Here's a story of some ugly food porn. That was a-mocking me with its homely looks. Seriously, why does something that tastes so good have to look so horrible? Anyway, I do have a story for you.
Back when I first began cooking seitan, I was watching Food Network a lot and saw Ray Ray making chicken veronique. I didn't know what it was, but the idea of tangy mustardy goodness and sweet 'n' juicy grapes intrigued me. So I kinda just threw it together. It was a very fond memory of that time. It was the first house that Era and I lived in and I sorta miss that place. He grew up in the house, so I'm sure he misses it more.
Since it's Food Network Friday and we're doing budget week, I thought I'd share this recipe with you. Not as budget friendly as I'd like (damn grapes!), but super tasty. If you are not a mustard lover, this probably won't be your cup of tea.
Seitan Veronique w/ Couscous and Roasted Asparagus
(Adapted from Rachael Ray's recipe)
1 1/2 pound asparagus
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, stripped from 6 to 7 sprigs
Coarse salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegan margarine, cut into pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for a slurry)*
1 batch seitan (enough to serve 4, about a pound)
1/2 cup white wine, eyeball it
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 cup thick, non-dairy milk
1/4 cup grainy, stone-ground mustard
1 1/2 cups, about 1/2 pound, seedless red grapes, halved
2 cups couscous
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Trim tough ends off asparagus. Place asparagus in a large bowl and toss with about 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of chopped thyme leaves and salt and pepper. Spread the asparagus out on a cookie sheet and roast 10 to 12 minutes until the asparagus is tender and crispy at the tips.
Heat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat; add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons margarine to the pan. Place flour in a shallow dish. Season with pepper then dredge the seitan in flour and add it to the pan. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes until browned. Add wine and scrape up browned bits as wine cooks down and bubbles, 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup broth to skillet. Combine non-dairy milk and mustard and add to stock. Add grapes to the pan and turn seitan and grapes to coat and combine with the sauce. Simmer 5 minutes over low heat. Season to taste.
Bring remaining 2 cups vegetable broth and remaining tablespoon of fresh thyme to a boil in a small pot. Add couscous. Put a tight fitting lid on pot and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
*IF THE SAUCE ISN'T THICK ENOUGH ONCE YOU ADD THE SEITAN IN, MAKE A SLURRY AND DRIZZLE IT IN A LITTLE AT A TIME UNTIL IT THICKENS TO YOUR LIKING.
Seitan Veronique(serves 4)-$2.28
- vital wheat gluten-$0.67
- chickpea flour-$0.11
- red grapes-$1.50...Albertsons' grapes are crazy expensive
Asparagus (serves 4)-$1.78
Total Spent on a 30 Minute Meal-$5.56 or $1.39 per person! Well, add a few cents for the fresh thyme and margarine but you get the picture.
**All price breakdowns are assuming you have basic things like flour, oil, non dairy milk, common spices, etc. Everything else will be factored in. Also, the price listed is based on the amount used in the recipe.
More to come tomorrow and I promise some photos. But, for now, I only have this picture of my plantain bread. It sunk so you can barely see the almond decor on top. The stuff is seriously insanely good. And filled with flax-y goodness.