Thursday, January 27, 2011

Veggie Meat and my first ever Giveaway!

If you are a follower of Blake Bakes then today is your lucky day! CSN Stores has offered to do a giveaway! I know you all remember me mentioning CSN numerous times. I've done two product reviews, first I reviewed a fabulous pair of baking sheets. More recently, I reviewed a wonderful 9x5 circulon loaf pan. Well, now it's your turn. CSN seriously has everything, not just kitchen supplies. They have a really nice laptop messenger bag for you computer lovers as well as Valentines Day gifts.

But we'll get back to the giveaway in a little bit. How about a recipe? Now, when I ate meat I was never big sandwich person, but my boyfriend was. He loved sandwiches and still does. We also try to bring our lunches to work instead of eating in the cafeteria but he tends to monopolize the leftovers. So for a while now I've been looking for a good meat substitute that would make good sandwiches for lunches. Well thanks to Vegan Dad, I found a great recipe. You should have most ingredients on hand; the only thing I had to run to the store for was the vital wheat gluten. And feel free to substitute whatever herbs and spices you want, it should turn out wonderful.

Veggie Lunch Meat, adapted from Vegan Dad:
  • 1 cup white beans (chickpeas also work fine)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (canola or vegetable is also fine)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
Get water steaming in a steamer. Place all ingredients except the vital wheat gluten in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and mix with vital wheat gluten. Work the mixture into a dough. Shape the dough into a thick log and wrap in aluminum foil. Place the log in steamer and steam for one hour. During the last 15 minutes of steaming, preheat the oven to 350. Remove the veggie meat from the steamer and place in the oven. Bake for 45-60 minutes. The veggie meat should swell up and press against the foil. Cool completely in the refrigerator. Store in the refrigerator. Slice thinly for sandwiches. My boyfriend likes his with veganaise, spinach, mustard, and pickles on a good whole wheat bread.

If you don't have a steamer basket, like me, there is a cheap, easy way to make one. Take an old aluminum pie plate and poke holes in it, about 1/2 inch apart. Get water steaming in a pot, place the pie plate on the pot, and place in the veggie loaf. Cover with a lid and steam for the indicated amount of time.

***This giveaway is now closed***

Now back to the giveaway! CSN has graciously allowed me to giveaway a gift certificate for $35! There are two ways to enter. Make sure you are a follower, then leave a comment telling me what you would buy with the gift certificate; it doesn't have to be kitchen stuff. But also don't be boring. For example, "I want a frying pan" won't count. The second way to enter is to be a fan on Facebook. Click on my Facebook badge and "like" my page. Make sure you post a comment telling me that you "like" me on Facebook. If you are not a follower your entry will not be counted. The giveaway will be open until February 11th at 11:59 pm. Each entry will be assigned a number and a winner will be chosen using Thanks again CSN!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy (Belated) New Year!

As I very well know we are almost two weeks into the New Year. It's crazy how time flies. Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that CSN Stores had approached me with another opportunity? Well, that opportunity was a product review! I was actually able to order two products this time, but I'll just review one of them today. And that product is....a 9x5 Circulon Loaf Pan. And it's beautiful. I ordered it for a very similar reason that I ordered my baking sheets. The only loaf pans I owned were flimsy, cheap aluminum ones. It was definitely time for an upgrade. But recipe would I use to break in my new loaf pan?

Well, as I so courteously bragged, I received a KitchenAid stand mixer for Christmas and I had been itching to try the dough hook it came with. And for some reason, the idea of cinnamon bread kept invading my brain. I found a perfect recipe while lurking Food Gawker. Now, as it was my first time making this recipe I did not make any modifications or adjustments other than using almond milk instead of regular milk.

My loaf pan worked perfectly, turning out a wonderful loaf of bread. I definitely recommend this recipe and the loaf pan. It was a little bit of work, and a whole lot of waiting for the bread to rise, but it was so worth it. My whole apartment smelled like cinnamon. It was wonderful. The bread was soft, sweet, and basically perfect. Straight up, smeared with a little butter, toasted, whatever. Just make some. And thanks again, CSN!