It’s been a week of interesting eats — including two standouts that I had to share.
First, Seitan Nuggets that I swear to you — pinky swear! — taste just like those disks of crispy goodness I used to get at McDonalds. Listen, I’m a vegetarian for a myriad of reasons…but one you won’t find on the list? That I don’t like meat. I love the taste of meat. I just choose not to eat it.
So these nuggets ease some of the plant-based pain:
And they’re so easy to make. For those who don’t know what seitan is, it’s made from wheat gluten and is also called by the totally gross names “mock meat” and “wheat meat.” (Surprise! If you eat regularly at Chinese restaurants, you may have had seitan and didn’t.even.know.)
You can buy seitan pre-made, but it’s a snap to make from scratch. You just need stock, soy sauce and some vital wheat gluten flour, which I buy at the regular grocery store. No specialty shop needed. I follow the Veganomicon instructions, but the PPK ladies have posted a version here. I made the seitan earlier in the week, then on Friday night cut it into pieces, tossed it in flour and sauteed it over medium-high heat in a little oil. Drained ’em on paper towels, dipped ’em in ketchup and had a Eureka! moment.
Second round of experimental-but-delicious cooking — Steamed Plantain Cakes! We had two black plantains that have been sitting in our fruit bowl for two weeks. Normally, we make sweet fried plantains for a dessert but Mr. Picky Pants started whining “they’re too ripe wahhhhh” so I had to get creative. Found this recipe and went to town. First problem? No rice flour.
(Guess what? You can make your own in a blender. I stuck about a cup and a half of brown rice in my blender, set it at the highest speed and let it go for about two minutes. Out poured silky soft brown rice flour. GENIUS!)
Once I’d strained a muscle from the self-back-patting, I made the recipe exactly per instructions, poured out the batter into ramekins and used my dutch oven to steam the cakes for about 30 minutes.
They’re delicious — not too sweet, dense and could be used alongside sweet or savory dishes.
Alright, if you’ve read this far, you already think I’m a hippie, so I might as well get it all out.
I started a composting bin. I KNOW! Me! City girl! Grossed-out-by-smelly-things girl! I don’t know what has come over me. Maybe it was that trip to the Vegetarian Fest?
Back to the compost. I’ve been bugging Lucas to help me make this contraption for weeks (and to be fair: 1) He’s been a wee bit busy with my other nagging request 2) I could have done this myself, power tools and all). So today, after he spent another three hours sealing floors (I take back the Picky Pants, honey!), he grabbed an old Tupperware container and his drill.
Whaddya know, another $0 project — instructions here from the oh so fabulous Young House Love folks.
What have you done recently that you never thought you’d do? Something out of character? Something fun?