Friday, April 27, 2012

Cooking with a Carnivore!: Week 2, Seitan Veggie Chili and Cornbread!

For our second week of dinners with our carnivore buddy, we decided to spice things up a bit! This is a seriously hearty chili, chock full of beans, (beans, and beans), tomato, veggies, and chunky pieces of homemade seitan... and a spicy kick!
It was a chilly day so we decided to make chilli!
This recipe is a bit more involved - in order to make sure the beans and tomatoes and spices have time to meld together it's important make this one the day before you plan to eat it.

Delicious and nutritious!
That being said, the active cooking time is not too bad, most of it's just an occasional stir as the chili simmers away (this is especially true if you have a slow cooker!)~

We served our chili along with some cornbread based off of this recipe (tasty, but we felt it could've used a little more corn to it!), and some broiled asparagus and carrots, yum! A nice balanced meal!

Seitan Veggie Chili
yields.... a TON of (spectacularly delicious) chili! 
probably at least 12 servings, but it only lasted us one round of leftovers

for the seitan
3 cups vital wheat gluten
2 tsp powdered garlic
2 tsp powdered onion
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 cups cold vegetable broth

for the chili
2 Tbsp oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pot)
2 medium or 4 small onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp whole cumin seeds
3 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp powdered garlic
3 tsp powdered onion
2 tsp black pepper
~2 tsp ground chili pepper (depending on how spicy you want it)
3 tsp ground paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried parsley

1 cube bullion soup base + 4 cups of water (or 4 cups vegetable stock)

2-28 oz cans chopped tomatoes
1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 1/3 cup dried pinto beans
1 1/3 cup dried kidney beans
1 1/3 cup dried chickpeas
2/3 cup dried black beans
(or equivalent canned beans - about three cups of each of pinto, kidney and chickpeas, and two cups of black beans)

16 oz frozen (or canned) sweet corn

3 cups sliced bell peppers (red and orange, we used a bunch of small ones, but this'd probably be about 3 - 4 full sized peppers)

salt, to taste

water as needed
for the seitan
1. Prep your seitan! Preheat your oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten flour, powdered garlic, onion, and dried oregano and parsley. Mix well.
2. Add in the COLD water and soy sauce and mix well. You'll probably have to get in there and get your hands dirty! It should be a wet but not sticky dough. Kneed for 3 - 5 minutes (the more, the tougher/chewier it will be).
3. Form it into a blob (haha) and place in a rectangular cake pan (we used a glass one!). Cover the seitan with tin foil, and bake (at 375°F) for 90 minutes. Remove to cool.
ANOTHER BLOB! (almost typed boob there...)
4. Once the seitan has cooled enough to handle, tear it apart! We took off the outer "skin" (and ate it! NOMNOM (~^o^)~ ), since it's a little tougher/chewier/crunchier than the rest of it, and then tore the rest of it into small strips/chunks.
Seitan is like a glutenous baby! Handle with care
... BEHOLD! :D
for the chili
1. Prep your beans! If you're using canned beans... open the cans, drain and rinse 'em! If you're using dried beans (the far superior route, but we'll forgive you for taking the easy way out on this one...), either (a) soak them overnight and then rinse and cook them until tender (without salt), about one and a half hours, or (b) overnight/quick soak them and cook them in your pressure cooker (according to its instructions), whoohoo! This takes about 30 minutes in total. Pressure cookers are rad.
They're so wrinkly! ~(@o@~)
2. Once your beans are ready, in a VERY large stew pot, heat up your oil, and sauté your onion, garlic, and cumin seeds for a few minutes. Add in the dry spices (cumin, garlic, onion, black pepper, chili, paprika, oregano, parsley) and stir. Reduce to medium heat, cook for another few minutes, stirring so it doesn't stick/burn.
3. Add in yer canned tomatoes (and all their liquid)! Add in the bullion (crumble it up if it's a cube!) and water/vegetable stock and stir, then add in your (drained) cooked beans! Mix it all up! Bring to a boil, and then lower to medium-low heat.
That amount of tomatoes can make a lot of Bloody Marys
4. Let it simmer, covered for about an hour (but really, the longer the better), stirring occasionally and adding water as needed (so it doesn't dry out/burn to the bottom).
Can't you taste the awesomeness with your EYES?!
Go stir crazy! :D
5. We then left ours covered overnight and reheated it again in the morning, simmered for about an hour, then did the same in the afternoon, and once again before we served it. We added the corn in during the morning heating, and the fresh bell peppers in when we heated it right before serving!
Pretty peppers!
When/how long you do all the cooking is not very important as long as it gets some solid simmerin' time, whatever fits into your schedule!

Oh Look! Vegan Chilli! NBD
Best of all, it's delicious cold, and even better the next (next!) day as leftovers! YUM.

The verdict? Our carnivore loved it - and those leftovers didn't last very long. ;)



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