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Foodie Pen-Pals

Trying new foods and getting to know fellow foodies are easily two of my favorite things, so of course I signed up for Foodie Pen-Pals, organized by Lindsay and Allie, the moment I read about it.  

 

How it Works

At the beginning of each month, I’ll receive the name of a fellow foodie to shop for, and someone else will be assigned to shop for me.  There is a $15 limit, and both bloggers & readers are invited to participate.  On the last day of each month, participating bloggers will post about what they received (readers paired with bloggers will write a guest-post, and readers paired with readers don’t have to write anything at all!).

Want to join us?

For more information about Foodie Pen-Pals, click here to read the official rules.  It’s not too late to join us – if you’d like to sign up for October’s Foodie Pen-Pals, email Lindsay at  theleangreenbean@gmail.com by October 4th!

My Experience

On September 1st, I found out that I would be sending a foodie care-package to Alicia of AliGirl Cooks in Philadelphia, and receiving food from Holly of Yep, I ate that in Texas.  Since I’m based out of the Midwest, this truly was a cross-continental exchange!

Holly promptly emailed me, asking “What foods do you think of when you hear Texas?”.  

My response? Bar-B-Q Sauce!!!

And Holly totally delivered with a gift box that was authentically Texas.

Sooooo…what did I get?

  • Two bottles of STUBB’S BAR-B-Q SAUCE, one Hickory Bourbon and one Spicy, which Holly picked up in Austin, Texas.
  • HAZELWOOD Texas Peach Salsa, which she picked up in a smaller town

  • And a Mrs Baird’s Peach Pie - Holly explained that these are a Texas favorite – one of the things people ask for if they move away.  I love how Holly’s sense of humor showed through in what she wrote over the nutrition facts of this pie – I laughed out loud!  I think it all evened out though since the BBQ sauce and Salsa were Fat Free!

 

Sadly, I didn’t get to try the final item – a delicious looking SALSA VERDE that broke during shipping (hence the water damage on the BBQ sauce labels).

Now, Let’s get Cookin’

These yummy products led to some seriously yummy meals.

The Peach Pie inspired me to try my hand at a Peach Crisp using frozen peaches, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and Earth Balance margarine.  It looked picture perfect going into the oven, but sadly the peaches were so juicy that the topping turned to mush instead of crisp – it was incredibly tasty though, and it’s a recipe that I plan to try tweaking!

 

With the Peach Salsa, I made a Beans & Rice dish with Kidney Beans, Organic Brown Rice, Frozen Roasted Corn, Sweet Red Peppers, Onions, and Nectarines.  The Salsa was used both in the cooking, and as a topping for the finished dish.  I was able to cook this in about 15 minutes (thanks to using frozen rice) and it fed me for dinner & two brown-bag lunches!

 

Last, but not least, I enjoyed the Bar-B-Q Sauce on Vegan Burgers and Vegan Nuggets on quite a few occasions…

 

And it led to Mike and I discovering a new favorite Easy Week-night Dinner:

Bar-B-Q Seitan Sandwiches!

Inspired by the recipe in the cookbook Veganomicon (which includes instructions for making homemade Seitan, BBQ Sauce, and Coleslaw), I made a short-cut version in less than 30 minutes! 

You’ll need:

  • Cast-Iron pan (or even better if you have a Cast-Iron Grill pan!)
  • 4 whole grain Buns
  • 1 lb of Seitan
  • 1 to 1.5 cups of your favorite Bar-B-Q Sauce (we used Stubb’s Hickory Bourbon)
  • Prepared Coleslaw (I picked some up from the WFM deli)
  • and Peanut Oil

Method: 

  • Brush the pan with Peanut Oil and heat on Medium heat.
  • Working in 2 Batches (and brushing the pan with oil between batches), saute the Seitan for ~3 minutes on each side until a nice crust starts to develop.
  • Pour the Bar-B-Q Sauce into a bowl or pie-pan and stir the cooked Seitan into the sauce until it is covered.
  • Again, in two batches, brush the pan with oil and return the Seitan to the pan, cooking it for a few minutes on each side until it’s nicely browned.

           

  • Assemble sandwiches by placing 1/4 of the BBQ Seitan and a generous scoop of Coleslaw on each roll.
My sincere thanks goes to Holly for sharing an authentic taste of Texas with me!
  
And be sure to check out Ali’s post to see what I sent in her foodie care-package!
 
 I’d love to hear from you!
Have you ever had a Pen-Pal?
What foods would you send to represent your region?