Sunday, February 14, 2016

Roast Seitan With Spring Vegetables...

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Though I normally go 'all-out' when it comes to holiday cooking, I just don't really have that level of dedication in me these days. Most often I'm looking to cook something simple and quick that's healthy and tastes good, and on those days where I like to spend a little more time on something I typically only make one really nice dish rather then a dozen.

So this year we kept Valentine's Day low-key. At first I struggled with what to make, and then I decided to make something French (of course!)  Last year when we were in Paris I bought a cook book, it's non-vegan but I wanted it because it was full of 'traditional' French recipes as opposed to 're-imagined' French-fusion. I love the idea of French food, even if I can't eat most of it, and I bought the book with the intention of trying to veganize some of the less common recipes.

As I was thinking about what to cook, it occurred to me that Valentine's Day was the perfect opportunity to try something new, so I dug the book out and flipped through it. Suddenly a recipe for Roast Lamb with Spring vegetables caught my eye. I have no idea what makes this dish inherently French, or if you can really consider it much of a recipe but something about the photo was appealing to me. All those tasty spring vegetables I imagined sitting around a Seitan Roast and it just seemed perfect. I'm tired of winter, tired of winter food, lets bring on the Spring already!  So here's my version of it, you could use any seitan roast you desire I suppose, but I made my own. I used the 'Moo-Free Seitan" recipe from "Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day" cooked it in the slow cooker then left it in roast form rather then slicing it as the book suggests. If you make your own roast for the recipe or buy a roast I suggest buying or making one that's beef flavored as opposed to chicken flavor. Beef and Lamb taste little alike, but Beef Seitan is as close as I'm coming to lamb in this life. I also used the original cooking liquid from the seitan roast as my stock, but you could use any vegan beef stock. Also take into consideration that a store bought roast will be much drier then a homemade one, so cooking time may vary.

Roast Seitan with Spring Vegetables

1 Large Seitan Roast
3 Sprigs Rosemary
3 Sprigs Thyme
6 Garlic Cloves Sliced Thin
1 Pound Baby Potatoes Cut in Half
8oz Baby Carrots Left Whole
2 Medium Sized Zucchini Cut into Rounds
6 Small Leeks or in lieu of that 6 Large Green Onions
2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Red Wine
2/3 Cup Vegan Beef Stock
Earth Balance as needed
Sea Salt, Black pepper and Garlic Powder to taste

- Pre-Heat Oven to 350'F

- Spray a large roasting pan with a little non-stick spray. Place the roast inside. With a small knife make several incisions in the top of the roast. Slip the sliced garlic into the incisions. Lightly season the roast with sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Add two small dollops of Earth Balance to the pan and place the roast in the oven.

- Cook for 15 minutes. Add the Potatoes to the pan remove the Rosemary and Thyme from their sprigs and scatter it over the roast and potatoes. Season the potatoes with a little salt and pepper then return to the oven and cook another 15 minutes.

- Flip the Roast over, season the underside with salt and pepper and garlic powder. Add the carrots to the pan along with another 2 dollops of Earth Balance. Return to the oven and roast for 20 minutes.

- Flip the Roast Over once more.  Add Zucchini and Leeks to the pan. (If using Green onions instead do not add them yet) Continue to roast until all the vegetables are fork tender.

- When the vegetables are fork tender add in the green onions if you're using them instead of leeks and roast for an additional five minutes until they are wilted and browned a little.

- Remove the whole pan from the oven. Transfer the Roast to a carving board and spoon the vegetables into a serving dish. Making sure to leave behind any juice

- Now to make the gravy. Heat your roasting pan over medium heat on the stove top. If there wasn't a lot of juice left over in your pan at the end of cooking add in two nice dollops of Earth Balance and wait for it to melt.

- Add the flour and whisk the flour around in the juice and EB until it has become a roux.

- Slowly pour in the stock, and then the wine, whisking the whole time. Season lightly with salt and pepper if you like and whisk slowly until the gravy has thickened to your liking.

-Slice the roast, divide it amongst plates, add a scoop of vegetables and drizzle with gravy. Enjoy with some nice red wine.

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