Living the WELL Life

Meat Lover's Makeover - by Christina Pirello

Thursday, September 09, 2010

My husband and I are the vegans of our big family and we hear from people all over the country who are vegan or vegetarian and living with meat-eaters.  Newsflash: the two can peacefully coexist!  But it is easier if all can partake in the same meal.  So I've created a menu of casual eats to satisfy the meat-eaters and the veggie lovers alike.  Enjoy!

Philly “Cheesesteaks”
Spicy Coleslaw
Cheese Fries
Farro Salad with Peas, Favas, Arugula and Tomatoes

Philly “Cheesesteaks”
1 pound seitan, shredded
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
sea salt
4-6 slices vegan cheddar cheese
4 whole grain hoagie rolls

Shred seitan. Heat oil in a skillet and sauté onions with a pinch of salt until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add seitan and season lightly with salt. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Split rolls and lay a cheese slice in the roll. Top with seitan and onions and serve hot.  Makes 4 sandwiches.

Spicy Coleslaw
1 small head green cabbage, finely shredded
2 cups fresh/frozen corn kernels
3 roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 jalapeno chili, finely chopped, (seeds left in for more hot flavor)
Sea salt

Combine cabbage, corn, peppers and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Whisk together vinegar, oil, cumin, chili and salt to taste.  Toss with vegetables to coat. Chill completely to allow flavors to develop.  Makes 4-6 servings.

Cheese Fries
2-3 Yukon gold potatoes, washed well
light olive oil for frying
sea salt
4-5 slices soy cheese, melted over low heat until liquid

Cut the potatoes into long spears (do not peel) and soak them in cold water. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a deep pot over medium heat. When the oil forms patterns in the bottom of the pot, the oil is hot enough. Turn heat to high and begin frying potatoes until golden brown, about a minute. Drain on paper, toss with salt and transfer to a small plate. Spoon melted cheese over top and serve.  Makes 3-4 servings.

Farro Salad with Peas, Favas, Arugula and Tomatoes
3 cups spring or filtered water
1 cup farro, rinsed well
Sea salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup fresh/frozen fava beans (or baby lima beans)
1/2 cup fresh/frozen baby peas
2 cups baby arugula
3 plum tomatoes, diced, do not seed
3 sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed, left whole

Place water and farro in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt, cover partially and reduce heat to low. Cook until farro has absorbed all liquid, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in oil, vinegar and a light seasoning of salt to taste.

While the farro cooks, bring a pot of water, with a pinch of salt to a boil. Cook fresh fava beans for 3 minutes. Add peas and cook 1 minute more. Drain well and cool in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again. Gently fold fava beans and peas into farro mixture.

To serve, arrange arugula on a serving platter and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Just before serving, stir tomatoes and basil into farro, taking care not to break the grain or peas too much in the mixing. Spoon onto arugula and serve. Makes about 4 servings.

1 cup brown rice syrup
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup malt-sweetened non-dairy chocolate chips
3 cups crispy brown rice cereal

In a large sauce pan, heat rice syrup and almond butter until creamy. Stir in chocolate chips until they melt. Remove from heat and stir in crispy rice until well-incorporated. Press into a shallow, square casserole dish. Allow to set until firm. Cut into squares and serve.  Makes about 1 dozen asteroids.  Note on variations: Any nut butter is fabulous in this treat. Peanut butter, cashew or hazelnut butter...yummy.


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