Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vietnamese Seitan Baguette with Savory Broth Dip





Today is October 1st. The first day of my favourite month of the entire year. And also the very first day of my very first attempt at VeganMofo participation.

VeganMofo (Vegan Month of Food) was started in 2007 over at the often imitated but never duplicated Post-Punk Kitchen, home of none other than Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The goal is to flood the old interweb with vegan food post after vegan food post, everyday, for an entire month. This year marks the 4th Annual Vegan Mofo and it is taking place for the entire month of October 2011.

Posting every single day of October is a pretty lofty goal for this gal. Paul looked at me as if I was slightly insane when I mentioned that I was considering it and then looked at me like I was totally insane when I said that I'd signed up. Between Thanksgiving, Oktoberfest, friends birthdays and Halloween, October is by far our busiest social month of the year. This should probably be a deterrent to doing this kind of project this particular month, but instead it's got me a bit excited - it means I will have tons of blog about!

A lot of bloggers are doing themed VeganMofo runs for 2011. I've decided that for my first time, in the name of making things a wee bit less intimidating, I'm just going to post about what's going on in my kitchen, regardless of type of food or preparation process. So the theme is all vegan, all the time. It is fall, though, so expect lots of autumn-inspired dishes.

Here we go. First post. And what better recipe to use than one by Isa herself?

The Vietnamese Seitan Baguette with Savory Broth Dip that you see pictured above comes from the one and only Veganomicon. I picked it because it gave me a reason to purchase vegan mayo:




There are lots of vegan mayo options out there in the world. And yet Vegenaise is the only option. In my opinion, anyway. We have bought other brands before. Used a spoonful and then threw the rest of the jar away.

The problem with Vegenaise is that it's pretty much a vegan version of crack cocaine and it is generally not permitted in our house. It leads to entirely too much reckless behaviour. Vegenaise on anything and everything, including just the spoon. I wish, for the love of God, that they would sell it in a smaller jar because we cannot be responsible for ourselves in the presence of such a large quantity.



The other cool thing about this recipe is that it gave me the opportunity to add to my spice drawer! I'd never made anything with Chinese 5-Spice before and I had a bit of a hard time even finding it here in Kitchener. It was right under my nose though - the specialty grocer next to my work had it and lots of other rare spices that I'm glad to have found out about!

Five spice is used as a means of providing balance to meals, as it represents the five major flavours: sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, and salty and is typically comprised of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, szechuan pepper, and fennel seeds. In this recipe, it's used to make that delicious dipping broth pictured at the start of this post - and it's the broth that makes this recipe so amazing!



I got a bit lazy and used full seitan cutlets instead of smaller slices. This definitely made it a bit more difficult to eat, but did remind me of the old oven-roasted chicken subs I would get in my pregan days. I think next time I'll follow Isa's advice and slice the seitan really thinly, or even give it the old "shredded" once over by roughly chopping it into tiny pieces. I was hoping to do the cutlets up on the grill out back but the rain set in before I got a chance. Next time!

Veganomicon is a vegan staple so I'm sure lots of you have it on your shelves. In case you don't, this particular recipe is available here on Google Books.

5 comments:

janet @ the taste space said...

Lovely! I look forward to following along with you. I have no planned themes this month either as I am a VeganMofo virgin, too. :)

Babette said...

I love that sandwich from Veganomicon... it tastes so good whe you dip it into the sauce!

I was the same with Veganaise... Buying a jar instantly meant gaining a few pounds, since we would just put a big spoonful to accompany each of our meals, whatever they were. Now I make my own mayo usually to save money. It's really excellent, but not as addictive as Veganaise, for sure... and since you see exactly what's in there, you know just how much oil there is in it.

http://veganepicurean.blogspot.com/2009/05/homemade-veganaise.html

Clare said...

It's amazing what other bloggers make you see in a new light. I've never wanted to flick right to the sandwich section of a cookbook before.

Mary said...

Janet - I figured just posting every single day was enough of a challenge for me. Looking forward to your updates!

Babette - Thanks so much for the recipe! What a great tip, both for financial and health reasons.

Clare - Before I went vegan I wasn't into sandwiches at ALL...they were a quick thing to throw in a lunch bag and nothing more. Now they're one of my favourite ways to put together a meal!

Jenn said...

Hi Mary! We met at the Marbles Raw Foodie event! I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog and will be reading Vegan Mofo from the beginning (I just discovered your blog again!) Also, if you are ever short on 5-Spice, you can quite easily make your own... a very easy recipe is: equal parts anise seed, fennel seed, ground cinnamon, whole cloves (ground), whole peppercorns (ground). There are variations with different kinds of pepper, you can experiment and have fun with it!

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