Food Network Friday: Guy Fieri

Garlic Vinegar Seitan with Tempeh Bacon Spaghetti

Introducing a new series here at Vegan Appetite! It’s Food Network Friday! And it may appear every Friday or sporadically…or it may disappear altogether if I lose interest in it. We’ll see how it goes. The idea is that I take a recipe (or 2) from something I see on the channel, or online, or cooked by one of the Food Network people and veganize it. It’s not about the shows or the personalities, but about the food and the potential for making it vegan friendly.

For our kick off Friday, I happened to see Guy’s Big Bite when he made a Bacon and Tomato Pasta and a Garlic Vinegar Chicken. These recipes spoke to me! Just look at all that garlic in the first one! The second recipe I made because I had 3 slices of tempeh bacon that I wanted to use. It really seemed these recipes were made for me and a project was born. Read on.

Garlic Vinegar Chicken
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 an onion, sliced thinly in 1/2 moons
1 jalapeno, diced
3 chicken seitan cutlets
1/4 cup minced garlic, divided
8 oz beer
1 Tbsp Imagine Vegan Chicken Boullion (don’t add this, see notes below)
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder
1- 2 Tbsp broth, if needed
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp scallions (for garnish)

Major deviations coming up in the directions from the original, just because I think my way is easier. Here goes. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a frying pan. When it’s hot, brown the seitan on both sides, then remove and set aside. Add the onions and jalapeno and saute for about 3 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add 2 Tbsp garlic and saute for a minute or two more, just til you can smell it. Then add the beer and deglaze . (Here is where I added the chicken boullion which I think made this incredibly salty. If you do want to add it, use 1 tsp instead.) Let this cook until it’s reduced by about 1/2.

In a different smaller frying pan, heat the other Tbsp of olive oil. Add the remaining garlic and cook it on low until it is lightly caramelized, but not brown. Remove from burner and set aside.

Combine the garlic with the flour, salt, pepper, oregano, paprika and chili powder. Make this into a paste, adding a Tbsp of broth or two if needed to get a paste like consistency. Press this paste onto the cutlets and lightly brown them in the small frying pan. Set aside.

Add the red wine vinegar to the onion sauce stuff and bring to a simmer. Place the cutlets in the sauce and let simmer for a minute or two, then serve. Top with green onions.

Notes on this recipe:
Whoa…this has way too much going on. I love big flavors but this was like King Kong on steroids in the flavor department. Next time, I’d try this with just the paste or just the sauce, not both. Either one would probably be really good on it’s own. I’m thinking it might be better with tempeh rather than with seitan, too, because seitan brings it’s own flavors to the party. Tempeh is more ofa wallflower. It might also work with soy curls in the oniony sauce over biscuits. I just may have to try that.

Would I make it again? Possibly, but not likely. I’m putting this one down as a miss. It looks better than it tasted. But it has potential.

Bacon and Tomato Pasta
8 oz spaghetti
3 slices tempeh bacon, chopped (I used lightlife, but homemade would be better)
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 Tbsp garlic, crushed
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
2 Tbsp red wine
2 Tbsp basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Put your pasta on and cook according to the box. The rest of the recipe will take about as long to make as it takes for the water to boil and the pasta to cook. In other words, nice and quick!

In a large pot, heat the oil, then saute the tempeh bacon until it gets well done and a little crispy. Scoop it out and set aside. You should still have enough oil in your pot to continue, but if not, add a little more. Add the onions and red pepper flakes. Cook until onions are translucent, then add the garlic. Cook for a few minutes, then deglaze with the wine. Add the tomatoes and let cook for about 5 minutes until everything is hot.

Drain the pasta and add it to the big pot full of sauce, along with the basil and bacon. Stir together, check the seasonings and serve.

Notes on this recipe:
Yum! We really enjoyed this by itself. It takes no time and tastes great. I would probably add some sliced red pepper to it next time (and possibly some oregano or fresh parsley) but those aren’t really needed. It could handle some white beans. Along with a salad, this would make a great weeknight meal. It’s satisfying and full of flavor, oddly like a carbonara but with red sauce.

Would I make it again? Yes. This one is a winner! If you’ve ever seen Guy F.’s show, you’ll know what I mean when I say, “Winner, winner, pasta dinner!” Just skip the seitan or adapt it a lot better than I did.

I’d love to hear about your adventures in cooking the Food Network recipes, too.

Tonight’s dinner: fajitas.

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  1. Anonymous
    Posted February 6, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I love this idea and would like to see you do more. You have inspired me to go take a looky at my Alton Brown books and see what I can cook up!

  2. Posted February 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Fun idea! You will probably be veganizing lots of bacon and cheese recipes :)

    Garlic and vinegar does sound like a really strong flavor combo, although I love both of those ingredients.

  3. Posted February 6, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    I love this idea and I love Food Network!

  4. Posted February 6, 2009 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    this is a great idea for a post! The pasta looks so good.

  5. Posted February 6, 2009 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Garlic vinegar seitan sounds awesome! I am sorry that you weren’t too impressed with it. Personally, I can’t resist the lure of two of my favorite flavor combinations: garlic and vinegar. I’ll be trying this soon! Great idea for a post, by the way!

  6. Posted February 6, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    What a cool idea! Your food looks awesome.

  7. Posted February 6, 2009 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    That’s a super fun project! I always feel so accomplished when I veganize something, and kind of like I’m sticking it to the man. :)

  8. Posted February 7, 2009 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Great idea! And that seitan sounds wonderful, I’m sorry it didn’t quite live up to it’s delicious title.

  9. Posted February 7, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Food Network Fridays – how fun! Ya know, Guy’s sister is vegetarian and I he did a show all on veggie burgers once in her honor. I haven’t tried the recipe yet, which would need to be veganized because he used egg as a binder, but it sure did look tasty on TV.

    Anyway, super idea. I look forward to more of these posts.

  10. Posted February 7, 2009 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    If anybody gets in on the action and takes on the Food Network (through the website, the channel, your books, whatever) please post here so I can see your creations. It would be great if you joined in!

    VV, let me know what you think when you make it. I love everything in that dish, together it was just too much for me. A less assertive protein would have worked better, I think.

    Marni, I saw that episode, too. The burger actually sounded good, minus the egg.

    Thanks, everyone! Veganizing Food Network feels like we’re taking it back!

  11. Posted February 10, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    My daughter and I love the food Network. That is how she learned to do so much in the kitchen. Her all time favorite is Paula Deen. My heritage is form the South and that makes my daughter feel right at home.

    And we too, take recipes from what we see on TV and try to make them vegetarian and sometimes we know it will be all right and others we know are so far gone that they cannot be undone.

    One lady I enjoy (mostly from her tips) but tend not to watch her show any longer (once my light bulb went on) is Sandra Lee, Semi-Homemade. 30% fresh and 70 store bought. I am trying to cleanse my home of boxed and packaged food, and here she is promoting it. Sorry Sandy.

    Love your post.

  12. Posted February 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m not very familiar with Food Network, but this is a great idea! And I’ll definitely have a look at you recipes each Friday, because your garlic vinegar seitan looks so mouthwatering.

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