So Pinterest is my crack.  And I pin.  A LOT.  I found this yummie rice called Fiesta Lime Rice all 3 of those words sound darn yummie to me!  So this recipe is not only super easy to make, but it is also super duper yummie.  We added a bit more cilantro & lime than it originally called for, to our taste, as you can as well.  And for our main course, since we used this as a side item, we used Gardein chick’n scallopini and seasoned it up with some Emeril’s Original Essence.  Boy was this a tasty and filling yummie vegan meal!

The photo does it no justice, the flavor was awesome!  Pair that with some nice Sauvignon Blanc or Reisling and you’ll be in heaven!

Enjoy!!!

Fiesta Lime Chicken

SO…Saturday morning we open the fridge and to my dismay…not a lot of options.  But we’re SO hungry.  My hubby said we needed to eat the Seitan we had made (see my DIY Seitan post for yummie and easy Seitan) so I was trying to think of what we could do.   I saw some leftover Louisiana Wing Sauce & decided I can cook the seitan in that, for added flavor and heat (spice) and then determined that I should grab some kidney beans and toss it in there as well.  So while I was grabbing my ingredients, my hubby pulled out some hash browns, added some paprika, cayenne and garlic salt as well as some fresh garlic and got to work.  The hash browns always take longer, so after they were starting to crisp up (I like things VERY crispy,) I tossed the seitan on.  I cut it in tablespoon sized pieces and threw it in my cast iron skillet.  Then I tossed about 4 tablespoons of Loiusiana Wing Sauce on it and let that cook for a bit, and threw in the kidney beans (I only use 365 brand, no salt added, canned beans if I use canned, which I did) and heated them for a brief moment and voila!  Tasty and not too bad calorically, but super filling, protein rich VEGAN breakfast.  So if you’re in a pinch for a delightful meal…whip this up!

Okay, so my love of kale runs deep.  So does my love of Annie Shannon.  The woman is a vegan icon.  She and Sarah Kramer have made my vegan life a snap.  They know their food and they love to cook.  And they share with us.  It’s true love people.  So, my life is a bit upside down…between a dying grandma, a stressed out Mom, being pulled in a million and one directions…I need good food and good wine.  My Mom, a definite non-vegan, needs it too.  So we invited her over for a Friday night feast.  Beef(less) Bordelasie with rosemary potatoes.  Now people…the damn potatoes took a million years.  Suggestion, because our oven SUCKS at our rental house, is to boil the potatoes for 20 minutes until they are fork tender.  THEN head on over to the roasting.  I know it’s an extra pot to wash, and more clean up, and 20 more minutes of cooking.  But it’s SO worth it.  Because our sucky oven took over an hour to cook the darn potatoes.  ARGH!  Thankfully red wine saved the day and Mom and I more than indulged on some wine, crackers and garlic hummus to fill our bellies.  So, do the prep, cook your potatoes first and then seriously just prep the rosemary potatoes with the seasoning, etc. and set them aside while you create this magnificent feast!

The Beef(less) bordelaise was not just worth it…it was so worth it.  It was worth it to the extent that I almost felt like I was a patron in the (cheesy, I know…but I still love it) movie Simply Irresistible with Sarah Michelle Gellar (Prinze.) Don’t hate me because I love love love cheesy chick flicks.  Please.  But there is a scene where she has just cooked a magnificent meal and the guests, as they eat are floating…literally.  It was that kind of out of body amazing experience.  Now, my other suggestion in cooking this is to use a sweeter red wine.  If you can find a sweet (very lightly sweet…not moscato sweet) red wine, and use this…you may actually die and come back to life the food will be so good.  I’m not being dramatic…make sure you’re safely seated upon eating this meal.  We enjoyed it greatly.  Nothing will take you back to your carnivorous nature much like a meal like this.   And your tummy can rest in knowing it hasn’t harmed anything living.  Ahhhhh…enjoy the meal and the red wine you find to accompany!

So Valentine’s Day I wasn’t feeling particularly energized to cook, as I wanted to.  But nevertheless, I was really excited about another Pinterest recipe I had found which was called Seitan Roulade with sage and sweet onion stuffing.  As per usual Clements manner…we didn’t have bakers twine so we used yarn instead…lol.  My craftiness mixed in with my love of cooking.  HA HA!  So…I did have enough sense to pre-cook the potatoes so at least they didn’t take too long.  But this was a labor of love.  Love my pun on words…for Valentine’s Day…a labor of love…get it?!  Oh I am a funny one.

So we whipped up this dish in just over an hour, and we savored it.  Oh did we ever savor it.  The sage flavor was just to die for.  And the stuffing was so good we seriously could have eaten it as its own meal.  Now this was our first big non-E2 dinner since January…and the oil definitely hit our guts because it’s pretty butter/oil laden but I would do it all again because the flavor and taste are so so good.  This recipe came from another vegan blogger Olives for Dinner who I am now following and loving her taste in food and inventiveness as well.  We did the seitan with the stuffing as the main, and then had the rosemary potatoes and mixed veggies on the side.  Absolutely to die for people.  Make it, just do it.  The photos don’t do it justice, but I am having my mouth water just thinking of the experience right now.  Oh happy day.  Happy Valentine’s Day right?!  We found a new love…and that was the sage and onion stuffing…oh yum.  Enjoy the photos and go make this recipe!

Okay folks…so before we got on the healthy-ful kick we’re currently on, we decided to indulge.  My favorite vegan blogger Annie Shannon over at Meet the Shannons provides us with constant yum.  We found this wonderful Breakfast Bake recipe and it enticed us to eat this on New Years day.  And boy did it NOT disappoint.  Now we substituted out some things, like we used actual hash browns instead of grating out a potato (less work,) and we never use the liquid smoke because it changes the flavor so much and it’s not our go to ingredient.  Instead of green pepper, we had several mini peppers in red, yellow and orange to eat, and I prefer them as they are actually a bit sweeter.  And we definitely used more nutritional yeast…and then my go to ingredient, is ALWAYS Louisiana Hot Sauce on top of everything.  Gosh do I love that stuff.

I am not going to put the recipe below, as I linked it above, and it is quite long.  It’s worth the prep and well worth the wait.  It’s satisfying, not too calorie dense and loaded with protein and flavor!  Eat up people, it’s the perfect Sunday morning treat, or a great Christmas morning or Boxing Day, or New Years Day treat.  It will not disappoint.  Photos below for your drooling pleasure!

Cream Cheese Brownie PieBy now you all know that www.meettheshannons.com is one of the best vegan resources out there.  I was looking for a fun and different dessert to try, while having a massive chocolate craving…and stumbled upon the recipe for the Cream Cheese Brownie pie.  When I saw what it looked like I wanted to jump into the website and devour it!  So, again, I followed AJ’s careful directions and ended up with one sweet brownie pie.  We ended up taking this to my Aunt’s home to share for my cousin Alexa’s going away party.  There ended up being one piece left…It’s truly just THAT good people.  The brownie was moist and light and the cream cheese layer on top was absolutely sinful.

It’s truly one of the easiest desserts to make, since most vegan baking experiments take me the better part of an afternoon and this was about 30-45 mins prep time and 45-50 for baking.

I was the only true vegan eating this brownie pie, and the audience of meat eaters received it and devoured it well.  So head on over, once again…to http://www.meettheshannons.net/2010/06/betty-crocker-project-cream-cheese.html and get baking people!  I loved this pie and so will you!  There sure is nothing about it that TASTES LIKE VEGAN at all J

For my Mom’s birthday we decided to make Pecan Crusted Seitan from the Kind Life cookbook.  Since we also intended to try to make Seitan from the Sarah Kramer cookbook ‘La Dolce Vegan!: Vegan Livin’ Made Easy,’ and we had some time I dug in and determined to do it ourselves!  Seitan is a great meat alternative, and we like to use it to replace chicken in a lot of dishes.  Don’t get me wrong, the West Soy ‘Chicken Flavored’ seitan is absolutely awesome, but it’s also pricey, and it comes in small pieces and odd shaped pieces.  For this particular recipe, we thought it would be better to have small ‘cutlet’ shaped or filet type pieces of seitan versus the odd shaped ones we get in the premade seitan.  So we pulled out the recipe and got to it.  The recipe is essentially just wheat gluten and water.  You can boil it in a mixture of water and spices or flavors that you choose in order to season it more.  We chose not to add some of the spices recommended and just boiled it in nutritional yeast, water and soy sauce.  After that we baked it for about 15 minutes to get it a bit more solid.

It was more spongy than chewy, but it was still very very good.  And a lot cheaper to make than to purchase!  It’s $4.99 for a pound at Whole Foods, versus probably $1 or less to make.

I am going to post the recipe as found in Sarah Kramer’s La Dolce Vegan! But we adjusted the water and flavor recipes to our liking, I suggest you do the same J

Basic Instant Gluten:

½ cup instant vital wheat gluten flour
½ cup water

*it is suggested that it makes 2 large or 4 small servings

Faux Chicken:

2 cups water
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tamari (soy sauce)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried sage
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp celery seed

*you are to bring this to a boil and slice the gluten into steaks or slices and drop it into the broth.  Then you simmer for 50-60 minutes and either use it immediately or feeze for use up to 6 months; via fridge it suggests its good for 6 days.

**we did use the onion powder, and I always replace salt with garlic salt, as I am a garlic fanatic; and I did not use the sage or thyme or celery seed.  I hate celery for some reason so we left that totally out.  And we at least doubled the nutritional yeast.  It was quite tasty!