Sunday, July 24, 2011

What a Jerk Seitan is... Peas-ful Bulgur-ity and Purdy Plaintains

"It's the biggest Jamaican platter I've ever seen. Jerk chicken, jerk beef, jerk pork. Is there any meat this man can't jerk?"


I'm jerking seitan tonight.  If you pronounce that just right, it's pretty awesome.

But what, oh what, to have as a side?  Or two sides??  I thought about red beans and rice, pretty Caribbean.... but I could not find a single can of red beans that didn't come pre-HFCSed.  EW.  So I thought kidney beans, but I was not feeling the beans.  Sorry flatulence.  Oh, saw an episode of '1000 Ways to Die' in which a fart killed a man.  I'm not kidding.  Look it up.  So, I'm making bulgur and peas.  I don't want to wait 110 minutes to cook brown rice!  Mix in some cumin, some lime zest, some cayenne... mua! Yum!

But wait!  That's not all!  Why not get funky?  I bought a plantain.  A single plantain in case I effed it up.  Mind you I've eaten plantains in various forms (chips, deep fried, mashed--tostones, baked, boiled... they're really versatile and awesome!).  I'm experimenting here.  I don't want to fry them because, honestly, girl doesn't fry (sorry lover of the deep-fryer...), but I also don't want to a boring baked plantain.  With that in mind, I am trying to be innovative!

The jerk seasoning recipe comes straight outta All-Hail-Isa's Vegan with a Vengeance.  In Appetite for Reduction she has a great blurb that says something like 'I love how you think the mix of spices and flavors won't work and then you eat it and and it's wonderful and you feel like a jerk for ever doubting it'.  I paraphrase, but that's the gist of it and it's so true!  I've given up because everytime I read through the ingredients I think 'Really?'... then as I mix them I think again 'No, really??' but then something magical happens and my oh my it's awesome...  So yummy...  Anywho, without further ado, I bring you Jerk Seitan, Peas-ful Bulgur-ity and Purdy Plaintain!

I.  JERK SEITAN (from All-Hail-Isa's book, "Vegan with a Vengeance"
Ok, I didn't want to type it all out, so I found a site that had already done it for me! Yes, for me... and you, oh faithful follower.  I used leftover seitan from my Second Supreme Seitanic Stir-Fry, so the marinade is actually twice as much as I needed... I'm just keeping the leftover jerk marinade and figure I'll use it on something in the next few days and let you know ;)

2 servings, easily multiplied for however many you are serving.  165 calories per serving
You can sub rice or any other grain for the bulgur if you wish, but you won't have such a spiffy title... or will you?!

1/2 cup uncooked bulgur
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 chunk of ginger, chopped... I think it was about 2 teaspoons
zest from 1 lime
juice from half a lime, or just the whole thing
1/4 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp salt


1. Cook the bulgur with the water, about 15 or 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If it sticks at the end, as it always does for me, I scrape as much as I can and then add a few tablespoons of water while it's still hot, then scrape s'more.  It's kinda like deglazing I guess.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix!


2 servings, 175 calories per serving
And I had an afterthought whilst consuming these... while delicious, they were a bit dry and I could taste the flour a bit more than I'd like, but again, they were still very yummy.  I think the next time though I'll try swapping coconut/flour measurements... and perhaps bake less time too so they aren't so dry on the inside.  They were incredibly tasty though!

1 large plaintain, yellow still but with some black spots (the more black spots, the more ripe, and thus the more sweet...)
2 TBS flour
1 TBS unsweetened coconut flakes
zest from 1 lime
1 tsp ground ginger
sprinkle cayenne pepper
juice from half a lime
1/2 tsp coconut oil


1. Hack off the ends of the plantain, then cut a slit through the skin (without slicing through the plantain!).  Remove the peel.  Slice the plantain into 1/2 inch rounds.
2. Mix the lime juice and oil in a small ramekin, or in a half-cup measurer as I did ;)
3. In a shallow bowl, mix the flour through cayenne.
4. Heat oven to 350F.  Prepare a baking dish with spray, oil, what pleases you.
5. Dunk a plantain round in the liquid, coating well.
6. Dreeeeeeedge in the flour mixture, coating evenly but also shaking some off.  Don't shake off too much Senora, you don't want it to be too thinly coated.  You want to be sure to have some coconut on there.
7. Lay in a single layer in the prepared pan.  Bake at 350F for 35 minutes, turning once halfway through.
Cool, huh?
I turned them over once more when "time" ran out and turned off the oven, then let them sit in the warm oven until ready to serve.

While I was at it, I used up the last of the mini breads--toasted in the oven--with some margarine and garlic powder (usually I rub a garlic clove over the toasted bread, then spread a little margarine, but I'm out of garlic!  Gasp!!  This is the best way to make garlic bread, I must say... raw garlic rubbed on toast, some margarine... freakin' yum).  

Oh, and of course, chocolate berry layer cake for dessert ;)

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