So week 4...or is it 5? Time has been a blur of late, as my business has picked up, and the true test of my vegan lifestyle continues. At a recent chef's meeting, I thought I was doing well at Not Your Average Joe's - they had a few great vegan choices including the spring roll appetizer that was all veggies wrapped in rice paper with a light peanut dipping sauce. To round out dinner I ordered the edamame hummus. Both were delicious, very filling and the servings were more lunch size than appetizers. Easy meal out. Then I saw the calorie count - how did I not know the hummus was 700 cals? Ugh......it is tough to eat out, be healthy and stick to a diet. At least it was animal free.....and the spring rolls were under 400 cals. To the gym.
I have roasted veggies like a pro these past few weeks - parsnips, carrots, turnips, Brussel sprouts, and squash. They are delicious as is or tossed into a salad. But enough already....I am sick of roasted veggies. So this week, I tried a recipe for Seitan shared by a fellow networker. I mixed the vital wheat gluten, the nutritional yeast, the ketchup, soy sauce, garlic powder and more.....kneaded 10 mins until it was elasticity. I formed the perfect little steaks and gently placed them in a broth of water, soy sauce and fresh rosemary. I let them cook in the slow cooker for 4 hours, just like the recipe said. I gently scooped them out, and surprise! They actually held together....now I was excited! The color was a little blah, but I would not let that deter me. How did it taste? Well.......it tasted like vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast cooked in water with a hint of rosemary. Perhaps I need to pan fry it or something? Add some BBQ sauce to it? Beef it was not. Terrible, well not really, but it will need some work. Perhaps I need to buy some beefy seitan to understand how it is supposed to taste? I like the Gardein beef tips. I think that is very similar to this recipe. But better.....ok first try - more practice needed.
I did have a moment of missing the freedom to make anything I wanted.....but I don't miss meat really. Thought those sausages my husband grilled up this weekend look mighty good ..... Even cheese is a much lesser craving. But it sure was easier to use cheese and meats to make dinner. Even this chef needs some inspiration! OK...I am sticking with it. I will pursue, take time to expand my knowledge.....but many parties of late have not left a lot of time to cook for us. The problem I have is the problem I solve for others - how ironic, huh?
This week - Red Lentil soup - Egyptian style. More seaweed recipes, tofu and bok choy with mushrooms and chili sauce. Need to get back to my grains for variety too. Maybe a vegan pizza, or bulgur pilaf. Veggie burgers of many varieties! Falafel, beans, barley and farro! Yup - I feel it...the inspiration is coming back......stay tuned and please share any great recipes you may have! And I will share any good ones I come across in that big file of "to try".
Good eating and go veggie once a week!