Thursday, November 26, 2009

White Pepper Vegan Turkey Shawarma with Chipotle Tomato Relish and Roasted Garlic, Sage and Artichoke Tahini Paste

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Since I've already broached the topic of "What I'm Thankful For" in last week's post, this week I'm looking towards the future and how I want to improve upon my life. In fact, I've already purchased my 2010 planner...and intend to use it past January. My ultimate goal by the end of next year is to be completely financially independent of my parents. I can't really be considered a loser because I don't live in their basement. But by 25, I really need to stand on my own two feet.

The most ironic part of all is that my father is a financial planner. Instead of Goodnight Moon, I had pop-up books like "Don't Break The Piggy Bank" and "How to Make Your Allowance Work For You!". Yet I'm still clueless about and outright avoid budgeting. I partially blame Daddy Shags for my fears. I remember one day in particular during my teenage years, he gave me a calculator device that shows you how much buying a cup of coffee and a pack of cigarettes each day will ultimately add up to in one year. Instead of heeding his advice after seeing the astronomical sum of money, I adopted the "ignorance is bliss" philosophy.

Well, 7 years down the line, ignorance definitely does not feel blissful when I log into my US Bank online banking and view my account balance. So point A of improvement this year will be my financial well-being.

On a related note, if you are in the Los Angeles area and own any kind of business, please hire me. I'm smart. I'm overly punctual. I'm a quick learner, and I guarantee to make you laugh when you're feeling stressed. I'm also not that bad looking and tend to smell nice, so you won't mind having me around. My only limitation is that I'd like to work days as opposed to evenings, but it's not a deal breaker. Alright, that pretty much takes care of Point find a job.

My final focal point of self-improvement is to be a better friend. Anyone familiar with lesbian relationships knows that we tend to sink into oblivion when we're in a stable relationship. The term "Cat Lesbian" can easily be linked to this behavior. I have indeed holed myself up in my domestic lesbian haven, and it's time for me to get out and live it up a little more. Just because I'm getting married doesn't mean it's time to hang up my dancing shoes, put away my eye glitter and let my amazing tolerance for alcohol drop. Point C is: Plan to party! Hopefully, this won't conflict with Point A: Plan to budget. And no, I don't really wear eye glitter.

Enjoy your UnTurkey Day!

White Pepper Vegan Turkey Shawarma with Chipotle Tomato Relish
and Roasted Garlic, Sage and Artichoke Tahini Paste

For the Shawarma:
  • 1 batch of Vegan Turkey, cooked in one large piece (recipe follows)
  • 2 Yellow Onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 TBSP Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp White Pepper
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided (amounts indicated in recipe)
  • 8 Whole Pitas
  • 1 cup of Pickled Eggplant, thinly sliced (or thinly sliced Pickled Cucumber)

Slice the giant piece of Turkey Seitan into 8 cutlets. Take a large, shallow baking dish that's large enough for all the cutlets, then place the cutlets in the baking dish.

Combine all the spices together in a small bowl.

Place the sliced onion in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of the spice blend and drizzle 2 TBSP of the Olive Oil over top of them, turning them over to make sure both sides are coated well.

Sprinkle the remainder of the spice blend over both sides of the Vegan Turkey cutlets, using your hands to rub the spice blend in well. Drizzle 4 TBSP of olive oil over top of the cutlets, again turning to make sure both sides are coated.

Cover both the "Turkey" and the "Onions", then place in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours.

Pre-heat your oven to the "Keep Warm" setting, or between 150 and 200 degrees F.

After the 4-8 hours of chilling time, rub a grill pan or your grill rack with olive oil and get it pre-heating. Brush each pita bread with enough olive oil to coat well. Grill slices of onion until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes per side. Then grill the Vegan Turkey cutlets until browned and warmed through, about 3 minutes per side. Finally, grill the pita bread until you get some nice grill marks, about 2 minutes per side. Place on a baking rack in the oven to keep warm until ready to assemble the shawarma.

Place the Vegan Turkey Cutlets and onion slices on a cutting surface....

Make a kind of sandwich, placing a "Turkey" cutlet on the top and bottom, then onion slices in the middle. Thinly slice the cutlet sandwich crosswise, repeating the process until all the "Turkey" and onions have been thinly sliced. Transfer the sliced "Turkey" and onions to a large bowl.

Place even amounts of the "Turkey"/Onion mixture on each pita bread, top with Chipotle Tomato Relish, Pickled Eggplant, and Roasted Garlic, Sage and Artichoke Tahini Sauce.

Roasted Garlic, Sage and Artichoke Tahini Paste

  • 1 1/2 cups Tahini
  • 1 can of Artichoke Hearts, drained
  • 1 whole bulb of Garlic
  • Olive Oil, for drizzling on Garlic
  • 2 tsp Fresh Sage, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup Hot Water
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel away the outer layers of skin on the garlic bulb, then slice of the top 1/4-1/2 inch of the bulb so that the cloves are exposed. Place the piece of garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil, then drizzle the bulb with olive oil so that it's coated well.

Wrap the garlic up in foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1/2 hour. Set aside to cool.

Pulse the Artichoke Hearts several times in a food processor or blender to break them up a bit.

Once the garlic is cool, squeeze out the cloves into a food processor or blender, then add the remaining ingredients. Blend until the mixture becomes a smooth paste.

Taste for salt and pepper.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Chipotle Tomato Relish
  • 1 1/4 lb Vine Ripened Tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Dried Chipotle Peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/8 cup + 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • Handful of Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Combine all of the above ingredients in a medium sized bowl, then taste for salt and pepper. Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to use.

Vegan Turkey

Vegan Turkey Dough
  • 1 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 1/3 cup No Chicken Broth
  • 1/3 cup White Ale
  • 1/3 cup MimicCreme

For the Broth...
  • 4 cups prepared Better Than Bouillon's No Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Vegetable Stock
  • 1 cup of Dry White Wine (I use Chardonnay)
  • 1/2 can of Light Ale
  • 1 1/4 cup MimicCremeTM
  • 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Mirin
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Yellow Mustard Powder
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Stalk of Celery, sliced
  • 1 TBSP Mellow White Miso Paste
Combine all of the broth ingredients EXCEPT the mellow white miso paste in a very large stock pot. Bring to a boil, then add the mellow white miso paste and stir until dissolved.

Whisk together the liquids for the dough (No Chicken Broth, White Ale and MimicCreme), then by mix with the vital wheat gluten and knead until it’s completely mixed. Squeeze out any excess liquid, then depending on the recipe you're using the vegan turkey for, either shape into one large rectangle or flatten the dough into a circle and and use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to cut into four pie wedge “Turkey Breast” shaped pieces.

Drop the dough into the pot of boiling broth, reduce heat to simmer, and cover the pot with a lid. Let the seitan simmer for about an hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes.

Once done cooking, drain the Turkey Seitan well. Place the pieces (or piece) of seitan on top of a drying rack, then allow it to drain for a few hours to achieve that "dry" element that real turkey has.

Use as directed in any of my vegan turkey recipes, or substitute for real turkey in one of your favorites!


Anonymous said...

if your goals of standing on your own feet financially don't work out...maybe you can just move into our house and cook for us?! hehehehe.

this looks delicious!!!!! missya.

Gina said...

Looks very delicious!! Good luck finding a job and claiming financial independence. And good luck with the planner...I buy one of them every year and never use it.

Anonymous said...

many similar plans to my own every year or every few months :) And I'm guilty of the lesbian-relationship stability hermitry but trying to break free. Your dish also looks beautiful and unusual for a TG-type meal!

The Voracious Vegan said...

Move over here and I will pay you to cook for me every day! DAMN that looks amazing!!! I live in the land of shawarma and none of them could hold a candle to yours, that is gorgeous. But that roasted garlic tahini sauce....oh my heart....I think I'm in love.

Debra said...

It looks delicious!
Debra @ Vegan Family Style
ps please check out the cookbook giveaway on my blog!

Anonymous said...

I just bought my 2010 planner too! My new years resolution this year was to be 100% financially independent, but I just cannot friggin afford my health insurance, gaaaaah, soooo guess that will be a 2010 goal.

Food looks amazin!

Jes said...

That Shawarma looks amazing, especially the relish. Chipotle anything floats my boat.

Good luck finding a job and super good luck using the planner. I always intend to never quite works out!

Anonymous said...


TRSpook said...

As always, very intriguing....and of course you have to F with my brain with the "white" ale...1st it was the f'ing Mimicreme, now it's some concoction called "whie" ale...WTF???? No Black Ale, are you some kind of Lez Bigot' :) That's french !!!!

Ok, fess up what is this White ale shit...and no funny stuff

How are your puppies....the dogs!!!!Leave your other "puppies" to your woman :)

Always a pleasure

Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

Holy Hell, I'm with the Voracious Vegan. Please move close so I can be your favorite regular at your restaurant. That looks incredible.

Mihl said...

I love you! Because I live in a city where every second food booth is a döner kebap place and they all serve non-vegan shawarma. If you're willing to live here in Dresden I can hire you to run my first vegan döner kebap booth!?

Rasmus said...

Been a vegan for 7 years and just by looking at your food you became my new idol!


/Rasmus from Sweden

Jenn Shagrin said...

Wow, Rasmus...Thank you! That means a lot to me :)

Thanks for reading!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Oh god almighty, Shawarma?! WANT.

ddf156e2 said...

Such attentively manages your ~