Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Vegan Carnitas

From what I understand, carnitas ("little meats") are chunks of pork cooked in lard for a few hours. Now, you don't need to be a vegan to think that sounds a bit gross, not to mention unhealthy. So, this is my take on the carnita--vegan and low fat. I paired this dish with Mexican rice--delicious!

- 4-5 cups of beefy seitan, cut into chunks
- 2 bay leaves, crumbled
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 orange, cut into 8 slices
- 1 onion, cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- chopped cilantro, for garnish

1. Heat oil in a large non-stick pan on medium high heat. Mix bay leaves, thyme, marjoram, and salt into the chunks of seitan. Fry seitan for 5 mins, stirring frequently.
2. Add garlic, orange slices, onion, and orange juice to the pan. Bring to bubbling, lower heat, cover, and cook for about 1 hr. Orange juice will be absorbed into the seitan, so check periodically and add more orange juice if needed.
3. Remove garlic, onion, and orange slices from the pan and discard. Garnish seitan with cilantro and serve with warm tortillas, chopped tomato, and salsa.

Mexican Rice
- 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
- boiling water
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 small tomatoes, diced
- 3 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1 cup frozen peas
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Put rice in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 10 mins, then drain.
2. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat, then add rice and fry for about 5 mins. Add onions, garlic and tomatoes and cook for another minute.
3. Add in stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 mins, or until liquid is absorbed.
4. Stir in peas, and let sit for 5 mins. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Finally, today is Vegan Mom's birthday, so I made the Fauxstess Cupcakes from Vegan With a Vengeance. These tasty creme filled treats are one of the first desserts I made after becoming a vegan, and they let me know everything was going to be OK.