Easy Curried Seitan Stuffed Avocado. Vegan

This was the first day of my Training Unplan, and, in a great example of its versatility, I took a day off. So far, so good.

Curried Seitan Stuffed Avocado

I will admit that I had a head start on this dish. I purchased some Curry seitan from my new favorite brand, Sweet Earth, a few days ago. It was already seasoned with natural curry spices (one of the things I love about Sweet Earth is that they use natural, pronounceable ingredients in their food), so I probably could have grilled it up and served it on skewers and it would have tasted pretty good.

I decided to take it a step further and use one of my favorite curry recipes (back in my meat eating days I’d prepare it with shrimp or chicken). Over the years, I’ve used tofu, faux chicken, and even potatoes instead of meat, but with the seitan I believe we have a winner. I also sneaked some cauliflower in the mix, and it passed Alan’s approval test (the man does not like cooked cauliflower!).

Curried Seitan stuffed avocado

Curried Seitan Stuffed Avocado. Vegan
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup cauliflower, broken into bite size pieces
  • 1 package Sweet Earth Curry Seitan (or 8 ounces of any seitan), cut into medium strips
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ cup water or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk (the full fat, from a can version)
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 avocado, cut in half and skin removed.
  • Rice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the coconut oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.
  2. Cook the onions and garlic until soft (about 5 minutes)
  3. Add the cauliflower and seitan and cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the curry powder and stir.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir.
  6. Slowly add the water and coconut milk, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.
  7. Add salt/pepper to taste.
  8. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 more minutes.
  9. On each plate, spoon a portion of rice and a ½ avocado. Spoon the curry mixture on top and serve.

You can serve the curry with your favorite condiments like chutney, raisins or other dried fruit, but I find the creamy cool taste of the avocado to be a perfect partner to the curry that doesn’t need any additions.

I have been using this basic curry recipe for close to 30 years! I found it originally in a 25¢ cookbook I picked up in the produce section somewhere. It was called Avocado Bravo and it is loaded with avocado recipes. I have made changes and variations over the years, and I haven’t even looked at the book for ages. Because I was writing this post I decided to see if I still had it, and sure enough!

Curried Seitan Stuffed Avocado

Can you tell it has been well used over the years? Ha! Now that I have it out I’m going to check out some of the other recipes too.

Do you have a favorite recipe or cookbook that you have used for years?

Vegan Recipe: “Steak” Salad with Watermelon & Kale. Plus Random Eats!

My day didn’t start off very well. A headache in the middle of the night led to lack of sleep, medication led to sluggishness, both of which dimmed the prospect of a run this morning. Fortunately, my running partner doesn’t take no for an answer, so after giving myself permission to walk when necessary, I finally got out the door.

Running Partner

Are you ready yet?

It wasn’t a great run, and it was very slow (yes, I did quite a bit of walking), so instead of a six mile workout with intervals, I ended up with a four mile run/walk of about an hour. Glass half full view: I got out the door, it was beautiful, and Penny, the aforementioned running partner, was pleased.

Before I get to the recipe, I wanted to share a few things I’ve been eating at work lately. I usually try to bring leftovers when possible, but sometimes, like with the “steak” salad, it tastes so good there aren’t any leftovers. Or there are enough leftovers that I will use them for another complete dinner. Here are a few recent “work lunches” I’ve enjoyed lately.

Vegan RecipeThis little combo came from Clark’s Nutrition Center. The White Bean Kale from Evolution Fast Food is wrapped in rice paper, so it is gluten free. They are based in San Diego and ship out locally, so it was very fresh. The vegan potato salad is one of my guilty pleasures. It is made in-house using Vegenaise, and it is quite tasty, especially with a little extra pepper sprinkled on.

Vegan Recipe

Beans and rice, the classic “complete protein” meal. Add a little veggies from the salsa and you have a healthy, cheap meal. This version was very nicely picked up for me by one of my staff from Baja Fresh.

vegan recipe

I admit that I haven’t eaten this yet. I picked it up at Clark’s yesterday because I love tofu scrambles, which are even better wrapped up in a tortilla with soy chorizo and other good stuff. I planned it for today, but because of the above rice and beans plate I’ll try it tomorrow. You know I will let you know what I think.

Vegan Recipe: “Steak” Salad with Watermelon and Kale

Some of my blogging friends are really good about meal planning, spending time over the weekend making lists, shopping, even preparing dishes that can be made in advance. I am not. My weekends tend to be filled with running, recovering from running, a little cleaning, writing and blog planning, and any other thing I can do to rest up before my work week. Which is a long way of saying that my dinner meals are usually ideas that I have on my drive home from work.

Which is not to say that my meals don’t taste good, or are difficult to prepare, though I sometimes stop by the grocery store way too often mid-week. For this vegan recipe though, I had all but the watermelon on hand, so a quick stop at Fresh and Easy and I was good to go.

"steak" salad

 I’m not exactly sure what made me think of “steak” salad. It’s not something I’ve ever made before, and beef in general is not something that I’ve missed since becoming vegan. It was more along the lines of, well, I have some sliced seitan in the fridge, what would go good with that? And, it’s 110 degrees today, who wants to cook? And voila! Steak Salad..veganized.

"Steak" Salad

Recipe: #Vegan "Steak" (seitan) Salad with Watermelon and Kale
 
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One of the prettiest salads I've ever made, it's also one of the most delicious.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces seitan, sliced
  • 1 lemon
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • 1 small bunch kale
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegan salad dressing
  • 1 cup watermelon, cubed
  • ½ cup yellow grape tomatoes
  • 1 each, small yellow and orange pepper, sliced
  • 2-3 thin slices red onion
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • ½ medium avocado, sliced
Instructions
  1. Lay out the seitan on a large plate. Squeeze the juice of ¼ lemon on the seitan. Sprinkle with a little pepper, garlic and onion powder. Turn over and do the same on the other side. Set aside.
  2. Preheat a pan over medium heat.
  3. In a large bowl, tear the kale into medium pieces. Dribble on the olive oil and the salt. Using your hands, massage the kale for about 2 minutes.
  4. Toss in the salad dressing of your choice (I used Follow Your Heart vegan Garlic Dressing). Divide the kale onto two plates.
  5. Add the watermelon, tomatoes, peppers, onion, cucumber, and avocado.
  6. Cook the seitan in a tablespoon of olive oil until lightly browned on each side. Squeeze the remaining lemon to keep it moist during cooking.
  7. Top the salad with the seitan.

This would also make a great side salad, without the seitan. Still pretty enough for guests!

Vegan Recipe

Are you a meal planner? Have any tips? I really think it is great and probably much more cost effective than my way of doing things.

Gyro Spiced Seitan and Quinoa Bowl. #Vegan Recipe

As I get ready to make some bean burgers (recipe for bbq kidney beans and quinoa burgers coming soon), I wanted to share this dish from a few days ago. You may or may not know of my love of shawarma, a Middle Eastern dish usually made with chicken, beef, or lamb, but I am always looking for ways to use the spices found in shawarma and create delicious and interesting vegan food.

The idea for this bowl actually come from one of my favorite dishes at Native Foods, the Greek Gyro Bowl. I think my spices are a little different, and after playing with the recipe a little, I’ve come to like my version better.

 

Gyro Spiced Seitan Bowl

Gyro Spiced Seitan and Quinoa Bowl. #Vegan Recipe
 
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I've taken my love of shawarma and put it in a bowl!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala (usually used in Indian food, it is a blend of cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, coriander & black pepper)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup tahini sauce (Trader Joes didn't have tahini, so I bought the pre-made sauce. If you'd rather make it yourself, here is a good recipe .
  • ¼ cup hummus
  • 1 lemon
  • 8 ounces seitan, cut into thin slices
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup onion
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow squash, sliced
  • Feel free to use your favorite vegetables. I like cauliflower and broccoli in this dish (but my husband doesn't).
  • ½ cup tahini sauce
  • ½ cup hummus
  • Pita Bread
Instructions
  1. Blend the spices together. If you're missing one, or if you don't have the Garam Masala, use as many as you have.
  2. Combine the tahini, hummus, and the juice of ½ of the lemon. Stir in the spice mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the tahini blend with the seitan. Set aside.
  4. Make the quinoa according to package directions.
  5. Preheat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes, or until the onion is starting to get soft.
  6. Add the seitan, allowing the marinade to drip off each piece before you add it to the pan. Brown on both sides. Reduce the heat and add the rest of the marinade. Allow to heat through.
  7. Tahini/hummus sauce: Combine the tahini, hummus and the juice of ½ lemon.
  8. While the seitan is cooking, steam the vegetables until they are crisp-tender.
  9. Assemble the bowl: Quinoa, veggies, seitan. Pour the rest of the hot marinade over the bowl. Serve with hot pitas and the tahini/hummus sauce.
Gyro Spiced Seitan Bowl
Gyro Spiced Seitan Bowl
I hope that you had a great weekend. I want to take a moment to remember that Memorial Day is not about barbecues and extra days off, but a day to honor the men and women who have given their lives to keep our country safe.

 

Did you do anything special for the long weekend?

Vegan Chipotle Seitan, Sweet Potatoes & Hot Bean and Corn Salsa

As promised in my last post, here is my vegan Chipotle Seitan Recipe. For those of you still waiting for my La Jolla Half Marathon recap, don’t worry, it is coming. just give me another day.

Every Wednesday, I work a little later than normal. I go in late, which gives me a chance for a run in the morning, but also means that getting dinner on the table is a challenge. Alan and I long ago decided that our taste buds and stomachs were much better served if I did the cooking and he did the cleanup, so that isn’t an option. I’ll occasionally stop and pick up some Thai food or pizza on the way home, but that gets old after a while (one doesn’t find an abundance of vegan takeout options in my desert).

I have found a better option is to plan for Wednesday to be leftover night, or occasionally I will make a meal that is quick and easy to prepare. I am usually a pretty slow cook, so that is quite an accomplishment for me. This dish, Spicy Chipotle Seitan with Sweet Potatoes came to me as I was driving home one Wednesday. I had purchased some Sweet Earth Chipotle Seitan that day and I was anxious to try it out. It seemed a little unusual to use sweet potatoes with a spicy dish, but it ended up, as my friend Laura would say, strange but good.

Chipotle Seitan

Spicy Chipotle Seitan with Sweet Potatoes. Hot Black Bean & Corn Salsa.Vegan.
 
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I prepared this spicy dish in about half an hour using prepared seitan, canned beans, and frozen corn and it was delicious. It is perfect when you want to whip up something yummy after a long day at work.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. Chipotle Seitan, cut in strips (I used Chipotle seasoned seitan, but you can create your own by allowing your seitan to marinate in any chipotle sauce for about 15 minutes.)
  • ½ cup chopped Onion
  • 2 cloves minced Garlic
  • 1 Serrano Chili, chopped and divided
  • 1 Sweet Potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup corn
  • ½ salsa
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • tortillas
  • avocado
Instructions
  1. In a small pan, heat up the beans, corn, zucchini, and salsa. Add ½ of the serrano chile. Allow to simmer while you prepare the seitan.
  2. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan. Cook the onion, ½ half of the serrano chile, and garlic over medium heat until the onion is soft.
  3. Add the sweet potato and cook until slightly browned.
  4. Add the seitan and cook until slightly browned.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sweet potato is cooked, about 10 minutes. Add a little water if the sauce is too thick.
  6. Serve with fresh avocado and warm tortillas.

 

Chipotle Seitan 4

Do you like spicy food? I grew up in California, so it’s in my genes I think. Have you tried seitan before?

Roasted Seitan and Vegetables with Quinoa. #Vegan Recipe

vegan recipe

I finally went for my second run of the new year this morning. When I first woke up, I didn’t think that I was ready yet. I still felt congested, my throat was a little sore, and I still felt kind of crummy. But, one look at Penny convinced me to at least try. She loves to run so much and I have felt like I’ve been disappointing her all week long.  My dogs inspire me on those days I have a hard time getting going (so much so that I wrote a post about “Running Like a Dog“).

After 10 days of being sick it felt great to get out. Alan (who has also been sick) and I took four of our dogs for a two mile run.  I felt so good after that I took Penny out for another two. I was pretty surprised but happy to feel just fine, no breathing problems or anything (except a lot of snot rockets ;-)).

vegan recipe

On that note, let’s discuss this recipe. This is one my versions (maybe the best) of the Greek Gyro Bowl from Native Foods. I decided to roast the seitan and vegetables for a variation and it was delicious (and really fast!). The sauce is simply hummus thinned with lemon juice to a creamy texture. If you want to make your own hummus, here is a recipe.

Recipe: Roasted Seitan and Vegetables with Quinoa. #Vegan
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 package seitan, cubed
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 cup cauliflower, broken into medium flowerlets
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 lemons
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 ounces hummus, thinned to a creamy consistency with lemon juice
  • 1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package directions
  • ½ cup cucumber, chopped
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup tomato, chopped
  • Pita Bread
  • Hummus
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Thin the hummus with lemon juice until it is creamy, but thin enough to pour. Bring the hummus to room temperature (30 seconds in the microwave is one way).
  3. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking oil.
  4. Combine garam masala, paprika, and salt.
  5. In a bowl, combine the seitan and vegetables. Squeeze the juice of one lemon on the mixture, then sprinkle the spices on top. Stir to mix evenly.
  6. Spread in one layer on the cookie sheet.
  7. Roast for 15 minutes, turning once about half way through.
  8. In two individual serving bowls, scoop ½ cup of quinoa, half of the roasted seitan and vegetables. Drizzle half of the hummus mixture on each.
  9. Top with chopped onions, cucumbers and tomatoes.
  10. Serve with pita bread and additional hummus.

 vegan recipe

Believe it or not, my husband, who hates cooked cauliflower, cleaned his bowl.  I’d say this recipe is a winner!

I am also excited about finally getting back out on the road. Now I can take the time and map out my training plan and finally get a start on my 2013 fitness goals.

What is your favorite restaurant dish that you’ve tried to re-create at home? Any success?

Wraps Galore! Two #Vegan Recipes!

I’ve been a bit of a scatterbrain today, having a hard time settling in to write. My excuse is below.  In fact, I’ve written this paragraph several times, tried to decide whether to lead with my excuse or save it until the end. Finally decided that the end was better because it feels like kind of a downer.

Anyway.

The other day, my cousin Marcia posted on my facebook wall.

I agreed. It did sound yummy. You know how much I love quinoa. Add in some avocado and spice and I’m totally in. I had no intention of having these for breakfast (unless it was for leftovers the next day!). Dinner all the way. I followed the recipe pretty closely (click the facebook picture to be taken to the recipe). I was out of nutritional yeast, so I substituted a little Daiya mozzarella, and I added corn.

My pictures weren’t as pretty, but this sure was tasty.

After my success with the quinoa wraps, I was inspired (plus I had almost a whole package of whole wheat wraps). So I decided to make a simple, spicy seitan, rice and bean wrap. More success, so I figured I’d better share the recipe with you.

Spicy Seitan, Rice and Bean Wrap

Ingredients
1 cup white rice
1/2 cup salsa
1.5 cups water
1 can pinto beans
1/2 cup onions, sliced very thin, divided
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package seitan (or one cup if you make your own)
salt and pepper to taste
whole wheat wraps or tortillas
Fillings: Avocado, salsa, onion, cilantro, vegan cheese (I used Daiya)

Directions
Prepare rice, using the salsa to substitute for 1/2 cup water. Cut the lime into quarters and squeeze two into the rice.

Heat beans, adding 1/4 cup sliced onions, squeeze in 1/4 of the lime, and allow to simmer while you prepare the seitan.

Preheat a pan with the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the seitan and cook until slightly browned. Squeeze 1/4 of the lime and add the salt and pepper.

Heat the wraps. Spoon in rice, beans, seitan, then add your favorite fillings. Roll, then cut in half.

I had a hard time settling down to write today. Lots going on. I was off today, but was originally planning to drive to San Diego. I have an aunt who fell the other day in her tub. She’s in the hospital, doing okay but weak. The doctor said that they might release her today, but they preferred a family member to be there. I am the only one since my sister moved to Texas, but fortunately I called before I left. After evaluation by a physical and occupational therapist, they decided to keep her another day, then transfer her to a rehab facility.

So, I ended up not going, but I still haven’t been able to settle in here. I’ve been fiddling around on facebook and twitter, reading other blogs, basically procrastinating. One day I will tell the story of my aunt and why this threw me off kilter, but in a nutshell, she was in a car accident about 25 years ago, suffered a brain injury, and since then she has isolated herself, cut off communication, and lived a solitary and bitter life. I’m hopeful that I may be able to reestablish some kind of relationship with her, at least enough to keep her from being so alone.

Tomorrow we’re off to another invitational meet. In other cross country news (I know you’ve been wondering!), our varsity girls team finished fourth in our league meet on Wednesday, which if they can hold on will send them on to CIF semi-finals in November. We have two more league meets, but I think they will continue to get better and hold on to fourth place.

What’s in store for your weekend?