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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.


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)


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!


Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Peanut Butter Frosting

My wife is normally the baker in our house, I’m more of a savory cook. She bakes often and makes some amazingly great treats, the vegan chocolate chip recipe here is hers and it’s hands down the best one I’ve had. So, after making a few batches the other day she wanted something different and asked me to make something.

What? Me bake?

I gave it a shot and here is what I came up with based on some recipes I found on pinterest. I manipulated the recipes to fit our needs and was SHOCKED at how tasty they came out. Here’s what you are going to need, followed by instructions at the bottom.


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cups brown sugar
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
¼ cup cocoa powder

¼ cup canola oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup water


¾ cup organic peanut butter
½ cup coconut oil
½ tsp vanilla
2 cups confectioners sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ cup almond milk (you can use any vegan milk, I prefer almond)
First get your oven cranked up to 350 and drop liners in your cupcake pan(s). You will yield 12 cupcakes.

Grab two bowls and add your dry ingredients to one and add your wet to the other. When they are both mixed well add them together and mix until they are almost bubbly. Evenly distribute into each cake liner and back for 25 minutes. (use a toothpick to check done-ness)

While the cakes bake add the peanut butter and coconut oil into a pot and melt down. Add everything else except the sugar and let it cool. I cheated and put the pot right into the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Add your confectioners sugar and add to a baggie or piping bag. I used a baggie as I’m not that pro just yet, it’s also why my cakes look a little ugly.

Once the cakes are cooled, ice em and eat em!


Mason Jar Creations: Peanut Lime Tempeh w/ Rice

peanuttempehI work ten hour days, and once Sunday morning (7am)comes that last thing I am thinking about is what to put in my lunch. Sometimes I’m lazy and end up eating Tofurkey sandwiches, or PB&J’s, all week. Other times I try my hardest to make a tasty lunch in advance.

I share lots of pics from my Mason Jar Creations on Instagram and thought it might be time to start sharing the recipes. These are super easy to put together and as healthy as you want them to be. I try to make them have three components:

  1. clean carbs (whole grain rice, quinoa, couscous)
  2. a green leafy vegetable (spinach, collared greens, kale)
  3. some sort of protein (tempeh, beans, chickpeas, seitan)

Today’s jar has whole grain rice, kale and a peanut lime tempeh. Here’s what you will need and how to prepare it.

Prepare your rice, mine was the time consuming type so I started this ahead.

Dice up a package of tempeh, whatever brand you like.

Add 1/4 cup of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of lime juice and 1/4 cup of Braggs liquid amino into a bowl and mix well. The peanut butter will break down from the acid in the two liquids and will liquefy. Add tempeh to bowl and marinate for about 30 minutes.

While it marinates saute the kale in a pan. I used some frozen kale and measured out roughly a cup.

At this point the rice should be done and you can start jarring stuff by adding 4 portions to jars equally. Layer the sauteed kale in each jar as well

With the pan you used for the kale, add a tablespoon of coconut oil and pan fry the tempeh, adding the crushed up peanuts, until its golden brown. Add to you jars.

Set aside to cool down before refrigerating.

That’s it, lunch is ready for the next four days, unless you work a different number of days than you may have to adjust portions and serving sizes.

National Cookie Day 2016: Vegan Chocolate Chip

I may very well have placed myself in some hot water here by sharing this recipe, but you all need to try it and I’m willing to take one for the team. My wife closely guards her families recipes, though I may be in the clear with this one though as it’s modified and isn’t the “true” family recipe. I guess there’s no way of knowing until I hit publish on the article, right?! Maybe I should just make up the couch in preparation?


2 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons almond milk
3/4 cup vegan butter (room temperature)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat over to 325°

Add all dry ingredients to your mixing bowl and whisk together.

Place the mixing bowl in the mixer and with it on at a slow pace start adding your wet ingredients making sure to add the chips last.

Make 1″ – 1 1/4″ balls out of the dough and place on cookie sheet.

Cook for 10-12 minutes.

You should yield about 1 1/2 dozen cookies from this.

Once cooled make sure to cover before you store them, it will keep them chewy in the middle.


Habanero Hot Sauce

habanerosauceA co-worker gave me a bag of habanero and poblano peppers. I plan  to stuff the poblanos with some vegan cream cheese and bake them, but wasn’t sure what to do about the habaneros. They were not all ripe but ten of them were. I’ve always wanted to try and make my own hot sauce, so I figured I’d give it a day in court.


10 habanero peppers
1 cup of carrots (chopped)
2 cups water
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons vegan butter
2 tablespoon lime juice
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar (packed)

Add the butter to a pan and when it melts add the garlic. Saute for a few minutes to bring the fragrance out and brown a tad then add the water and carrots. Bring to a boil and cook until carrots are tender.

Cut up the habaneros with gloves on, unless you want to burn every part of your body that you touch with your fingers afterward. I’m just warning you there, not that I would know or anything. You do not need the seeds, the peppers should be hot enough.

Add everything to blender and once the carrots are done pour them and whats left of the water into the blender. I have a Ninja so I pulsed it to a very fine blend and voila! Hot Sauce! If it’s too hot, add a hint more sugar. I felt it needed a bit more vinegar and added 1 extra tablespoon, but I like my hot sauce to have a bit of the vinegar tang to it. That’s it. super simple and almost fills two 16oz mason jars!