Saturday, July 05, 2014

Eggplant, Carrot, and Kale with Seitan, served with Jade Pearl Rice (No Added Fat)

I had thought to make a vegetable and tempeh dish in my pressure cooker. Under high pressure, the Instant Pot takes 2-3 minutes to cook broccoli florets, carrots, or eggplant (I was surprised that eggplant cooks so quickly), and 3-6 minutes to cook greens like kale. Spinach only takes 1-2 minutes.

I thought that I would go with 3 minutes and perhaps first cook tempeh pieces in a bit of broth. Alas, I was out of tempeh, which is unusual! I am having friends over for dinner tomorrow and thinking of using seitan then, but decided that, in lieu of tempeh, I'd use seitan today, as well. (I look forward soon to experimenting with pressure cooked tempeh; my thought is that I'd put a little broth in the Instant Pot, and cook pieces of tempeh using the pot's saute feature for a few minutes, then add vegetables and pressure cook.) Here is what I did.

Ingredients
  • 2 medium carrots cut into 1/4" slices
  • Large scallion, chopped into 3/4" lengths
  • Garlic clove, chopped finely
  • 3 kale leaves, stems discarded (composted) and leaves roughly torn into approximately 3/4" squares
  • Medium Japanese eggplant cut into 3/8" slices (since this was organic, I kept the skin on)
  • Small handful of baby spinach leaves
  • 4 chopped basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • (Optional; I skipped since seitan is salty) 1/8 t salt
  • 1/3 of a 8 ounce packet of seitan strips, cut into approximately 3/4" squares


Process
  1. I put everything but the seitan into the Instant Pot and set it to cook for 3 minutes in high pressure.
  2. To keep the vegetables from overcooking, I quick released the steam once the 3 minutes were over.
  3. I mixed in the seitan and served.
I also made some Jade pearl rice (I sauteed a bit of onion in a pan without any oil, then added rice and water in a 1 : 1 1/2 ratio, along with a pinch of salt and a vegan bouillon cube, brought to a boil, and simmered on low heat for 20 minutes). I served  m√Ęche rosettes with delicious Sungold tomatoes, as well.

Results

I enjoyed the meal. I had been tempted to add some heat, like jalapeno or hot sauce, or maybe jerk seasoning, but I think that the dish had a charm of letting the vegetables and seitan "speak for themselves". I was surprised how the eggplant really was cooked and had a nice subtle taste that I haven't had in eggplant before. I think that Jade pearl is my new favorite rice, putting Madagascar pink as my second favorite; I hope that I don't overdo it and lose my excitement about this creamy rice.

Ideas for the future

I want to explore eggplant more with the pressure cooker. How would it come out if it were first sauteed a bit in the pressure cooker? I definitely want to explore tofu and tempeh in the pressure cooker. Perhaps I could make this dish again and explore some additional seasoning, or perhaps top it with a sauce. It was a little bit bland, but really hit the spot for what I was looking for tonight.

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