What’s in the Crockpot? Part Two

February 4, 2011

How lucky are you, to have two games in one week!  I’d say really lucky.  I still don’t know if What’s in the Crockpot? is as popular as the the original version of this game, What’s in the RediSetGo?, but I trust that you all will let me know your thoughts in the comments section.  That’s what comment sections are for.

Before we play, though, I wanted to give a quick update to the egg re-boil I mentioned earlier this week.  As you’ll recall, I messed up hard-boiling some eggs by not cooking them long enough, so I re-boiled them, and was unsure of what would happen, or if they’d be edible.  The other night I tried a couple re-boiled eggs, and while I wouldn’t recommend them, they were edible.  Just chewy.  Very chewy.

OK – that’s out of the way, so back to the game.  Make sure your apron is securely tied around your waist, and your bonnet is securely tied around your chin, because it’s time to play!  Are you ready?

WHAT’S IN THE CROCKPOT?

SEITAN AND VEGETABLE STEW is in the crockpot!

Let’s jump back to the beginning.  A few days ago, I invited my friend Lisa to come over for lunch, thinking I’d whip up something healthy and delicious.  Then, at 11pm the night before she came, I realized that I hadn’t thought about what I was going to make.  So I started rooting through the fridge and cabinets, and voila!  A made-up-on-the-spot recipe was born.

When I got up in the morning, the first thing I did was prep a bunch of vegetables:

From left to right, that’s mushrooms, carrots, red onion, red pepper, 1 sweet potato, and green pepper.  Into the crock they went.

Then I added a box of seitan:

I first heard of seitan a few years ago, when I started eating at a vegan restaurant, Lotus Vegan, that had opened not far from me.  I saw it on the menu and asked what it was, and our waitress responded: ‘wheat meat.’  That piqued my interest enough for me to order it, and I liked it.  Its texture is very similar to chicken, and it tastes good.  I bet you could fool some people and actually pass it off as chicken pieces in a recipe, even.  I’ve had it a couple times at restaurants since then, but the other night at Whole Foods was the first time I’ve seen it a store, and, therefore, the first time I’ve bought it.

The box calls seitan ‘wheat protein,’ and it’s 120 calories a serving, with 2 grams of fat and 320mg of sodium.  From what I can glean from the interweb, it’s basically made from the protein that’s left in a wheat stalk after you wash away all the starch.  I also found a recipe to make your own seitan, but it looks like it’d take close to two hours to make, so I’d rather let WestSoy make it and have Whole Foods sell it to me for $3.39.

So the 8 ounces of seitan went into the crockpot with the veggies, and I also added some plum sauce:

A serving of plum sauce has 100 calories, no fat, and 520mg of sodium.  Since there was just two of us having lunch, and I anticipated having leftovers, I added 2 and 1/2 servings of plum sauce – 5 tablespoons.  I didn’t add any more liquid, because I know, from years of crockpot usage, that crockpots draw more liquid out of their ingredients than you could ever imagine.  So I powered the crock to ‘high’ and walked away.

Four hours later, Lisa were here, and we were chatting away.  We made a simple couscous to go along with the stew, which involved adding 3 scallions, 2 cloves of garlic, and a teaspoon of basil-infused olive oil to some plain couscous, and a pinch of marjoram, because neither Lisa or I had tried marjoram before, and it was sitting there, unopened, in my spice rack.

The end result:

The couscous was still a little bland.  I don’t make couscous too often, and I always forget that you really have to punch up plain couscous a lot (more than we did) for any flavor to come through.  Lisa also suggested making it with vegetable stock instead of water, another great idea.  The stew was tasty.  The plum sauce added a little sweetness but wasn’t too strong, and the seitan added a nice bite.

Keep it up, David!

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