Saturday, March 31, 2007

Vegan Chipotle Mac! Seitan and BokChoy, Winter Minestrone, Buffalo Seitan Sandwich, Veggie Infused Marinara

Chipotle Spiced Mac and Cheez

I have been having an internal crisis regarding the dairy filled chipotle mac that I was going to enter in the recipe contest. I just couldn't get behind it for several reasons. First, it was filled with dairy. You don't even want to know how much. I personally don't believe in eating dairy, and while I'm not perfect about it (far from it), I just didn't feel good about representing my food with it. Second, it was wicked high in saturated fat and calories. As someone who struggles with my weight big time, how can I possibly feel good about putting a recipe out there that relies on gratuitous fat to carry it? The answer? There was no way I could do it. So, this morning, I have revamped my recipe and will send this new low fat vegan version in. It probably won't win, especially since I used whole wheat pasta, but at least I feel good about it. It only contained 9 weight watcher points per generous serving.

Spicy Seitan and Bok Choy

The cooking bug won over the discomfort in my finger.. (also it IS healing) and I threw together this super fast stir fry. Baby bok choy, garlic, onions, ginger, chile-garlic sauce and 2 tbsp of Newman's Own Sesame Ginger salad dressing came together in 3 minutes. I used 2 oz of seitan and the entire dish only has 4 Weight Watcher Points. It is in the fridge for a meal later in the week; most likely a quick breakfast knowing me.

Buffalo Seitan

This was another defrosted seitan cutlet, 2 oz (yes, I weigh my food) cooked in the the cast iron with cooking spray, buffalo sauce and 1 tsp of earth balance. I sauted an entire head of red cabbage and onions until it was very caramelized to have in the fridge, but figured it would be great on this sandwich. I was right. The white trash bread is a light italian bread containing 1 point or 80 calories per 2 slices. This sandwich had 4 points.

Winter Minestrone
This is a version of my original recipe that is in Vegan Family Favorites. I didn't use any oil, making up for it with roasted garlic. Delicious.. I love this soup. 2 cups of the version I made yesterday only had 5 weight watcher points. You can take this soup over the top by serving it with a tsp of pesto as a garnish.

Super chuky veggie marinara
I made a gallon of this sauce yesterday. I had some veggies I needed to use up, so in went zukes, epplant, green peppers, carrots and of course, onions and garlic. I pureed half of it to hide the eggplant and zukes from my youngest son and left the other half nice and chunky. I love the large pieces of eggplant after they have been slowly cooking in the spicy tomato sauce. I used fresh rosemary, thyme and basil and it is just delicious. One cup has 1 WW point. I don't add oil to the sauce, but will often add a measured tsp of extra virgin olive oil right to my bowl of pasta. A tiny bit of fat helps your body better absorb the lycopene in the tomatoes. A low fat tip I have for marinara sauce is to start the garlic, dried spices and red pepper flakes in a couple tbsp of balsamic vinegar mixed with a couple tbsp of water. Slowly, bring up to medium heat and then add the rest of the veggies. Obviously, this sauce freezes well, but make sure you puree it before you freeze it. The veggies don't come back with the same beautiful texture after they've been frozen.
I am working on a new seitan experiment.. It is in the oven right now. I'll blog all about it, regardless of how it turns out. It is for a lunch meat type smoked "Turkey Breast".


  1. Melody, I think it’s great that you decided to enter the vegan dish in the contest instead of the dairy filled one! You followed your instincts and have gone with what you believe is right…if only more people did the same! Even if it doesn’t win you can still feel good about yourself!
    I love that sandwich with the red cabbage and onions, it looks so colourful and tasty! Two slices of bread for 80cals/1 point…that is pretty cool!! And your marinara sauce looks beautiful, rich and delicious. I like the idea of adding a little olive oil to the pasta instead of the sauce.

  2. These all look fabulous. You should offer vegan cooking courses by correspondence. :) Love the cabbage (because I love cabbage and all things purple).

    Good luck with the contest. If you don't win, just chalk it up to the judges' undereducated palates! It takes a lot of work and commitment to be a good eater.

  3. Courtney3:23 PM

    Your marinara looks amazing! I love chunky sauces too--in fact, I will sometimes make a thick, chunky "marinara" type sauce and eat it like a soup or stew!


  4. Yum!!

    Everything looks beautiful, as usual. And I congratulate you on your hardwork with the mac n cheese...even if you don't win, it's great that you went with a vegan option.

    Quick said in your last post that you usually replace oil in dishes with roasted garlic. How do you do that?

  5. Is it a vegetarian times contest you're entering?

    The food looks great!

  6. Once again, a delicious post. I love the buffalo seitan sandwich. Looks very, very tasty as does the marinara & everything else. I'm looking forward to your next post with the "turkey" you're trying.

    BTW, I love the pooch mug in the post below. She's a sweetheart.

  7. Melody, I love the strength of your convictions. If your chipotle mac & cheese doesn't win that contest, that contest has its priorities in the wrong place- look at the color, the presentation, the flavor, the uniqueness, not to mention the health and nutrition of your dish! It's a winner to me!

    I'm loving the bright purple of your cabbage too. Everything is exploding with color- woo!

  8. Mary, I used roasted garlic to make up for the texture of oil.. You know how you can spread it on bread like a garlic butter? It works great is soups and stews in the same way.


  9. P.S. I have recipes in "Vegan Family Favorites" too- small world, eh?

  10. Having carmelized cabbage and onions in the frig ready for a yummy seitan sandwich sounds pretty scrumptious. I am making some b**fy cutlets today for the week. I am hankering a fajita with brown strips. Glad to hear your finger is healing.

  11. Woo hoo for vegan mac'n'cheese. I used to eat so much of that stuff (not chipotle, but all kinds of different veggies mixed in) when I was at uni. Your food looks amazing, and the photos are all GORGEOUS!

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