February 1st, 2007

Seitan help!

I'm cooking for 10 people tonight and tried to make my seitan the night before from vital wheat gluten. While I've cooked with seitan before, this is my first time making it. Thank goodness I did it ahead of time, because it was terrible! It was rubbery and pretty tasteless. I simmered it in seasoned water, though I now see that I should have used broth and possibly some soy sauce to add flavor.

What do you usually add to your seitan while kneading it? Oil? Soy sauce? Garlic? Something else? Since I'll be throwing all of this together tonight without much time to marinate it, I need to add as much flavor as possible.

I'll be marinating the seitan in red wine and pepper, then pan-searing it in a little marinade. The seitan is served over a slice of griddled wheat bread and caramelized onion, with a red wine and "butter" sauce on top, and garlic mashed potatoes and green beans on the side. This is one of my favorite dishes, but the seitan will definitely make or break the deal so I need to figure this out!

Vroooom! Porridge

My husband used to dislike porridge [oatmeal].  Recently, he decided to give it another go, mainly because I'd made a(nother) Big Deal about how packed with energy, iron, and general body-friendly goodness it is.  I've created a version that he says that gives him lots of energy and keeps him full, and that he actually likes.  We eat a huge breakfast, with smaller meals at lunch and dinner, so the following amounts may vary - it's the ratio that seems to be important.  I've made up a large batch of this so I scoop out 1 cup per person in the morning instead of messing with ingredients first thing.


Eh, voila!  If that doesn't stick to your ribs, nothing will.  Fab with green tea first thing in the morning.

[EDIT]: I forgot to mention that I add two heaped tablespoons of ground linseed [flaxseed] after cooking and before doling out.

Avocado & tomato "pasta" salad

This is one of the cheapest meals/sides ever.

I was hungry, & had random ingredients, so I got to cooking. I made this for just myself, so you can add more of whatever ingredient for more people.

1 package of ramen noodles (doesn't matter what kind, since you throw away the seasoning anyway)
Half of an avocado, diced
Half of a tomoato, diced
Minced garlic
Olive oil
Vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

You cook the ramen according to directions (or if you're lazy like me, cook it in the microwave with some water for about a minute.) Then drain the ramen, throw it in a bowl & put it in the fridge. While it's chilling, dice half of an avocado & half of a tomato. Throw both into a small bowl & add a little olive oil to coat. Then add the minced garlic & mix it together. Get the ramen & pour the tomato avocado mixture on top. Mix well. Then drizzle a little olive oil & vinegar over the top, add salt & pepper & mix again.

Easy, cheap, delicious. :)