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Pennsyltucky Griddle Crêpes

Welcome to the Virtual Vegan Potluck’s dessert tray! My vegan Pennsyltucky Griddle Crêpes are filled with regional goodness that represent what my blog is all about, exploring vegetarianism in central Pennsylvania of the United States of America. For another helping of Lou’s Creamy Beetroot & Coconut Tart with Chai Spices and Fresh Mint on her fridge scrapings blog, press the “go back” button.

If my recipe and demonstration video don’t demystify vegan crêpes, nothing will.

I haven’t made anything that has required a lot of cooking skill in months with all of my energy having gone into marathon training. The race is over but the big hungry appetite lingers on. I awoke early one Sunday morning with the hopes of trying out the new restaurant downtown that offers vegan crêpes. They don’t open until 11 AM and I got the crazy notion to just use what I have in my pantry and cupboard to make my own.

Taking on vegan crêpes seemed like a huge deal when I read all of the other recipes that highly suggested the use of special non-stick crêpe pans, thin round tipped metal spatulas or wooden crêpe turners and spreaders.

I only have cast iron griddles/skillets so vegan crêpe success seemed highly unlikely. Let me share the ingredients I had and *the advice I used that lead to a complete success.*

Pennsyltucky Crêpes
yields six 9″ vegan crêpes

Ingredients
1 Cup all purpose flour
1/4 Cup tapioca starch (got mine at a local Asian market)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 Cup plant-based milk (I used coconut)
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
spray oil for griddle
1/2 Cup plant-based whipped topping (I used MimicCream’s Healthy Top that I got from Spencer’s Market)
1/2 Cup apple butter
ground cinnamon for topping

Directions
Sift first the 4 dry ingredients together. Add them as well as the milk and maple syrup to a blender. *Blend together for about 30 seconds and scrape sides down to make sure all ingredients are smooth. Refrigerate batter for 1 – 2 hours.*

Pre-heat skillet over medium-high heat until a light sprinkle of water sizzles and dances away. Pour one serving of the chilled batter into 1/3 Cup measuring cup and allow the rest to remain in the refrigerator. Give the griddle a very light spray of oil (my cast iron is well seasoned) and pour the 1/3 C batter into the center of the hot skillet. Immediately tip the skillet in a gentle circular motion so that the batter spreads into an ever increasingly large and thin round crêpe (see video clip below). You can see the outer edges will be wafer thin as you set it back onto the heat.

Small bubbles will form on the surface over the next minute or so as the top starts to dry out. You will notice it will lose its glossy wet look and you can actually touch it without leaving a fingerprint. The crêpe will be close to being ready to be flipped when the papery edges are lifting away from the skillet. Use a spatula to lift an edge, or as I did gently with my fingers, and peek to see if the center is golden. The crêpe may even start to shift on its own and can be flipped with a spatula or by hand. A dear Pennsyltucky grandfather I knew, Pup Pup Deihl, said flipping pancakes more than once makes them go sour. Stick with his advice and allow about 30 second for the finishing touches on the second side your crêpe.

Crêpes should be moist with just a slight crispiness on the outside and I liked serving them before they lost that crisp exterior. I made a couple at a time and filled them to serve before I went back to the griddle. Use a couple tablespoons of plant-based whipped topping and the same amount of good old dutchy apple butter as a filling and roll them up. Garnish with a dollop of whipped topping, apple butter and/or cinnamon.

This was the first time I have ever made crêpes and they ALL turned out. They made for a really special brunch but will also make a great dessert for our Virtual Vegan Potluck. Be glad you saved room for them, they are delicious!
Don’t stop now, hold on to your fork and head on over to K-bobo’s Gormandize with Us for a big helping of creativity and flavor and some Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Pie. Just click on the “go forward” button to continue to enjoy the Virtual Vegan Potluck.

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Vegan Sushi

There are loads of variations on making vegan sushi but I wanted to try a couple of “inside out rolls” to use some of the great Cavi-art I got through Spencer’s Market.

I have made sushi maybe once before but I needed to refresh myself on the best way to roll it. I found a nice group of tutorials on YouTube. One really great tip I saw was to just slide your bamboo rolling mat into a large ziplock bag. This seemed better that just plastic wrap because it wouldn’t slide off and would be easy to rinse between rolls.

I made something of a Vegan California Roll but instead of crab and mayo I used the recipe for Chickpea Salad and kept it really chunky. That along with avocado made the filling and the exterior was sticky rice with a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar (per 2 cups of cooled rice). The garnish was toasted sesame seeds and Cavi-art.

Fillers I used on the other rolls included carrots and cucumber. I used a broad vegetable peeler to get really thin slices then cut them into strips. You could also use any color of sweet bell peppers cut into thins strips.

After using any of the rolling techniques that I linked to above, I also found it helpful to use a clean sharp knife that is slightly wet to cut the roll in half. Line the two sections of the roll side by side (as seen in the photo to the left) and cut the rest of the pieces to the width you desire.

Something to Celebrate

There are certain moments in life you want to break open some caviar and pop the cork for and I just had one of them. I ran my first full marathon last Sunday at the 31st Wineglass Marathon. My finishing time was 4 hours 34 minutes and change. I ran the whole way and finished with a strong kick and a bellow of ecstatic pride as I crossed the finish line on Market Street in Corning, NY.

If the reference to caviar on a vegetarian blog has you confused, that was my little teaser of a way to introduce a classy and savory product that can make any vegan celebration feel ritzy. Scroll to the bottom if you are interested in just the 411 on this treat I purchased (through Spencer’s Market of course) or read my marathon weekend recap which is seasoned with vegan foodie moments.

Corning, NY

Rockwell Museum


Since this past June, much of my extra time has been taken up with training to run a full marathon, that’s 26.2 miles. It made me have to juggle time I have for family, work and enjoying other things like writing for this blog. I did my best to take advantage of this time in my life when I can actually train and run a marathon; I did it simply because I can.

I used a terrific resource that I recommend very highly, Marathon Training Academy. Listening to their free podcasts over the past couple of years gave me hours of quality information so I knew that becoming a member would pay off in many ways. The Smart Training Plans they offer allowed me to avoid overuse injuries that many other training regimens seemed to always cause me.

Veggie Batard

After 16 weeks of putting this blog on the back burner and training hard to run my first marathon, Jim and I headed off to the Finger Lakes region of NY state for a long weekend that ended with my race. We took advantage of some of the perks that came with signing up for the race like free admission to the Rockwell Museum of Western Art.

Foodie highlights included a stop at many of our longtime favorites. Market Street Brewing Company was our first lunch and we enjoyed hot crusty grilled Veggie Batards. It was chilly and drizzly outside, this warm and hearty sandwich was worth taking off my gloves for and added a few carbohydrates as my race day approached.

Watkins Glen, NY

I have loved Watkins Glen, NY since our science club to a trip to the area when I was in 7th grade. I wanted to allow some time to stop, visit, help at the Farm Sanctuary but their late September hours and my schedule didn’t allow for it. I don’t want to just pop in and have posed photos taken as if I were a tourist at a petting zoo; when I visit I want to roll up my sleeves, step into my wellingtons and give a good day’s work for the animals that have been rescued.

I had read that the local ice cream parlor, The Great Escape, had vegan ice cream. Honestly, we were stuffed from the sandwiches and had supper plans where we intended to stay but we just had to support any place with vegan ice cream. We have driven by this stand for years and were excited to pull up and see this sign verifying our dessert was waiting inside! Unfortunately, they were out of the mix which they make all of their 26 flavors vegan but pointed out some vegan ice cream sandwiches in the freezer.

Sun Burger

I hate to say it but they looked like they had been there a while and by the texture of the crystalized filling, I think they had been. What a disappointment but I will try The Great Escape at least one more time before I pass firm judgement.

We spent the night in one of the quaint cabins at the trusty Seneca Lodge. A cold rain persisted so we cranked the space heater and waited for our bellies to have room for one of the best veggie burgers ever, The Sun Burger! Any visit to this area is scheduled around a meal at Seneca Lodge. The salad bar alone is worth the visit and we have been enjoying their Sun Burger for decades!

Wineglass 5k

I have yet to mention that Jim registered for the “first annual” Wineglass 5k. For weeks it was an ordeal of phone calls, emails and aggravation because he never got verification that he was registered. Our check never cleared so he finally re-registered online. He fully expected to be registered twice when we picked up our racing bibs and swag at the expo but it was not the case. They must have completely misplaced his first mail in registration.

We checked out of Seneca Lodge early in the morning but not before I decorated Jim’s calves with the icons from the Wineglass Marathon. I used a black Sharpie and they looked like big tattoos. He looked totally Wineglass Weekend geeked out!

He fit right in because a lot of the runners that were participating in the half (13.1 miles) or full (26.2 miles) marathon the next day were using this as a warm-up race. Me? No thanks, walking around a bit and drawing a chalk message to support Jim was enough of a warm-up for me.

One of the exciting things about this weekend was the chance to get to see Joan Benoit Samuelson, the very first winner of the women’s Olympic Marathon. Unwitting readers might think that Ms. Samuelson must be about 130 years old since the first Olympic Marathon was in 1896. I totally understand the confusion but Joanie is but 5 years older than myself; the women’s marathon wasn’t added to the modern Olympic games until 1984! For years women were excluded for reasons as ridiculous as it was thought that their uterus might fall out.

Joan is a pioneer and it was a thrill for me to see her run right by me. As I stood a few hundred meters from the start near an illegally parked car on the 5k course, I gently waved my hand to alert runners to cut back in a bit. One of them… THE Joan Benoit Samuelson. I like to think that I saved her from injury so that she could continue on and enjoy he 1/2 marathon the next day.

I didn’t see her finish and her time wasn’t listed but I think Joan came in just before Jim. I was so excited and screaming for him that my photo of him is terrible. Jim set a personal record of 24:10.33 (07:48 minute mile average) and sprinted across the finish line in great form. He was 9th in his age group out of 23 men that are 50 – 59 years old. Well done Jimmy the Eye!

31st Wineglass Marathon

After Jim’s race, we took a bit of time to drive a stretch of the marathon course that I was a little vague on. Did I mention the length of the course was over 26 miles? Oh, I did, right. Well, there was a section between miles 14 and 20 that I had been having a hard time visualizing so we munched on some homemade hummus and veggies as we drove that section. I then remembered that I had horses and some neat farmland to look forward to along those roads. It made me aware that the shape of the country road was not really the best and reminded me to watch my footing for potholes as well as any other women runner’s dropped uteri that I might trip on during those miles.

Silliness helped keep the mood light and took my mind off of stressing about the race the next day. We did a goofy photo shoot in our hotel room comparing the swag Jim got for the 5k to what I got for the marathon. Jim got a winter beanie, his racing bib, a little plastic cup with the 5k logo written on in pen and a grape juice box. I got a hot pink tech fabric t-shirt (women’s cut!!), a b-chip racing bib, a commemorative wineglass with logo and year, and a split of NY state champagne!

I have to say, the one thing I was glad that my over-functioning self did was make supper reservations for one of the pasta dinner specials offered in Corning. The town had many businesses donate the proceeds of their pasta meals to a local Fund for Women. We saw that Holmes Plate offered an unlimited spaghetti meal with marinara sauce, bread and salad. I made reservations a month in advance and called about 10 days before our trip to make certain all was in order.

When we arrived a few minutes before 5:00 PM, the place was almost empty and I even remarked to the hostess that perhaps I had been foolish in making reservations. She assured me that, they were fully booked. Over the next hour I saw literally dozens of hungry runners turned away at the door, the place had filled within 15 minutes! I almost felt guilty as Jim and I sat at a cozy 2-seater enjoying a Lady & the Tramp style relaxed spaghetti meal as frustrated marathoners stomped back out the door past us.

My evening was relaxing and I got a pretty good night sleep. The lobby of the motel next morning was filled with early to rise runners. We all made our way to the starting line in Bath, NY. Jim dropped me off about .3 mile from the start so he could easily drive to the one spot we had decided he would meet me, half-way in the town of Campbell. That allowed him the vantage point of also watching the half-marathon runners start. He was able to get a nice photo of Joan Benoit Samuelson running by in her bright yellow shirt.

The weather was pretty ideal for running. I was able to toss the old ratty long sleeved shirt I was wearing at the 4 mile water station and for the rest of the race I was able to regulate my temperature by taking a $.75 pair of gloves on and off. I foolishly wore them the day before and almost lost them. That was my second lesson learned, save race gear for the race.

Walking (only) to the start line.

I fueled well, the vegan Hammer Nutrition products I carried settled pretty well. I only felt a little pinch in my hamstring about mile 6 which, when I look back at my mile splits on my Nike+ records, was my fastest mile. I may have gone a bit fast for miles 4 – 8 but they felt pretty good and weren’t ridiculously so. If I have to look back on how I could have improved my entire race it would be to have been more aware of that and tell Aunt Flo that this perimenopausal gal is not up for any more visits. Maybe if my uterus had just fallen out before the mile 16 port-a-potties I would have been closer to my goal time.

Seeing Jim at the 1/2 way point was the best, he had 2 signs made to cheer the runners on, “BEST PARADE EVER” and “POWERED BY PAD THAI”. He also wrote me some cute chalk messages that lifted my spirits.

The final 6 miles were the farthest and most difficult I had ever run. I kept thinking, “This is brutal, I want to walk.” Then I would set my mind straight and think, “No walking, it will only take longer.” I slowed down during miles 22- 25 but only ever walked for a few seconds to and that was to take a drink at a water stop. If I wasn’t drinking, I told myself to running. I had practiced this on my longer training runs and I was so glad to have suck with it.

After mile 25, I realized the whole race was winding to a close. We crossed a final bridge into downtown Corning and saw the Brightroom photographer. I did my best to look like my feet didn’t feel like ground vegan burger as the camera snapped photos of me. I rounded the corner onto Market Street, the final stretch. From the moment I passed the 26 mile marker to the finish I incrementally stepped up my pace. The crowd was so supportive with cheering us all and encouraging my ever-increasing pace. One woman screamed at me, “That’s it! Kick it at the end, I love it!”

I crossed the finish line with my arms in the air and an exhausted sense of accomplishment. I was so grateful for the medal to be put around my neck and be handed a space blanket. Unfortunately, the bottleneck of Cub Scout volunteers offering water paid the price of my not being ready to come to a stop so quickly after my hard push at the end. I apologize to any of them who had to see me get sick.

Jim met me at the end of the block and I spent the rest of the day recovering. Things are going pretty well and I haven’t really been sore nor are my feet blistered at all. I think all of the above (sans splattering the Cub Scouts) is a big reason to celebrate.

I may never be choose to run a marathon again but I know that I can and that is pretty amazing. So was the Cavi-art, a vegan caviar that is made from sea weed. I plan to try a few recipes with it. To celebrate our weekend of successful racing, we opened my split of champagne and had both the orange and black traditional-style on toast crisps. The orange was a bit more oceanic in flavor but both were very nice. The texture wasn’t quite as soft as tapioca and held the flavor well.

I am not into reproducing all animal products exactly with plant based foods but there is something about the glamorous visual image of small glistening morsels in a small heap on a special appetizer. We have had the image hammered into our brain through many visual medias and with the knowledge that vegans can have special glorious life moments too, it was pleasing to give something like Cavi-art a try after finishing my first marathon (26 miles, 385 yards).

Better “Chicken” (Vegan Indian Seitan in Tomato Cream Sauce)

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I think what I have been enjoying most about Spencer’s Market is that I get to try new vegan products that I would have never otherwise have taken notice of Also thanks to the 20+ folks who have joined using my referral and landing me some free shipping!! After trying these cool products, I typically realize that I can also find the them at a local store.

This time I was excited to try some MimicCream. I was so pleased with the unsweetened version of this product that I am busting right into my busy marathon training schedule to share a recipe I veganized with it.

This recipe is loosely based on Butter Chicken I found on the Food Network Webpage. It was wonderful to have a creamy Indian dish again and it went well with a batch of my Homemade Vegan Naan.

Better “Chicken”
(Vegan Indian Seitan in Tomato Cream Sauce)

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons Earth Balance stick
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 (6 oz) package of chicken-style seitan
1 (10 oz) box frozen peas, thawed
2/3 cup Unsweetened MimicCream

Directions:

Melt the Earth Balance in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the pieces just begin to turn gold, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, tomato paste and spices, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and stir well. Add the seitan pieces, spoon the sauce over the top and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cook, uncovered, until the seitan is warmed through, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently.

Add the peas and Unsweetened MimicCream to the pan, stir well and heat through. Do not boil. Serve with rice and warm Homemade Vegan Naan.

Vegan Cheeses to Daiya for, Please Teese Me

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Vegan Cheeses to Daiya for, Please Teese Me

I know I have been hammering it home about the pronunciation of Daiya. I took the liberty of having a pun in the title of this blog using it wrongly. Would you forgive me if I had entitled it Live and Let Daiya? The wrong pronunciation offers so many more possibilities.

Another favorite topic of mine lately has been the wonders of shopping through Spencer’s Vegan Market. I was so skeptical about hidden charges or too many e-mails before signing up. I have to say I look forward to the roughly once a week e-mail offer of vegan treats, pantry staples and snacks. This is where I got my sampler of Teese to compare as a vegan cheese for this post. Please check out Spencer’s, if you sign up via my reference link I get free shipping on my next item!

On to the vegan cheeses! The Teese sampler was a lot of fun. We used the styles over nachos, manicotti, macaroni, in a grilled cheese sandwich and on a sampler plate alongside the new…

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Daiya Wedges! We found them when shopping at Everything Under the Sun in Altoona. Altoona may have little to offer vegetarians and vegans but it was great to be able to purchase all three selections of the wedges.

Final evaluation of all of the products:
Teese
Nacho Sauce – It was odd extracting it from the tube and although the remainder can be refrigerated it really requires a separate container. The flavor was mildly spicy and tangy. It wasn’t a bad consistency at all when heated if you don’t mind a Velveeta texture. As a sauce, I still think we prefer the Food for Lovers Queso and can get that locally at Wegman’s.

Vegan Mac ‘n’ Teese

Creamy Cheddar Sauce – The samples actually came with about a cup of packaged macaroni to cook up with each tube of the Cheddar Sauce. I thought it looked like way too much cheese for the amount of macaroni but it was fine. Again with the Velveeta texture and for being low-fat it sure left a greasy texture on my lips. I wouldn’t be sorry to be served this as vegan mac ‘n’ cheese, a comfort food and the memories it brings are important. Those memories, however, are probably not of times when I was eating all that healthfully.

Mozzarella – This was a cheese replicant that was obviously much more firm than either of the 2 above mentioned sauces. When I cut into the tube-like packaging, a little gush of watery liquid escaped just like a real mozzarella might be packaged. The scent was initially reminiscent of feta cheese but the flavor was quite mild. We tried this in 1/4″ slices and baked it with manicotti since the package stated it “melts and stretches.” It did neither at this thickness. Shredded over baked potatoes yielded better results bit it was still more resistant to melting than Daiya Shreds. Eaten on its own on the cheese platter, this was our least favorite of the 5 choices. It was bland and left a bit of a starchy, chalky texture upon chewing it. I would say this is just a little better than Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella, my least favorite vegan cheese.

Cheddar – This has a little more flavor than the mozzarella but was also not a nibble of choice from the cheese platter. It too left a chalky texture when eaten on its own and it got shnubbed by our cat when we offered him a taste. On a grilled cheese, I sliced the Cheddar Teese much more thinly than the mozzarella on the manicotti. It did melt a bit in the griddle heated sandwich. The outer edges were firm but deep inside the hot sandwich it melted to a pretty decent consistency. The flavor was fine but, like the mozzarella, it never really stretched as the label promised.

Daiya Wedges

Cheddar – Putting the cheddars one right after the other is my intent but keep the last description in your mind for a moment while I speak about the Daiya Wedges as a product. They come in resealable containers that state the left overs can be refrigerated for up to 4 weeks. They don’t reseal all that well. Another issue I recently learned about the wedges is that they contain palm oil, which is a huge environmental issue; you can google it if you are interested.

The Cheddar Wedges flavor, compared to the above grilled Cheddar Teese, was much better but you will want to keep the wedge sliced thinly (1/8″). Too much of a good thing can sometimes be gross. On the vegan cheese platter, the texture was that of a very soft, almost spreadable cheese. If it is allowed to warm at all, it can be a little difficult to get out of the container. The texture and flavor of 1/2″ cube was very nice on its own or dipped in agave mustard.

Daiya Cheddar, Jack, Jalapeno Garlic Havarti wedges.

Jack – Other than Jack Wedges being white, Daiya Wedges Cheddar’s orange, the they are identical in texture, flavor and melt-ability. It would make a nice grilled cheese and color contrast on a vegan cheese platter. I will mention here that the cat did NOT shnub the Daiya Wedge piece we offered him.

Jalapeno Garlic Havarti – All of the Daiya Wedges were favored on the cheese platter but this flavor was tops! The texture, how it melted on a vegan burger, how it cut and came out of the container was identical to the other wedge products but the zippy garlic flavor made it outstanding. It and the cheddar would be the two I would suggest purchasing if you want the most two diverse colors and flavors.

This vegan cheese taste test chooses:
Daiya Wedges over any of the Teese firm cheese products, especially when eaten cold on thier own.
Daiya Shreds over any vegan cheese that you need shredded.
Queso over the Teese Nacho Sauce.
Teese Cheddar Sauce over having to make a blend of any vegan cheese in a white sauce.
Teese Mozzarella over Vegan Gourmet for anything requiring a piece of mozzarella larger than a shred.

Broccoli Savory Rice

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Thanks to a recent order through Spencer’s Market (please use my referral to join and check out some amazing vegan offers!), I got a sample of Heidi Ho Organics that included an 8 oz. container of their vegan Feta Crumbles.

We asked ourselves what recipe in which we used Feta Cheese that we would most want to veganize with this one sample of Feta Crumbles. Although Spanokopita was almost the choice we had another recipe that trumped it. We could not find the original recipe to make something we called Broccoli/Feta/Rice (we kinda said it all like one long word) but Jim made it so often, he put it together from memory.

As a side note, Feta Crumbles are a little oily, lemony and are seasoned with basil, oregano and parsley so wouldn’t work for veganzing any Feta Cheese recipes that might blend it with something like a sweet fruit compote or the like.

Broccoli Savory Rice
Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 Cups steamed Rice
4 Cups chopped Broccoli crowns and tender stems
1 yellow Onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 Cup chopped spearmint
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 Cup sliced black olives
8 oz. Feta Crumbles by Heidi Ho Organics
1/4 Cup vegan Chardonnay
1 teaspoon dried Basil
salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat a wok over medium high heat and add olive oil. Sauté the onions and when they are translucent, add the celery. After about the same amount of time for the celery, add garlic and sauté for a minute before adding the broccoli. Stir to coat broccoli with oil then add the wine and cover to deglaze and steam all of the vegetables in the wok.

When the broccoli is tender, add cooked rice, lemon juice, black olives, Feta Crumbles, basil, salt and black pepper. Over medium heat, stir to mix completely until warmed through. Stir in mint, turn off heat and cover for 5 minutes before serving.

We were really thrilled to be able to try a vegan feta cheese product. The Feta Crumbles are quite tasty but a little less salty and more oily than feta cheese but a fine replacement. We are really enjoying a lot of the samplers that we have been able to purchase through Spencer’s Market. I get a few little perks (like temporary free shipping) if you sign up through my referral. I think you will be excited to see the products that they have. No obligation to ever buy but if you see a set of products you like I suggest placing your order as quickly as possible because they sell out. Enjoy!

Pluck of the Irish

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Pluck of the Irish

Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe on a Pennsyltucky Veggie blog? Even my ancestors, the Doyles from East Waterford in Perry County, certainly cooked up a batch now and then. This gave me the courage to use some of the massive seitan package I got from Spencer’s Market (a vegan foodie MUST, please join with my referral) to make a fun twist to the splendid traditional flavors.

The seitan sampler included many varieties from Upton’s Naturals. For this mellow dish, I chose the Traditional in style.

Pluck of the Irish

Ingredients:
1 lb. Brussles Sprouts (halve them if they are large)
2 fist sized potatoes, scrubbed and cut into hunks
2 medium sized carrots, cut into thick slices
3 – 4 Tablespoons Earth Balance stick, cut into 8 pieces
a small muslin bag filled with:
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried dill
2 crushed cloves of garlic

Directions:
It’s been so unseasonably warm that we started a fire our little outdoor pit.

I wrapped all of the ingredients in about 4-5 layers of heavy duty foil with the base being about 9″ x 9″ across. A couple of the layers I made super long and made a handle out of; it turned into something like a giant foil basket.

We set the basket into the nest of coals Jim had prepared. Because the foil was completely sealed, the steam inside was enough and we didn’t need any coals on top of the package. After 20 minutes, the veggies were tender, lightly seasoned and seitan heated through. If you want the traditional seasoning that are used in corned beef to shine through even more, you will want to simmer them with the seitan in a small amount of broth (reserve any excess broth for another use – there is plenty of moisture to steam as it is) before putting the ingredients in the foil.

The bottom veggies were just grilled to a point where they had some cosmetic character and color but none were burnt. This recipe made 4 generous portions and we loved every bite.

Don’t forget to check out Spencer’s Market. They offer bulk samples of so many great vegan foods and I am begging referrals since I get little bonuses (like free shipping) as I get a few.

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