Crispy Cornmeal Seitan

I met Bryant Terry while on a vegan health cruise last spring. I attended one of his cooking classes. I love his cooking style and his dedication to food justice. This is a take on one of his recipes. You can learn more about him and his projects on his website. Here is a Mother Jones article.

IMG_20140908_142500I cook for several families and I am always looking for new school lunch additions. With many schools going nut-free these days, the range of good options has narrowed a bit. But, these crispy seitan bites are gems. This is the type of food that is very satisfying and nourishing to high energy bodies, like children.

IMG_20140908_151916The only caution I would make is that if you are using store-bought seitan, which I did, it has a high salt content. So, that means moderation for your little ones. Their bodies just can’t handle much salt. I used Upton’s Naturals plain seitan.

You can find a recipe for these in Bryant Terry’s cookbook, Vegan Soul Kitchen. It’s called Cornmeal-Crusted Seitan. It’s so simple that I am giving you my “recipe-free” version.

Crispy Cornmeal Seitan

whole grain mustard (I like Eden brand)
ground cornmeal
white or black pepper
8 oz seitan (or more if you have a lot of mouths to feed!) (I used Upton’s Naturals)
grape seed oil or other high-heat oil

1.  Put a few spoonfuls of mustard in a small bowl. Put a few large tablespoons of cornmeal in another bowl and stir in some fresh ground white or black pepper.

2.  Slice the seitan about 1/2 inch thick. Seitan comes in funny shapes, though, so just do the best you can. Having random bite-size chunks is okay, too.

3.  Using your finger, spread a thin layer of mustard on a piece of seitan, then dip it in the cornmeal to coat. Set aside on a plate. Finish coating all the seitan. Set aside.

3.  In a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet, heat about 3-4 Tbsp high-heat oil to a low frying temperature. If it smokes, stop and start over with fresh oil. You know the oil is hot enough when it sizzles slightly when you add the seitan bits. Add seitan bits so they aren’t touching, but still fill the skillet. Fry on each side until light brown and remove to a plate covered with a paper bag or napkin to soak up the excess oil. Keep frying until all the seitan is done.

4.  Yum! Try them with a tahini sauce or in a tortilla with lettuce and other taco fixings.

Note:
If you use Westsoy seitan note that the package says 16 oz, but the amount of actual seitan is 8 oz. It’s hard to compare the salt content between Westsoy and Upton’s Naturals seitan because Westsoy is packaged with the liquid, but I think Upton’s is better quality.

You might also enjoy this post on Satisfying Cravings for Richness.

Simple Brown Rice Pudding with Cinnamon

Rice pudding is an easy snack for young children. I actually only make it when I have leftover rice and it’s not enough to save for another meal. One of the great things about it is you can make it with any amount of rice, even the smallest amount. I hate food waste, so I love being able to save every bit of food I can.IMG_20140327_154049

The way I usually make it is while cleaning up after a main meal. If there is a little rice still in the pot, I add an unsweetened milk, usually oat milk, and a little water. Then I simmer it gently until it’s nice and creamy. Add more milk or water as needed. Cook for at least 20 minutes. Stir in some Ceylon cinnamon at the end and it’s done. Delicious without any added sweeteners. Satisfying. Children love it.

Other Recipes You Might Enjoy:
Pressure Cooked Brown Rice
Vegan Strawberry Mousse
Lemon Pudding

Satisfying Cravings for Richness

Lena has started requesting certain things in her lunch, specifically manna bread and field roast rounds. Both foods are similar in that they give her body some richness and a chewy texture. This has caused me to rethink a bit about what I need to be providing in her meals so that she feels nourished and satisfied.

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My goal for Lena is to help her body feel satisfied with lots of whole grains, vegetables, legumes and moderate amounts of local fruits. Continue reading

Steamed Bread with Carrot Jam

Whether the bread you eat is gluten-free, vegan or otherwise, baked flour can be really hard on our bodies. The process of baking is drying and hardening and it can do the same thing to our bodies. This is especially true if the bread is toasted.

However, if you steam bread it becomes softer and more hydrated. It’s easier on your body and easier to digest.IMG_20140130_152727

Continue reading

Rice Balls with Nori and The Virtual Vegan Potluck

We are experiencing a string of REALLY nice weather here in Seattle. The kind that makes me want to eat every meal outside, nap outside and basically hang out and never head back inside. These pack and go rice balls are a sure thing.

Before we go any further, I want to invite you to The Virtual Vegan Potluck tomorrow May 11. Over 150 bloggers will link up, contributing vegan recipes from appetizers to desserts! It’s a feast. I will be contributing my creamy broccoli soup over at sweetveg. The potluck starts at Vegan Bloggers Unite. It’s a super exciting and fun event. Please join us. If you miss the event, don’t worry. These are all blog posts, so you can still peruse them at a later date.

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I like to make these rice balls with leftover pressure cooked rice because it packs into a ball nicely. They are healthy, travel well and children seem to like them, which is not always easy to find. At least the children I have encountered.  Continue reading