Living the WELL Life

Diggin’ Out

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Need to dig out of the mess you have made of your health, but worry that the transition is hard and unappealing? Try these yummy make-over dishes and you’ll be on the path to health in no time!

Veg Head Pot Pie
Philly “Cheesesteak”
Main Course Chow Mein

Veg Head Pot Pie 
Loaded with antioxidants and none of the ingredients we don’t want, like saturated fats, hormones, or steroids found in meat, this truly is comfort food. If you family isn’t wild about veggies, then this is the recipe for you. Who can resist veggies topped with a flaky crust in their own individual cup?

Makes 3–4 servings

1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
Pinch sea salt
⅓ cup avocado oil or vegan buttery spread like Earth Balance
Cold spring or filtered water

2 cups spring or filtered water
4–6 small new or fingerling potatoes, unpeeled and diced, do not peel
½ head cauliflower, broken into small florets
4 medium carrots, diced
1 zucchini, diced
½ cup frozen corn
2 slices packaged baked tofu
⅓ cup whole wheat pastry flour
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
Generous pinch rubbed, dried sage
Generous pinch cumin

Preheat oven to 425°F and lightly oil four 10- to –11-ounce ramekins, including the top rim.

Make the crust. Combine flour with salt and cut in oil with a fork to create the texture of wet sand. 

Slowly add water to create a crust dough that just holds together. Knead a couple of times; gather into a ball and wrap in plastic. Set aside while preparing vegetables.

Bring water to a boil and cook potatoes for 5–6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl. In the same water, cook cauliflower for 4–5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain and transfer to the bowl with potatoes. In the same water, cook carrots for 3–4 minutes. Drain, reserving the broth, and transfer the carrots to the bowl with the potatoes and cauliflower. Gently stir in zucchini, corn and baked tofu. Set aside.

Place broth on low heat. Combine flour with salt and pepper to taste, sage , and cumin. Whisk flour mixture into broth and cook, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 3–4 minutes. Pour thickened broth over vegetables and mix gently to combine. Spoon vegetables evenly into ramekins.

Divide the crust into 4 equal pieces and roll them out to be slightly bigger than the ramekins. Lay a crust over the top of each filled ramekin and pleat the outer edges of the crust. Make 4 small slits in the crust to allow steam to escape.

Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling it bubbling, about 25 minutes. Serve hot.

*You can purchase ready-made whole wheat pie crusts and cut them into the sizes needed for these individual pot pies or use the crust as they are to create full- size pies.

Philly “Cheesesteak”
“Wit or Witout” is the phrase most associated with Philly cheesesteaks, and refers to with or without onions. My version is “witout” meat and “witout” Cheese Whiz (God forbid)—no saturated fat or compromised ingredients but “wit” all the flavor and texture you love.

Makes 4 sandwiches

Extra- virgin olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced thin into half  moons from top to bottom slices
Sea salt
3 roasted red peppers, thinly sliced
1 pound package  seitan, shredded
4 whole grain hoagie rolls, split lengthwise
1 8-ounce package  vegan “cheese,” shredded
Almond or soy milk

Place a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion, with a pinch of salt until wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in roasted red peppers, season with salt to taste, and sauté for 2 minutes more. 
Transfer to a bowl and wipe out skillet.

Place a small amount of oil in the same skillet. Sauté seitan, with a light seasoning of salt until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe out skillet one more time.

Lay rolls, cut side down, in the oily skillet and cook over medium-low heat until the bread browns lightly. Remove from skillet.

While the rolls brown, make the sauce. Place cheese, enough milk to cover, and salt to taste in small sauce pan and cook, whisking, until cheese is melted and the sauce is thick and creamy.
To assemble, lay rolls open, mound seitan, pepper, and onion on each and spoon cheese sauce over top.

Main Course Chow Mein
Everyone loves a good platter of chow mein, but no one loves the excessive calories, additives, salt, and sugar that weighs you down after the indulgence. My version is lighter, fresher, and just as tasty . . . and you can cook it in your slow cooker all day!

Makes 3–4 servings

1 pound seitan, chopped into chunks
2–3 stalks celery, diced
1 small leek, split lengthwise, rinsed free of dirt, diced
½-inch fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2–3 small carrots, diced
6–8 whole green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup spring or filtered water
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup mung bean sprouts
1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
¼ cup arrowroot flour
2 teaspoons light sesame oil
2 cups snow peas, rinsed well, left whole

Combine all ingredients except arrowroot, oil, and snow peas in a slow cooker. Cover and allow to cook over low heat for 6–8 hours.

When you are ready to serve, dissolve arrowroot in a small amount of cold water and stir it, along with sesame oil and snow peas into seitan and vegetables. Stir until arrowroot thickens and clears and snow peas turn bright green.


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