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Seitan and “Crab” Oscar — and a Cookbook Giveaway!

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Vegan Planet: Seitan and “Crab” Oscar — and a Cookbook Giveaway!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Seitan and “Crab” Oscar — and a Cookbook Giveaway!

Although I rarely buy prepared faux meat products (give me seitan, tofu, or beans any day), I’m always intrigued when a new line of products comes out, especially when they are of stellar quality. I view such products as vegan "ambassadors" or a helpful bridge for anyone reluctant to go veg because they think they’ll “miss the meat.” Sometimes all it takes is one good vegan meal that has the flavors and textures they enjoy, to prove to them that going vegan isn’t about deprivation.
So when the people at Match Meats offered to send me some samples of their premium gourmet-quality products, I was eager to try them. I’ve been especially keen on sampling the “crab” product to see if it could indeed “match” the real thing.

I made a batch of faux-crab cakes. Instead of serving them on their own, I decided to go all out and make a vegan version of the classic “Oscar” dish. I used sautéed seitan as the base cutlets, topped them with roasted asparagus and the “crab” cakes, and then spooned some vegan hollandaise on top.

This dish has “special occasion” written all over it. The texture and flavor of the Match Meat crab is great and can only be described as scary-good. (How do they do it?) Our dinner was so fantastic we wanted to lick our plates.  Fair warning: Match Meat products are a bit pricey, but if you’re looking for something different for a special meal, you might want to give them a try.

Vegan on the Cheap - Cookbook Giveaway...
If you still don’t have my latest book, Vegan on the Cheap, now’s your chance to win a copy!

Just leave a comment at the end of this post and tell me what your favorite “cheap” ingredient is.  
A winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, August 8th. Good luck!

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My two favorite "cheap" ingredients are dried beans and canned tomatoes. They can be adapated to so many different dishes and cuisines--I always have them in my pantry.

Thanks for all the great recipes!

My favorite cheap ingredient is broccoli
For me it's a toss up between Millet and Red Onions.

I use Millet as my grain all of the time because I can buy more it than Quinoa.

And Red Onions are a staple in my kitchen.
I use an onion in practically everything I cook, but Red ones are my favorite!
I like dried beans and rice! Cheap and filling.
You can't get much cheaper than dried beans. They taste much better than canned and are so versatile. When I'm feeling lazy, the 365 brand canned organic beans from Whole Foods are surprisingly inexpensive.
Cheap ingredient : lentils and beans in general. One can do so much with them and they are good for our health/body.

Diane B.
My favorite cheap ingredient is definitely dried beans and lentils. They're some of the most versatile ingredients out there and super healthy.
Beans! :) Since I'm growing them now they are the ultimate cheap! Wheeeee!
Dried chickpeas are awesome. I cook them in a slow-cooker and use them to make hummus, chickpea salad sandwiches, throw them into stir-fry, oven-roasted vegetables, to make veggie burgers, etc.
For a cheap ingredient that still makes for a healthy diet I like sweet potatoes - they're delicious and full of antioxidants!
I have quite a few 'cheap' fave ingredients but I really like canned chickpeas and canned tomatoes.
Probably dried lentils.
Dried beans are my favorite cheap ingredient. And with my pressure cooker they take no time at all to cook.
Dried rice and chickpeas. Yum yum!
In season fruits and vegetables! Buy loads and freeze them, or can (if you can) etc!
Banana's super cheap (although there is a different kind of cost associated if you do not buy organic and fair trade) and you can use them even after they are brown to bake bread, or freeze them and toss them in to smoothies. We buy two bunches a week in our house!
My favorite cheap ingredient would be lentils. They are cheap and cook fast and you can do alot with them.
Far and away, my fav. is bulk organic brown rice. It's no contest!

I have about 5 of your books including Vegan on the Cheap and love the recipes but have a question!

How important is it to use the oil in the recipes? I mean which ones offhand would be ruined without using the oils? Would the seitan recipes come out okay without it? I have cut added oils out of my diet and want to try some of the recipes but not sure how important it is to the recipes!
hi robin,

my favourite ingredient is cilantro and mint .. it adds so much flavor to the food...first time your blog and got a chance to try my chance in the giveaway : )

I have been trying to move towards vegan recipes as they are such a healthy option to other cuisines

If you get time do visit my blog


Dried beans are my favorite cheap food. I make a large batch on the weekend and then have them ready to go for quick weeknight meals!
Beans and grains. Canned tomatoes. Homemade seitan.
Hi Nancy, Virtually all of the saute recipes would be fine made without oil (you could either use less oil, use a cooking spray, or saute in a little vegetable broth). The seitan recipes would be fine without oil, you can just add a little extra water or broth to make up the liquid. I think the only recipes that might not do well without the oil (or Earth Balance, etc.) would be baked goods such as pie crust, cakes, cookies, etc. Hope this helps!
oatmeal is great to have around to add to bread, muffins, pancakes etc. and whenever you need a quick breakfast its there!
My favorite cheap ingredient is chipotle powder. I use it instead of red pepper flakes and in tofu scrambles, pasta sauces, Mexican foods, etc. Since it isn't available really, I just buy a bag of dried chipotle peppers (if they are too flexible, just dry them in the dehydrator until they snap), then put them in the spice grinder and whiz. Store in air-tight container. Sure beats the cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, because I don't waste when I only need a little.
Oats! great to add to bread, muffins, pancakes etc. and of course for a quick tasty breakfast!
Interesting new product!

My favorite "cheap" ingredient is flour. Sounds silly, but you can save so much $ baking rather than purchasing baked goods.
Thanks Robin!

I don't do many desserts anyway so that's no big deal! I usually use applesauce or fat replacement in my baking!

Ok now I will dig into the book and start cooking! The recipes look absolutely wonderful!
In season local produce- yum. It tastes better since it hasn't spent its best days in a shipping container, it wasn't picked too early, and it leaves a smaller carbon footprint. Cheaper for me, better for the planet; that's a win all the way around.
So many cheapies, how to choose just one?

Hmm... I guess lentils. So versatile.
my favorite cheap ingredient is kale. it is never more than $2 at the farmers market and it makes my tummy so happy. it goes with almost anything and is super healthful. love it!
Was wondering if you would tell your vegan hollandaise sauce recipe!
Kim, you can find my hollandaise sauce recipe in my book 1,000 Vegan Recipes.

I also posted it on my blog back in October -- here's the link: Hope you like it as much as we do!
Potatoes! The let me throw parties when I'm out of money. It's incredible how amazed people are by simple roasted potatoes with dips.
Beans!! My husband and I eat beans every single day. So cheap, so good for you, and so easy to doctor up!
My favorite cheap ingredient is rolled oats. There's just too many different things I can do with it, from making granola, to incorporating it in my "meatloaf"
hmmm it's toss-up between potatoes and dried black beans. i could eat black beans any day of the week, but i think potatoes win out because they can be prepared more ways...

dang, now i want to eat black beans AND potatoes.
Beans (usually canned black beans, because I'm lazy). I also love mushrooms.
Rolled oats: they make a fabulous filling breakfast, bulk up baked goods, smoothies, even soups and stews!
my favourite are chickpeas, too, cheap and so versatile: they can be used for hummus, curries, soups, stews, chickpea cutlets, burgers, with pasta dishes... everything!
I like herbs because I can grow them easily, and dry them for long term use. Thanks!
I'd say beans, but I don't eat them that often. Instead, I'll say mustard seeds, because I make my own mustard and use it in EVERYTHING!
I have to say frozen corn - which I used the most of any frozen veggie. So handy!
beans and oats! both cheap and filling!
i make a pound of dried beans every week and rice cooker pot of brown rice and freeze in containers....
My favorite cheap ingredient is fresh greens! Thank you for the giveaway!
my favorite cheap ingredient is lentils. they're so versatile. i like to use them in mexican, indian, and middle eastern dishes.
Cabbage, definitely. That, and blackberries off the bushes on the side of the road. =)
my favorite cheap ingredient is frozen organic spinach. you can get a big bag for less than $2 and use it in your smoothies or a casserole. awesome!
Lentils are my favorite inexpensive ingredient. They come in lots of varieties and can be made quickly. I also love carrots as a stand-by inexpensive veggie.
Beans and lentils for sure! They are cheap to buy, they last indefinitely dry, and you can make a big batch and freeze the leftovers.

amber4d AT gmail DOT com
Chickpeas! They cost almost nothing (especially dried), but they can be rich and creamy.
any fruit or veggie that's in season of course!
My favourite cheap ingredients are homegrown tomatoes (I can them and hopefully have enough to get me through the winter) and yep, dried chickpeas.

Is there ANYTHING you can't do with a chickpea? It's the super-duper all-purpose food.
It has to be chickpeas! I always have them on hand for salads, beans and greens, hummus, and eating straight up!! Got to love them and love your recipes too!! Thank you!!
black beans! So versatile, flavorful and healthy
Thanks for the giveaway! My favorite cheap ingredients are carrots and lentils.
My favorite cheap ingredient is herbs from my garden. At a cost of basically zero, I can't get much cheaper than that!
Definitely beans- healthy, tasty, cheap!
Wow so many comments that mirror my own. So let me think here...I'll toss in potatoes. Yes they can cost $ at times...BUT you sure can stretch them and they are very versatile and forgiving. You can add just about anything to them and or vice versa.
So here's to the SPUD!
Canned pumpkin (looking forward to the upcoming harvest). Tasty, nutritious, and wonderful in all kinds of baked goods.
I haven't been able to find Match Meat anywhere so I contacted my two local co-ops and pretty much begged them to carry them! I'd buy online, but the shipping charges is what kills me. I don't mind paying 8 bucks for the product, but 23 bucks for shipping? Oh no way! :P

As for my favorite cheap ingredient? It's probably either dried beans or frozen veg.

Speaking of Vegan On The Cheap, I borrowed it from my library and am salivating! So many delicious recipes. Fantastic book. Even if I'm not lucky enough to win it, I'll be buying it. :)
Tofu....great protein, super cheap at Trader Joe's! Love your cookbooks, I already have two! would love this one as I have four boys I am trying to feed and it is getting very expensive! Thanks for the offer!
My favorite cheap ingredient is any tomato from my husband's garden. We live in a condo now, but a local church offers plots of land for free. The tomatoes have been ripening for a few weeks now and they are so delicious!
Brown rice. We buy it by the 25 lb bag. Excellent value and goes with everything.
My favorite cheap ingredient is dried beans. They can take the place of meat, tofu, tempeh, or seitan in a dish and from your brownie recipe, I now know they can be used in baking.
Definitely chickpeas. Delicious, and so easy to use in so many things.
my favorite cheap ingredient is beans.
hands down dried beans are the easiest cheapest ingredient. I usually make quinoa too and cooke them in a homemade veggie broth. Thanks for the contest!
"Cheap" can mean more than one thing to me. Things need to be cheap in terms of cost, but also in terms of time too! I have a two-year old who is a little fussy (we're working on it) and sometimes I have to get dinner on the table fast. Snap peas are a big hit, whole bulk organic carrots, well-cooked shredded cabbage, and quick spinach dips (well-pureed, since the texture of greens is an issue for him). Pasta is the ultimate cheap food, though, and so is rice!
Any kind of dried beans or lentils are my cheap staples. My cheap fresh ingredient is carrots. I discovered that they taste amazing when oven roasted and can add a lot of flavor to so many of my go-to meals. They are really, really cheap where I live, so I had to start taking advantage of the reasonable price.
My favorite cheap ingredient is lentils. I love eating them lightly seasoned, over tots, over fries, as soup, in meatloaf, even just with ketchup!
canned beans for sure! delicious and cheap!
Beans, beans, beans. I love beans!
My favourite cheap ingredient is chickpeas.
My favorite cheap ingredients are canned beans and brown rice.
Rice and beans for sure!
Black beans! I could eat them every day.
My favorite cheap ingredient? Red Onions!! Thanks for the chance!
ricettebarbare at gmail dot com
Chickpeas are my favourite cheap ingredient. I always have them on hand and they are versatile.
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Beans for sure!
Home-grown herbs, purchased cheap at the farmer's market.
My favorite cheap ingredient is black beans. I would turn into a burrito if my boyfriend didn't get sick of them!
I love bulk herbs and spices. You can buy just what you need, and you save on waste by reusing old spice jars and bottles.
Black beans are my favorite
Lentils - I love them any which way.
My favorite cheap ingredient is chickpeas even though I have to remove the covers. My other favorite cheap ingredient is basil, because I just have walk out to my garden and gather enough for our weekly pesto.
My favorite cheap ingredient is the chickpea! It's so versatile, it can be used in so many dishes - chickpea patties, hummus, mock tuna salad and pasta to name a few.
I'd probably say dried beans. I also love how cheap bananas are, and we go through a lot of them around here.
Beans- can be used in so many recipes.
Garlic! Makes (almost) everything taste better.
Hi Robin,

I can't believe I've just now discovered your blog! I've been missing out.

My favourite cheap ingredient would still have to be tofu. It's so versatile and satisfying that it's as delicious to me now as it was when I first discovered it.
My favorite cheap ingredient is dried black beans. Brown rice is a close second!
Yum, "Oscar" looks like a winner! My favorite cheap ingredient is dried chickpeas. I cook a pound at a time and freeze them in 1.5 cup containers. Anytime I need a "can" of chickpeas, viola!
Your crab cakes look delicious!

My favorite cheap ingredient is probably bulk lentils. I reach for lentils when I need some quick protein to round out a meal.
I'll hop on the dried-bean bandwagon here, and add in fresh garden produce. Yum!
Pretty much any dried bean is a great cheap ingredient. I especially like using black beans and lentils. That said, brown rice is our go to cheap ingredient.

Finally, vital wheat gluten. Yes, it can get pricey, and it's more expensive than other flours, but it's way way WAY cheaper than buying pre-made gluten or seitan.
tofurky italian sausage - it mixes with soo many things!
I picked a good time for a return visit! A chance to win a cookbook of yours that I don't have yet? Yay!!
First off, that "crab" looks & sounds very interesting. Although I grew up on the east coast of Canada, I was never much of a seafood lover. Fish, yes, but lobsters and such, I'll pass thanks. But faux crab might be just enough unlike the real thing to make me want to try it. Is it available in stores yet, do you know? I do cross-border shopping a couple of times a year, so I'm definitely going to look for it.
My fav cheap ingredients are easily onions & beans. So versatile!
Hi Carrie,

Thanks for visiting my blog again! I'm not sure what stores sell Match Meats but you can go to their website and check out their store locator. Here's the link:
Maybe not the cheapest, but as for bang for my buck, $1.50/block organic tofu. Versatile and used in much of my cooking.

Fingers crossed this week!
My favorite cheap ingredient has gotta be beans ... My favorite bean has gotta be chickpeas. I did a quick calculation between buying dried organic beans and soaking/cooking them vs canned organic beans, and was surprised to find it about the same.
I would say fresh basil from my own plant. Free, and adds SO much flavor!
Besides your staple of brown rice, I think cannellini beans can make a ton of creamy, high protein dishes.
My favorite cheap ingredients are lentils, and produce from our garden!
Black beans, hands down is my favorite cheap food.
Dried beans. Any kind, there are so many you can do with beans
*GASP* I want it! I want it! Krys from the Two Vegan Boys blog has been making me drool for weeks with all her Vegan on the Cheap goodness!

Your faux-crab cakes look amazing! I have tried the match meats before but I don't remember liking them much. Maybe it's time to give them another shot.

My favorite cheap ingredient? Hmmm. Probably fresh produce that is in season - it's cheap, it's local, and it's deliciously fresh! Thank you for the giveaway! :)
great recipes!!!! hope to find more from your site. keep it up!
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