Wednesday, December 20, 2006

seitan stew with biscuits

aight. here 'tis! enjoy!

adapted from the barefoot contessa recipe. makes enough to feed a crowd of 6 - 8 really hungry people or 10 people if serving some side dishes.

For the Stew:

1 recipe of vegan with a vengeance seitan (i omit the lemon zest) (found here, or use your favourite prepared seitan or herbed tofu.)

i think i used half of the prepared seitan in the recipe - i never measure, i just throw in! so roughly:
2 - 4 cups of cubed seitan (or 1 pkg of herbed tofu, cubed)
3 T olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups vegetable stock
2 veggie bouillon cubes
1 1/2 sticks earth balance (i use way less)
2 onions, chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup silk* brand coffee creamer (or nut milk, soy milk etc.)
4 - 6 carrots, medium diced-- blanched for 2 minutes
2 cups frozen peas
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions (optional)
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

For the Biscuits:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 pound cold earth balance (either the buttery spread or the shortening), diced
3/4 cup silk* brand, coffee creamer (or nut milk, soy milk etc.)
1/2 cup fresh parsley -- chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small saucepan, heat the veggie stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the earth balance and saute the onions over med-low heat for 10-15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot veggie stock to the sauce.

Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring until thick. Add 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and the creamer or other smilk. Add the cubed seitan, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley. Mix well. Place the stew in a 10x13x2 inch oval or rectangular baking dish. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment or silicone mat in case of bubbling over and for easier removal from the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in bowl. Add the earth balance and using a pastry cutter or two knives, mix in the earth balance until the mixture is the size of peas. Add the smilk or creamer. Mix in the parsley. Do not overmix! You want everything to be "just combined" to ensure light and flaky biscuits.

Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and, with a rolling pin, roll out to 3/8 inch thick. Cut out 12 circles with a 2 1/2 inch round cutter. scraps can be re-rolled and cut.

Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the biscuits on top of the filling. Brush them with a 1:1 ratio of silk creamer (or other smilk) and oil (like 1 - 2 T. of each), and return the dish to the oven. Bake for another 20-30 minutes, until the biscuits are brown and the stew is bubbly.

to make in advance; store stew and raw biscuits seperately. heat stew for 25 minutes, add biscuits and cook an additional 30 minutes.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

save turkeys don't eat 'em!

y'know what really makes me feel good? (i'm all about the feelgood stuffs these days)
helping others. my latest good deed is to adopt a turkey from farm sanctuary . meet tinkerbell:

it was a tough decision and if i had more money, i would've adopted them all, but settled on tinkerbell because that's my cat's nickname. hee.

it's my understanding that tinkerbell is one of the turkey chicks that was on that horrible flight where the majority of them died.

video here.

here are some great stories about turkeys at farm sanctuary.

Friday, November 03, 2006

hey strangers

this morning as i was trying to wake up i flipped on the news and my eyes were met with a big block of butter that an OCAD student was carving at the royal agricultural winter fair. there were dairy cows in the background and i thought back to when i used to love going there.
my favourite memory is of a cow licking my arm and hand. i'll never forget how slimy that was! her big beautiful brown eyes stared back at me and i instantly fell in love. i stood with her, petting her face and letting her smell me and lick my hand for as long as i could, until the other curious fair-goers started edging their way between us. but i didn't want to leave. alas, i got irritated with all the kids and adults elbowing their way in so i wiped her saliva on my jeans and walked between the opposite rows of cow bums, trying not to get too attached.

and that's the problem; we don't want to get attached because then we'd have to feel.

of course, i don't go to the fair anymore, i'm too far from toronto and i don't want to support it anyway. what i didn't know back then was that those cows aren't living a blissful life at all. they're living a life of slavery. they'll end up as hamburger and steak when their short life is deemed "over". that is, when they're no longer useful to the humans that enslave them.

it makes me sick to think about. and it made me even sicker to see that girl carving the butter. talk about wasteful. it's not even going to feed any of the millions of starving people on this planet. i bet she doesn't have a clue how that butter is made - what goes into the production of it, the mastitis, the pus, the PAIN. whole lives of misery and it's not even being used for food. male calves being torn from their mom and stuck in a tiny, dark pen where they're chained and not even able to turn around or get away from their own feces.
what a fabulous life that is. all for butter and milk and profit. i hate it. i hate that my friends and family don't see it - no, i hate that they won't see it. it's amazing how selfish humans can be and it makes me really really sad.

and i was once one of the blissfully unaware humans. and even though it gets rough having the knowledge, there's not a day goes by that i'm not intensely proud that i'm vegan.

for world vegan day this week, i sent a bunch of links to videos and recipes and writings and cheery vegan day greetings to some family members hoping against hope that they would read them. i would bet my life that not one of them did. one person wrote back and wished me happy vegan day in return and another person said she'd go vegan for a day. but i don't think she really knows what that means and neither one of them asked how they could. one day does make a difference, but she'll go back to cheese and meat and torture the next day.
still, i hope she thinks about it more. i hope they all do. and i hope that if you've stumbled across my blog and want to know more about veganism and what you can do to stop the torture, you'll check out some links or ask me about it. because i would love to help you out! :)