The Vegan Iowa Skinny Sammich with Agave Dijon Mustard Sauce (More Kaiser Chronicles)

You can whip this delicious vegan sammich up in less than half an hour. Cornmeal dusted seitan (lightly fried) with yummy Agave/Dijon suace on a good Kaiser (day two)--pure heaven!

It was a good mail day yesterday--my new Martha arrived (if that cover doesn't make you feel all good inside, then get your eyes checked!) along with GH and on the cover, one of my fave singers of all time: Vince Gill--huge Vince fan. . . seriously! Can't wait to peek at what's shakin'! Oh, and the New Yorker--a mostly good reading rag, but sometimes, can push my buttons.

I was running late on dinner plans last night because I attended a "meeting" for a charity 5k/10k run that takes place Thanksgiving Day here in our community. I know, if you are a regular reader, you already know how much VT loves to be her introvert self, living in her by-herself-world. And I do. I summon a lot to get through the door of most "meetings." I am usually trembling by the time I step into a room with more than say, two people. Yesterday there were four and one seemingly surly person. Not to mention, the rest of us gathered were strictly volunteering, he is paid. So this made no sense to me--why be so surly--plus he's from the running community--chill out!? Smile for crying out loud. Nope. All serious and stuff. I may tremble, but I don't scare--so a person like me who is trying to survive a meeting--I will just turn my full attention to matters at hand, then be sure to give great, penetrating eye contact to perhaps encourage said individual(s) to lighten UP and not take themselves so friggin seriously! Perhaps he was having a bad day--either way, it added to my trembly-ness. I am sure that there are pills for this.

I am crazy like that--volunteering for stuff. My overwhelming desire to "help" sometimes gets the better of me--with my animal cause stuff, this is especially true versus the other interests I have. I love running so this little meeting and event seems like a match made in heaven--no sweat. I have another fundraiser in a month--a silent auction which I help with also--just operational stuff like: setting the thing up! Then, I received another call yesterday about yet another silent auction I helped with last year, but sort of fell out of synch with the group because they had some "issues" going on and I want to stay out of the "fray". Mostly involving women--a whole lot of, "She said, she said.". We are an ugly bunch when we get together--(girls, don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about either!). And this group should know better as the majority of them are of retirement age, but no, that "cattiness" seems to stick with our gender no matter what our age. When you deal with people, the "fray" sometimes comes with it, too--so you adjust accordingly.

I have recently been giving a lot of thought to becoming a Red Cross volunteer. I am more and more inclined to do so with the massive coverage of the earth quake and stories coming from Haiti. Though I don't imagine I'd leave the country for a mission, I do see myself, for example, providing food for a family in need. Mr. Thyme cautions me during my enthusiastic bursts of energy and desire to "help" reminding me of my propensity for bursting into tears, and my "trembly nature"--which can be a deterrent. So I have to really mull over the degree to which I can stretch myself. Like going to an animal shelter is no longer an option. I cannot bear seeing homeless dogs in cages--it rips me apart. Thus, the fundraising to help with spaying and neutering pets--that works for me. You pick your battles.

So last night, it was 5:30--way past my "planning" window for meal time. But you know what I had on hand now, don't you? Yep, those crazy-good Kaisers were calling me! I had five perfectly fresh rolls tucked in my cabinet. I just hand to have them one more night. . . just one more. I don't really like to freeze bread either--that can leave a bad "freezer" taste. I dug into a search for sammiches (not like I needed help--I just become curious that's all). I came across a link on Country Living--with a list of Best American Sandwiches or something like that. Well, I knew I'd see lots of "meat" within this list. And certainly there was. But as a determined vegan and home cook who loves a challenge, the sammich that caught my attention was the "Iowa Skinny". First of all, I had never heard of this. And this state is a border state to our state, what's up with that? Second of all--skinny is the last thing this should be called--its calorie count for one sandwich: 1134!!!! I nearly fell over--that is a day's worth of calories! Oh, this would be my pick all right, but we'll be veganizing the Skinny! So here is what I came up with. This is a super quick and simple meal. I think I gave a lovely vegan tribute to this heart attack-artery-clogging nightmare if I don't say so myself. Iowa, take note!

Vegan Iowa Skinny with Agave Dijon Mustard Sauce

1 package seitan drained and sliced into 1" thick pieces (in the blue box)
3/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespooon chili powder
1 teaspoon Spike or salt and pepper to taste
1 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 large yellow onion sliced
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Agave Nectar
canola oil for cooking nuggets in and for carmelizing the onion
vegan mayo
couple pieces of romaine lettuce
Kaiser Rolls!

First, prep your seitan. Next, mix your flour and spice ingredients for dredging--feel free to improvise here--if you are feeling love for paprika--add it! In a small bowl, mix soy milk with tablespoon of Dijon. Set these two bowls next to each other in this order: flour mixture, soy milk. Now would be a good time to prep your onion. Next, add about 3 tablespoons of canola oil to large saute pan over medium to high heat. Dredge a piece of seitan in the flour mixture. Then, dredge the piece in the soy milk mixture and back again into the flour mixture--now place in pan to fry. Keep heat on medium-high, but watch these--you want them golden, not burnt. I allowed about five minutes on each side, flipping them half way through. Meantime, get the sliced onion into a small saute pan and slow cook this until the onion begins to caramelize--about 15 minutes. Keep the nuggets on warm heat while the onion finishes, or you could begin cooking the onion first--I did my cooking of both at the same time. Prep your Agave/Dijon mixture in a separate bowl--whisk both really well--taste it to make sure you have it the way you like. I love it no matter what! To assemble the sandwich: spread vegan mayo on both slices of your roll, then lay a piece of romaine down, then top with some nuggets, then some caramelized onion, then drizzle with a good amount of the Agave/Dijon! Yum, double yum! I made a side of fries for this sammie and it was the perfect meal!


  1. Your sandwiches look oh so good! I know I said I was going to make a sandwich yesterday but I was distracted with the lettuce calling out to be made a salad! ;)

  2. No fair reading this before dinner. Rumble rumble tummy. And I can't go to an animal shelter either, it is HEARTBREAKING. Crazy cat lady? Excuse me, my future is calling me.

  3. @Noelle: I think a salad sounds great! I have this urge to bake bread right now--so that might overtake things for a bit!

  4. @Tasty Trix: I had the same tummy rumbles going on when I saw this sammich--I just had to have it, with fries, of course!


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