Cooking

No-Chicken Chicken Nuggets – Seitan (Wheat Meat)

Gluten warning! (If you are gluten intolerant, please do not try this recipe out; seitan is definitely not gluten free).

So, Seitan – also known as wheat meat. Seitan is basically wheat gluten (the protein that makes bread chewy). In itself, it is pretty flavorless, but it is definitely good for when you want something that has a bite to it. Seitan might also be where vegetarian/vegan food get a bad reputation (along with tofu, which I also thoroughly enjoy). The wrong brand of gluten sometimes has an off flavor, the texture might be really strange, and it might not be worth the hassle. This wheat meat, however, is very light but packs a lot of protein and also a lot of B-vitamins due to the nutritional yeast. What is this nutritional yeast? (I buy both of these in bulk online – pretty affordable). Nutritional yeast is a bit different from, although the same species, as Baker’s yeast and Brewer’s yeast. This yeast has been deactivated. It contains a lot of B vitamins – especially B12 (which is a little hard to get from plants). This gives the nuggets that savoriness and adds a nice complexity to the taste. The recipe below is for approximately 70 nuggets and only 3 ingredients (maybe 4 if you include flour for coating). You can make these as big as you want, flavor them however you want, and cook them any way you want.

Basic seitan

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2 cups of vital wheat gluten/gluten flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill (I’m not endorsed by them), but I found that their final product does not have that off flavor I was talking about). You can also add a little bit of this to your next bread and it’ll come out even better!

1/2 cup of nutritional yeast

about 1.5 cup of vegetable broth (I do this through bouillon, but you can definitely use your own or use different types of vegetable stock)

(Flavor these however you like; you can add poultry seasoning, soy sauce, vegan worcestershire sauce, etc…)

-You will also need an addition 6 cups of stock to cook the nuggets in. You can also change the flavor of the stock to change the taste of your seitan. This basic recipe will be delicious regardless. *Heat this while you are making the nuggets!

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All you have to do is mix the dry (the vital wheat gluten and the nutritional yeast) and then add the stock. Form a dough and break off little balls (a little smaller than golf ball size). The dough should not be very wet, but should still be a little tacky. Very easy!!

Drop these into simmering vegetable stock (again, flavored as you would like) and simmer for 30 minutes. In this time, they will expand a little. At the end of 30 minutes, drain.

While this is simmering, preheat the oven to 350F.

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When these are drained, coat them with some seasoned flour or bread crumbs. When all coated, place onto a lined baking sheet and then bake for 30 minutes. If you are going to coat these with sauce, I would recommend flour. If you are going to eat as is, I would recommend bread crumbs).

When finished baking, you can coat these with sauce. If you want to save some for the future, this would be the time to put them into a ziploc or a plastic container and freeze them. I baked mine with flour and then coated it with some honey barbecue sauce, and they were awesome! These are great anytime!

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This recipe is highly versatile, and you can treat these as you would any other type of nugget. If you want something a little sinful, you can even fry these!

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Mug Cake in a Microwave

The thing about living by myself is that I find it hard to control portions when baking for one. When I freeze batter, I forget about it. When I make a full recipe, I never finish it despite gifting some to friends. When I halve recipes, it’s still too much for me. So I absolutely love microwave recipes! This mug cake recipe is one of my all-time favorites because all the ingredients are pantry staples and the recipe is so versatile– add your favorite fruits/chocolates/nuts to the batter and top with any frostings.

Ingredients (adapted from Averie Cooks):
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix until just combined. Pour batter into a greased mug about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way (depending on the size of your mug).
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Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds. Keep a close eye while the mug cake is in the microwave to make sure it fully cooks and doesn’t overflow.
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I topped my mug cake with a simple Nutella cream cheese frosting. So delicious and satisfied my craving in one go, no leftovers to worry about!
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetHappy baking!
Annie

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies

Peanut butter & jelly is always a winning combo, even in cookies! These are my go-to cookies to make because they’re basically foolproof. If you’re not a fan of jelly, the batter is still a nice peanut butter-y base for any other add-ins– chocolate, nuts, marshmallows, etc!

Ingredients (adapted from SORTED):
7 tablespoons softened or melted butter
1 cup coconut sugar
1 3/4 cup flour (I used 3/4 parts white whole wheat flour and 1/4 part all purpose flour)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
~3 tablespoons peanut butter (to your liking, basically)
Your favorite jelly

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. First, cream the butter and sugar together. Once combined, add one egg. Mix evenly and add the other egg. Mix again!
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset(Note: I halved the recipe for myself, so the batter looks like a small amount in these photos)

Next, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients in increments to the batter. Once the dry ingredients and batter are just combined, stir in the peanut butter. The batter may start to get really sticky and hard to mix but don’t be afraid to use your hands at this point 🙂
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Then cover the batter and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes MINIMUM (if left up to overnight, let the batter sit for ~15 minutes to warm up before assembling and baking). This makes it easier to handle the batter and prevents the cookies from expanding too much while in the oven.

After 30 minutes, form ~1 inch scoops of batter and place on parchment-lined baking pan. Make an indent in the center of the cookie with your finger, and scoop jelly into the well. Bake cookies for 12 minutes.
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I love how soft and chewy these cookies come out, with just the perfect golden crunchy crust!

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Winter Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple, Leek Soup

As the only CBC member left in Ithaca (congrats to our founder Carmen for her early graduation!), I have to tell you it is FREEZING here (actually well below….)- which means, it is the perfect time for a hearty, healthy, tasty, winter roasted soup! This soup’s recipe is vaguely flexible, feel free to add or subtract vegetables (or liquids) to taste- I always do.

p.s. this would go GREAT with David’s corn muffins from last week! 

pot of soup!

Ingredients:

3lbs of butternut squash

2 apples

3 leeks

1 head of garlic (thats right I said head)

Olive oil

Herbs/seasonings (I used rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper)

Chicken stock (about 2 cups)

White wine ( a generous splash)

Apple cider (to taste)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375

Peel and cube squash and apples (squash can be bought pre-cut), and slice the leeks (only the white parts). Then, peel every clove of garlic on the head (every single one).

Take garlic cloves and the cubed vegetables/fruit and spread on an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet. Toss vegetables lightly in olive oil and season with your herbs and salt/pepper.

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Put the vegetables in the oven, and cook for about 45 minutes (or until the squash can be easily pierced by a fork).

About 10 minutes before the vegetables are done, combine liquids (stock, wine, and apple cider), and bring to a boil. (In total there should be about 2 1/2 cups of liquids in the pot- so whatever proportion of liquids you want to do- go nuts!)

Take the vegetables out of the oven and put them in the pot with the liquids. Let the vegetables and broth simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Finally, take your immersion blender (or pour your pot of soup into a conventional blender), and puree away!

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Enjoy your soup with parsley or chives, and goat cheese for garnish!

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Bibimbap

One of the favorite things I like to make is bibimbap, which translates to mixed rice. The variety in the dish comes from the meats and vegetables you mix with the rice, the condiments, and the way you prepare the rice. This, in my opinion, truly elevates rice to another level. Feel free to change it however you like. Bibimpbap is a dish that is elegant in its simplicity and execution.

Things you will need:

Condiments/Sauces:

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Soy sauce (Any brand will do; if you purchased a Korean soy sauce, make sure that you check that it is not soy sauce for soup, since this type of soy sauce is fairly salty)

Gochujang (Hot pepper paste) – You can always substitute a little Rooster sauce or Chili Garlic Sauce

Sesame oil (This is essential)

Fixins

Most of the variety comes in the fixins – the vegetables and meats that you want to include in your dish. The following is what I had on hand.

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Spinach

Mushrooms

Mung Bean Sprouts

Eggs

Cucumbers

Avocado

Zucchini

Other things: beef, tofu, carrots, gosari…anything you want to have

Instructions

Spinach: Sauté with a tsp of oil and garlic. When cooked, add a tsp of sesame oil

Cucumbers: Julienne (cut into matchsticks) and place aside

Zucchini: Julienne. Cook in a tsp of oil and add a tsp or two of soy sauce. Cook until tender.

Mung bean sprouts: Sauté in oil and add a tsp of soy sauce

Avocado: Dice and put aside.

Mushrooms: Slice. Sauté in oil and add a tsp of soy sauce

Eggs: Cook until over easy

Assembly:

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Place rice at the bottom of a bowl with a tablespoon of sesame oil. If you want to prepare dolsot (stone pot) bibimbap, place rice into a sesame oil coated dolsot and cook until crispy. Continue with other steps.

Add all of the fixins that you have made and top with an egg.

Add a dollop of gochujang and sesame oil to your liking. Take a spoon and mix.

Your final product will look like this:

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It’s that easy. You can use whatever vegetables you would like to eat or have on hand. The preparation steps are a little long, since each item needs to be prepared individually. The final product is definitely worth the effort, and I think this will be a great addition to your arsenal. The creaminess of the avocado and the freshness of the cucumber really meld all the flavors nicely. Include anything and everything you have on hand. This is one of the dishes I always put in my rotation of dinners I prepare in the week.

Enjoy!

Tasty Autumn Homemade Apple Sauce!

This Apple themed baker’s collective post is brought to you in honor of Ithaca Apple Fest!

There is apple sauce and then there is apple sauce. Apple Sauce of the store bought variety can be tasty to be sure, but there is nothing like a nice hot steaming bowl of textured, delicious, sweet, tangy, tart, smooth, piping hot Homemade apple sauce.

Apple Sauce is incredibly easy to make. All you need are the following ingredients and an hour or two:

Ingredients:

Apples (as many as you want, the apples will cook down a lot, so feel free to get WAY more apples than you think you need – 1 peck of apples makes a quart of apple sauce)

Apple Cider (if you are short on cider, apple juice works fine, and in a pinch so does water)

A couple tablespoons of sugar (to taste)

Some cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice (to taste)

Step 1:

Get Your apples, Dennis of Little Tree Orchards at the Ithaca Farmers Market recommended we get a mixture of apple types. We had a full peck of red deliciouses, honey crisps, Idareds, and Jonagolds.

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Peck of Apples from Little Tree Orchards purchased at the Ithaca Farmers market, but could also be picked at the Orchard itself!

Step 2:

Peel and Chop the Apples! There are some fancy apple core removing devices out there, but if you have the time its just as fun to sit down with a friend and become a peeling chopping duo! (I would do about 3/4 inch sized pieces- but it doesn’t really matter the size- but just so you know, the bigger the piece the longer the sauce takes to boil down)


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At the end of your endeavor you will have a whole pot of chopped apples and a whole bunch of apple peels

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Step 3:

Put your apples on the stove and turn up the heat. Add some apple cider (apple juice, or water works too!), some sugar (it doesn’t need much but if you have a sweet tooth put a couple of table spoons), and your spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice etc).

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Step 4:

Bring your pot to a boil. Once boiling turn it back down to a simmer. Let your sauce sit stirring occasionally, if you notice your pot is running low on liquid just pour some more cider in to make sure that it doesn’t burn. This whole process should take 1-2 hours. Depending on how chunky/textured you want it you can take it off sooner. I usually like some crunch so I only boil it for an hour.

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Bubbling Apples! Yum!

Step 5: 

Enjoy your delicious apple sauce, on its own, hot, cold, in a pie as a filling, or as a delicious topping for some pumpkin ice cream.

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What a tasty treat!

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