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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.



Barbecued Seitan Staff Lunch.

Friday was another one of those marathon-type cooking days.  I had to cook a full staff lunch for our wonderful crew, and then turn around and stay to serve a 4-course dinner to a group of out of town guests. 

Let’s start with lunch!  There was so much crazy cooking going on these past few days, I didn’t even really get to take any prep pictures.  But I did get lots of pictures of the final product, which is all that really matters, right?

I designed my menu around a sort of barbecue or picnic theme – starting with coleslaw.

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I made this using a mixture of shredded cabbage, carrot, and kohlrabi – all sliced thinly on a mandolin.

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Added some julienned bell pepper, and a dressing made of veganaise, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and honey.

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It turned out really well!  A big hit at the lunch, with many people going back for seconds.

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Next up – potato salad.  I used a recipe from Vegetarian Times for Curried Potato Salad with Toasted Cumin.  To be honest, I didn’t think the original recipe turned out very good.  There was waaaay too much dressing, and something lacking in the flavor.  I added a few extra things, including a few tbsp of agave to brighten the flavors a little and help save the dish. 

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To lighten up traditional potato salad, this recipe used Greek yogurt!

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This ended up being okay, but I probably wouldn’t use that recipe again. 

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Third dish – roasted beets.  I hadn’t planned to make this originally, but the day before our farm guy brought my a HUGE trug of beets, so I did what I do best and thew them onto a roasting pan. 

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These were all different varieties of beets, and the looked so pretty in the bowl together.  The great thing about this job on the farm is how comfortable and familiar I’ve gotten with ingredients that used to be foreign and scary to me.  Prior to June, I had never cooked a beet in my life, and now I know about 20 different ways to cook them,

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And last but not least, the main dish – barbecued seitan.  Each week I am challenged with sharing some facet of healthy vegetarian eating with the farm staff, so I thought this week we could explore meat alternatives. 

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Seitan is a meat-like product made of wheat gluten, and it is by far the most meat-like in texture and appearance than any other substitute.  I don’t eat much of it at home, but I thought I would make it for the staff to show that there are good, hearty meat alternatives. 

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I made a barbecue sauce with ketchup, Dijon mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar, dark brown sugar, salt, lots of black pepper, and molasses.  Mmmmmmm mmm mmm. 

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One of our farm interns has Celiac Disease, so I made her a side of barbecued tofu because she wouldn’t be able to eat the seitan. 

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I had a few pieces
of both – totally delicious.  Note to self:  make barbecued tofu more often!

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Served along side a plate of whole wheat hamburger buns…

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Hard to say whether or not the seitan was a success.  It is challenging to present healthy vegetarian meals to a group of country farm boys, but so far they have been very nice and open minded.

The rest of my day was spent racing around getting ready for my next event – a prepared and served gourmet feast – all by myself.  Gulp.

Coming up next!

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18 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen)     at 7:49 am

Everything looks delicious! I have never roasted beets before. When I see a food I have never cooked before it is kind of shocking after going to culinary school. I really want to try it though. They look and sound so good! Good luck with the gourmet feast!

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Heather     at 8:22 am

That coleslaw looks great! Good luck luck with the feast!

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Anne     at 8:32 am

Everything looks so good, especially that coleslaw! Good luck with the feast!!

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Chelsey     at 8:39 am

That was so nice of you to make a separate dish for the person with Celiac – I always tell people don’t cater to me” when it comes to food if I’m going somewhere to eat, but if someone goes out of their way to make something special for me, I am eternally grateful. It’s hard to eat when I don’t make it myself, so can you just cook for me? I’ll pay you big bucks.

[Reply]

Annie@stronghealthyfit     at 9:29 am

I love seitan! My mom makes it from scratch sometimes, and I’ve had it in a good vegan restaurant also.

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Jackie (Peaces of Earth)     at 10:50 am

Wow, this all looks SO great! That BBQ sauce looks good enough to drink straight up. :)

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Amber K     at 11:52 am

Yummy! I love making my potato salad with greek yogurt, gives it an amazing creamy texture with all that extra protein.

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Dorry     at 12:49 pm

It all looks delicious!

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Katie     at 1:06 pm

How do you make the bbq tofu? Just cook it like normal? It looks delicious!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I seared it in a pan first for a few minutes on each side, to give it some texture. Then I dumped in the sauce and let it simmer and reduce for about 10 more minutes before eating. YUM!

[Reply]

Errign     at 1:22 pm

Seems like every time I experiment with a meat alternative, I douse in bbq sauce & call it a day – nice to see I could do it with seitan too! :)

The roasted beets look good & I don’t even like beets :)

[Reply]

Meagan     at 3:28 pm

WOW. The slaw and roasted beets look AMAZING. Roasted beets recipe + dedicated post, please?

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Sure thing! :)

[Reply]

nicole     at 3:33 pm

I giggle whenever you talk about them bringing you beets to cook- all I can think of is Dwight Schrute’s Beet farm on The Office! That BBQ spread looks heavenly!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Haha I love the Office. :)

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Erin @ A Girl & Her Mutt     at 4:46 pm

The coleslaw looks FANTASTIC. I’ve been seeing kohlrabi everywhere!

[Reply]

Sabrina     at 7:37 pm

Knowing as many farm boys as I do I can’t imagine how you’ve managed to not include any red meat! That’s fantastic that you’re giving them a new viewpoint!!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

doing my best! :)

[Reply]

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