I've not done much world traveling. Okay, so I've done NO world traveling outside of a quick stop in Mexico on a Carnival cruise in 2010. But even though world travel is out of my budget, I can still taste my way across the globe through exotic vegan recipes. Hands down, the best vegan collection of worldly fare is The Healthy Voyager's Global Kitchen.
Each chapter is dedicated to a country, and when flipping through most recently, I set my sights on Cuba. Something about the No Es Vaca Frita (or Fried Beef and Onions) intrigued me:
These are strips of homemade seitan boiled in a pepper-onion broth and then fried with onions until caramelized and crisp. The seitan is baked, so it has that deli-meat-chewiness that I love in a good seitan. Honestly, you could make lunch meat from the seitan loaf before slicing into strips. But the strips were so delicious fried up in olive oil, garlic, and lime juice.
Although the recipe suggests serving this dish with rice or beans, I'd been craving some of my Corn Casserole from Cookin' Crunk: Eatin' Vegan in the Dirty South (the book arrives from the press at my publisher's office this week!!):
This is one my Granny's classic Southern recipes, and it's so easy, it should be illegal. Frozen corn is mixed with a tub of vegan cream cheese (I used Galaxy's vegan cream cheese, which was provided free because Galaxy is awesome, and they keep sending me free stuff!) and vegan butter. Oh, and there's chilies and pimentos. It's baked until bubbly and very, very creamy. This stuff is like velvet with corn stuck in it, which doesn't sound so appetizing now that I think about it. But it's way good, y'all. Way, way good.
Also on the side, I made some Butternut Squash Puree:
I didn't use a recipe for this. It's just fresh butternut squash from the Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market, sliced in half, roasted for about 45 minutes, skinned, sliced, and pureed in a food processor with a pinch of salt, some vegan butter, and a bit of water.