Friday, April 10, 2009

Seitan "Philly Cheesesteak," non-vegan; Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie, non-vegan

No real recipes this week, as I haven't tried any new ones, just played around with some of the leftovers in my 'fridge and freezer. Turned out pretty good, too, I'm pleased to say, especially the Seitan "Philly Cheesesteak." The Shepherd's Pie was truly wonderful, and the fact that it's a "non-recipe" will make it easy for anyone to make one, honest, it really will.

Before I get to the non-recipes, tho, allow me to babble for a little bit, please...or hey, just scroll on down to get to the food stuff. I won't know, and, quite frankly, won't care, either, lol. Anyway, today makes 22 smokefree days for me. Seems like yesterday, #21, was one of the worst. I'm tired, I'm not sleeping well, I of course have cravings for a cigarette, and yesterday and today, for no reason that I can figure out, I am mega-depressed, to the point that I can't do The Next Right Thing, nor have I been able to function enough to even do The Routine. Sigh. BIG sigh.

Something wonderful did happen yesterday, tho, so even in the Black Hole, there shines a little light at times. Have I told you that I'm a greatgrandmother...and yup, I remember telling you. Anyway, I spent an hour with my two week old greatgrandson yesterday evening, while his mom and other greatgrands went grocery shopping. So I was able to snuggle with him in the rocking chair for a while, before I put him on the loveseat with pillows around him...just in case. He's so tiny, and gives off so much heat...and talks in his sleep, lol. It was nice, I enjoyed it, but sure don't envy my granddaughter for having a new baby!!!

So, about the food. First, the Seitan "Philly Cheesecake." My last attempt at making seitan, as I've told you, wasn't all that good, but I managed anyway to salvage most of it. Some of it is in the freezer, and some of it I had left in the refrigerator, for about a month?...maybe only three weeks. Anyway, it was fine, it kept very well...good to know for future reference. So, it was driving me nuts, trying to figure out what to do with it. Last Wednesday, while shopping at Kroger, I picked up a marked down package of hoagie rolls, which turned into the inspiration for the "cheesesteak." So, I cut the seitan into strips, and sauteed them in a mix of margarine, olive oil, and soy sauce, and after they'd browned a little bit, threw some steak sauce in there, too. While it sat there and cooked, I sliced a goodsized onion and let it caramelize. Then I dragged out the vegetarian smoked provolone cheese, as well as some chevre goat cheese, and put the chevre across the bottom of the bun, and then layered the provolone on top of that. Then the seitan and some of the juices, and then the onion. Wonderful. I was delighted with my "cheesesteak" sammich, I really was, and plan on making it again sometime. Everything was "to your taste," which is why there isn't a real recipe for it. Just make it up as you go along, ok? Little bit of irony here: I never ever liked the real Philly Cheesesteak, not at all, but I loved my vegetarian cheesesteak!!!

Ok, now for the Shepherd's Pie. Remember the post from last week, with the stew of sweet potatoes, beans, corn, and tomatoes? The one I didn't use the corn in ? Anyway. I sure had a LOT of that leftover, so one of the things I did with it was to make the Shepherd's Pie. I've also done that with a Lentil Stew, too, so you can make this with any kind of leftover, thick soup/stew you want to, or, if you prefer, of course you can start from scratch. I prefer not to do that, it's way too much work, lol. Anyway. I boiled four smallish potatoes, and I'm going to tell you right now, that wasn't enough, I should've boiled more. While they were boiling, I sliced a big onion and let it caramelize, in quite a bit of olive oil and Earth Balance, a vegan margarine substitute that I decided to try, and don't especially care for...I'm still a Blue Bonnet person...and quite a lot of smoked paprika and black pepper for seasonings. I scooped about four ladlesful of the stew into an oiled 9"X5" loaf pan, and laid three slices of the provolone cheese on top, along with two slices of so-called "cheddar" cheese...the cheddar isn't very good, but I hate to see it go to waste in the fridge, y'know. Then I smoothed the potatoes over all of that, and then the onions on top of everything. Put it in the pre-heated oven, 350ºF, and left it there for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes were browning a little bit around the edges, the cheeses had melted, and the onions were nice and crispy. This stuff is wonderful, too. I was sooooo pleased with it, and am pretty sure that it's what I'm going to re-heat this evening for supper. I'm not totally sure how to re-heat it, but I think I'll just put it in a skillet with a little water, cover it, and let it sit there for a few minutes...however long it takes it to heat thru. 15 minutes, maybe? I honestly don't know.

Maybe next week I'll have some "real" recipes for you. Until next time, Happy Eating.

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