Friday, July 10, 2009

Everything's Better When It's Homemade!

There is just something so gratifying about making things yourself! Not only because they usually taste better and are healthier than when store-bought, but when you are biting into your homemade creation, there is a great sense of accomplishment and pride in your hard work. I love this feeling, so this week I tried really hard to make as much as I could from scratch! It was a lot of fun...and tasty, too!

For breakfast, I have been munching on the Bakery-Style Berry Muffins from Isa's Vegan Brunch. These are perfectly sweet and fluffy and satisfying in the morning with a little schmear of Earth Balance and berry jam. This makes me want to try all the VB muffin recipes now! No good vegan could go around tauting homemade goods without mentioning seitan! I love seitan made from scratch! It has such a wonderful flavor and is so easy. Most of my dinners this week have been centered around the Steamed White Seitan, a tester recipe for Terry's upcoming Vegan Latina cookbook. This seitan is supposed to be for chicken- and pork-type dishes, as it has a mild flavor and is spiked with delicious herbs and seasonings.For the first meal in which I used the Steamed White Seitan, I made the Arroz con Seitan, another VL test recipe. This is Terry's veganized take on Arroz con Pollo, a very traditional Latina dish with chicken, rice, and veggies. It was delicious!! First the seitan is marinated and grilled...Then combined with the rice, a delicious broth made with beer, and lots of veggies--including green olives, which I adore!! Very flavorful, hearty, and even nice on a hot summer evening with a side of juicy local tomato slices!Then last night for dinner, I used the seitan for Chipotle Seitan and Potato Tacos, a VL test recipe as well. I love love love tacos, and these were amazing! I prepared these for my friend Sarah and myself, and we devoured every last bite. Perfect on a hot night, with all the heat from the chipotle peppers to make you sweat!
I even made my own Soft Corn Tortillas for our tacos! This was my first time making homemade tortillas, and it was surprisingly easy! These were a Vegan Latina test recipe, of course! I think I will be making these all the time now!
These spicy, savory soft tacos are filled with a chipotle and beer marinated seitan that has been grilled, roasted then pan-fried sweet potatoes, shredded cabbage, the Pickled Red Onions (a VL test recipe I had leftover), and a Lime Yogurt Crema, which is Terry's spin on a sour cream-style sauce....lots of lime and cilantro and yum! I cannot stress enough how awesome these were and how excited everyone should be about the VL cookbook! woo!
And, of course, there's nothing like a homemade pie for dessert! My wonderful friend Cody had a birthday this week, and he requested a peanut butter pie instead of the traditional b-day cake. So I delivered! Celine at the Have Cake, Will Travel blog posed this PB & J Pie recipe not too long ago, and it caught my eye (and taste buds!). I made a homemade whole wheat pie crust and filled it with layers of peanut butter-based filling and raspberry jam. This was awesome! Peanut butter is good just about any way you throw it at me, but this was exceptional! It was even more perfect with some freshly-brewed coffee and lovely company!


nora said...

Wow, this is the best post EVER. I just made the Bakery Berry Muffins too! I literally just posted on them 30 minutes ago! Yours look great!

And homemade seitan is the best. I've never seen white seitan though--what a good idea!

I've also been eyeing that pie, anything PB&J is an A+ in my book-I cannot wait to make that! I feel like you always make the same recipes that I make (or want to make in the near future)! :)

Bianca said...

I've been wanting to make that PB & J pie too!!! And the chipotle beer seitan sounds like pure bliss. I love homemade seitan sooo much better than storebought.

Penny said...

I haven't made seitan for ages and you've inspired me to do it again! I love anything with peanut butter and that cake looks so good!

HayMarket8 said...

Looks like some outstanding food! I love the muffins! Vegan Brunch rocks!

veggievixen said...

woah, your tester treats look awesome! i love the idea of veganized latina food, it all looks so good! props to you for making your own corn tortillas, it's a lot of work but it's so fun! i agree with you about homemade things. so much sweeter somehow.