Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vegan Airport Food Takes Off in Chicago, ORD Cibo Express

I don't spend much time in major airports any more and even less time in the terminals.  I go to the Executive or General Aviation terminals where the private and charter jets park so knowing that I was going to be in O'Hare flying in on AA to pick up the second half of a trip that was too many hours of waiting for one crew to complete, offered the possibility of bringing my search for vegan food to a heretofore unexplored and frankly quiet scary venue.

I send out a tweet and my new found friend, the only, (I hope not), vegan pilot on the planet responds and says to seek out Soul Wraps at Cibo.

I thought of soul food, collards and other greens, ... I didn't know what to think but as my flying partner settled into his meal of big macs, fries, apple pies and drink with a yogurtish frozen thing for dessert I thought of what was more important, looking up the nutritional, (or lack of), content of his meal or going out on the hunt for mine.  Off I went.  OK, I did give him a disparaging look first.  Then went off.

I shlep and I shlep and I shlep.  You know the way airline terminals can be.  I ask for directions.  Oy.  I do a 180 degree turn and shlep back.  Finally a map.  I am good at maps.  I do maps for a living.  I locate my destination and seek and find.

Cibo Express is like a typical food stand with refrigerator cases stocked with beverages and sandwiches and salads all in plastic containers.  The difference is that the food looks fresh, bright and inviting.  Now where are those wraps?  I grab a vegetable Chipotle Wrap, don't see the V for vegan anywhere and read the ingredients.  I do so want to eat this thing.  Chipotle Cream?  What kind of cream?  Cream like dairy cream?  arggggh!  I don't know!  I come so close ... but put it back.

Then I see ...

Tofu?  What?  Really?
Then I realize that the soul wraps were from the Soul Vegetarian Restaurant I reviewed in another posting and right next to it ... what is this?  Health?  I like Health.  Ingredients are...

Seitan?  I look around.  Yeah, I'm really at an airport although I feel like I'm in the promised land.  Why isn't there a beam of sunlight shining down on me?

I grabbed both sandwiches, Asian Noodles, Tabouli and Roasted Root vegetables.  I look around and I'm STILL in an airport.  I can't believe this selection.  I feel a little like a cat burglar, in need of a big sack to throw my loot into.

Back to the food court I go, stomach growling.  I dive into the cold food after scrounging a fork from Starbucks.  Ok, I did get my double tall, one pump mocha, soy, no whip, 140 degrees latte while I was there but that was only because I couldn't take my Silk Soymilk creamer through security.

The tabouli was bright and fresh and the asian noodles had a really nice peanutty flavor in a rather light sauce.

The Tofu was in a nice BBQ sauce and had a very nice heat level.  Don't eat this if you like mild food.  It certainly aint mild!  Nice big chunks of tofu to sink your teeth into.  I finished half of this wrap in about 6 seconds.

The Seitan was in a sweet tomato sauce with a hint of heat.  Very nice but I wonder if it would he easier to eat if it was less like ground meat and more like slices of seitan.  Just a thought.

Now in all fairness I did get a wrap that had an expiration/sell by date that was the same day.  When I opened it it smelled a bit "off" so I returned it for a wrap with a date a few days later and it was delicious.
I also heated them up later in the microwave on the airplane.  I know they would have been good cold but they were outstanding hot.

Roasted Veggies were interesting.  Sometimes I eat food that is good for me rather than good tasting.  I enjoy roasted root vegetables but although the carrots and sweet potatoes were cooked perfectly the parsnips were incredibly fibrous.  The beets were also a little undercooked, (and weren't even on the label.)
It's just nice to see this kind of food in a fast food take out place.  Now to tweak the recipe.

Thank you Cibo Express for being so progressive in offering a vegan menu.  You should definitely put up a bigger sign!

Sometimes it's cool to be so close to things that influence the world to such a degree.
Now, the coolest part of this trip was watching Air Force One land.  It's only called Air Force One if the President is onboard.  Here it is on the ramp next to the General Aviation Terminal last night after it taxied in and the President got off to give his speech in Chicago.
This is one of several helicopters departing the staging area for Air Force One.  If the President is on board this would have had a call sign of Marine One.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Another thrown together dinner

I don't know if I should have a "recipe" or "meals" section.  Let me know if you'd like that.

So I'm all alone tonight with a fridge full of leftovers and I don't really want to cook from scratch.

I grab some leftover, over-salted, (I have no idea why anyone adds salt to plain salad),  mixed greens, rinse it off and throw in some diced fake ham and turkey and a little daiya cheddar, a little bit of Maple Grove Organic Balsamic Fat Free Vinaigrette, tossed it in the container and chowed down in about 90 seconds.

Now to raid the fridge where there is a bowl of leftover roasted veggies.  Parsnips, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes.

Sautee up some onions and garlic in olive oil, throw in some carrots and celery and now to toss in some spices.  What to use, what to use?  Salt and pepper, sure.  How about some cumin, caraway, coriander?  What else?  Ah, a bit of cinnamon, yes!  A shake or two of cayenne.  Now we're talking.

Let it go for a bit and chop up the veggies, toss them in and heat them up in the spices.  In goes about 6 quarts of stock, (well, water and some veggie base).  I bring to a boil and toss in oh, 2 cups of red lentils ... dal.  Let it come back up and simmer for about 30 minutes.

I toss in the TVP granules, buzz it with the immersion blender and then turn off the heat and stir them around and let it re-hydrate for 15 minutes.

But you can't serve something so delicious out of a pot even if you are alone...

I wish I had some fresh cilantro but hey, lime is green.  Squeeze squeeze.  Eat eat.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What to do, need your opinion

Yelp recently contacted me and told me that I had to take the links to this blog out of my reviews or they would, (might), cancel my account.

"Hi Marty,

I'm writing because many of your reviews have been flagged by the community, and after evaluation, our Support team has determined that these reviews violate our Terms of Service (  Because personal accounts cannot be used in any promotional manner, the links and references to your blog that you've included in your reviews are problematic and will need to be removed.

We'd appreciate it if you could remove the promotional links and references by Thursday, October 28, 2010. If they are not removed by this date, we'll unfortunately have to remove the reviews.

Please note that you are welcome to post a link in your profile under "My Blog or Website," but links or references placed within reviews or outside of that space appear as promotional content and are in violation of Yelp's TOS (

Yelp User Support
San Francisco, California"

So I changed it from this:
See my full review and pics at my blog Marty's Flying Vegetarian Review:

To this:
Yelp told me to delete the reference to my blog.  Well, one of the ways I generate traffic for my blog is to write reviews and refer you there so please visit my Yelp profile where you'll see a link you may want to follow for more details and pictures of the place I'm reviewing.  It's sort of an interesting blog and without mentioning the name it's about a Vegan charter pilot with an identical name who writes about the meals he eats on the this dining experience below:

Then they said this:

Thank you for removing the links from your reviews. However, many of your reviews still appear promotional in nature. User accounts should not be used to promote your blog or any other website you may be affiliated with. Please note that you are welcome to post a link in your profile under "My Blog or Website," but links or references placed within reviews or outside of that space appear as promotional content and are in violation of Yelp's TOS (

We'd greatly appreciate it if you could amend your reviews so that they no longer promote your blog or other websites by Thursday, October 28, 2010, otherwise we may have to close your account. 

 So here's the question ... did you find my blog through yelp?  Should I keep posting to Yelp?  Am I posting to Yelp as a Vegan public service or to help generate traffic to the blog so that perhaps one day this might be profitable and part of something bigger?  Do I cowtow to corporate ball slamming?  Is it worth it to invest the extra time on every review to post to Yelp with no flowthrough, (backflow?  whatever it's called?)

 At least Urban Spoon encourages the publicizing of one's blog and ASKS for your blogs link.

What do you think?  Please tell me your opinion especially if you found and follow this blog as a result of seeing it on Yelp.

Thanks for your time.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

A hotel restaurant to go out of your way for, Banyans Asian Cafe, Wilmington, NC

I'm usually leaving hotels with restaurants to go out and find other restaurants not in hotels so you can imagine how juxtaposed I was to be walking INTO a Ramada in search of good vegan vittles.  There weren't a ton of options and our time was limited so we ended up almost across the street from where we were staying.

Banyan's was empty when we got there, admittedly later than the usual dinner hour but that always makes me wonder how fresh everything is.  Needlessly here.  The place has a woody planty green and brown motif with some kind of big mats under the tables and chairs.  It's a nice and inviting, comfortable place.  We sat near the front window, hopefully to serve as a beacon to other wayward vegans but no one joined us that evening.

Our waitress was friendly and happy and knowledgable about the food.  My vegan wishes were understood and I felt that this wasn't going to be a meal where I worried about fish sauce creeping into my dishes.  I love it when the response is, "Vegan?  Ok sure, no problem, been there done that."  Ahhhhhh.

I ordered the Coconut Curry which I ordered with Seitan and my buddy wanted to only eat fried rice.  I would have split it with him but he wanted egg so I ordered the Pad Thai with Tofu.

For a starter we split the spring rolls.

They were served with a sweet chili sauce and a chili vinaigrette, both medium on the spice index and nice to dip the fried crunchy rolls into.  The rolls themselves where crispy and not greasy at all and had some flavor and really didn't need anything else but hey, it's there right?

The Pad Thai was excellent and if I had a fork instead of chopsticks I'd have shoveled the whole dish into my mouth in hugh swirling twirled forkfuls.  The pasta was cooked nicely, just past al dente and not yet mushy and it had a rich flavor and the tofu had a very nice chewable yet not chewy consistency.

A little bit of Srirracha never hurt.  Crispy sprouts and peanuts and a squeeze of lime.

Don't look at the eggs but isn't that an amazingly colorful plate of fried tofu rice?  No, I didn't taste it.

My Coconut Curry, nice heat but I threw in the Thai Chili Flakes anyway
The coconut curry was so incredibly coconutty and creamy and ... wait, what's this?  Tofu?  I thought, ... oh Miss?!  Yes, she thought the cook had put in tofu instead of seitan and she'd be right out with the seitan. Just mix it in.  OK.  One day everything will go right with a meal I have but this wasn't like I was finding chicken in the food or anything.  Just silliness.  The seitan was a nice addition and I wouldn't have known it wasn't house made if I hadn't asked.  I think pre made seitan works out well most of the time if it's cooked and this was.
A closeup of my curry.  Notice the seit... uhm ... the tofu?

There we go, just dump in some seitan.

And let's double the amount of stuff we can take home and dump in the rest of the white rice.  Why do I eat white rice?  Well, there wasn't any brown served here.  That should be changed.
Any place that actually uses seitan in their ethnic cuisine gets a few points right off the bat, even if they don't actually put it IN the dish the first time around.  I'd go back here in a heartbeat and highly recommend Banyans.  There are a few other places in Wilmington I'd like to try as well but this definitely gets a "go back to" rating.

Banyan Asian Cafe on Urbanspoon

Mexican confusion and a wish and a hope in Chicago, El Faro, Chicago, Il

I wonder what the cop thought the fourth time I drove by his parked cruiser.  It was night, it wasn't the best of neighborhoods, and I couldn't for the life of me find the restaurant, Jerusalem's Finest, that I started out looking for.  It was a toss up between that one and El Faro and my reasoning was that El Faro was closer to the airport and I might need that as a fallback when I had less time on a quick stopover.

Before I forget let me share this incredible colorful sunset from the next night's flight down to Wilmington NC.

The world on a clear night from 38,000 feet.  The rainbow of the sunset was magnificent.
So I double back to look for El Faro and I feel like I'm driving in another land.  I have no objection to people using their native tongue and think it's kind of neat actually, to find myself in an ethnic neighborhood, but it's just that I can either write this blog or spend time with Rosetta Stone.  So I have to really read the signs and on my second pass saw not "El Faro" but something like "vegetariano" with a parking space in front of the door.  I hate when I use up my life's luck on a parking space and always think I should have played the lottery instead.

I'm looking at what is essentially a diner type restaurant.  It very bright with formica tables and the strange thing is it's so quiet.  There's no music.  Conversations seem to be very easily heard.  Interesting.  So I get the menu and say in my broken, grammatically incorrect Spanish that I'm a vegetarian and don't eat meat, fish, chicken, broth or dairy products.  For all I know I might have just said I enjoy walking in the rain with a lace parasol.  I really try and stick with the Spanish.  I keep thinking this is vegetarian and not vegan.  I wish my guys who spoke fluent Spanish, uh, cause they are from Chile and Cuba, were with me.  I think both would have really liked this place.

I order 2 appetizers and a sandwich.  I can't find smoothies on the menu so settle for a diet coke.  ugh.

My waitress brings my soda and a few condiments.  I love the pickled carrots and jalapenos and cauliflower and onions.  I'm eating the hot carrots like chips.  The salsa is nice with a heat just north of medium.
Chomp, chomp, chomp.

Is this like a Mexican version of pickles on the table?
I start with a Gordita.

Homemade thick corn tortillas with beans, lettuce and tomato.  I got the Nopalitas, a dried cactus seasoned with onions and dried pasilla peppers.

Soy chorizo taco on the left and Gordita on the right.
and a "Taco de Soya Chorizo" a Soya texturada, adobado con especies naturales y aceite de uva, preparado con cebolla y cilantro.  I'd never had Nopalitas before and these had a consistency of sauteed peppers and a wonderful flavor.  The soy tasted like soyrizo with fresh cilantro.  Mmmm good.  Wish they had some daiya cheese.

My eyes are sort of glazing over the menu.

I want a Cuban sandwich.  I remember one I had in Key West to this day.  It was early in the morning and a cup of Cuban coffee.

So I order what I thought was the "Torta Veggie Cubana"  Chorizo, Pollo y Tocino estrilo soya en telera con mayonesa, frijoles, huevo organico, queso amarillo de soya, cebolla, tomate y chile chipotle.

My waitress was very careful to verify no mayonesa et no queso, (they do NOT have soy cheese apparently), but got the sandwich wrong.  Well, I'm sure she got it right but I forged valiantly ahead in Spanish and got the "Sandwich Vegetariano" Soy chicken style served on a toasty wheat bread with mayonnaise, romain lettuce, spinach, alfalfa sprouts, mozarella style tofu, onions and tomatoes, served wtih diced potatoes and fruit.
Nicely laid out plate, the potatoes were perfect instead of overcooked/raw french fries.  The cucumber was perhaps a bit misplaced.

You can see the slices of soy chicken ... they were round like they came off a loaf.
It was a good sandwich, a little overpowered by the sprouts and a good medium for the salsa.  The potatoes were the bomb, man, and not one was left on the plate.  The fruit was all good and fresh and the grapes burst with flavor as I popped one with each bite of sandwich.  Not what I had in mind when I ordered but good non the less.

I asked the waitress for a Cuban Sandwich to go.

When it came I opened it and saw ... another Vegetarian Sandwich.  Ground Hog Day?  So I grabbed the menu and resorted to what travelers in a foreign land have done for eons ... I pointed.  And ordered a Cuban Sandwich to go.

Well, the next day I opened my sandwich and started to chow down and just knew there was something amiss.  I peeled back the bread and lo and behold ... egg.  Now I see it on the menu, huevo organico, but missed it the night before.  I tossed the egg, poured on some hot sauce and ate what remained of my delicious Cuban Sandwich.

I loved this sandwich.  Now I wonder if the bread was made with milk and eggs.
Can anyone who speaks fluent Spanish find out?  Thanks!

Here's a place that is trying.  They totally succeed with their vegetarian fare and I would pick this place over any other Mexican restaurant if I was an ovo lacto vegetarian but for me, I need to be more careful and slow down for my meal here to be successful as a vegan.  I applaud the use of soy vegetarian products and truthfully have no way to know if they're made with egg whites or not.  I also think that unfortunately, I need to come back here with someone who does speak Spanish as I can't really drill down into the ingredient list of the individual foods as far as I'd like with my level of Spanish.

El Faro Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Karyn's Cooked, Chicago Comfort Food

Night one in Chicago and the big guy is happy to watch baseball and eat at TGIF so I have a car and a 100% vegan mindset.  I Happy Cow, (now a verb you see), and find 2 Karyn's places but one uses words like, "chic," and I'm not really chic.  I'm cool but not chic.  So I pick Cooked.

It takes me about 20 minutes to get there from the hotel near Midway and I find a parking space around the corner.  I spend another 15 minutes trying to figure out if I need to pay for parking and by then there are only 22 minutes left that I have to pay for parking FOR.  So I spend another 5 wondering if I could get away with it and being from NYC where the traffic NAZIS will ticket you while you are actually walking to the machine to pay for your parking receipt to put on your dashboard to prove you paid for parking, (right?!), I cave in and buy $1.40 worth of asphalt rental time.

Karyn's has several tables outside and a welcoming facade.  Inside it is warm and ... cool, woody and modern but not trying to prove anything, just a nice place.

There were only about 6 people there when I first sat down but by the time I left there were about 15 so I stopped worrying that they'd go out of business.
Look what my camera can do in Panoramic mode.  I'm just amazing myself.
My waitress was upbeat and more than willing to find out the answers to my questions about what was made inhouse, (the seitan/tofu protein mixture), and what was purchased outside, (the Match meat used in my Buffalo Wings), and willingly shared which were her favorites on the menu.

I started with a local organic beer, (well, Wisconsin is local to me anyway), Lakefront Organic ESB which stands for Extra Special Bitter.  It was milder than I was bracing for and quite enjoyable with my wings.
A nicely laid out plate with Buffalo sauce, Ranch Dressing and BBQ sauce
 Buffalo Wings  $9.00
Chicken soy meat dusted in whole wheat flour. Seasoned with paprika, garlic and onion. Served with garlic and barbeque sauces

Still working on clear closeups.
Nice and chewy with a fantastic crunch coating.
The Buffalo Wings were a hit with me.  Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.  I swear I could have put a straw in the Ranch dressing.  It had a creamy and slightly sweet taste to it.  Man that was good.  The Buffalo sauce had a nice hot sauce flavor but didn't scorch.  Did I say that Ranch should have been served with a spoon?  I didn't hit the BBQ sauce too much because I had ordered BBQ for a main.

Slab of Ribs   $13.00
BBQ lovers- a grilled tofu/seitan meat substitution that will fool and delight you

 This is a pretty nice looking plate with the ribs being almost an inch thick.  It's certainly something to sink your teeth into.  The BBQ sauce is a KC sweet sauce.  I found it just up to the line, but not over, of being too sweet and it had a really nice smoky flavor.  The bread that the ribs are sitting on is a garlic bread made with a multi grain or wheat roll.  I don't know if it was on purpose but it almost had a pretzel type feel, moist but dense with a nice crust.  I wasn't bowled over by too much garlic, just enough.

I did find the corn cold, at best it was room temperature and not all that sweet.

The cole slaw was a drier type, not all slathered with mayo, (veganaise), and was good but was a tad on the bland side.

And at this point the camera batteries died and we're back to iPhone pics.

Big chunks of meaty-ish ribs to slather in sauce and chow down on!
  When my waitress brought over the main plate she said my side of greens was on the way.  A few minutes later she still said it was on the way.  I had images of freshly prepped Collards being blanched, shock cooled and quick sauteed in garlic ... or some such delight.  I was really craving greens and looking forward to them.  So ... when they finally appeared I understood what a Yelp reviewer meant when they said about their meal that it was, to paraphrase, uninspired vegetables.  I couldn't understand what uninspired cooking was.  But this was it.  It seemed like the greens were boiled for hours, turned a brownish/greyish hue and had nothing but a bland bitter taste.  This was incredibly disappointing.  It looked like they were even thrown carelessly into the cup.

Disappointing greens
I figured since I'm a blogger now, well, for years, why not try a vegan dessert.  Well, I settled on the  German Double Carob Cake.  I probably should have wandered over to the display case since they all looked so enticing.  I must say that whether it's because I'm not such a dessert person or it was vegan or I was feeling pretty full that I'd say this cake was good, flavorful, needed a cup of coffee but just fell short of being a great dessert.
One of my rare desserts.
The service was adequate, sometimes I waited what I thought was a bit too long, especially since the place wasn't all that busy.  I thought the side, although panned, still should have been brought out with the entree.  My waitress was happy and smiled and I enjoyed being waited on by her my picking of nits aside.

And a strange thing though, at the conclusion of the meal I was presented with a postcard.  It had some pretty pictures of the other restaurant, Karyn's on Green, the chic one, (although they looked to be taken by a poor digital phone camera and then expanded), but the most prominent thing on it was a line drawn through the words, "10% OFF FOOD AND DRINK."  It was odd, making me feel like I missed the discount.  Now I wanted something I didn't even know others had had.  Wah wah.  Ditch the cards Karyn or print up new ones I think.

So Karyn's on the whole satisfied.  It was nice to just order and eat without the usual inquiries.  Being in a vegan place always does that.  There were some high notes but a few areas that I'd hope improve before my next visit and I will be back again.

Karyn's Cooked on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 18, 2010

Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson NJ

Amusement parks are hard places to do anything with the two words "food" and "health" in the same sentence.  Although it is getting easier, there are still more vegetarian options than vegan.

Last time at SFGA I had a veggie dish at Panda Express.  Now all of the information is based on responses to my usual questions such as, "Is this rice made with water or chicken broth?" etc.

This time around I was sort of pleasantly surprised.  Johnny Rockets is all over the park and although they have a veggie burger they don't serve it there ... but right next to them, 2 fast food counters over, is Ichiban.

I have a pretty cool app on the iPhone called Veggie Passport and it has various veggie phrases in a few languages.  Since everyone at Ichiban seemed to be from Taiwan they all got a kick out of me holding up a screen full of kanji.

I was assured that the 2 starch options, Rice and Noodles, were vegan as were the 3 different veggie options.  The spring roll, although 2.49 for a "side order," of one spring roll is a bit steep and not all that fantastic, added a bit of crunch and you all know of my predilection for fried food.

I got the noodles with sauteed cabbage, mushrooms and carrots and the string beans over the lo mein and my daughter got the same but with the steamed broccoli.

For the most part we're not going to use the word healthy but healthier.  The food is pretty greasy and the flavors, of course, are based on the palates of middle Americans.  Rather bland.  Even the prepackaged hot sauce wasn't very.

But, it's a vegan meal in a non vegan land.

On the way from riding Nitro,  out of curiosity I looked at the menu at the New England Hot Dog Company and lo and behold ... a veggie dog.  So again, I got to ask the usual question and the answer was, "Nope, it's just soy and wheat gluten protein."  Wow, a hot dog at an amusement park.  How American!!  Mustard and Sauerkraut.

Now, truth be told I was looking at the second dog, (yes, oink oink, second dog), and you know ... the bun caught my eye.  So with a question mark in my mind I just ate the second dog sans bun and fired off an email of inquiry to their corporate headquarters and I'll let you know the results.

Vegans and leather. What's your opinion?

I think it depends on your feelings, emotions, reasons for becoming vegan. Personally, I won't buy any more leather products but I can't afford to throw out and replace everything in my life with an animal product ingredient. The plastic in our phones has animal components yet we're not chucking our iPhones yet ... at least I am not.

I'm all for the, "Do what you can and do what you want to," approach as long as it moves in a direction that starts to reduce animal use. I say go vegan but love the idea that we are teaching people to exist without animal products by instituting Meatless Mondays.  Of course I think every meal should be meatless but it's still a step in the right direction.

I think we also should put our resources, limited as they are, towards the BIG issues. We're not going to stop the profitability of the beef industry by fighting against leather belts and shoes.  We will put a dent in their bottom line by advocating veganism as a way of life.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mexican-ish Dinner

Daughter requests Mexican tonight so I stoke up the rice cooker, load it with brown basmati, set the timer and forget it.  I think one of the most used small appliances is my rice cooker, at least 2 to 3 times a week.
I have an eggplant, a sweet potato and some zucchini that needs to be used up and there's some pineapple left over from breakfast and a new batch of peaches.  Nothing like eating locally.  I'm sure they're local to someone.  These are all getting roasted with an onion and some garlic.  Rough chopped and drizzled with a  bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and there's a nice side dish.  Not the zucchini though.

I start to saute up an onion and realize I want to put a little sear on the seitan.  I'm using two of the cutlets from a few days ago which is starting to dry out a bit and 2 of the seitan sausages.  I hydrate two kinds of TVP, a small ball shape and the flat oval shape in some boiling water I drop 2 tsps of chicken flavored not bullion into.  I slice up the seitan and sausage and drop them in with the onions.

I remove them after a few minutes and toss some celery, carrots and garlic into the pan.  For spices I used S&P, cumin, cumin seeds, coriander, (what the hell), and oregano.  Saute them up and then toss in my shredded zucchini and some broth and a can of black beans with the TVP and some more broth.  This was very brothy and needed a lot of time to reduce.

 I had originally thought of adding some diced apple to the mixture but sometimes when you cook things just spiral out of control.  I wanted a little bit of heat in the dish.  My daughter is 11 and has started to appreciate a bit of heat but not yet hot.  So instead of just throwing in a chipotle in adobo I marinated the apple in some apple cider vinegar.  I thought it would be a great opportunity to use some of the Achiote paste, (which I have no idea really how to use), and cut of a little Tbsp size square and tried to dissolve that in the broth.  Then I threw in a cinnamon stick for good measure right after the single chopped up pepper.

Wow, was that hot!  So instead of ruining the whole dish it became a chipotle pickled apple.

My daughter plated this and dotted the chipotle apple vinegar around the plate.  In the middle is brown rice.  Roasted veggies on the side and some of the reserved seitan on top.
 I added back most of the seitan and voila, another easy tasty weeknight meal.
Seitan Sausage Rounds, seitan slices and TVP over brown rice.