Monday, August 1, 2011

Yellow Rice, Beans, Seitan, Steamed Broccoli

I was really excited to make this meal, and really in the mood to cook.  It may not actually look like a lot, but it seriously took hours.  Hours!  Not kidding!  I woke up early yesterday while the Hubby was starting his baseball game, which he does every Sunday, and felt like cooking.  I have learned that when this happens, I need to follow my feeling, because it doesn't happen all that often anymore, especially now that I am cooking professionally for a family almost every day of the week.  Anyway, I went through the Viva Vegan cookbook, and I know I have said before that the cookbook looks awesome, but the recipes really should be saved for the weekend, or for a time when time is not the issue.  So I made use of that yesterday. The meal consisted of a lot of different elements, everything of which was homemade.  I made a batch of red steamed seitan from the book, which was not all that tasty (ok, if I am really being honest, it was pretty terrible!), and I ended up throwing the rest away that was not used for this meal because the flavor was too strong and the texture too strange.  I even made the anatto oil used to color the rice. 

I am not going to type up any of the recipes I used, because 1) they are in the cookbook, and 2) I didn't really like anything, so it wouldn't be very nice of me to type up something not tasty and potentially have someone try it and also not like it.  The broccoli and rice were tasty.  The flavorings in the seitan dish, aka the sauce, was tasty as well - think lots of onions, garlic, unchicken broth and wine, yum! - but the seitan itself just had such an overpowering taste.  The beans were just terrible.  It was a great idea, but I have a bean recipe I love and I really think I should just stick to that for the time being.  The idea behind a Dominican Style Sazon (Seasoning/Flavor), is to use all of the elements of Dominican bean cooking, which sounds great, and uses ingredients that I generally put in my beans anyway, but the way in which that went about is where things went awry.  The recipe called for blending onions, garlic, peppers, parsley and some other flavors in the blender - raw! - and then placing this mixture into a pot coated with oil and "frying" it for like 20 minutes.  I did it exactly like the recipe stated, then added the cooked beans, the liquid, etc. and simmered it for quite a while.  The texture was just really unpleasant, because realistically, how finely can you puree parsley leaves?  It had an overall grassy taste and texture.  SO, I think from now on, I will continue to prepare my beans that I know both Hubbs and I love.  But I will say though, the presentation of this dish was pretty amazing, and Hubbs gasped when he saw it, saying it looked exactly like how his mom used to make.  I now know how to make the rice, and with a different kind of seitan the seitan dish would work, so it was a good starting point.  And this is so far the only thing I have not liked from this cookbook.  So, perhaps when I have more time off, I will look to this book and attempt more of the recipes.

Steamed Broccoli, Yellow Spanish Rice with Garlic, Latin
Shredded Seitan, Red Beans with Dominican Style Sazon



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