Sunday, January 14, 2007

Best Chik'n and Dumplings & Best Detox-Friendly Muffins

The weather people are predicting a major ice event beginning later today and lasting until Tuesday noon, so we had Sunday dinner last night. These chik'n and dumplings were really easy to make, yet incredibly delicious. I'm sure Chase would have risked bodily injury to drive over and eat it, so I'm glad we made it last night.

Seitan is the last thing a gluten intolerant person should eat and that's why I've never attempted to make it. But I needed "chik'n" and decided to give it a try. Taking a tip from Cafe Cyan, I made the chicken style seitan from Real Food Daily. It was incredibly easy to make, just like Crystal & Ryan said, and so good. Here it is right out of the oven.

This is four pounds of seitan. I cut it into fourths and put 3/4 of it in the freezer. Chase cut the remaining one pound into small strips and stirfried it briefly before we put it in the pot.

Taking another tip from Crystal & Ryan, I made biscuits from La Dolce Vegan to use for the dumplings. I have never actually baked the biscuits BEFORE plopping them in the broth as dumplings, and I must say, it makes for a much less doughy dumpling and I definitely prefer this method. The biscuits were just huge! I hated to cut them up.

My simple recipe was to chop an onion and saute it in a little oil. Add 2 cups broth and 1/4 cup flour and let it thicken. Add 6 more cups broth and a bag of frozen mixed veggies, plus about a cup of frozen edamame and seasonings. Bring that to a boil, then add in the seitan and biscuits and simmer about 20 minutes. We all decided that we didn't even need the seitan. Veggies and dumplings would have been just as good.

Here is our huge pot of dumplings, simmering away on the stove.

We all know good ingredients make good food. I really think the reason a lot of my food tastes so good, at least to suit our tastes, are these two items:

Okay, I don't put these on my broccoli, but I do sprinkle them on almost all of my skillet dishes and soups and casseroles. I'm almost out of this broth and I'm always fearful that the next time I go to the asian market, they'll tell me they don't carry it anymore.

You don't really need anything more than broccoli as a side dish to chik'n and dumplings, but I decided to use my remaining yuba sheet and fill it with mashed sweet potatoes and black beans. They were quick and easy to roll up, and I just brushed the top with a little olive oil and garlic powder.

Ready to bake....

All done.

I've decided I don't really like yuba as a wrapper. I would rather have rice paper. Anyway, here's our table. I guess the broccoli wasn't done yet.

It was really cold and rainy yesterday, and I'm still trying to cut back on sweets. For dessert I wanted something warm, so I put four chopped apples in my mini crockpot along with a mixture of apple cider, peanut butter, oats, and a little brown sugar to thicken the juices, and let it cook on low about 5 hours.

I served it with a little coconut and peanuts on top. You could substitute almonds for the peanuts, but I just love peanut butter, esp. on apples, and this was yummy! We ate it in front of the fire.

I went a little freaky yesterday in anticipation of our "ice event" and wanted to make sure Chase and I didn't run out of food in case we can't get out for a couple of days. I also baked bread and made a huge bunch of pinto beans in the crockpot. I was running out of room in the kitchen so I moved them into the dining room. I have bread rising in the bread maker and a makeshift table for the beans.

We had 4 inches of cold rain yesterday, and it was not an ideal day for baking. When the bread was through rising, I just tossed it in the pan and into the oven. It tasted great, but looks a little weird.

Here's the giant crock of steaming beans.

Now for the muffins! I don't always eat breakfast, but if I do I eat at the office and need something quick and portable. I had been trying to recall a muffin recipe that I absolutely love, made with oat bran and no flour. Well I found it and veganized it and OMG they are as wonderful as I had remembered. No flour, no sugar, no oil, and only 100 calories. I think they are awesome, like eating a bowl of oatmeal.

They have a bit of a different texture, obviously, but they're still a muffin. Barely sweet and very satisfying. I hope you'll try them, even if you're not detoxing. Oh, and if they are not actually detox friendly, please advise.

Oat Bran Muffins:

Heat oven to 350 degrees and coat bottoms only of muffin cups with cooking spray.

2-1/2 cups oat bran (I get mine from the bulk bin, but Quaker makes it)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cup "buttermilk"
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 egg replacer
1 - 2 teaspoons vanilla (I used 2)
1 - 2 teaspoons cinnamon (I used 2)

Put dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Add in all wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, until tester comes out clean. After baking, let sit 5 minutes before removing from cups to cool completely. Refrigerate leftovers after 24 hours.

Enjoy your Sunday! If you don't hear from me soon, it's because I'm frozen......


Jackie said...

I must try dumplings that way as I have never been successful with vegan recipe dumplings at all.

As usual you have made my mouth water with your wonderful meals.

Freedom said...

I hope you survive the 'ice event' - shouldn't be a problem with all that food, lol!
Even though I don't eat bread I love looking at homemade loaves - I think they're kinda cute, in a weird way!

Dori said...

Wow, a dumpling soup. I tried to make something like that once and I didn;tike the doughy dumplings so I haven't tried it again. Baked - simple solution.

A warm pot of beans and fresh baked bread - comforting. I hope you are managing to stay warm, we have a low temperature front moving through and we'll be down to 13 degrees tommorrow, we are getting freezing rain right now and then 6" of snow is to arrive in the night. Glad I get to be here checking out your wonderful grub. :)

Emmy said...

Yum! The chiken and dumplings look so delicious. Great comfort food for colder weather. Your crockpot apple dessert looks so tasty. I can totally relate to making up lots of food before potential ice storms/winter weather. I do that too :) The oat bran muffins look like a great breakfast treat. Hope the weather doesn't get too bad there!!!

Ruthie said...

Hmm I love doughy dumplings! Maybe I'm weird. I make them in the pressure cooker (without pressure, just the lid unlocked) and I suppose the tight fit might make for better dumplings, but I love them a little gooey on the outside and soft bready/biscuity on the inside. :) You do have me craving chikn & dumplings now. I've never even made it before!

Those muffins look *excellent* and I'm not even on a detox!


Ruthie said...

I forgot to say, good luck with the weather! :) You'll survive, but try not to drive. Texans are completely out of their mind on the roads when its icy!!!!! :)

erica said...

I've never made dumplings, either, but I think I saw some a few weeks ago and ever since then they've been in the back of my mind.

That apple concoction sounds really good... like peanut apple crisp. I've been trying to eat regionally/seasonally and it seems like all there really is around here in the fruit department is apples and pears.

It's been really cold up here too, awesome El Nino weather, I guess. It snowed like half an inch and has just been freezing since then; it was last week and my neighbor still has snow on his lawn (although there is suspiciously none on mine. Hmmmm.)

Judy said...

I have never had chicken and dumplings (vegetarian, vegan, or otherwise), and I don't know if I would like them. Isn't it mushy dough in soup? Not so sure.

There is a recipe in La Dolce Vegan for muffins made with oat bran. I haven't tried them, but I do bake with oat bran quite a bit. It is a great substitute for flour, and it is so filling, though I find that sometimes it leaves a slightly bitter taste in my mouth.

Judy said...

P.S. The apple thing looks great - I never would have thought to put apples and pb together in a crockpot!

Vivacious Vegan said...

Every time I see beans on a blog I think I really must try to make them myself. I've always purchased canned beans. Some day....

The chik'n and dumplings looks delicious. I've never tried the mccormick grill mates seasoning but i'll look for it in the store the next time.

I hope you fare well with the storm. Best wishes to you and your family.

laura jesser said...

Wow, the dumplings meal looks so warm and cozy... perfect lead-up to an ice event!

Your muffins sound delicious and a nice healthy twist, and I would love to try them!

Melody said...

Everything looks great... I've been meaning to make that seitan recipe forever... must buy parchment paper..

I'm not a huge fan of seitan, but I think I'd like it better if I made it thtat way....

I am definitely going to make those muffins..

bazu said...

Oh my god, I LOVE chikn/dumpling soup so much! Just before I went vegan (and I mean literally a week), I had the best chicken dumpling soup at (don't laugh at me!) the Ikea cafeteria, and I've been hoping for a suitable vegan version ever since. Yours looks so good- as does all your cold weather cozy food (bread! slow cooker!)
I really want to try your muffins- how different do you think it would be if I used wheat bran instead of oat? (That's just what I have sitting around the house)

aTxVegn said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! Even if you just make veggies and dumplings, it's so good and comforting. When we first starting eating, after every bite we would all go "mmmmmmm."

Crystal - your comment about "beans on a blog" is stuck in my head like "ants on a log." Anyway, please make your own beans. You won't believe how salty and old the canned ones taste after you've made your own. I just start in the morning and make a huge batch to last all week.

Ruthie - well the whole city is shut down. I don't know how many wrecks already, but last ice event we had 800!

Bazu - Everyone I know goes crazy for Ikea food! And I don't know about all wheat bran muffins. I'm sure it wouldn't taste like a bowl of oatmeal! But if you have some whole wheat pastry flour, I would do half bran and half flour, and maybe increase the agave to 1/2 cup and/or add in 1 or 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Oh! or your coconut oil - ooh, that sounds pretty good! Worth a try...

- Diann

Vicki said...

my goodness, you sure cook up a storm! the dumplings look so delicious -- thanks for teaching us how. :o)

Kati said...

Wow - the chikin and dumplings look amazing! I never really liked dumplings much because they were too mushy for me, but your version seems to take care of that problem. I have to try this!

Hope you're surviving the ice and snow! I lived in OK for a few years, so I know how everything tends to shut down when you get 1 inch...let alone what I've seen on the news. At least you've got lots of yummy food to keep you warm!

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Ahh! Food overload! I kept thinking of things I wanted to say for each picture, but now I forget.

But, I do have to say that the dumpling dish looks awesome - glad you could use the tips. Mmm...mmm...great dish in the winter.

I like your bread ideas too as I'm starting to get into making it.


Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

P.S. - I'm so glad you liked the chicken seitan recipe. It's stupid easy to make and it makes so much!! Yay!

Johanna3 said...

im drooling ,great post