Almost every night, I get home before Kevin. I’m used to traveling four stops on the orange line to copley square and back. I’m not used to this apartment, yet – or the way I feel coming home to quiet. This year has been filled with noise. It seems that every year there is a new song – a new way my heart learns more about itself. I am not going to pretend that I know the reasons why the universe brings people into our lives, but I am grateful. I’m filled with gratitude for all the things that have brought me here, to this moment, living this life, loving in ways I never imagined possible.
As promised, we invited a few friends over to our apartment this weekend for a dinner party + dominoes. I’ve been dreaming of this moment for a year now. When I could invite my friends over, cook them food, and say thank you – for loving me on the days when I am most lost, for believing in my dreams even when I can’t see them. The dinner party, incredible. The people, wonderful. To be graced my so much beauty, intelligence, and charm was a gift.
I don’t know how to say thank you or I love you better than by offering a full belly. There is something about the holiday season this year that feels extra special. It might be the tree in the living room w/ ornaments borrowed from a friend or the bowl of holiday chocolate calling my name, but I am here this holiday, standing in wonder + amazement. To you and your loved ones, happy holidays – I hope they are filled with joy + amazement.
– Seitan w/ Vegan Mushroom Gravy –
Nothing says happy holidays like a fresh seitan. Every holiday season I end up revisiting my quest to make homemade ‘imitation’ foods. This soft seitan has a tart and flavorful finish, which comes from the soy sauce + garlic. The shitake mushroom gravy tastes delicious over apple + chickpea couscous. I have to say, Kevin helped me out with the garlic. Yay for team work! The butternut squash hummus also creates a sweet + savory treat hidden at the bottom of the plate.
4 cups vital wheat gluten
4 cups boiling water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
9 cups of water
3 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs maple syrup
2 tbs olive oil
8 oz shitake mushrooms
leftover water from boiling seitan
3 tbs vegan butter
3-5 tbs flour
in a large pot, bring 9 cups of water to boil. In a small pot, bring 2 cups of water to boil.
In separate medium bowl, stir together vital wheat gluten and 2 cups of boiling water. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, which will improve the texture of the seitan. Pull + shape the dough into smaller pieces. Make sure that you have 2/3 of a pot leftover because the seitan will expand to roughly twice its size. Simmer for 1 hour.
Drain the seitan + keep the remaining liquid for your gravy. Thinly slice shitake mushrooms + saute in a cast iron skillet for 3-5 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Turn the heat down to low + add the leftover liquid from the seitan.
In a small pot to melt 3 tbs of butter. Once the butter has melted, add 1 tbs flour. Slowly add additional flour, with each addition also add a small amount of the liquid from your cast iron skillet. Mix thoroughly for 3-5 minutes. Turn on low to keep warm while you saute the seitan in 2 tbs olive oil. Once golden brown, remove from heat. Serve on top of butternut squash + cashew hummus, chickpea apple couscous cakes w/ cheesy roasted broccoli.
– Full Menu –
– Appetizers –
Pistou, Butternut Squash + Cashew Hummus, Olive Tapenade
– Soup –
Parsnip + Green Grape Soup