Oct 5, 2016

seitan shawirma

Before we get into this recipe, which happens to be an authentic Middle Eastern shawirma sandwich (based on Holy Land's recipe - which, unfortunately, uses animals), that features seitan marinated in spiced yogurt sauce before air-frying to perfection,

I want to formally announce the release my newest cookbook, Aquafaba [AmazonB&NBook Depository]. This book is all about making and utilizing bean water to make formerly egg-based creations, such as macarons, burgers, whipped topping, ice creams and dozens of other sweet and savory items.

A few noteworthy sites to visit:

To find the table of contents of Aquafaba, go HERE.
To find the blog tour for Aquafaba, go HERE.
Back to the wrap:

As I said above, this is a marinated seitan sandwich, but, of course, with my twist on it; I added air-fried potatoes, and, of course, the requisite pickles. You can jazz this up even more by adding lettuce, tomatoes and hot sauce.

To begin with, make the yogurt-based marinade and let your seitan sit for however long you like. Minimum is 30 minutes, but overnight is just fine. You can even use chickpeas in this recipe or just in the marinade - it makes terrific roasted chickpeas, which you can just eat alone or toss into wraps (like this one) or on salads.

When you are ready, just drain the seitan and air-fry it. If you don't have an air-fryer then bake it or saute it, but the air-fryer puts a nice crust on the seitan without drying it out.

Although I grouped the seitan pictures together (marinating the seitan and cooking it), because it makes sense visually, when it comes time to actually cook it (and you are using an air-fryer; if baking you can bake them at the same time), fry the potatoes first because they take longer. Just keep them warm.

The marinade acts as double duty. Once it is drained, mix it with the rest of the yogurt and season with salt and pepper. No waste and no extra sauce assembly required.

I love shawarma prepared in any way and this shawirma recipe is unique because of the marinade. It is a bit easier than other shawarma recipes and comes with a built in sauce. Not to mention delicious.

Seitan Shawirma 
Serves 4

1/4 cup unsweetened plain nondairy yogurt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce
1/2 small onion, grated
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups chopped seitan

6 tablespoons unsweetened plain nondairy yogurt
Black pepper

3 medium red or yellow potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Fresh lemon juice or oil spray
4 large tortilla wraps

1. Marinade: Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, tahini, worcestershire, onion, garlic, garam masala and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk well to combine. Add the seitan and mix. Set aside to marinade at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. 
2. Bake the potatoes while the seitan is marinating. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and spray with oil or drizzle with a teaspoon of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to an air-fryer and bake for 15 minutes at 360-degrees and then another 10 minutes at 390-degrees. Stir or shake the basket every 10 minutes. Alternatively, bake the potatoes on a pre-heated 400-degree oven until tender and golden, about 40 minutes. 
3. Drain the seitan well, reserving the marinade. Transfer to the air-fryer basket and bake at 390-degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir after every 5 minutes. Alternatively, bake in a preheated 375-degree F oven for 30 minutes. 
4. Sauce: Combine the reserved marinade with the 6 tablespoons yogurt and season with salt and plenty of black pepper. Warm the tortillas.
5. Add potatoes to the tortilla, along with the seitan and a few slices of pickles. Roll up and serve with the sauce.

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


Oct 3, 2016

warm spinach salad with barley bacon

Barley Bacon. Why not? Barley is nice and chewy when cooked and lightly crispy when cooked in some oil; it's actually a delicious bacon!

My husband asked me to make him a warm spinach salad and the other week we had a dish with barley. The chew of the barley gave me the idea to make it into bacon - as long as I could achieve a crunch on them.

I loved how these turned out! They were smoky, salty and just crunchy enough to make passing by the bowl without snagging a few a near impossibility.

A pressure cooker is really the best appliance to cook barley and barley that is whole grain is the best grain for this. Pearled barley cooks faster but isn't a whole grain and might not give that distinctive texture.

The black cardamom is the smoke (but you can use liquid smoke) and the sun-dried tomatoes offer a complexity. Once they are done cooking in the pot, it's time to cook them in a pan. I add porcini mushrooms to the pan, which brings its own set of texture and flavors. Working together, these ingredients are perfect to offer that bacon-y experience.

Of course, I had to add some other veggies to the mix! I sauteed leeks and zucchini, but cauliflower or kale would be equally delicious.

To clean your leeks, cut them in half lengthwise and slice them into 1/2-inch pieces. Fill a large bowl with water and add the leeks. Swoosh them around, breaking up the clumps, and set them aside for a few minutes. The dirt will fall to the bottom of the bowl and you can scoop out the leeks with your fingers. Water your plants with the water.

Keep the vegetables warm while you heat up your dressing and toss all the hot ingredients with the spinach.

Serve immediately with the barley and pepitas. Pepitas are extremely high in protein, are delicious and offer another satisfying crunch.

Warm Spinach Salad with Barley Bacon 
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup hull-less barley, rinsed
2 small black cardamom or 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 sun-dried tomato halves
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
1/3 cup dried porcini mushrooms
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, white part, sliced in half and cut into 1/4-inch slices 
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
Sea salt and black pepper
2 bunches (about 8 cups) fresh spinach
1/4 cup toasted pepitas

1. Combine the barley, cardamom, tomato, bay leaf, water and tamari in a pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Remove and discard the cardamom and bay. Drain the barley, reserving the tomato and the broth. Set aside.
2. Combine the mushrooms and the reserved broth from the barley in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside to rehydrate, about 10 more minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the broth, and rinse the mushrooms lightly. Strain the mushroom/barley broth through a coffee filter or reusable tea bag. You should have about 1/4 cup. Rinse the pot and add the broth. Bring to boil and reduce by half. Add the vinegar, sugar and plenty of black pepper. 
3. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the barley. Chop the porcini mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes and add to the barley. Cook until the barley is slightly crunchy, but don’t over cook. Remove, leaving as much oil as possible in the skillet, and set aside. 
4. Add the leeks and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until golden, about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
5. Warm the dressing if it has cooled. Add the spinach to an extra large bowl and top with the vegetables and dressing. Toss well. If it isn’t wilting, warm the bowl slightly (stainless steel only!) on the stove while tossing the spinach. When lightly wilted, divide among 4 bowls and top equally with the barley and pepitas.  Serve.

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.