• oooh! pot pie and cheesesteak vegan specials coming to m cafe…

    September 10th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, m café

    oh hell yes! next week m cafe is rolling out two new vegan dinner specials: a chicken pot pie and a philly cheesesteak sandwich!

    seitan pot pie $12.95

    i’ll take one of each, please! the specials will run at both m cafe locations from 9/12 to 9/26 after 4pm. the dishes are actually the result of a facebook and twitter contest where m cafe fans were invited to submit ideas for “macrotized” (aka veganized!) comfort foods. i’d like to personally thank who ever came up with these two winning suggestions.

    we have the recipe for both dishes after the jump, in case you wanna make them at home. me? i’ll be at m cafe on monday for dinner. pot pie, here i come! (PS: i don’t have a picture of the sandwich, but it’s gonna be stacked with thinly-sliced seitan, peppers, mushrooms, and onions then smothered melted “cheese sauce” for $9.95.)

    M Café’s Seitan Pot-Pie (“Macrotized” Chicken Pot Pie)
    In our effort to “macrotize” the chicken pot-pie, we have done our very best to recreate the soul-satisfying textures and flavors of this classic comfort food while rendering it more wholesome and nutritious. Our version combines fresh vegetables such as carrot, green peas and rutabaga with chunks of hand-torn “chicken-style” seitan in a creamy, silky, savory white sauce. We even add hato mugi (an unusual variety of whole-grain barley from Japan) for its toothsome texture and rich, buttery flavor. And it wouldn’t be a pot-pie without a flaky pastry crust. To make it easy for you to recreate the dish at home we have used a ready-to-bake, all-natural puff pastry dough free of dairy products. It can be found frozen at your local Whole Foods market, along with the “chicken-style” seitan. Hato mugi can be found at Erewhon market or online from Goldmine Natural Foods (www.goldminenaturalfoods.com).

    1 cup hato mugi (Job’s tears), pearled barley or other whole grain
    12 oz “chicken-style” seitan (Westsoy brand)
    8 oz (about 1 cup) carrot, small roll cut, slice or dice
    8 oz (about 1 cup) rutabaga, diced
    4 oz (1/4 cup) green peas, fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
    2 oz (1/8 cup) shiitake or other mushroom, diced
    3 cups Pot Pie Sauce (recipe below)
    1 sheet vegan puff pastry (Aussie Brand) OR homemade or store-bought pie dough OR phyllo dough
    2 tablespoons soy milk

    1. Soak the hato mugi for at least three hours (or overnight) in four cups of water. Drain, rinse, and cook in four cups of fresh water for 15 – 20 minutes, or until grains are soft but not mushy. Drain well and reserve.
    2. Tear the seitan into bite-size pieces.
    3. Bring a pot of water to the boil (add salt if desired) and boil the vegetables, separately, until just tender. The rutabaga will take the longest (about 8 minutes). Refresh the vegetables under cool water, drain, and set aside.
    4. Combine the seitan, vegetables and sauce in a bowl and mix well to combine. Transfer the mixture to a 9”x 9” casserole dish.
    5. Cover the casserole with the thawed puff pastry dough and score or crimp the edges. Cut 4 – 5 small slits in the top of the dough to allow for steam to escape.
    6. Using a pastry brush, brush the soy milk evenly over the top of the dough.
    7. Place casserole on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before enjoying.

    Pot Pie Sauce
    ¼ cup soy margarine (Earth Balance brand)
    1 cup onion, chopped
    ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
    3 cup vegetable stock
    1.5 cup unsweetened soy milk
    1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced (or ½ teaspoon dry)
    ½ teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves, minced (or ¼ teaspoon dry)
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    1. Melt soy margarine in saucepan over moderate heat. When foam subsides, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
    2. Turn heat to low, and sprinkle flour over onions and stir well to combine. Cook flour and onion mixture for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn off heat and reserve.
    3. Meanwhile, combine vegetable stock and soy milk in another saucepan and bring to a simmer. Keep hot.
    4. Return flour and onion mixture to the stove and place over a medium flame. Add one ladle full of hot vegetable stock and soy milk mixture into the onion and flour mix, and whisk well to combine. Add additional vegetable stock and soy milk mixture, a little at a time, whisking after each addition, until all is incorporated. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
    5. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer sauce for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    6. Pour sauce through strainer, if desired, and whisk in herbs, salt and pepper.

    Recipe yields one 9” x 9” casserole (approximately 4 – 6 servings)

    M Café’s Sloppy Seitan Sandwich
    (a.k.a. The “Macrotized” Philly Cheeseteak)
    “Macrotizing” a fast-food sandwich like the Philadelphia Cheesesteak was quite a challenge! But a quick sauté of onion, peppers and shiitake mushrooms brings flavor, texture and some nutritional balance to the traditional combination of sliced “meat” and gooey melted “cheese”. Sliced seitan and a rich, homemade vegan “cheese sauce” replace these unhealthy ingredients quite nicely.

    Ingredients for 2 sandwiches:
    2 high quality French-style sandwich rolls
    1, 8 oz pack seitan, drained, sliced very thin
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
    1 small onion, sliced
    1 small red bell pepper, sliced
    1 small green bell pepper, sliced
    1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
    1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
    sea salt and black pepper to taste
    Cheese Sauce (recipe below)

    1. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, mushrooms and bell peppers and sauté for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked but still slightly crunchy. Season with Italian seasonings and salt and pepper, to taste. Reserve.
    2. In same skillet add sliced seitan and cook for a few minutes until hot. Reserve.
    3. Split French rolls lengthwise and stuff with seitan and sauteed vegetables. Top with a generous amount of cheesesauce and enjoy.

    Cheese Sauce
    Yield: 2 cups
    ½ cup soy margarine
    ½ cup onion, minced
    ¼ cup all-purpose flour
    1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
    ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
    ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    ¼ teaspoon white pepper
    ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
    1 ½ cups vegetable stock
    ¾ cup unsweetened soymilk
    1 cup vegan cheddar-style cheese, shredded

    1. Heat soy margarine in saucepan over medium heat and add minced onion. Cook, stirring, until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 – 6 minutes.
    2. Turn heat to low and sprinkle in flour, nutritional yeast, dried spices, salt, pepper and mustard powder, and stir well. Mixture should be somewhat dry and crumbly. Continue to cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes. Reserve.
    3. Meanwhile, combine vegetable stock and soymilk in a separate saucepan and heat to simmer.
    4. Return onion, flour and seasoning mixture to medium heat, and add one ladle of hot stock/ soymilk mixture to pan, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Liquid should be immediately absorbed by mixture. Add another ladle of hot liquid and repeat, this time using a whisk. Repeat until all liquid has been added, whisking well after each addition.
    5. Bring mixture to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened.
    6. Turn heat to medium-high to return mixture to a boil. Sprinkle in shredded cheese, whisking constantly until cheese is melted and sauce is completely smooth. Remove from heat and reserve.

    for more info and locations, hit up m cafe’s website!

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