Ginger "Chicken"

I'm notorious for using dried herbs in place of fresh ones. Because I'm lazy. And because I always buy these giant things of cilantro, use 1/4 cup and forget about the rest until I open a refrigerator drawer weeks later and am knocked down by the smell of slimy, decaying greenery. I know that fresh versus dried often changes the entire taste of a meal and so I'm probably usually missing something by using dried. And I know the logical solution would be to use the fresh herbs I buy in multiple dishes throughout the week.

But my brain just doesn't work that way. So dried herbs it is.

I'm the same way with ginger. I rarely use fresh ginger because I just don't think to buy fresh ginger even though it keeps forever and a day in the freezer.

But when this How It All Vegan recipe came up in my little Recipe Tester Roster last week I knew I couldn't cheap out and used dried ginger. So Paul found some alarmingly potent ginger root that our produce guy assured us was the best fresh ginger in the city.

One cool tip we learned (via YouTube, naturally) is to peel the ginger with a teaspoon as opposed to a knife or potato peeler of some sort. It works really well!

I am actually quite terrible at making seitan and my mom is not, so she kindly makes me a crapload of the stuff every now and again that I then wrap in individual portion sizes and freeze. Being that it takes almost an hour to make fresh seitan, I highly recommend spending an afternoon every couple months seitan-ing and freezing rather than trying to make it fresh everytime you want to add a little protein boost to your dinner.

Once the seitan is done the rest of the meal comes together in twenty minutes, which is about the amount of time you need to cook some brown rice and steam some broccoli.

Now, this recipe uses a lot of ginger. A lot. And that's great, because ginger is really good for you, particularly your gastrointestinal system. It's known for alleviating nausea, dizziness, cold sweats, vomiting and promoting overall healthy digestion. That's why over-the-counter digestive meds always seem to have ginger listed as an ingredient.

Except that in this case it was enough ginger to induce extreme eye-watering and the necessity to chase every bite with water. I'm talking a lot of ginger. 3/4 cup of fresh ginger coins, to be exact. I don't know if it's just because we're not used to fresh ginger, or because the "coins" I cut weren't thin enough (I'm kind of scared of knives so the art of thinly slicing something is lost on me). I suppose it could possibly be that we are just weirdos or something. Either way it was practically inedible. I actually got up from the table to go check the recipe and make sure I didn't misread the quantity of ginger.

Obviously, I must be missing something here. But my verdict is that the recipe is pretty good once you pick out half the ginger. Next time, I'm going to have to cut the amount of ginger way, way down and rather than the ginger coins the recipe calls for I am definitely, definitely going to mince or grate it so that it's more manageable to my palate.

You can find the recipe in the 10th anniversary edition of How it All Vegan as well as here. Has anyone else tried it?


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