This weekend I had the honor of being a food vendor for the first time at a retreat/festival in my part of New York. It was a great learning experience!
The original estimate was for about 40 people for lunch and dinner. Since I was the vegan/vegetarian meal vendor, I wanted to create a meal that would be delicious and exciting, yet simple enough for me to make onsite. Here’s what I came up with:
- Chickpea salad sandwiches
- Mega-Veggie sandwiches with onion “cream cheese”
- Southwestern black bean wraps
- Turkish cucumber soup
- Seitan fajitas
- Mediterranean rice salad
- Penne with sundried tomato and olive pesto, spinach and pine nuts
- Cajun tofu steaks with coconut sweet potatoes
- Cajun corn salad
- cucumber/tomato salad with dill vinaigrette
I arrived, set up, put out my lunch (thank you to my vegan daughter Louise for assisting in the assembly) and sat. And sat. And sat some more. I think I made 40 sandwiches and sold 6. That was completely OK with me, though, because it was lunch and dinner for my family, my friend Maria and her daughter and son-in-law. It was also a massive learning experience. Don’t make the food until someone wants it! 🙂
So, for dinner, I got smart and made a lot less. Far and away, the seitan fajitas were the best seller. I’m not surprised, because they were AMAZING! Seitan is kneaded wheat gluten that has a meaty, chewy texture. It can mimic meat in any recipe, and is a great transition product for those wanting to cut down on saturated fat and meat products in their diet. I’ve always been a little scared of seitan, because it was just so weird. However, a few weeks ago, Louise and I went to Blossom Cafe in NYC and I had a southern fried seitan sandwich and I am now and forever more in love with it.
I give you the marinade here. Drain and thinly slice your seitan. Marinate it for 6 hours or so (the longer the better). Saute in a little oil in a hot pan and serve on a tortilla with thinly sliced and sauteed peppers and white onion. Throw a little marinade in to the pan when you are sauteeing the veggies to get that citrus flavor everywhere.
- juice of 3 oranges, 6 limes and 3 lemons
- 3 T olive oil
- 6-9 garlic cloves, smashed into oblivion (I went heavy on the garlic)
- 1 medium white onion, very thinly sliced
- 2-3 T chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 T paprika
- 1/2 T garlic powder
- 1/2 T cumin
- 1/2 T dried oregano
- 3/4 tsp. EACH turmeric, coriander and cayenne
- salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp. each)
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Add up to 3 lbs of sliced seitan and refrigerate, covered, for 6 hours or overnight. Drain, reserving marinade to use as moisture when sauteeing onions and peppers. Saute seitan in hot oil in batches until browned. Luscious!
If you are making a small amount of seitan, put seitan in a bowl and cover with marinade. Reserve leftover marinade in fridge for next time.
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