DDD Ep. #18 – Vegan Spicy Szechuan Green Beans with Minced Pork

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Reposting this recipe because I have a video to accompany it. Please – subscribe to my channel on Youtube. Www.VideoVegan.com.  Click the photo below to watch the video.

So – I came across several kinds of canned seitan (seen above) at my favorite Thai market – Bangluck.  I used the first can (on the left) in my Easy Vegan Thai Minced Pork with Holy (& Sweet) Basil – Pad Ga Prao Muu – in Lettuce Cups (below) & it was a huge success.

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Today – I wanted to use one of them for my Green Beans & Minced Pork.  I looked at the calorie count of each of the two remaining cans and was surprised to see a huge calorie disparity despite the fact that the ingredients list is identical.

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So – since the “roast duck” had fewer calories – I used that one.  Despite the image on the can – it looked exactly like the fried gluten one did.  I have not opened the third can yet but I suspect it is just more of the same but – somehow – with more than twice the calories – so – I likely  will feed it to my dogs & just use the others in the future.  I man – see below?  First image below is the fried pork & the second is the duck.

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Same thing.  Canned seitan in water.  So – for this dish, you could use canned & drained seitan or your favorite brand of seitan  – or even a faux beef like Beyond Meat’s Beefless Crumbles (or other brand of ground beef).  The flavors in this dish are very strong & will take over the dish.  You could even use Beyond Meat’s chickenless strips.  No matter.

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I served this with my newest rice discover – Thai Rice Berry (black jasmine) rice.

I saw this new rice at my favorite Thai grocery store – Bangluck.   $10 for 5 pounds – so I could not resist.  I looked it up online & found THIS:

Riceberry  Rice is the new variety of rice that has been bred in Thailand. The rice is deep purple in colour; this rich dark colour is typical of plants that yield high nutrition. Rice berry rice is cross pollination of three hardy and loved rice strains; they are:

  • Thai Hom Mali Race – also known as fragrant jasmine rice, the highest quality and most sort after rice in the world, after cooking it retains its structure but takes on a soft fluffy consistency.
  • Hom Nin Rice – has well known and documented antioxidant properties, but this grain can become a little chewy if it isn’t cooked through.
  • Khao Dawk Mali 105 – a hardy seed which will grow in a broad range of agricultural environments.

The cross-pollination of these three rice plants has resulted in Riceberry Rice, a new and exciting rice variety. Riceberry takes on the best attributes of each of the grains that were used in its inception. The light fluffy texture and flavour from Thai jasmine rice, high in minerals and antioxidants from Hom Nin rice and hardy and high yield characteristics of Khao Dawk Mali 105.

Riceberry Rice Nutrition Profile

Riceberry rice is rich in many antioxidant that help our immune system stay healthy. It contains significant levels of:

  • Beta-carotene
  • Gama Oryzanol
  • Vitamin E
  • Folic Acid
  • Tannin
  • Zinc
  • Fiber
  • Bran Oil

These antioxidants, vitamins and minerals give riceberry rice a nutrition profile that is relatively unique. The dark purple colour it matures signifies it high nutrition content and gives it a unique appearance when served.

The rice is also extremely high in fiber and bran oil, this natural aids digestion and helps keep the stomach free from disease.

Thai Rice Glycemic Index

Riceberry rice has been graded as low-medium in the glycemic index. The abundant fiber and bran oil which it contains helps to reduce the risks of diabetes by hindering the absorption of sugars into the blood through the stomach. It also helps the pancreas function better.

– See more at: http://www.thenaturalhealthmarket.co.uk/riceberry-organic#sthash.388tjdGM.dpuf

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This green bean dish is very easy.  I used fresh green beans & loads of spices.  You could use frozen green beans but I think canned ones will just become mush.

Vegan Spicy Szechuan Green Beans with Minced Pork

serves 2 with rice

INGREDIENTS

10+ oz seitan (or other faux meat)

1 lb green beans – trimmed & cut in half

1 TBS olive oil

2-3 TBS cornstarch

1-6 cloves garlic – minced (I used 6)

2 TBS brown sugar

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 tsp to 2 TBS crushed red pepper (according to your taste for heat)

2-3 TBS liquid amino acids (or low sodium soy sauce or tamari)

1-6 dry red chilies (VERY spicy & VERY optional) – cut in half (I used 6)

GARNISH – cooked rice, sesame seeds

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the rice.

Mince the faux meat & toss with the cornstarch.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan & add the rest of the ingredients – EXCEPT THE GARLIC.

Stir to combine.  If using fresh green beans – add about 1/4 cup water, bring to a boil & cover for 3-5 minutes or until the green beans are cooked to your taste.  Frozen beans won’t need this step but you can still add water if your sauce cooks off too much or the meat sticks to the pan too much.

When it all seems warmed through & the sauce is thick – toss in the garlic & stir for one minute.  Serve with rice.

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Easy Vegan Thai Minced Pork with Holy (& Sweet) Basil – Pad Ga Prao Muu – in Lettuce Cups

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I live very close to the area in LA called Thai Town (Hollywood Blvd – essentially – east of Western).  It is an incredible resource for Thai & other Asian ingredients – like canned jackfruit, every manner of noodle & rice & some exotic spices.  The other day, at my favorite Thai market, Bangluck, I spotted these guys here:

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Vegetarian pork, duck & generic meat – in cans – for just over a dollar each.  The photos are not so appetizing but I could not resist trying them.  For whatever reason – I got two cans of the pork & decided to try them out today in this Thai dish.  Apparently, authentic Pad Ga Prao Muu uses only the Thai Holy (or hot) basil but I dd not have enough of that so I added some sweet Thai basil.  Here is how they look (holy/hot basil on top & Thai/sweet basil below with the purple flowers:

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The holy basil has serrated edges & the sweet basil does not.  They really do smell & taste very different but, I think, only a true aficionado of Thai food would know or care about the difference.  I used both & I was very pleased with the result.

Even more exciting – the canned pork!  Seitan, really.  Here are the details:

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Drained, it did not smell or taste funky.  AT ALL.  And even kinda looks like pork.  Any seitan would work for this recipe – stuff from your health food store or Whole Foods or homemade.  I posted some recipes with a recipe for seitan HERE.  The advantage o this canned stuff is shelf-life and COST!  It is so cheap & easy!  If you don’t have Asian grocers near you, the canned stuff is available online HERE.  I will report on the other two cans of stuff when I think of what to do with them.

As to this dish – crazy easy & outrageously delicious.  I like my food genuinely spicy so – if you do not – be sure to adjust the hot elements to suit your taste.

The seitan pork, though?  Totally convincing!  I think you could serve this dish to a meat eater & they would not question it.  You might want to call it chicken, if you have a real skeptic on your hands, because pork tends to be chewier than chicken but – whatever you decide – this will look like meat & taste like meat.  This recipe is killer!  And once your ingredients are prepped – it takes about 10 minutes.  EASY!

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Easy Vegan Thai Minced Pork with Holy (& Sweet) Basil – Pad Ga Prao Muu – in Lettuce Cups

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

20 oz (or so) seitan (or enough for 2 portions)

2 TBS coconut or olive oil

2 packed cups fresh Holy/hot and/or Thai/sweet basil

1-10 cloves garlic – chopped

2 shallots (or one small onion) – diced

4 red scallions (OPTIONAL!  I only used these because I had them) – sliced (bottoms only)

1 red bell pepper – seeded & sliced

1 cup carrots – matchsticks or sliced

1-10 red/green Thai chilies – split (I used 10 & this was very spicy)

1 serrano chili – diced (very optional)

2-3 TBS vegetarian oyster or mushroom sauce

3 TBS liquid aminos or low sodium soy sauce or tamari

1 tsp dark soy sauce (optional)

1 tsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) OR 2 tsp brown sugar

Lettuce leaves for cups (I used romaine but butter lettuce is nice, too)

GARNISH – lime wedges, cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

Prep everything because this comes together fast.  Whisk the liquid ingredients (oyster sauce, soy sauces) together.

Heat the oil in a large pan.  Add the shallots, chilies, scallions (if using), red bell, and carrots.  Saute until the peppers & carrots soften (maybe 5 minutes).

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Add the seitan & heat through.  Add the garlic & saute one minute.  Add the liquids & combine.  Stir in the basil & once it wilts – you are ready to serve.

Serve in lettuce cups or with rice & garnish with lime wedges.

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