Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Seasoned Crispy Seitan and Veggie Burritos with Black Bean Salsa

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Seasoned Crispy Seitan and Veggie Burritos with Black Bean Salsa

So yesterday, Brett went to the grocery store for Newman O’s, as he is obsessed, and since he was making the trip, I thought I would have him pick up some other things (sugar, flours, spices, extracts, veggie broth, soy and rice milk, agave, etc.) since he didn’t have a big list, and we generally have a list such that we can’t pick up much in the way of extras (since we walk home with our grub), so this was a good excuse to stock up on some stuff. Anyways, while he was there yesterday he happened upon what claimed to be the only organic sugar grown in the United States (it’s grown in southern Florida). Now I have to be completely honest, I didn’t know it was possible to grow sugar in the United States (and I graduated from college!), except maybe in Hawaii, which I don’t really count as the US in terms of ‘food miles’ since it’s not contiguous.

This is pretty exciting since I try to buy stuff from as locally as possible and keep my imported products to things like coffee, tea, chocolate, etc. I’m happy he found it and it is even a reasonable price. Maybe it is sad that I was so excited about this, but the baker and the environmentalist in me were equally stoked.

But anyways, last night I started to make a slightly modified version of Vegetarian Times’ Tempeh-Chili Burritos by switching out the tempeh for seitan and leaving the cilantro out of the Black Bean Salsa. As I was making the salsa, I decided I didn’t think it had enough flavor, so I modified that. Then when it came to the burrito itself, I noticed that the directions advised one to blend the tempeh (in my case it would have been seitan) and mushrooms together in a food processor and turn it into some sort of paste. Now I am OK doing things like this to beans or something, but pureed seitan and mushrooms just didn’t sound very good to me. So by this time, I decided to go my own way with this recipe as I had some veggies and spices I wanted to add as well.

So what follows is my take on what these burritos should have been like. You might notice that for a lot of ingredients such as spices and veggies, I don’t put measurements on many recipes (I will on recipes where proportions are important to the dish turning out), this is because everyone has their own tastes, these are the things that I put in this recipe, you might want to add more or less than I did, or change something else about it, so expect most of my recipes to be like this.

This recipes serves 2.

Black Bean Salsa
1-2 cups of cooked black beans
1/2 a pared and diced cucumber
canned fire roasted tomatoes, drained
1 avocado, diced
fresh lime juice (to taste)
cumin (to taste)
salt (to taste)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Seasoned Crispy Seitan and Veggie Burritos

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
mushrooms, sliced (I used lots)
yellow bell pepper, diced (any color bell pepper would do)
onions, diced
jalapeno, diced
1/2 a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
fresh lime juice
chili powder
cayenne pepper (optional)
olive oil
1/2 package of seitan, sliced into strips
1-2 tsp. egg replacer (I use Ener-G)
2-3 tbs. corn starch

tofu sour cream

In a medium to large skillet, heat about a quarter of a cup of water. Once heated add the mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, and jalapeno to the skillet. Cook until the veggies begin to soften, add the garlic – you may need to add more water along the way. Cook a few more minutes, and then add the drained diced tomatoes with green chilies.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine seitan strips and egg replacer. Toss and let sit for a minute.

Add olive oil to a medium skillet and warm over medium heat.

In another small bowl, combine corn starch and spices (except the lime) and toss seitan in it.

Add the coated seitan to the skillet with olive oil in it, and fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes or so.

While the seitan is cooking, add a bit of the spices to the veggies and squeeze the juice of about half a lime over them. Set them aside.

When seitan is finished, layer it and the cooked veggies in a warmed tortilla. Top with Black Bean Salsa, and of course, tofu sour cream.

The only thing I might do differently next time is heat the Black Bean Salsa a little and put it directly into the burrito as I ended up with what was essentially a burrito on top of a burrito. Just stuffing it all into a tortilla would simplify it a bit.

‘Til next time!


Lizzy said...

Yumm, that looks so good!
I think you made the right decision with not pureeing it. My grandma used to fill Pierogis with mushrooms finely chopped and one time she pureed everything... that tasted sort of, not disgusting but not good either.

Thanks a lot for the compliment, I should really start updating ssspectators more often, but somehow work is keeping me too busy at the moment =(

I know exactly what you mean. Why does it seem like there are so little people with a balance? Activists... well, I stay away from them, because like you said it brings you down when they tell you day after day how horrible everything is. So I rather shut it out and devote myself to things that make me happy.

I am probably bad for the economy ‘cause I don’t buy junk, just food and books.
Ha ha, I loved that!
In case I should have too much money I will definitely go for ED&BV, too. It's gotten so many great reviews.
I also thought about ordering The Uncheese Cookbook, but I've never tried any vegan cheese(haven't found it anywhere yet) so I guess that'll have to wait. But I'd love to hear your view on it in case you should buy it.

Mocha Chip Muffins, THANK YOU for reminding me. This was one of the first recipes I got online, but I never made them because I didn't have instant coffee powder. I bought it a few weeks ago, but totally forgot about it. I imagine they must taste wonderful with a nice cup of coffee!

So true about the China Study book. If he keeps thinking of veganism the way he does at the moment I think I'll buy the book and force him to read it ;)

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

Yum! That burrito looks delicious!

As for my pita chips, it's actually just my own random recipe. I preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a pita with canola oil, then sprinkle with course salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic power, and rosemary. (Or any other spices--I just kind of grab random jars that go together.) :) Then I bake for about 10-15 minutes, just until it's golden brown & crisp. Then cut with a pizza cutter (works better than a knife, in my experience), and eat up!! It's so ridiculously easy.

I didn't even know that 'Nomicon had a recipe for pita chips. I'll have to look to see how it compares to mine! :)

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

the crispy seitan looks amazing.
I found that Florida sugar (I'm actually from Florida) years ago and got excited too : )

Happy Herbivore said...

I know what I'm making once my cooking ware arrives on Friday! I love black beans!

p.s. my husband is OBSESSED with Newmans anything. Esp the Os.

Happy Herbivore said...

oh yeah! i forgot to say that i grew up in FL and sugar is grown there - in fact i remember eating sugar cane as a kid! i buy florida sugar to help support the state i grew up in

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Thanks to your post from the other day, guess what I am having for dinner tonight... ROAST VEGGIES :o).

Jennifer said...

Lizzy - Thanks, they were pretty tasty. I can see how when your Gma pureed everything, it not being quite the same. Certain things just aren't right pureed.

I understand what you mean about work keeping you busy, I'm and Institutional Researcher and we've been having all sorts of data issues here that have made doing my job difficult. But I really can't complain too much, the work isn't very hard, I have my own office, I basically just get left alone to do my thing. And I occasionally have time to read vegan blogs and sites like (it rocks by the way).

Balance is one of those things that seems to be difficult for people. So many of us are all or none types of folks you know? Take me for example, while I love my job and work hard when I'm here, when it's time to go home, work stays at work, I could never be a workaholic! I would like to think that this is balance - I enjoy my job, but it is not my life, and I am probably much happier for it. I'm also one of those people who feels like, I should really enjoy what I do, but should have a life beyond that, I save the stuff I REALLY like to do for my freetime.

I tried to get involved in activism a bit, as I feel that certain causes are very important (the environment, social justice, peace, animal rights, etc.), but found that, for the most part, we just continued using the same old tactics that don't work. And new idea are not necessarily valued as there is an activist ideology, and it seems when you try to change things, their minds close off. Not only is activism frustrating because of all the problems in the world, it makes it especially difficult when groups keep reinventing the wheel. I have to tell you, the tactics most activist organizations use not only would have NOT convinced me to join their movement, but it may have even turned me off. So, I'm lucky I sought them out after I had changed my mind and lifestyle on my own. I think people have to change on their own for the right reasons anyway, or the change will never stick.

Now, I simply donate money to causes I feel are worthy. I was never good at organizing anyway. I loved to dialogue with people, but not be out there with petitions and that sort of thing, so as I said, I just support them financially for the most part now.

I'm gonna be making the Mocha Chip Muffins this weekend! We'll have to compare notes. And I think most things, especially this, would go with a nice warm cup of (organic, fair trade) coffee. Mmmmm coffee.

Jess - Thanks for the recipe! That is awesome, I didn't realize it would be that easy to make pita chips. I am thinking of all sorts of spice combinations to go with different flavors of hummus!

Pleasantly - I wasn't sure about seitan at first, but I love it now! I'm also glad to hear that I'm not the only one who gets excited about odd baking things!

Happy Herbivore - Our partners would probably get along, I actually woke up one morning to find a half eaten Newman O on a sleeping Brett's chest. That was too funny!

That is awesome that you got to eat fresh sugar cane! I can't even imagine what that is like. I also think it’s pretty neat that you still help support your home state. Yay for Florida!

Chocolate Covered - Awesome!

(chandelle) said...

wow, those look amazing! definitely on the menu for next week.

Anonymous said...

fantastic buritos. I think I could eat them daily!

Lizzy said...

I should really enjoy what I do, but should have a life beyond that, I save the stuff I REALLY like to do for my freetime.
This is so true. Well, I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that we realize for ourselves how balance is neccessary to make one able to live a happy life.

I wish I could donate some money, but I hardly have enough myself. That's also because I'm doing an 18-months internship that only pays 150-200 € per month =(

Ohhh yes, Mocha Chip Muffins with a nice hot cup of coffee <3 What a great way to start the weekend =)

Jennifer said...

Lizzy - Don't feel bad for not donating money, don't at all. Only those who are able, should, and trust me, when I was still in college, there was no way I could have afforded it.

I still can't afford to do as much as I would like. Its $25 here and there, and thats the contribution I can make.