Thursday, July 8, 2010

Packets, and Pan-seared seitan with crimini mushrooms & red wine

What do you do when it's broiling hot outside and yet you're hungry for more than salad?  Packets!  What easy dish can you serve a vegan at an omni barbecue?  Why, packets! This is the go-to vegetable dish for my family all summer long.  As I was making it my mother called and by chance she was putting together a packet for her and Dad that was totally different from mine.  You can put nearly any vegetable in a packet.  In this one you see onions, zucchini, sweet potato, and corn.

Start by chopping the vegetables into chunks that will finish cooking about the same time:

Mix it up with a little olive oil and herbs with salt and pepper, or do what I did and use some leftover vinaigrette.  Then wrap it tight in tinfoil, keeping the package fairly flat, and, if you're cooking it in the oven, cook it for about half an hour at 425F, turning it over halfway through the cooking time, mutatis mutandis for the barbecue. 

The vegetables should caramelize and, if you're very fortunate and/or skilled, just scrumptiously burn a little bit in places...

I also made Robin Robertson's Pan-seared seitan with crimini mushrooms and red wine from Vegan Planet.  Very easy, quick, and delicious, as so many of her main dish recipes are.  I found the recipe over here, uncredited, so am reproducing it for you, giving Robin her credit back.  What you see in these images is a quarter of the recipe; the whole will make four large servings.

Pan-seared seitan with crimini mushrooms and red wine
from Robin Robertson's Vegan Planet
Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 pound seitan, in thin strips
2 shallots, thinly sliced
6 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced or quartered
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
Salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Brown the seitan on both sides and remove from pan. (Zoa's note: I dredged my seitan in seasoned flour first and was glad I did.)

Add shallots to the pan and saute for about two minutes, until soft. Add red wine and mushrooms. Reduce for about three minutes or so, then remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside with the seitan. Leave any remaining red wine and shallots in the pan.

Add the broth and seasoning. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about five minutes to reduce half of the liquid.

Add the seitan and mushrooms back to the mix and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.


  1. This looks delicious, as usual!! Putting booze in anything is guaranteed to make it taste good, don't you think?!?

  2. I love the packets idea...I've done potatoes that way, but I need to follow your queue and mix it up a bit. Love the idea of seitan w/ mushrooms and red wine too.

  3. There's nothing like slightly singed and smokey vegetables to cool off a hot summer evening.