french dip

 


Overview

Time: 20 minutes
Dishes: medium pot 


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

I offer you another family favorite - and very fast to prepare, too! The only catch is that you need to have the seitan ready. I highly recommend making the Simple Seitan since it is very simple to make and fast. A loaf can be done in 45 to 60 minutes and costs a fraction of commercially available setian.

Good news on the seitan, besides that it is easy and fast, is that it freezes very well, so make it and freeze it for later use. 

The au jus here is just perfect for this sandwich. I recommend making your own Worcestershire sauce because it is easy, fast and much cheaper. It also tastes better, which dominoes into making the dip taste better, too. However, use bottled if you don't have the time or desire.

Enjoy!



Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Put the broth on to bring to boil first. Reduce to simmer.
  • Add the seasoning as you get them ready; no need to wait to bring to boil first.
  • Slice the seitan as thin as you can while the broth simmers. 
  • Toast the bread while the seitan simmers in the au jus. 




French Dip Sandwich

Makes 4 servings 

easy

 

1. Au Jus: Combine the broth, thyme, oregano and vegan butter in a medium or large pot. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.

3 cups vegetable broth (or 3 cups water and 1 Tablespoon mix)

3 tablespoons vegan worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons vegan butter

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon oregano

2. Seitan: Add the seitan to the Au Jus, return to simmer and cook for 5 minutes:

1 (16-ounce) loaf Simple Seitan, sliced as thin as possible 

3. Serve: Split 4 rolls, toast and fill with equal portions of Seitan from the Au Jus. Serve with the Au Jus on the side: 

4 hard rolls or Aquafaba rolls

Sliced Seitan 

Au jus







© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.





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picatta + simple seitan


Overview

Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: large skillet, 2 pie plates (or shallow dishes), measuring cup, lemon juicer


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

I've blogged about Picatta a few times before, so if you haven't given it a try, yet, it really seems I would like you to. This version is the fastest I can come up with, while keeping the recipe as delicious. 

This is seitan in a lemon-broth sauce and is really delicious. I've mostly seen it with capers, so toss in a few teaspoons if you are a caper fan, but I like to keep it simple. No capers here. 

We always have mashed potatoes with this and garlic greens, and all told, dinner was on the table in 45 minutes. The Picatta itself took 30 minutes, so I started the potatoes and even the brussels sporuts, first. 

I used my large skillet for the greens so had to settle with a medium skillet for the seitan and, thus, had to brown the seitan in three batches. Even with this additional timing for the extra batch, the dish was ready in 30 minutes.

Because some breading falls off while cooking, you might need to wipe the pan with a towel between batches to remove the burnt breading. 

We had a diner come a little late to the table, to his woe; all the "seconds" were gone. It really is that good. 

Enjoy!





Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • If making mashed potatoes, start those on the highest/strongest burner first. Then move to a lower burner when cooking the seitan (to allow the stronger heat for cooking the seitan).
  • Use a cake pan for the breading and coating.
  • Prepare the breading, coating and cut the seitan. 
  • When breading the seitan, add the slices right from the coating and shimmy the pan back and forth to coat the pieces. This will avoid having to flip them.
  • When cooking the seitan don't worry about getting everything evely browned; it'll all go away with the sauce.
  • Prepare the broth and lemon juice while the seitan browns.
 


Picatta

Makes 4 servings 

easy

Serve with mashed potatoes and greens. 

1. Seitan: Cut a loaf of Simple Seitan into 1/4-inch thick slices.

14-ounces Simple Seitan (1 loaf)

2. Breading: Combine the ingredients in a cake pan and stir well:

1 cup dried regular breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

3. Coating: Combine the ingredients in a second cake pan and stir:

6 tablespoons unsweetened nondairy milk

3 tablespoons cornstarch

4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Dredge a few slices of Seitan in the Coating and then in the Breading. Add to the skillet. Repeat with as many slices as will fit. Cook until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes, and remove to a plate. Repeat until all the seitan is cooked. You might need to wipe the pan between batches to avoid burnt breading.

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

5. Sauce: Add to the empty skillet the broth and lemon juice. Cook until reduced by about a third, over medium heat, about 5 minutes.

2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

6. Serve: Add the Seitan to the Sauce and cook for 2 minutes to thicken the Sauce. Serve.  

 


 



© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.






Making Simple Seitan

Makes 1 loaf or 8 cutlets; doubles easily 

www.ZsusVeganPantry.com


1. Broth mixture: Add the ingredients to an instant pot and  bring to boil on the saute setting, or bring to boil in a pot on the stove and transfer to a slow cooker. 

4 to 6  cups water

1 tablespoon tamari 

1 bay leaf

1. Liquid mixture: Add the ingredients to a measuring cup and mix:

1 cup water

1 tablespoon olive oil

2. Flour mixture: Add the ingredients to a medium bowl and mix:

1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (stir flour before measuring)

2 tablespoons chickpea flour

2 tablespoons Vegan Savory Broth Mix

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

3/4 teaspoon salt

3. Knead: Mix the Liquid mixture into the Flour mixture and knead for 3 to 5 minutes to develop the gluten.  Either form into a loaf about 1.5 inches thick or slice into 8 pieces and roll as thin as you like (1/4 -inch thickness is ideal for cutlets).

4. Cook: add the loaf or the cutlets to the simmer Broth mixture and reduce the temperature to barely simmering. In a slow cooker, cook on medium to high, covered. Cook cutlets for 30 to 45 minutes and a loaf for 45 to 60 minutes. Cool before using. Freezes well. Keep in the fridge in the broth for up to 1 week.  

NOTE: If cooking the stove top make sure not to boil the broth while cooking the seitan or the seitan will have a unique flavor. Keeping the cooking below boiling keeps this unique flavor to a minimum.



© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.



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southwest vegetable soup


Overview

Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: large pot 


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

This soup is so delicious and it is so easy to make! It's a take on Chili's restaurant's version and I can see why it is popular. It is full of vegetables and it has just the right amount of thickness. The soup is thickened with corn tortillas so it is super easy. 

A few tips: 
  • Since the recipe uses 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, freeze the rest for later use, if you have any leftover. 
  • Chop the tortillas small because they have to dissolve to thicken the soup. 
  • Use zucchini or green beans here; makes no difference. 
  • You can use water and Better Than Boullion - 8 cups water plus 2 tablespoons boullion. 
  • Don't drain the beans; the kidney bean aquafaba is perfect here.

Add plenty of vegan cheese or diced avocado and broken tortilla chips - here's where to use up the bottom of that chip bag we always seeem to be left with.

Enjoy!




Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Start the broth, diced tomato and tortillas first. Heat over high heat to get them boiling fast. Use a lid.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients as you have them ready. Don't drain the beans.
  • Cook the soup over medium heat so that it is simmering at a good pace throughout - none of that lightly simmering stuff; you need the tortillas to disintegrate. No lid here.
 


Southwest Vegetable Soup

Makes 4 servings 

easy


1. Base: Add the broth, tomatoes and tortillas to a large pot. Bring to boil over high heat with a lid. Reduce to a low boil/strong simmer. The tortillas need to dissolve to thicken the soup.

8 cups vegetable broth

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes (do not drain)

6 minced corn tortillas

2. Soup: Add the rest of the ingredients to the Base as they are ready:

1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans (do not drain)

1 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1 (4-ounce) can diced chiles

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

3. Cook the Soup at a strong simmer until the tortillas disintegrate, about medium heat, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  

4. Serve: Ladle into bowls and top as desired:

Shredded vegan yellow cheese

Diced avocados

Broken tortilla chips

Minced cilantro 






© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.






shepherd's pie


Overview

Time: 55 minutes
Dishes: large pot, skillet (oven-safe), measuring cup


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

As I was looking for a good omni Shepherd's Pie recipe to study, I came across people arguing over what animal is most appropriate to use in the dish, The correct answer is none! Plants are best! 

And, indeed, this recipe is really tasty in all its plant glory. I kept this version simple, but the idea behind Shepherd's Pie is to use what you have and, to that end, you can add whatever vegetables you have lurking around. A cup of peas, a half cup of corn, a zuchhini, you get the picture. Key is to keep the ratio of solid to liquid about the same. 

I used a bag of frozen grounds (about 2 cups, if thawed, but not necessary for this recipe - frozen is fine), but of course, use whatever you like: seitan, beans, all vegetables, etc. The gravy is deliciously savory and the dish is thoroughly warming on a cool night. 

The potatoes are made with the potato cooking water itself, which has starch and flavor, to keep the potatoes together during baking. To get your potatoes to brown, spray with a little oil and broil it a few inches from the heat until it is golden, up to 10 minutes. I used a fork to mark the top of the potatoes to get the grooves. 

Time wise, again we encounter the non-active baking time, so I decided on moderate for this one, eventhough it inches over the total 45 minutes I have allocated for a moderate recipe. 

Enjoy!





Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Heat the pot of water for the potatoes right away; fill about 1/4 way.
  • Choose potatoes that are large, if you are a slow peeler.
  • REMEMBER to reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  • Use the lid to drain the potatoes instead of a separate strainer to wash.
  • Mince the onions while the skillet heats. 
  • Use a lid to cook the vegetables and the potatoes.
  • Remember to preheat the oven; when depends on how quickly it preheats. 
 



Shepherd’s Pie

Makes 4 servings 

moderate

Preheat oven to 400-F

1. Potato: Cook the potatoes in a large pot with just enough salted water to cover. Heat on high with a lid until boiling and reduce to medium-high heat. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes but RESERVE 1/2 UP OF COOKING WATER:

3 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced

2. Vegetables: Cook the vegetables in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, using a lid, for 5 minutes, until golden.

1/4 onion, finely chopped

2 medium carrots, finely chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

3. Grounds: Add the grounds to the Vegetables and cook for 5 minutes, using a lid:

15-ounces vegan grounds, frozen is fine

4. Add the seasonings to the Grounds and cook for 2 minutes, mixing well to remove all traces of flour:

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon Savory Broth mix**

2 teaspoons tomato paste

4. Add the water and flavorings to the Grounds while mix well with a spoon to prevent lumps. Season to taste and cook until thickened, 2 minutes. Add the peas after the sauce is thickened:

2 cups water

2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce

salt and black pepper

1 cup green peas

5. Mash the drained Potatoes. Add the reserved Potato Water and vegan butter, if using. Season with salt and pepper. Dollop mashed potatoes over the Grounds and spread to smooth, using a large spoon. Spray with oil and bake for 10 minutes. Then broil high for 5 minutes or until golden. Serve:

2 tablespoon vegan butter or olive oil (optional)




** Substitute for Savory Broth Mix: 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon sage and 1 teaspoon oregano. 




© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.



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creamy lemon pasta with cripsy lentils


Overview

Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: medium pot, large pasta, air-fryer

Heads Up! lemon and lentils


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

How about a little sunshine as the sun begins to recede to winter? Lemon is a fall/winter crop, so this is actually a perfect dish for this time of year. This is lemony but nothing overwhelming, and it is creamy and delicious. The crispy lentils give it a nice contrast. Together they provide protein, iron and Vitamin C. All good things!

Make sure to zest your lemon before you juice it to save headache later. To zest, I just used a peeler and made sure to only get the yellow part of the fruit and not the white pith, which is bitter. Then I used a knife to mince the peels. 

The juice is added to the cooked and drained pasta so it absorbs the flavor perfectly. 

If you want (I would have but I didn't have any at the time) add 8 ounces of baby spinach to the pasta water a minute before you drain it, for some leafy green action. 

I air-fried the lentils, which proving to be very effective at making it crispy, but take care not to overdo it. I accidentally left them in the fryer for 15 minutes and they became a bit too crispy. Eight to thirteen minutes should suffice, but keep an eye on them and use your judgement.

All in all, an easy dish to prepare that was fast and tasty. 

Enjoy!




Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Start the water for the pasta first. The water needs to boil and the pasta will take about 10 minutes to cook. 
  • Drain the lentils while the air-fryer preheats. 
  • Cut the onion first, start cooking it. Then peel and mince the zest. Garlic can come last.
  • Use a lid for all pots.
  • Always zest before you juice the citrus.
 



Creamy Lemon Pasta with Crispy Lentils

Makes 4 servings 

easy

www.ZsusVeganPantry.com


Preheat air-fryer to 400-F

1. Pasta: Cook the pasta in a medium pot of salted boiling water, until   al dente. Drain the pasta, return to the pot and add the lemon juice. Stir well; the pasta will absorb the juice:

12 ounces fettuccine or spaghetti

2 tablespoons lemon juice (zest lemon first) **

2. Lentils: Rinse and drain the lentils. Add to the basket of an air-fryer and season with salt. Cook until crisp but not dried out, about 8 to 12 minutes:

1 (15-ounce) can green or brown lentils

3. Onions: Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and lemon zest. Cover with a lid and cook until the onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Stir as needed.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 lemon zested**

4. Sauce: add the flour to the Onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the milk and stir until there are no lumps. Add the rest of the milk and the cheese, if using, and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. needed.

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups plain, unsweetened nondairy milk

2 slices or 1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)

5. Serve: Add the Sauce to the Pasta and season with black pepper. Toss well and divide into bowls. Top with Lentils and serve.  



** 1 lemon. Use a peeler to peel zest very thin, not peeling any white pith. Then mince the zest strips. Then juice the lemon.



© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.




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curried chicken-free salad sandwich

 


Overview

Time: 35 minutes
Dishes: bowl, air-fryer

Heads Up! mango chutney and curry powder


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

This sandwich filling is a regular meal at our house. In fact, I find that I make it at least every three weeks, and that is saying something since I don't remake many things, always looking for something new. 

This reminds me of the Whole Foods curried tofu they used to sell, and since we liked that a lot, I decided to remake it at home. 

It is sweet and tangy and crunchy. It has almonds and raisins and mango chutney. The mango chutney can be very sweet, so use the amount that suits your taste. If the dressing is too thick, thin it with some plant milk. This will depend on how thick the chutney is.

You have your choice of Air-fried Soy Curls, Savory Tofu or Sauteed Gardein scallopini. I haven't tried it with chickpeas, but they should be sauteed, too, if you use that.  

Fresh, homemade curry powder does wonders (and smells amazing) so I do recommend you make a batch of Curry Powder (there is a recipe in Vegan Bowls), instead of the stale jar hanging in the back of the spice rack. 

Throw this between bread, inside lettuce leaves, on top of crackers, or roll in a tortilla. Either way, chances are good you, too, will make it again.

Enjoy!




Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Make the protein first.
  • Make the curry powder, too, if you can.
  • Make the dressing while the protein cooks.
 


Curried Chicken-Free Salad Sandwich

Makes 4 servings 

moderate (Preparation time for the protein kicks it to moderate) 

 

1. Protein: Prepare one of the proteins of your choice:

4 cups chopped air-fried soy curls or

4 cups cubed, air-fried chicken-like tofu, or

4 cups chopped Gardein slices, sautéed

2. Dressing: Combine in a medium bowl:

3/4 cup vegan mayo

1/4 to 1/2 cup mango chutney

2 tablespoons vegan milk (optional, to thin dressing)

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3. Add the Protein to the Dressing. Also add:

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup minced scallions

1/2 cup toasted almond slices

 

4. Serve: Stir very well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Chill if not eating right away. Serve in pita, in tortilla, in lettuce leaves, on bread or on crackers.


 



© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.




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