Showing posts with label Rosemary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rosemary. Show all posts

Sep 23, 2015

veganmofo - autumn equinox + rosemary-garlic roasted seitan

Welcome Autumn (in the Northern Hemisphere and Welcome Spring in the Southern Hemisphere)!

Day 23 #vgnmf15 is a celebration of the Autumn/Spring Equinox.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Autumn Equinox is also the Pagan holiday of Mabon. The Autumn Equinox divides the day and the night equally and reminds us that subsequent days will get darker and darker as the daylight hours get shorter and shorter.

Mabon is a harvest festival at which time reflection, meditation, gratitude and celebration are held for the past year's accomplishments or successes.

Indeed, reflection of events that didn't quite pan out as one had hoped would, is still observed and meditated upon. After all, it is both our successes and endeavors that make us who we are; it is both of these that propel us forward and acknowledging both is important.

Sometimes we give things a "try" and not accomplish it, but without analysis of what went wrong, there is no way to correct the course and hope for success in the future.

Mabon is celebrated with seasonal offerings such as apples, pomegranates, cider, herbs and root vegetables, among the bounty of the season.

As we set up our alter with leaves, pine cones, apples and gardening tools, we light candles, burn incense, listen to music and reflect on the year's happenings, we also feast on rich foods that happen to be compassionate and non-violent.

We are celebrating (or would be, if I didn't need to take this photo a day before) Mabon and honoring The Green Man (God of the Forest) on this day with Rosemary-Garlic Roasted Seitan and Root Vegetables.

I made the seitan using the Simple Seitan Cutlets from Everyday Vegan Eats (AmazonB&N) with a few modifications: I made it into a roast instead of cutlets by just forming the gluten into a roast form. I added 1 tablespoon of minced fresh rosemary and 4 minced garlic cloves to the gluten and tied it loosely with twine to keep the roast in more of a compact form while it cooked. I also added a sprig of rosemary to the cooking broth.

It was really delicious and once the seitan was cooked (the day before), prep time was about 5 minutes. Simple, hearty and satisfying.

If you haven't seen, I am hosting another giveaway for Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N)! Go enter HERE.

Rosemary-Garlic Roasted Seitan
Makes 4 to 5 servings

4 to 5 medium red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large carrot, chopped
1 whole bulb garlic, cloves peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
½ teaspoon sea salt
Ground black pepper

1 recipe seitan roast, made with fresh rosemary and garlic (see blog post for more information)

1. Preheat the oven to 425-degrees F. Combine the potatoes, carrots, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, salt and black pepper in a medium bowl. Toss well.
2. Place the seitan roast in the middle of baking sheet. Coat the seitan with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange the potato mixture around the roast. Bake the roast and potatoes until the potatoes are tender, about 45 to 50 minutes, stirring the potatoes halfway through the baking. Baste the roast halfway through the baking, using any oil on the bottom of the baking sheet. 
3. Taste and adjust seasoning of the potatoes and serve. 

 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Oct 14, 2012

MoFo chopped! challenge

Roasted Butternut Squash in Popcorn Crepes with Rosemary Apricot Sauce

My dear husband has swept up the confetti and I have composed myself, but are YOU ready? It is Weekly Vegan Menu's first Chopped!/Vegan MoFo Challenge!

Yours truly follows the MoFo blog religiously and was amazed at the incredible option dangled before me. The golden carrot of opportunity. 
The Chopped!/Vegan Challenge
Yes, like most devoted fans of Chopped!, not only have I thought 'eww..gross' at many rounds of the basket, but have boasted that I-can-do-better. Ms. Isa heard these boasts of ours and has given us the chance to put the basket where our stoves are.

I am sure there are some readers unfamiliar with this process. Here is a succinct rundown of the Food TV show:

4 chefs
4 ingredients
20-45 minutes
1 dish using all of the ingredients in the basket
3 rounds of baskets
3 judges to decide the winner

In our only round of the MoFo challenge, BRUNCH, we were given in our virtual baskets:

butternut squash
apricot preserve 

There are over 800 bloggers in MoFo VI.
 This is MY story:

As soon as I read the ingredients, I knew, for better or worse, what I would make. But more importantly, I knew I would actually be making it, not just have daydreams about entering. 

I realized, as anyone reading the ingredients list, that popcorn was the challenge. As much as a raked my brain for different variations of the popcorn itself, alas, popcorn can only appear in a few forms: popcorn kernels (con: can cause emergency tooth surgery), popcorn popped (con: too average), popcorn ground (flour) (con: too messy), popcorn liquefied? Maybe not the last one. I was sure I was the only clever cleaver to go with popcorn flour!
 [Yeah,... probably not :] 

I decided to use my un-original idea of popcorn flour to make Crepes.
Crepes made with popcorn. Popcorn Crepes.

 I popped my fresh kernels, as any self-respecting Chopped Contestant would, ground it into flour, 
(Now I know where the packing material's name comes from - believe me, it isn't the popcorn; it is the airiness it achieves when you open the blender top. I thought glitter was bad! I'm sure I will be cleaning up popcorn debris until next year.) 
and used it as part of the crepe batter. Surprise! It worked! Not only did the popcorn add popcorn flavor (thanks in part to the 'double' cooking of the popcorn), but it did not mess up the crepe itself. 

Popcorn. Check.

Butternut squash is scary enough to send any and all of my kids scrambling for cover; they are not fans of winter squash. I haven't been, either, truth be told. That is, until I learned to roast. See this post for roasting techniques. 

Roasting is a medium-heat cooking where the natural sweetness and flavor of the cooked ingredient is drawn out. That is exactly what I did with the butternut squash. I added Rosemary to the squash to echo the Rosemary in the sauce. It also adds a lovely earth-quality to the sweetness of the squash and the richness of the black beans. Although black beans are not in the basket, the challenge is a BRUNCH one, and a great protein source (in addition to the other wonderful plant proteins) is beans. Black beans also pair extremely well with winter squash because they complement each other.

Butternut Squash. Check.

Apricot preserve had  a few different options in my thread of cooking. It could glaze the squash or become a sauce. I decided on making it into a sauce because adding the sweetness of the preserve to the sweetness of the squash was just begging for a double whammy, and not in a good way. 

However, if I made the preserve into a sauce and cooked it with some apple cider vinegar long enough that the acidic quality of the vinegar was gone, but the delightful tartness remained, then the sweetness of the preserve would be balanced. I used the Rosemary, for the second time, in the sauce. The earthy quality of the herb fared well with the preserve. Doubling up the Rosemary in the sauce and the squash preparation connects the elements of the dish. I was careful to not overwhelm the palate with Rosemary, but to not let it get lost among the other flavors.

Rosemary. Check.
Apricot Preserve. Check.

To sum it up, I kept it simple, not overdoing the dish with too many other ingredients. 
The crepes have a definite popcorn flavor, but not overwhelmingly so. They pair well with the sweetness of the squash with its hint of spiciness and Rosemary. The sauce adds another dimension of sweetness and tartness, again with Rosemary hinting at the edge of the bite. The dish is contrasting enough while complementing all the basket ingredients. It is a complete dish with no one note taking center stage. It is also seasoned well, for those judges wondering. Salt and fresh ground pepper were appropriately used.
 A simple symphony for the palate.

Who is the winner? And who will be chopped?
Tune into MoFo  on October 16!

My recipe is below the pictures.