In keeping with the ‘flying by the
seat of my pants hem of my dress’ nature of Vegan MoFo for me this year (and in total defiance of the general forward-planning that my German heritage affords me), I still haven’t settled on daily themes for the month. What can I say, it’s been a busy month already!
As I mentioned yesterday, I picked up a couple of new cookbooks in Adelaide over the weekend. In addition to the super-fun Bake and Destroy, I also finally got my hands on Tami Noyes’ Grills Gone Vegan. I’d had my eye on this one for a while, but was trying to be a responsible adult and limit my book-buying splurges. But the weather over the weekend was so glorious that it just begged for barbecues and outdoor eating. We love barbecues, but we often find ourselves just taking a salad and some pre-made veggie burgers around to friends’ houses. We can do better, but needed the inspiration. So with spring upon us and the weather finally heating up, I’m proposing Wednesday night barbecues to get us through the working week.
Grills Gone Vegan has a ton of really creative recipes and methods, but I decided to dip my toes into the gas-warmed water with one of the more traditional recipes that first caught my eye- harissa seitan burgers. I had almost all of the ingredients for the burger patties at home already, so it seemed meant to be. Until I realised that I was out of foil for steaming the seitan, and that the barbecue was in need of a major de-spidering before being fit for human use. Minor setbacks! I made do with baking paper instead of foil (not really recommended- the patties took a lot longer to steam and caused me to eat far too much chocolate in hungry frustration while waiting), and cooked indoors on the stove. Not quite as whimsical as cooking outdoors as the sun sets, but the end result is almost as good.
We ate the burgers on Turkish bread rolls with the usual bits and pieces as well a quick harissa carrot salad (loosely based on the one from Vegan Eats World- by which I mean I couldn’t be bothered getting the book out, so I thew together the ingredients that I remembered) with a side of homemade Moroccan-spiced potato wedges (based on my favourite recipe from the Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions). The burger patties were a little soft, due to my steaming improvisation, but tasted great. Tami can definitely write a great seitan recipe, and these burgers are no exception. If I can get myself back into my usually vaguely-organised state sometime soon, I would love to steam a huge batch of these and have them stored in the freezer, ready for the grill next time we’re invited to an impromptu barbecue.
In non-food-related news, today I went out and about (well, just to work) for a full day without crutches for the first time in over two months. My knee was a little more swollen and grumpy than usual by the end of it, but it was totally worth it to be able to use my hands to do normal stupid things like texting while walking or carrying caffeinated beverages aplenty.
And if that’s not worth firing up the grill in celebration, I don’t know what is!