Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Vegan "Turkey & Cheese" Hoagie

I have been craving a great big ol' sandwich for lunch here lately, so today I brought one. Since it's vegan, there is, of course, no real turkey or cheese on it, but what is on it are two of the best vegan replacements for those items that I have found. I started out by just taking a regular old hoagie bun that I picked up at the grocery store (I checked the label to make sure there wasn't any egg or whey or anything like that in there) and then I added 3 slices of Light Life's Deli Turkey Slices and a slice of Tofutti American Soy Cheese. I topped it all off with some fresh lettuce, tomato and onion. I left the top of the hoagie bun off so that I could photograph the sandwich. After taking the picture though, I replaced the top bun and was able to close the lid on the lunchbox, so it was a perfect fit. Mmmmmm... This will be yummy. I can't wait until lunch time.

Then, to be as good as I possibly could, I filled the rest of the lunch box with some raw food. I've got broccoli and cauliflower up there in the larger container and then some fresh blackberries in the small container. Since everything in today's lunch can be eaten with your hands, I didn't have to pack the fork & spoon which left me a nice empty space to stow an Apple Pie Larabar (my favorite!). I tilted it out a little for the pic, so you could see the label, but it fits completely in that compartment and doesn't interfere with closing the lid.

Thanks to the sinister brooke mentioning buffalo wings in the discussion in the comments yesterday about seitan, I got stirred up last night and made some from scratch, and boy were they good. It was after dinner before they were finished, so I didn't eat many, which means I have a bunch of them left in my fridge. They may make an appearance in the lunchbox tomorrow, if I don't eat them all tonight when I get home. Can you have buffalo wings for lunch? Is that legal? If they make it into tomorrow's lunch I'll talk more about what I did to make them in tomorrow's post.

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


VeganCyclist said...

I made some seitan the other night, from a box (i know...) and it looks GROSS. IT's like big chunks of gray hamburger. ewww, should i make your sloppy joe mix with it? grind it all up and start over?
how do you make seitan into SHAPES? like buffalo "wings" and cutlets and such? I'm confused. it was so stretchy and sticky when I made it.

I really wanna like it. :)

Jane M said...

I wound up making sloppy joes last night. Blaming you for all the yummy goodness...maybe thanking you? That sandwich looks very yummy too. If you don't eat the buffalo wings for lunch (and I don't see any reason that you couldn't eat buffalo wings for lunch...except eating them all before) do you think you could post a picture??? Pretty please with hot sauce on it?????

kennyboy said...

Well, it is kind of gross when you are the one who makes it. Kinda' like how gross meat would be to people if they actually had to slaughter an animal and cut it up. When you get seitan prepared at a restaurant or made by someone else and it's all cooked up in some dish, then yeah it's just like meat.

Making it however, exposes you to what it really is, a big rubbery glob of gluten.

My favorite thing so far that I have made from it are the fajitas. After it's cooked in the broth and cooled down, just slice it into fajita size strips and cook them up with a packet of seasoning.

Last night, I made some buffalo wings that turned out really good too. For that, I mixed up the gluten in the mixer, got the broth boiling and then turned it down to simmer, and then stretched out the big rubbery glob and used kitchen scissors (the kind you would normally use to cut up chicken or something) and snipped pieces about the size of buffalo wings off and let them fall into the broth to cook. They were all different iregular shapes, but they look a lot like buffalo wings. Hopefully, I will have some left tomorrow to show you in my lunch.

Someone mentioned this over on theppk.com board to, about doing a picture tutorial on making seitan. Maybe I will try to do that this weekend and post it on here, because it really is easy, and makes really good dishes, but yeah, unless you know exactly what the sutff is supposed to look like in the intermediate stages (and it AINT pretty) it can be confusing and underwhelming.

I'll try to do a Making Seitan Tutorial ASAP.

In the mean time, if you've made a batch and got it all cooked for an hour or so in your broth, I would definitely recommend slicing it up and making fajitas (maybe with some mushrooms), or cubing it up into little cubes and making burritos or chimichangas.

VeganCyclist said...

I tried doing "peices" and they are just chunks, that look all lumpy. I want CUBES. I'm going to have to try again.

in the mean time, I'll use it for sloppy joes and taco soup. :) thanks.

and please, pics of the "wings". :)

kennyboy said...

Yeah, that's kinda what I got for the "wings", but that's what I wanted, irregular shaped pieces. That's what happens when you cut the stuff and then boil it.

If I wanted nice cubes, I would mix my vital wheat gluten and water and knead it (or let the mixer do it), then I would cut that into 2-6 smaller pieces, depending on how big of a glob you made, leaving me with nice big chunks that are still pretty good size (maybe about the size of an apple?), and then I would cook those in the broth, then let them cool completely, and then slice those nice big firm chunks into slices or cubes. You have to let the chunks and broth cool completely to make it really firm. I usually even dump some ice cubes in mine to get it real cool.

As you saw, right after you mix the stuff up, before you cook it in the broth, it is really soft, rubbery and sticky. Really impossible to cut into uniform shapes. After you cook it as big chunks and cool it though, you should be able to slice it into nicer looking pieces.

And yes, I will post pics of my "wings" tomorrow. Mine just look about like the ones over on brooke's blog, but she used storebought seitan pieces. There's a link to in on my page in the links section where it says VEGAN TASTE TEST. That's about what mine looked like. I'll show you tomorrow. ;o)

krispycheks said...

I agree, when you make your own seitan it can be kind of gross. Especially when you're kneading it and it hasn't absorbed all the water yet and it's making squishy noises... but the end result is well worth it, especially compared to how expensvie it is at the store and then you don't have all of those preservatives in it. If the greyish color is off-putting, I will sometimes boil mine in a mixture of veggie broth, soy sauce and red wine and then it has a reddish/brown color that's a little more appetizing.

Ken, my husband has recently fallen for the Light Life Deli Turkey too. We're big fans of their products, especially their pepperoni. I think the weather, being warmer, makes sandwiches sound great. We've been eating a lot of them too, although I'm more of a Tofurky girl myself... ;)

Brooke said...

Ha, so I am now sinister, eh? Hahahahaha! Glad you liked the wings! If I had made more, I would probably be eating them for breakfast (but THAT is probably illegal...).
Yea, I totally thought the seitan looked like a big gooey bag of brains when I first opened it. But now I sorta know what to expect the next time I attempt to make it on my own....I do hope you post a tutorial, that would be mighty helpful for the seitan-challenged folks like me! :-)


stephanie said...

I find it quite interesting that you called your lunch sandwich a hoagie.... I didn't know that word existed outside the confines of Philadelphia! When my family first moved to South Jersey - about 1/2 hour outside philadelphia, it took my mother almost a year to work up the courage to ask the deli person what a "hoagie" was! And we only came from north jersey, near NYC! Yet, in Tennessee you know what a hoagie is. Amazing!


Anonymous said...

Hi! I tried your Sloppy Joe today and it was yummy! I'm an Italian girl and I didn't know this recipe, thank you for the link!(Of course I tried the vegan version with seitan) My parents found the mix too "American" for their taste :-) but I liked it a lot!
Thank you and keep posting! You are so inspiring!

kennyboy said...

Hey Francesca, I think they even sell a canned Sloppy Joe sauce that they call Italian Style. I bet all it is is regular sauce with some garlic, oregano and basil in it. Maybe you could jazz yours up with that and your parents might like it better? Hmmmmm... I might even do that to mine just to make the last of the leftovers a little bit different.

Anonymous said...

Love the idea of a tutorial! Super!


Sheena said...

I agree a tutorial would be much appreciated! I have been too scared to attempt making something with so many steps but I just might be brave enough to try with your instructions! =)

P.S.- I love this site and check it out daily!