Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vegan Mofo: Dinner with My Dead Friends

If you've followed this blog for years, you might remember my past two posts about Bryant Terry's Smoky South American Seitan Stew from his first book, Grub: Ideas for the Urban Organic Kitchen:

But honestly, even if you've been around that long, I doubt you'd remember this spicy stew because I only make it once a year. Every year at Samhain time (Halloween for all you Muggles), I make this stew to enjoy with all my dead friends and family. Sounds morbird, sure. But Halloween is the night when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest. Seems to me like the perfect time to eat yummy food in honor of those who have passed on to the next life.

This year, I actually enjoyed my seitan stew — a hearty mix of homemade seitan, fried plantains, red potatoes, and a spicy chipotle-tomato broth — on Día de los Muertos (the Mexican Day of the Dead, November 1st).

Most years, I prepare fresh bread for my stew as a symbol of the Earth's fruitful harvest. But this year, I decided to try a new grain dish as my side — Bryant Terry's Coconut Quinoa, also from Grub:

In his book, Terry suggests serving the seitan stew over this simple quinoa dish made with coconut milk and shredded dried coconut. Though the coconut flavors are somewhat masked by the stew, I did love the way the quinoa really soaked up the broth.

As for the dead, I supposed they enjoyed the stew too. I always light a candle at the table for every dead person/pet I know — Aunt Ruth, my Grandpa Haas, my friends Smoky, David Ray, Xander, and Daniel, and my kitties Patches and Alexius. Thankfully, I didn't have to add any new candles this year!

Speaking of Mexican holidays, I'll be on a bit of a Mexican holiday for the next few days. I'm embarking on a Carnival cruise from New Orleans to Mexico tomorrow night. Since wifi on the ship costs like a million bucks, I won't be mofo-ing while I'm away. But I'm sure I'll have loads of fun cruise food photos when I return. I hear Carnival's pretty accommodating for vegans. Hope so!

23 comments:

Rick said...

the stew sounds yumtastic, and i'll miss ya while you're gone, bon voyage!

Kiersten said...

That sounds like a great meal. I love serving quinoa with saucy things because it absorbs all the flavor.

Have fun on your trip! I hope we get pics when you come back!

Sarah P said...

I didn't know Bryant Terry had a book before Vegan Soul Kitchen! I really like that one, so I should check out Grub, 'cause it looks like it's got some grat recipes!

Noelle said...

Stew sounds delicious!

Leslie R. said...

I love Bryant Terry's recipes!!

Jessica said...

Ooh, smoky over coconut sounds good. I'm also a Bryant Terry fan, although I'd probably rather have him cook for me than go through some of the more complicated recipes. :)

Have fun on the cruise!

Sarah S. said...

Have a fun trip girrrl!

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

Have fun on your cruise!

Erin said...

Have fun on the cruise!

aimee said...

WOW! Have a great trip and take lots of photos!!!

vegannifer said...

First of all, that quinoa sounds totally yummy and I would eat a big bowl of it unadorned!

Second, plaintains are awesome!

Third, I wish I had known about the thin veil between the living and the dead on Halloween (I obviously need to brush up on my history) because I would have made some sort of offering to my dearly departed cat, Sophie. I lost her this past July and I would have loved to honor her! I'm so glad, though, that you didn't have to add any candles this year!

jodye @ 'scend food said...

This stew sounds delicious, but what I really think I'm going to do is make the quinoa with coconut milk for dessert!

Emily said...

I'm eating quinoa right now, but would love some coconut quinoa instead. Have fun on your cruise!

Keri - I Eat Trees said...

Looks like a great stew. Hope you have a great vacation!

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Can't wait to hear about your travels! Have a great trip!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

That stew sounds delicious, and what a great way to honor your friends' and family's memory!

Amanda @ Hungry Vegan Traveler said...

That stew sounds great!

I'm interested to hear how a Carnival cruise as a vegan goes. Looking forward to the full report!

Leslie said...

The stew looks so delicious, and I really like your way of celebrating Halloween. Have fun on your cruise!

caribbeanvegan said...

looks very good Bianca. Enjoy your cruise did not know it was expensive to use the wifi on the ships...eek! I cannot wait to see if you find any great vegan meals aboard:)

Sophia.Pflieger said...

That stew sound very different, but super yummy. I love plantains, this sounds like such a creative way to use them!


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tofucottage said...

Hope your cruise is awesome! I just returned from a Disney cruise and since my last one over a year and a half ago, the veg options have greatly improved! Our head waiter even had the kitchen whip up his favorite curry dishes for our table. Twice! I'll be posting food pics this week. Can't wait to hear about your experience!

Claryn said...

That stew looks fantastic, and I love the thought behind it.

Mihl said...

I completely forgot about Bryant Terry's awesome recipes. That stew looks so wonderful!