Hello there, this is Lauren from vegology (http://vegology.wordpress.com) and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to write a guest post for BranAppetit. Thanks Brandi! My blog is all about trying new things in the kitchen. All my recipes are meatless, and today’s post is vegan. Don’t be turned off by that though, I think this one has the potential to impress some meat lovers.
Have you tried seitan before? I have had it in restaurants and if you have ever had mock meat anywhere, you have probably tasted it too. Some people call it “wheat meat” because this wheat gluten based product has a texture similar to meat. It is an excellent source of protein and is a good meat replacement for vegetarians and vegans. Seitan is quite tasty when cooked in a variety of sauces because it takes on the flavor of the dish around it.
Unlike tofu, seitan has a dense texture that stands up better to cooking sauces. You do not have to worry about seitan soaking up a spicy sauce and lighting your mouth on fire like spongy tofu. You also do not have to worry about it falling apart in the pan. Seitan generally has a higher protein content and lower fat content than tofu, although both can be purchased in lower or higher fat versions. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big believer in tofu but there is something to be said for seitan, especially if you are transitioning to a less carnivorous diet and miss the texture and flavor of meat.
This is the box of seitan that I picked up in the grocery store:
I decided to make barbecue seitan tacos with some of the barbecue sauce that I picked up from Flynn’s Foods at our local farmers’ market. You can use whatever barbecue sauce you prefer, or if you are feeling adventurous – make your own!
Barbecue Seitan Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- One package (8 oz) seitan strips, sliced to uniform size
- ½ cup barbecue sauce (more if you’re feeling extra saucy)
- Hot sauce (optional)
- 1 avocado
- ½ lime
- 6 small taco size flour tortillas
- ½ cup fresh pico de gallo
- Optional toppings: shredded red cabbage or lettuce, cheese or sour cream for non-vegan tacos
1. Add barbecue sauce to seitan strips and marinate for 15-20 minutes in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Add barbecue seitan to pan and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until heated throughout. Add hot sauce to taste.
4. Wrap a stack of tortillas in aluminum foil and place on the top rack of a preheated 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on counter until ready to stuff tacos.
5. While cooking the seitan and warming the tortillas, slice the avocado and sprinkle with the juice of ½ a lime.
6. Assemble tacos by dividing the ingredients evenly among six tortillas: seitan, avocado slices, pico de gallo. Add optional toppings as desired.
Pico de Gallo
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 lime
- Salt and pepper
Note: I’m going to be honest with you – these proportions constantly change. I do not really measure when I cook, I just taste. So please feel free to adjust!
- Dice tomatoes and add to a medium bowl.
- Finely chop one onion. I cheated and used my mini-prep food processor because the tortilla chips in the pantry were calling my name and I could not be bothered with finely chopping one onion by hand.
- Finely chop the jalapeno and the cilantro. Make sure you remove the seeds from jalapeno because they hold a lot of heat. Also, consider wearing gloves while chopping the pepper, especially if you wear contact lenses. I always wear gloves now, after learning a few hard lessons that involved flushing my eyes with cold water in the shower after trying to remove my contacts while in a Corona and salsa induced haze. You will wash your hands, over and over. You will still burn your eyes when you touch them. And then you will stumble to the shower, blind and screaming, and you will stand under a blast of cold water that just barely numbs the pain.
- Toss together in bowl: tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and garlic. Sprinkle with the juice of one lime and mix in. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy with chips and on tacos. Try it on your eggs in the morning and your veggie wrap at lunch. This recipe makes an obscene amount of salsa that would take a normal couple almost a week to finish. It takes me and my boyfriend 2-3 days.
We enjoyed this meal with Redhook Rope Swing Summer Pilsner. Check out my Happy Hour post about it here. (http://vegology.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/happy-hour-redhook-rope-swing/)
Thanks again to Brandi for allowing me to share this recipe while she is traveling. I bet these tacos would be lovely after a day of hard work in sunny Honduras!