Monday, May 15, 2006

Vegan Sloppy Joe

Well, it's Monday and the lunchbox is back at work with me. I made another big batch of homemade seitan this weekend from the recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. That stuff is so good, and so easy to make. I had fajitas again for dinner this weekend, and we even made tacos from some of it one night. They were very good. I just ground the seitan up in the Cuisinart and then seasoned it with a regular old taco seasoning packet. I swear the stuff was the exact consitency of the meat on the tacos at Taco Bell. They were very tasty.

For lunch today, I didn't want to repeat anything from last week already, so I opted to use what was left of my batch of seitan from this weekend and make Sloppy Joes. I simply ground 16 ounces of the seitan in the food processor and then cooked it up in a skillet using my favorite Sloppy Joe recipe. I used to make this recipe all the time back when I used to eat meat, and I remember how amazed I was when I discovered it and found out that you could make Sloppy Joes from scratch without the storebought canned sauce. I had no idea that there were so few ingredients involved. And I think that it tastes even better than the storebought sauce. Anyway, it was really easy to make, I even used the frozen pre-chopped onions and green peppers, so there was very little work involved. When it was all done, I put it on a whole wheat bun and it was good to go.

I finished filling the lunch box with some raw items. I've got some celery, some carrots and then a Banana Cookie Larabar for dessert. There's a whole banana squeezed into that bar, so when you figure that, plus the dates, plus the nuts, plus the other two raw items I brought, there's actually quite a bit of stuff that's good for you in today's lunch.

I didn't make the Sloppy Joes until late last night, well after dinner, so I wasn't hungry at the time and didn't even taste of it. I know the sauce from the recipe is good from my previous experience of using it with things that are NOT VEGAN. I know the seitan is good because I have been eating it in various forms for about a week solid now. So surely the two together will be good. I think they will. I will stick something in the comments later this afternoon, after I eat it and let you know what I thought about the taste.

On a side note, I was over in Asheville, NC again this weekend and ending up eating at The Laughing Seed restaurant again. Oh my gosh is that place good. I was starving so I got an entree called Curry-Crusted Tempeh, which was delicious, and I got some kind of vegan pound cake for dessert that had walnuts, carrots (I think) and I don't know what all else in it. Dang it was good. I didn't have my camera with me or I would have taken a picture for the blog. Maybe I need to get me one of those camera neck straps and just wear the thing all the time like a tourist. That place wins like the "Best Vegetarian Restaurant in North Carolina" award every year. So you can imagine how good it is. YUM!

Well, I guess that just about does it. Thanks for stopping by and I'll see everybody tomorrow!


Freedom said...

I really have to try making some seitan - is it really that easy, cos I've heard otherwise...

appifanie said...

vegan sloppy joes are so great, aren't they? yummy!!

kennyboy said...

Yes appifanie I agree. I just ate my Sloppy Joe and it was tasty. I almost made it using tempeh, but then I relized I had all that seitan leftover. I do plan on trying making Sloppy Joes with tempeh one day too. I think that would be good as well.

I think making seitan CAN be hard freedom, if you to it toally from scratch with just flour and water. But if you buy the Vital Wheat Gluten, basically all you do is mix equal parts of that with water and any additional flavorings you might add to make it taste more like beef, pork, fish, chicken or whatever you are trying to simulate and then knead it for 5 minutes (I let the Kitchenaid mixer do it), bring your cooking broth (mine was just 12 cups of water and 1/2 cup of soy sauce) then turn it down to simmer and cut the big piece of seitan into 6 smaller pieces or so and drop them in the liquid. Then just let it simmer for an hour, turn the heat off, let it cool completely, and you're done.

You can do other things, like baking it in the oven after that to make it even more meat-like in texture, but that's basically it.

Homemade seitan was SO much better in those fajitas than the storebought fake meat strips, and cheaper.

Jane M said...

Yep, your a seitan addict!

Brooke said...

It's official, I am now in love with seitan...I made some buffalo wings with it last night and they were really good! Yay for seitan!

Anonymous said...

the meat at taco bell is made mostly of oatmeal with fat and flavouring.

kennyboy said...

No wonder I loved that Taco Bell meat back when I was an omni if it's mostly fat.

Luckily, making the taco filling with seitan makes it not only cruelty-free but virtually fat-free (I think there is a tiny amount of olive oil in the seitan recipe).

Mmmmmm... seitan buffalo wings!

I know what I am trying tonight.

Anonymous said...

I tried seitan for the first time this weekend. I didn't make it but bought it in at a deli. Oh my, it really seemed like meat! Even after being warned, I was freaked out. I think I'll stick to my vegan sloppy joes made out of tempeh.

I might give it another try someday. I wouldn't even have attempted it if I hadn't heard such rave reviews on this blog. (I realize that your homemade would be much better, Kenny, but you don't deliver!)


Anonymous said...

I'm jealous!! I live in Charlotte so im so close to laughing seed yet so far away... the menu looks fantastic. Keep on posting, its inspirational. Today i decided to make the jump from strict lacto-ovo to vegan :)

kennyboy said...

YEAH! Congratulations on your decision. It will be a lot easier than you think, especially after the first week or two and you get over the physical addiction to cheese, if you eat a lot of cheese. I thought that would be the hardest part, but it really wasn't difficult. The FYH Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella fills the pizza void, so you've got that to fall back on. GOOD LUCK! GOOD LUCK! GOOD LUCK!

Oh yeah, and brooke, you are evil. Hahaha. I have some "chicken-style" seitan cooking up right now and I am going to make buffalo wings in an hour or so. YUM! I can't wait. I'm just gonna use Frank's Hot Sauce and Earth Balance to make the sauce. Mmmmmmm...

Brooke said...

I ate the rest of mine for lunch...oh, so so good!
Good to know my evil-ness has worked! Ya gotta let me know how they turned out...are you making a ranch dip on the side?

Tanya Kristine said...

i just ordered VwaV.

after reading all 5 star reviews (not ONE 4) i cannot wait!!!

i'm gonig to make the seitan first. and now i'm gonig to make the buffalo wing thingies..made my mouth water

kennyboy said...

I know Tanya, that was one of the things that got me to order it. I was like "How can everybody give this thing 5 stars?" Once you get it and start making things out of it though, you will see why everyone rated it like that.

My chicken-style seitan is almost done brooke. Then I'm gonna bake it and then mix up the sauce and throw it to it.

I'm probably not making the Ranch dip this time. I don't have the stuff I need. There was a pack of ranch mix here yesterday but it got used in a tub of Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream to make some dip for potato chips.

When I used to order real buffalo wings in a restaurant I never ate the ranch dip with them. I like to just keep stuffing them in one right after the other until my nose is burning and my eyes are watering.

This is funny now that I think about it, because buffalo wings were one of the things that actually pushed me into becoming vegetarian, and then eventually vegan. I loved those things, but the last time I ordered them, in a bar, I was sitting there eating them and I just stopped and took a good look at what I was eating. I realized I was sitting there gnawing the skin ( with 3rd degree burns), fat, tendons and gristle off of a living beings bones and joints. It literally turned my stomach. I put the one I was eating on back down in the basket and never ate another one. I became vegetarian shortly thereafter, and the rest is history.


Tanya Kristine said...

ew. mine was from chicken too.

i was pounding a filet flat when i noticed this big white vein-ey thing in it . i tried and tried and tried to pull it out but it woudln't budge. then i realized i'm trying as hard as i can to pull out a vein from what USED to be a live animal. went veggie one month later.

NightOwl said...

I think it was in the Food Revolution that I read "Most people's toilets are cleaner than their kitchen sinks, because they don't wash chicken in their toilets." How disgusting is that?? The great majority of chicken is contaminated with fecal matter.

Dilip said...

Great site! How did you make the images interactive -- did you use an imagemap? --Dilip

Dilip said...

... by the way, I also enjoy eating at The Laughing Seed! You're lucky you are so close to Asheville!

Genterist Design said...

Hey! The post and the blog are really good.
I am Tom, nice to meet you.

kennyboy said...

Eeewww nightowl, I know. Isn't that sick. I always liked that saying "In every pack of chicken, there's a little bit of poop." I can't believe I used to eat that crepe (manual word filter in honor of

Yeah dilip I just use an image map. I think I first saw something like that done over on FLICKR with pictures of people's refrigerators. They had everything in their fridges labeled. It was pretty funny because one person had a kitty cat sitting in the bottom of their fridge and they had it labeled. It didn't live in there, it just had to get in there and sit while the door was open, you know how they are. It was funny.

I looked at your website. I might try and make it down to one of your group's functions sometime, especially Thanksgiving. I've thought about going to Farm Sanctuary one Thanksgiving, but it will probably not be this year.

Hey Tom. Welcome!