dinner tonight. That sounded super boring and I had just worked out for 1 1/2 and needed more than that. I didn’t have anything to put in it so I figured I’d try to make my own grounds; with more of an Italian sausage flavor. It was a process, but the end result was tasty as heck. It’s also given me the confidence to make my own grounds in the future.

The recipe is amazingly easy, it’s just a time consuming process. It’s why I started the first part while I was working out. Here is what you will need and how to put it all together.

1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp fennel seed (crushed)
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup water

Get a pot going with 4 cups of water and 2 cups of veg broth.

In one bowl mix all of the dry ingredients well then add the water. You will have a goopy mess and it will seem more wet than it should be; it’s not. You need to knead it for a bit to give it some elasticity. Once you’ve gotten there roll it out lengthwise and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Roll it a bit lengthwise so it kind of looks like sausage, this is just to help it cook quicker than in chunk form.

Once your water is boiling drop the pieces in, cover it and lower to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour making sure to check now and again that the liquid level hasn’t gone down too much.

When the hour is up, remove from the water and let drain onto some paper towels for a bout ten minutes. Grab your Ninja, food processor or whatever you use to pulse blend with. Put all the seitan in and pulse three to four times until you get the size crumble that you prefer.

One last step, I promise. Dump all the grounds into a frying pan and brown them up a bit.

That’s it. Well, you can add to your sauce now and what you use depends on your level of involvement there. I added this batch of crumbles to Trader Joe’s Marinara sauce and it was slamming! Enjoy!

Mason Jar Creations: Curried Chickpeas w/ quinoa and lentils

Like many of the “regular” post series I start here, they fizzle quick. I’m going to try my best to revamp this one because I post a pic of them each week on Instagram, so why make the effort there and not share here? Here we go and here’s hoping for consistency!

I changed up my normal formula with this weeks set of jars. Normally I like to add at least one green to the recipe. This week I intend to bring a salad each day to eat with my lunch. So, I figured I could get away with skipping it and adding something with more protein. I’m wrapping up the second week of a new workout routine and could use some help with muscle recovery.

I curried some chickpeas (1 can) in a spice mixture that I came up with that is similar to garam masala spice mix; but more heavy on the cumin and curry powder. I sauteed it in a bit of soy-milk as well. I prepared some tri-color quinoa (1 dry cup to 2 cups of water) and finally, I cooked up a bit of green lentils (1 dry cup to 1 1/4 cups water with 1 cup of veg broth).

Once it all cooled down I jarred it up, put lids on em and they are waiting to be eaten.

I can’t wait to go to work!

Sriracha Mac

I am really excited to share this recipe from the new cook book “YumUniverse Pantry to Plate,” by Heather Crosby. Be on the lookout for a write up on the book in the next few days. Heather does an amazing job whipping up creative dishes from every day ingredients that are not  hard to find. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t feel adventurous with the recipes here, the templates are there, and she leaves the endless possibilities to you.

Here’s the recipe, I can’t wait to make it myself!

———-

Sriracha Mac


photo courtesy of Heather Crosby

Serves 4+

I discovered the magic of Sriracha in my mac and cheese at a vegan diner in Chicago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. For a simple-yet-decadent version, skip the Sriracha, ginger, and scallions. Try adding your favorite veggies or switching up the delicata for sweet potatoes or any other winter squash.

Ingredients

One 12-ounce (340 g) package gluten-free macaroni noodles
2 cups (230 g) peeled, seeded, and diced delicata squash, steamed
¾ cup (180 ml) water
½ cup (70 g) raw, unsalted cashews, soaked for 4 to 6 hours, drained, and rinsed
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon Sriracha (or any similar style hot sauce), plus more to taste
½ teaspoon peeled, minced fresh ginger, or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
4 scallions, sliced
Toasted sesame oil (optional)

Instructions

Get a large pot of water boiling and prepare the macaroni noodles according to the package instructions.

While the noodles cook, combine the squash, water, cashews, garlic, lemon juice, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, salt, Sriracha, and ginger in the blender and purée until ultra-smooth. Taste and add more Sriracha if you like. Transfer to a large pot heated to low.

Drain the noodles and dump into the pot of sauce; add the scallions. Stir together, seasoning with more salt if necessary. Drizzle with toasted sesame oil if you like and serve warm.

Recipe from YumUniverse Pantry to Plate © Heather Crosby, 2017. Photographs copyright © Heather Crosby, 2017. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com

Golden Milk

The past few runs I have been out on have been uneventful. Little bits of soreness as my legs acclimate back to running after nearly a whole winter off. Today though, a little over halfway through a 5-miler my left achilles was starting to hurt. I don’t think I pulled anything, but it’s certainly inflamed. Yes, I will see a doctor if it continues to hurt! In the meantime, I checked out what I can do with stuff I have in the cabinet as far as seeing about getting the inflammation to go down.

Knowing the benefits of turmeric I started working on a golden milk recipe. I saw a bunch of them including this one on Minimalist Baker and this one over at Wellness Mama. They seemed super easy, I just had to taste test em a bunch to get what I was looking for, I also didn’t want to make a big batch of it so this is a single use recipe.

It ended up tasting great, I may have to make more!

1 cup of almond milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp Bee Free Honee
pinch of black pepper

Heat all ingredients together. As it starts to warm, stir well. Do not let it get to a boil, you don’t really need it that hot but hot enough that the ingredients mix. Do that for about 3-5 minutes and serve immediately.

It’s not a miracle cure, but I will keep trying it daily and see what happens; I need to run hills tomorrow so maybe a teensy bit miracle cure??

BBQ Seitan Ribs

I’ve tried my hand at a couple different ways of preparing seitan. I’ve made a variety of deli styles for making sandwiches. I’ve tried making a smoky bacon and a couple other things. Lately I have been wanting something with barbecue flavor; it made sense to give BBQ ribs a day in court.

This recipe came out fantastic, I got it from HERE and manipulated it based on ingredients I had. The only thing I will do different is make sure I finish these on a grill to give them some nice char. Anyway, here is what you will need. Honestly, this doesn’t get any easier!

1 cup vital wheat gluten
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon of ground chipotle
1 teaspoon of chik’n flavoring
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon of black pepper
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Braggs liquid aminos
1 teaspoon of liquid smoke
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 cup BBQ sauce

Preheat over to 350º

Mix all the dry ingredients well in one bowl while doing the same with the wet.

Combine them both until it forms a spongy ball. You can knead it if you like, but I wouldn’t do it too much as it becomes tougher and tougher as you knead and you don’t want the ribs to come out tough and super chewy.

Spray a glass 8×8 container and lay the seitan flat into it, pressing down so it’s as flat as you can get it. Lightly press a knife onto it creating 6 lines horizontally and 1 vertically that way you can pull these apart easier when they are done.

Lightly brush on some BBQ sauce and place in over for 25 minutes.

Here’s where you have options… You can simply flip these in the pan, brush more BBQ sauce on and finish in the over for another 10-15 minutes OR take them out to the grill and finish there, brushing BBQ sauce on of course.

You also need to make sure to run the knife over the pre-cut lines, lightly of course as you don’t want to separate them yet.

I made mine in the oven and the bottom (which is actually the top when you are finished and flip them back over) caramelized nice and the ribs had a good crunch on the edges. Being finished on the grill you should get a bit more crunch and smoky flavor. Regardless, these are awesome and I hope you let me know how they come out for you.

What’s your favorite BBQ sauce to use? Do you make your own or use store bought?

Buffalo Tofu Nuggets

Seems only appropriate that my “comeback” post is one of my favorite meals on the planet! I hope to post more frequently, and an explanation is coming as to whats been going on the past couple months that have slowed my posting. Putting that aside… let’s talk tofu!

This morning I had a rough 4+ mile run. I’m currently on the third week of T25 and my legs are sore as all get out, but I have another Ragnar in June so I have to start getting these runs in too. So after slogging through the miles, and fighting a gusty head wind, my body needed something good to help it recover.

An hour after my usual shake I was feeling rather ravenous. I had a container of tofu that needed to be cooked so I whipped together this mid-day meal real quick and was amazed at how it came out. Here’s what you will need and instructions on how to prepare it is below.

Tofu Buffalo Nuggets

12 oz. package of extra-firm tofu
1/3 cup of corn starch
1/2 cup of Frank’s Louisiana Hot sauce (my favorite, I literally “put that sh*t on everything”)
1/4 cup of Earth Balance vegan butter
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
2 tbsp oil

Drain your tofu for 30-45 minutes under whatever weight it is you use. Mine was a stack of vegan cookbooks including such summer hits as Thug Kitchen, Bringing Home The Seitan and more. Send $29.95 for your copy of savory summer hits… sorry, lost my mind for a sec.

After its drained to your liking, get as much of the liquid out as you can; cut it up into bite sized cubes.

Add the corn starch, chili powder and turmeric to a plastic bag. I added the turmeric for it’s medicinal qualities, you really don’t need to add it but if you have it, why not! Add the tofu cubes and shake until it’s all covered.

Heat up your oil and fry away. You don’t really need to use more than the 2 tablespoons, you are not looking to deep fry these, you just want to give the outside a nice crunch.

While the nuggets are frying up, melt the butter and add the Franks to it when it’s done. Again, you don’t have to do it this way, you can use your favorite buffalo sauce or your favorite recipe for it, this is just how I made it.

When the tofu is done lightly toss with the sauce and plate. I cut up some celery and used some Hampton Creek Just Ranch to go with it. I can’t wait until tomorrow to eat the leftovers!

Enjoy!