Monday, April 3, 2017

Carving Board Vegan Pastrami (I promise it's not meat!)

Oh, Pastrami! You are so salty and savory and fatty and just a tad sweet and taste magnificent with a big thick smear of deli mustard and provolone on toasty sourdough. My husband and I used to travel far and wide for a giant pastrami sandwich in our pre-vegan days, and the both of us really had a hankering for nostalgia.

We set out to recreate this old favorite at home using seitan and traditional pastrami spices. It had to juicy. It had to be tangy. It had to have that peppered crust. had to have that signature pink marbling. After all, we eat with our eyes first, and this had to look as authentic as possible. We wanted it to be like those artisan carving board sandwiches you see on all the food shows. You know, the ones they serve up at all the hipster gastro pubs.

Except ours, well, ours had to be vegan.

I can't remember who said it, but my dear friend Erin, from Olives for Dinner, shared a quote, "Treat your vegetables like meat!" and I really thought that was great advice. I mean, for the most part, animal products, especially meat, get seasoned with plants to give them flavor, right? So, why not simply cook plants using the same cooking methods used to prepare meat? Brilliant.

Vegan Carving Board Pastrami

For the Seitan Dough:
2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon ground mustard seed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup vegan beef-flavored vegetable broth (I like Better Than Bouillon No-Beef Base, or you can make your own using the broth recipe from my Vegan Ya Ka Mein.)
2 tablespoons mild flavored vegetable oil
Vegan red food coloring, optional

For the Dry Rub:
1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried coriander

For the Simmering Broth:
2 cups vegan beef-flavored vegetable broth
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sea salt
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf

To make the seitan dough: In a mixing bowl, add vital wheat gluten, flour, brown sugar, garlic, pepper, mustard seed, and salt. Stir to combine.
Create a well in the center and slowly add in the broth and oil. Using your hands work the liquid into the flour mixture until a sticky wet dough is formed.
Knead the dough for 5 solid minutes. You can do this right in the bowl.
If you want that marbled effect (tastes the same either way!) add in a few drops of red food color and knead some more to marble the dough. Add as much or as little as you like to get the desired effect.
Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes.
While resting pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Have ready a rimmed baking sheet and a large piece of foil.

To make the spice rub, simply mix together all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Lay the piece of foil flat on the counter. Tranfer the dough to the center of the foil and form into a rectangle-ish slab about 6-inches wide, 8-inches long, and 3-inches thick. This does not need to be exact.
Coat the entire surface with the spice rub, flip over and coat the bottom with the rub.
Roll the slab up in the foil as tightly as possible. If you need a second piece of foil, use it. (You need to wrap it as tight as possible so the seitan does not expand while baking. You want it to remain trapped in the foil so it remains dense, not bready.)
Place on the baking sheet and bake, wrapped, for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, carefully remove from the oven. Allow to cook for a few minutes before carefully unwrapping.
Place the partially baked slab in the center of the pan (you can line with parchment or anther piece of foil to help with clean-up, if you choose) and bake an additional 30 minutes uncovered.
It should be blackened and hard to the touch when ready.

While baking, prepare the simmering broth.
Add all broth ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes to make sure all the salt and sugar has dissolved, then reduce the heat to a medium low simmer.
Remove blackened Pastrami slab from the oven and allow to cool to the touch.

Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the pastrami into thin slices. As thin as you can! If you are lucky enough to have one of those deli-meat spinning slicers, now is an amazing time to bust it out!
Place the slices into the simmering broth.

Serve the pastrami straight from the broth.
If you are planning to serve it later, make sure to store the pastrami in the broth to keep it moist and juicy.

Yield: 2 pounds

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

What Should I Get My Vegan Friends for Christmas? Vegan Cookbooks! Duh!

Read all the way to the bottom of this post where you can enter to win a copy.
I am giving away a copy of each of these books, so just follow the prompts in the widget to enter!

For many of us, the Holidays are no longer about presents, like they were when we were kids. As a grown up I really enjoy the opportunity to meet up with friends and family over a drink, or a meal, and really spend quality time together joyfully in the spirit of the season. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the holidays! The amount of decorations that adorn my 700 square foot home is ridiculous and Christmas music blares from my car stereo as well as my house all month long. It's just the buying of "stuff" for the sake of buying "stuff" that really gets to me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Harvest Butternut Squash Stuffing and Seitan Roulade En Croute

Thanks to everyone who came out to Tanaka Farms on Saturday for the Plant Powered OC Vegan Holiday Cooking Demo and Talk. It was a great turnout and we had a super fun time!

A couple of notes about the following recipes. THEY ARE FLEXIBLE! Don't like pecans? Use walnuts. Don't like yellow onions? Use red ones. Don't like cranberries? Use raisins. Don't like wild rice stuffing? No worries, use your favorite stuffing recipe instead. Don't want to put the puff pastry on? Don't! It's all about making food that YOU like. Not me. So have fun with it.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Texas Hold 'Ems (BBQ Pecans and Ranch Salad Tacos) from Vegans Go Nuts!

Photo Credit: Susan and Ryan Asato of
Over the last few weeks I have been cooking up a storm. Nope, not at home. But for people interested in learning how to cook vegan! Nothing warms my heart more than teaching people how to cook without animal products and then hearing them afterwards telling me how much they loved the food. Its the best feeling in the world.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Easy Pea-sy Vegan Chicken Pot Pie

Just a week ago I was denying the fact that summer was coming to an end. I was determined to enjoy the most sunshine and blue skies possible. I love summer. It's my favorite season. I love tank tops and sundresses, the feeling the sunshine on my shoulders, and wearing less make-up so my freckles can shine through.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Watermelon Poke Bowls

Over the weekend I was out at Tanaka Farms teaching the third and final of my Summer Cooking Series classes. (Don't worry, next up is the Fall Harvest Cooking Series!) It's kind of a weird time on the farm...I mean it's the end of Summer, so our Fall harvest is not quite ready for picking and the Spring harvest has long since gone. Ripe seasonal produce is mostly tomatoes, corn, and melons. And when I do these classes, I really like to focus on celebrating the season's bounty, so my recipes always center around what's in season. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Vegans Go Nuts! Barbecue Pecans

book cover
Vegans Go Nuts! Celine's and my new book is now available!
I am super excited to announce the arrival of our new book! Celine and I were at it again, together, to create an entire book full of recipes that bring our favorite ingredient (NUTS!) to the forefront. No longer are they relegated to a sprinkle on top of salads. Nope. Nuts take center stage in this book, with recipes for basics, like nut milks, butters, cheeses, and mayos to entrees like the slow-cooked barbecue pecans in the Texas Hold 'Ems (on page 100) that I am excited to share with you below!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Purple Cauliflower Tacos with Quick Pickled Radish Relish

Sorry for posting two taco posts in a row. But, for the first time in my entire life, I am working a schedule which allows me to be home for dinner with my husband pretty much every night. Coming up with dinners that satisfy my need to experiment in the kitchen, and Dan's need for something "yummy" (I swear he eats like a 14 year old!) has proven to be a challenge, lol. But there is one thing we both can agree on, and that's tacos.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Life on the Farm...and Strawberry Salsa!

Ever since I started working at Tanaka Farms, I have wanted to put strawberries on everything!  More on those tacos at the end of the post, but for now, keep reading about this beautiful 30 acres I have been spending a lot of time on lately...

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese & A Giveaway!

If you know anything about me, you know I love me some Follow Your Heart. From Vegenaise to Creamy Garlic Dressing, to Vegan Scrambled Eggs, to Provolone Slices...I love it all. So, I was super excited to get a sample of the new Smoked Gouda Slices and the Parmesan Shreds to play around with in the kitchen.
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2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, or remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni