Monday, July 09, 2007

Teriyaki Seitan Skewers, 2 Sides, 2 Desserts

It FINALLY quit raining this weekend so we had to grill on Sunday. I drove through rain to get to the farmers market Saturday morning, then all of a sudden the sun came out. It felt so warm and I searched my purse for sunglasses that I hadn’t worn in 3 weeks. I happily began to gather veggies for the grill.

The main event was Teriyaki Seitan Skewers from Real Food Daily. I made the chik’n style seitan and one of the best teriyaki sauces we’ve ever had. It has fresh pineapple, mango, and orange juice in it, along with maple syrup and tamari. I marinated the seitan chunks in the sauce, though the recipe didn’t call for that, and I used all veggies and no pineapple on the skewers, again not according to the recipe. I found kabob size onions at the farmers market and some nice bell peppers. Chase basted the kabobs as they grilled.

The first kabob with no seitan is mine :( I selected two recipes from A Vegan Taste of Thailand for our sides. First was Pineapple Jasmine Rice. I added some shredded carrots to this (I always seem to have these on hand!) and this rice was the perfect spicy sweet complement to our kabobs.

The other selection was Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Sesame Salad. This was a cold salad of lightly steamed broccoli, and bell pepper, onions, cucumbers, and sesame seeds. The dressing was a simple mix of sesame oil, tamari, rice vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes. I added some grated coconut and peanuts for garnish. I made any of the recipes from this book, but so far it’s 2 for 2.

Chase asked for some bread, so I made another Buckwheat Potato Bread. It didn’t rise too good this time, but it still tasted great. (You know I like to blame the humidity when this happens!)

I had my heart set on making Alton Brown’s Lentil Cookies. The recipe intrigued me and I was sure anything AB makes is delicious. He is a food genius. I was fortunate enough to take Chase with me to one of his cooking classes at a local market a few years ago. These classes are so nice because seating is limited to about 30 people, you can ask questions and visit with the chef, and you can get autographs.

Here’s Chase’s book…..

…. and here’s mine.

I actually went to a Bobby Flay class that morning too. He was adorable and had partied too hard the night before, yet still gave an awesome demo. You know, that was an expensive day! But worth every penny in my opinion. I had a great time I’ll never forget. Oh, yeah, the Lentil Cookies. I didn’t love them warm from the oven, but the next day they were terribly addictive. I used chocolate chips instead of raisins and a flax “egg.” There’s definitely a different texture, but it’s not at all dry. And you don’t taste lentils, but there is noticeable but pleasantly different and distinct new flavor. I will definitely make these cookies again and try out lots of add-in variations.

I should tell you that the lime green and turquois placemats have been cheering me up through all of our dreary weather.

So Chase told me he WANTED the lentil cookies, but he NEEDED strawberry pie. I love when you kind of rush through a pie recipe and hope for the best, and then you hear it’s the best strawberry pie you’ve ever made! I don’t think it’s anything I did. It’s just that the strawberries are incredibly flavorful right now and I only added a little cornstarch slurry and a fourth cup of sugar to 2 pounds of strawberries to make this pie. I even used store bought graham cracker crust.

Especially yummy with Soy Delicious Vanilla.

Smokey came to dinner too and before we lit the grill, Chase pulled out this tiny harness and short leash and put on Smokey! Smokey took his first steps into grass.

He started out very hesitant, then became more curious and with a little encouragement went around about a third of my backyard.

The adventure completely exhausted him. I even saw him yawn. Isn’t that harness too much?!!!

Tomorrow is not quite my birthday, but it is my family birthday dinner, shared with my brother whose birthday was two weeks ago. We needed to select a restaurant that would please vegans and nons, and I have been curious about a new Brazilian restaurant, Sampaio’s. The flavors and ingredients in their meaty dishes sounded fabulous and there’s small print “Vegetarian Menu Available on Request.” My mom called and spoke to the chef personally who said he would be thrilled to create two vegan entrees for us tomorrow night. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with for us!

I just found out in the midst of this posting that I won Urban Vegan's dessert contest! I can't believe it - I'm so excited!


Anonymous said...

Happy Almost Birthday! I hope your dinner tomorrow with your family is fun.

Those skewers look so good. I'm going to have to check out that cookbook.

I'm surprised Smokey would let you put a harness on him. Very cute bunny.

Congrats on your win - your pie looks decadent. Love the strawberry pie in this post too!

Have a great week!

Christina said...

Hi Diann,

Congrats on winning! I loved the look of the tiny tarts, but the big one looked delectable as well.

Smokey's harness is too cute!

You're very lucky to have seen Alton in person.

I hope your dinner is wonderful, and hopefully it will be clear and sunny for your birthday.

It rained so hard where I am on Friday that our power was out for at least 3 hours.

Do you know about There's a nice forum there and they post about local vegan events.

laura k said...

Alton Brown and Bobby Flay are my two favorite (non-vegan) chefs, and I'm incredibly impressed (and a little jealous) that you got to see them both in action!

Those grilled kabobs look like quite a treat, and the teriyaki sauce sounds just heavenly...

Oh yes, and CONGRATULATIONS on your win--a much deserved victory! Happy birthday to you and your brother, and I hope you have a marvelous celebration.

Monika K said...

I love the Food Network - what a talented group of people. As the number one fan of lentils, I feel I owe it to the legumes to try this cookie recipe. Thanks for sharing!

And CONGRATULATIONS on the contest win! As soon as I lay my hands on some macademia nuts I'll give your recipe a try. (-:

Vegan_Noodle said...

Congrats on winning the contest!! I am going to have to make that dessert as soon as possible!

Judy said...

Congrats on winning the UV contest - you totally deserve it! And I deserve a slice of the winning pie ;)

That lentil cookie recipe is entirely too intriguing not to try. Hopefully it turns out better than my chickpea 'torte'. *shudder*

Laura said...

Congrats on your win!

Your strawberry pie looks awesome. I am never able to use fresh strawberries in any recipes because I always eat the strawberries shortly after they come home with me.

erica said...

Congrats on winning the contest! Couldn't have happened to a more deserving lentil cookie baker!

(By the way - you totally blew my mind with lentil cookies. Totally. Blew. My. Mind. Away. It's in Mexico now.)

When I was a kid we used to walk Prego (our bunny named after spaghetti sauce) on a leash. Oh, and the skewers have me drooling, I'm planning on grilling some later this week, probably with tempeh. My tummy seems to do a bit better with a bit of cooked vegis now and then. Portland has finally hit summer and today we'll break the heat record for the day - it's supposed to be 102. Yup, it does get hot in Portland, but Seattle a few hours north doesn't ever get much above 85.

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Yeaah, Diann! Congrats on your win! Much deserved - your food always looks fabulous.

I've gotta try those Real Food Skewers! Yours are so pretty.

Happy early birthday! :)

Mikaela said...

My friend and I were just talking about those lentil cookies - thanks for the review! :)

Cherry said...

Congradulations on winning the contest! These kabobs look absolutely fabulous. Smokey is so adorable in a harness!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

once again, absolutely superb food you've got there!!! It's no wonder why you won Urban Vegan's dessert contest - you definitely are an amazing vegan cook/baker :0)

and oh my goodness, I love the pictures of Smokey on a leash - I've never seen anyone walk a bunny before. sooo cute!! haha

bazu said...

Congratulations on your win, you sinful decadent sweet woman, you! And happy birthday.

That photo of Smokey in his lil' harness cracks me up! I want to snuggle the bunny, awwwww...

Yeah, add me to the list of Alton Brown's fans. He's just crazy enough to be cool. Now I wish he'd apply his culinary brains and talents to veganism. Could you just see it? Episode #1: eggs. What do they do, and how can we replace them? Episode #2: the perfect meatless gravy: art and science. And on and on!

KleoPatra said...

Way to go on your decadent dessert win! For "a calorie-counting, gluten-free vegan" you sure know how to work the sweetness, Diann. Very happy for you.

i want to thank you, Diann, for your thoughts for Mattie... it's been tough for me (and for HER) but i think the dawn is finally breaking. Thank you for caring...

Smokey in the harness! OMG, how cute is that!?!?!? Too cute for words, i can't get over it.

Love the lime green placemats! GREAT colour and it translates well to the blog, which is a credit to your photography skills, no doubt.

Love this post... those skewers kick some BBQ butt! Your potato bread may be short in stature but it had to have been huge on taste!

Happy almost birthday, too!

Anonymous said...

congratulations for winning the contest! mi marido has that book of alton brown's and i'm sure he'd be a bit jealous. i like his show :)

Joy Keaton said...

I can't wait to make your contest-winning dessert! Looks too yummy to be real!
Happy Almost Birthday!

Unknown said...

This post is great. It must be fun to have met celebrity chefs. Love the pies and the skewers and your bunny is too cute!

aTxVegn said...

Thanks for the congratulations everyone! I've been so busy lately and feel awful I haven't made the blog rounds in a while, but I'm trying my best to catch up.

A friend asked me today if Smokey really needed a leash. Well, not in my backyard, but Chase wants to be able to walk him around his apartment complex or in a park. I'm just afraid of any dogs he may encounter. I don't think Chase could survive a bunny attack.

I hope some of you try the Lentil Cookies. They're so weird and wonderful!

Christina, thanks for the link. I'll be sure to check it out.

Celine said...

lentil cookies for the win! I have to try this.
and your bread looks fab, whatchoo talkin' about?

Jody from VegChic said...

The seitan looks amazing and that sauce sounds sensational.

Lentil cookies sound interesting. Maybe I'll give that a go sometime. The Indian place near my house has a lentil dessert which I tried and was bit iffy about.

The bunny is so cute in that little harness. I'm glad he gets to run around sometimes. I've got a little leash/harness contraption for my cockatoo, so she can go outside sometimes.

The strawberry pie is gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

you know what? i need some strawberry pie too!

Sheree' said...

Hi Diann, I love the kabobs. I need to get the Real Food Daily book from the library and check it out! Did you use their seitan recipe too?

I love Smokey. He is so cute on his leash. I use to walk my iguana on a leash with a halter. They work great. I love animals.

I have a bunch of berries in my freezer, I wonder if I can make a pie with them? What was your ratio on your cornstarch slurry? Yumm-O!

Alton's cookies have intrigued me. I love his show, but I must confess I love all of the Food Network and usually get myself in trouble watching it. I eat too much too late. lol

Thank you for your kind words about Micah's haircut. I think it looks wonderful too!

aTxVegn said...

Hi, Sheree. I did use the RFD chicken seitan recipe. It came out a little wetter than the first time I made it. Since I wanted to marinate it, I baked it an extra 30 minutes without a foil top and it came out perfect.

For the pie, I used just 2 T. cornstarch because I hate the way it dilutes the pretty red strawberry color. Sometimes I add in 1 or 2 T. corn syrup to help, and I usually leave more berries slice and layered on the bottom. These were so good out of the carton I really hated to mash so many of them!

vko said...

Happy Birthday & also congratulations on your winning dessert!

The skewers looks delicious- the marinade is mouthwatering.

I must tell you that I heart Smokey & his little harness so much. Love those pictures- he must have loved being out!

MeloMeals said...

Congrats on the dessert contest!! Your pie seriously looks and sounds so amazing.. I can't wait to try it.

Lentil cookies... I have to check that out. How cool that you got to take a class from him and bobby flay! Everything here looks delicious.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

That strawberry pie, looks amazing, no wonder you won the contest!

urban vegan said...

aw--the bunny is adorable! and the pie looks so refreshing.

don't forget to email me your address so that I can have your vegans gone wild prize sent to your house.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Just made your prize-winning dessert for my one year veganiversary. It was awesome!!! Thanks so much for such a delicious, tasty recipe!

Anonymous said...

hydroponics can increase your yield by 40% see what nasa is doing on mars.
This hydroponic gardening site will show you the latest and greatest