Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Unfishwich - Vegan 'Fish' Sandwich

This recipe is from Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day by Tamasin Noyes and Celine Steen.

Recipe: see page 104 of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day.
Here's how I know when a particular recipe is a little intimidating to me. I will set the ingredients out on the kitchen counter, and they will sit there for days while I try to get myself psyched up to make it. And I will find all sorts of other things I feel I need to do before I can get into trying the recipe. I'll wax the floor, clean out the fridge, tidy up my desk, wash clothes.... You get the idea. If my loft is clean, you know it is because I have been procrastinating on something else.

Long ingredient lists freak me out.  I think that was the issue on this one. I looked at the list and read the instructions and it felt like making these sandwiches was going to be a 3 hour ordeal. Then really, it wasn't anywhere near that bad. Not counting the time for marinading or baking, it was about 30 minutes to prep the batch of 3 sandwiches.

The idea on this recipe is that you are creating a vegan version of fish sticks. You've got tempeh and cut it into sticks then let it marinate for awhile, before rolling them around in arrowroot powder and bread crumbs and baking.

I used Trader Joe's Organic 3-Grain Tempeh, and I say this every time, but it just doesn't soak up any kind of marinade, ever. Especially this one, which was a little thick. That was a pointless hour of waiting that I will skip in the future. But the marinade did make a good batter that stuck to the outside of the sticks.

There is a little bit of kelp powder in the batter, and that gives the sticks a very mild 'taste of the sea'. If you don't like fishy-taste, I don't think you would mind these. Or just don't add the kelp powder. These are more like breaded tempeh sticks.

The real star of the recipe is the sauce. It seems like I have said that on every sauce from this book. They have all been outstanding. It's tangy, and lemony and just a little hot. I am tempted to make up a bunch and keep it in the fridge for general use.

Good sandwich! I just remembered I have another one in the fridge so I'm going to have that now for breakfast. Woo-hoo.

(tartar sauce): lemon juice, minced capers, Dijon mustard, shallot, hot sauce, miso dressing (recipe on page 107: silken tofu, white miso, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, black pepper, garlic)

('fish' sticks): tempeh, lemon juice, unsweetened nondairy milk (Trader Joe's Unsweetened Soy Milk used here), kelp powder, onion powder, garlic, paprika, salt, dillweed, arrowroot powder, Old Bay seasoning, bread crumbs, nondairy butter (Earth Balance used here), cayenne powder

(sandwiches): sandwich rolls, cucumber, tomato

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Indonesian Satay Sandwiches with Peanut Sauce

This recipe is from the cookbook Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson.

Recipe: see page 119 of Quick-Fix Vegan.
This is another really good recipe in Quick-Fix Vegan that is fast to prepare. Satay is a traditional Indonesian meal consisting of skewered meat, kind of like a kebab. In this vegan version, chicken-flavored seitan (I used Trader Joe's Chicken-Less Strips) is cooked in a frying pan then covered in a  sweet and spicy peanut sauce. The sauce thickens up and becomes very sticky. The seitan is then served on a pita or flatbread along with shredded carrot, cabbage and tomato.

That peanut sauce is outstanding and really makes this dish.  The sweetness makes the seitan taste like candy.

Ingredients: pitas (or flatbread, flour tortilla, lavash), seitan, cabbage, carrot, tomato, garlic, creamy peanut butter, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, light brown sugar, Sriracha sauce, vegetable broth, vegetable oil, black pepper.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Vegan "Steak" Sandwich

This recipe is from Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day by Tamasin Noyes and Celine Steen.

Recipe: see page 99 of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day.
This is the second seitan recipe I've made from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day, and again I was worried about the outcome since my track record with seitan is awful. So I was pleasantly surprised this turned out so well.

This is actually two recipes from the book: the Moo-Free Seitan on page 180, and the Pittsburgh Steak Sandwich on page 99. There is a two-step process to making this seitan before you even get to assembling the sandwich, so the time-factor can be a little intimidating. First, the loaf of seitan is cooked in the oven or slow-cooker for a few hours, then it is cooled and sliced and the slices are baked in a broth.

During that second step the seitan absorbs the flavors of the broth, and a lot of the liquid evaporates. What's left are sandwich slices with intense flavors. I don't know if I would say it tastes like what I remember of steak, but it certainly has a meaty flavor. By itself, the slices were pretty good, though fairly salty. But it tastes much better in the sandwich where there are the additional flavors of the ciabbata rolls, tomato, lettuce, avocado and vegan mayonnaise.

It seems like a lot of work, but it tastes good, and the recipe makes 4 jumbo sandwiches.

In the book, there is a sidebar on this recipe that notes these can be a little messy, and I found that to be true. I've made this recipe twice and the ciabatta rolls fell apart on every sandwich.

(for seitan and cooking broth) vital wheat gluten, soy flour, nutritional yeast, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, vegetable broth, tamari, ketchup, liquid smoke, garlic, onion.

(for baking broth) vegetable broth, vegan red wine, balsamic vinegar, tamari, vegan Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper

(for sandwiches) vegan mayonnaise, garlic, pepper, ciabatta rolls, lettuce, tomato, avocado