BBQ Seitan & Creamy Coleslaw Hoagies

There’s nothing like warm, tangy, sweet barbecue sauce in the same meal as cool, creamy coleslaw.  Barbeque is typical Southern summertime fare at family gatherings and you can absolutely have it without meat and without standing over a hot grill in 95 degree weather!

The seitan (called “wheat meat”) and coleslaw recipes are from Veganomicon by Isa Moskowitz and Terry Romero.  It may seem like a lot of trouble to make your own seitan but trust me, it’s way cheaper than buying it in the store.  You’ll spend around the same amount and get 4 times as much!

This recipe makes around 6-7 hoagies.

First start the seitan:
1 cup vital wheat gluten
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup cold vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane grater (or a very fine cheese grater)

Mix vital wheat gluten and nutritional yeast in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl, mix the sauce, broth, olive oil, and garlic.  Add wet to dry and stir until mostly combined, then knead with your hands for 3 minutes until elastic.

Now add 4 cups vegetable broth (I used faux chicken stock) + 4 cups water  + another 1/4 cup soy sauce to a large, deep skillet.  Cut the seitan into 3 equal sized pieces, stretch them a bit with your hands, and drop into the broth mix.  Bring just to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer, and cover with the lid slightly tilted.  Let simmer for 1 hour.

While the seitan is cooking, make the coleslaw:
3 cups coleslaw mix (shredded purple and white cabbage and carrots)
1/4 cup vegan mayo
2 tablespoons plain soy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
pinch of dried dill (I used one teaspoon fresh dill, finely chopped)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of white pepper (I used black)
pinch of mustard powder

Whisk everything together (except the coleslaw mix) and then pour over the coleslaw  mix and toss to coat.

Once your seitan is done, turn off the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes in the broth.  Then remove from the pan and slice.  Preheat a skillet (iron is best) over medium heat and coat with non-stick spray or put a bit of oil in the bottom.  Cook the seitan strips about 3 minutes on each side, until slightly browned.

Now slice your hoagie rolls in half, top with coleslaw and seitan strips, and drizzle your favorite BBQ sauce over the top (I used Bull’s Eye Original).  They’re messy but yummy!

Meal Idea:  Serve with baked beans, corn on the cob, or collard greens!
P.S. Store leftover seitan in an airtight container with a little of the broth it cooked in.  You can also reserve the leftover broth for your next pot of soup.

Southern Summer Dreams (and a recipe for tomato sandwiches)

I am fortunate enough to work in a building surrounded by nature.  Just outside my window is the forest and the hallways, cafeteria, and entryways are surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the lake and a state park.  It’s not uncommon to walk down the hall and see several people pressed against a window, watching a mother deer feed her fawn, or to be sitting in the cafeteria eating lunch and see a huge turkey buzzard land next to you on the window sill and look inside.  We have a lot of wild turkeys too, that can be seen pecking around the deer feeders, of which there are several placed around the property.

While walking on the hiking trails today on my break, I was telling my friend Brandon that my body just feels ready for summer.  I’m ready for sweet strawberries, tomatoes that taste like they should, watermelon, and sunshine!  My body has been pretty in-tune with the seasons for the past couple of years. Around the end of August, I start to crave fall foods like kale and pumpkin and I start to want to cook chili and soup.  By October, I’m so ready for dressing and cranberry sauce that I can hardly stand it and I’m making pumpkin bread every other week.  By February, I’m sick of all of that and ready for watermelon-mint smoothies, grilled veggies, and juicy berries.  Oh! And basil!  Brandon just laughed, as I was telling him all this, and said that it appears I have a passionate relationship with produce.

I think everyone should have a passionate relationship with produce!  If your body is craving what’s in season, I think that means you’re doing something right.  Your body is telling you what it needs, nutrient-wise, and you’re listening!  Plus, in-season produce just tastes better.  Strawberries in the winter… GROSS!  They’re pretty and red, but they’re firm, white on the inside, and flavorless.  Summer strawberries are juicy, pink on the inside, and so very sweet!

If there’s one summer crop we grow in abundance in the South, it’s tomatoes.  The farmer’s market is loaded with all different varieties, including gorgeous, multi-colored heirloom tomatoes.  I know it’s only February, but I can hardly wait for tomatoes that taste like tomatoes.  Winter tomatoes taste like NOTHING!

Here’s wishing summer hurries the heck up!
Tomato Sandwiches
2 slices whole grain bread
2-3 thick slices of tomato (I like to mix different heirloom varieties!)
1 Tablespoon (or so) Vegenaise
green leaf lettuce
salt & pepper

Toast your bread and then spread on the Vegenaise.   Add a lettuce leaf and tomato slices, and sprinkle the tomatoes with a little salt and pepper.  Eat slowly and let the juice from the tomatoes drip down your chin.  Variations:  add a few slices of avocado for creaminess or replace the lettuce with fresh basil leaves.   ::mouth waters::