Sep 17, 2010

garlicky ribz

We made a few recipes out of American Vegan Kitchen by Tamasin Noyes. I love garlic and this sounded great.

She has a recipe for the seitan in the very same book. While I totally love all of Tami's recipes, I do not care for steamed seitan. When we first went vegan, the first thing I disliked about seitan was the 'seitan' flavor. Even packaged seitan has that flavor, which is one reason that I make my own. The seitan achieves that aftertaste because it is cooked at too high heat - steaming is hotter than boiling water, which is one no-no with cooking seitan. Do not boil! Whenever I cook my seitan on the stove top I constantly monitor the temperature with a thermometer to make sure it never climbs above 212 degrees. Of course, I am now too lazy for such vigilance, so now I bake it in the oven, low and slow. There is no aftertaste and the flavors are great. The textures vary according to the type of seitan being made.

With that said, the ribz were a hit and the kids loved it. The BBQ Sauce was fabulous - tangy, sweet and garlicky.

To accompany it, I made her Macaroni and Cheese with Greens. The sauce isn't as thick as I expected it to be, but the flavors were delicious. Even the kids liked this, with the fresh greens in it.

My hubby was given a few beautiful yellow squashes by a coworker, and I had visions of Luby's cheesy squash dish dancing before my eyes. Waaay before we went veg, we were regular costumers of Luby's, a cafeteria type restaurant, and one of our favorite dishes was this cheesy squash recipe. See? There are more than a variety of reasons why becoming vegan is a great idea!

To make this vision a reality, I cooked my half-moon-cut squash until they developed some color, sprinkled a few tablespoons of flour on it, cooked the flour for a few minutes and made a sauce with almond milk, nutritional yeast, thyme and fresh pepper. This made a nice thick sauce, that was reminiscent of cheesiness. I was not concerned with overcooked squash in this dish - it sort of begs for it because of the creaminess of the sauce.

A little about the cost: We grew the tomatoes and peppers and the squash was given to us, but I priced it as I would have had I purchased them at Whole Foods.

Great dinner!

Cost Breakdown:
seitan: $2
tomatoes, sugar, flour: $4
spices, herbs: $1
pasta, spinach: $4
squash, red pepper, onion, garlic: $4
Total to feed a family of 7:


  1. I didn't know that about the heat- thanks for the tip, I'll be sure to try it!

  2. Wow, it looks wonderful! Another one I'll have to try! ;-) I never like ribs *gag so it will be very interesting to try a vegan version, especially one with garlic!!

  3. Great looking seitan. I've been trying to do something like this without using seitan because of the exact problem you talked about (the seitan taste).

  4. Glad to pass on the info! I think it took us 3 months of experimenting to discover what variable was causing the flavor. Great science experiement, but hard on the pocketbook.

    Gwen, these are certainly different from the animal version (since it isn't one), but that is one of the appeals.

    Tender Branson, you should grab a seitan recipe off the reciep page and check it out. You might be surprised.

  5. these look so tasty! it might be morning, but I am definitely having cravings for garlicky chewy seitan right now..


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