Growing up in Germany as an omnivorous child, you can think of many moments when you had “Geschnetzeltes”. “Züricher Geschnetzeltes” I had mostly when I stayed at my friends places, never at home, because my parents cooked mostly Portuguese food. So when my mother made a Geschnetzeltes (which is meat cut in stripes fried in a pan and served in a sauce), it was her very own style with no cream and never mushrooms, because she can‘t stand them. A German would definitely not have recognized this as a German dish though 🙂
When I began eating mostly vegan, especially in the first two months I never missed meat or any other animal products. I felt so great and was incredibly happy about the physical and mental change eating vegan brought to my life – I wasn‘t able to think of anything to miss. With time and as eating mostly vegan became part of my daily life another phase began: I started to miss what I wasn‘t having….that‘s what people are like…sadly…they often want what they cannot have! So, they say. I started to miss especially these meat dishes that reminded me of old times and triggered this warming feeling in me. Perhaps you know what I‘m talking about.
As I also had and always have had an iron deficiency I told myself that it was good for me to eat meat once a week. But honestly it didn‘t feel and taste good. Although we only bought organic regional meat I still felt guilty. I didn‘t want to make eating meat a routine again, even if it was just a weekly one. In addition I also felt physically very bad after eating meat: that heavy feeling in your stomach, getting tired after meals, digestion problems again… Also from a sustainability point of view I knew it was better not to eat it, especially beef.
After many thoughts I knew I had to enhance my vegan cooking techniques. Vegan kitchen is so diverse and full of incredibly good ingredients, so I knew it was due to my lack of ability that I wasn‘t able to satisfy my demand for something as “dirty” as meat dishes. With time it got slowly better and today I can really say that I don‘t miss anything. I don‘t want to eat meat anymore, because vegan can be so much more satisfactory, better in taste, and of course result in a better physical feeling.
I came up with this vegan “Zurich Geschnetzeltes” when I had many mushrooms we had to eat before they become inedible. It is sooooooo delicious! So incredible creamy! My husband‘s new favorite dish for sure….
SERVES: 3-4 servings
3 celery stalks
2 garlic cloves
300g cremini mushrooms
1 tbsp vegan butter
2 tbsp olive oil
100ml white wine
juice of half a lemon
400ml vegetable broth
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp agave syrup
65g baby spinach
80ml soya cuisine
1 ½ tsp arrowroot
300-350g basmati rice, cooked
baby spinach leaves
Start by drying the seitan. Slice the seitan cube in thick slices then dry it either between paper towels or a kitchen towel. Put something heavy like a heavy wooden cutting board or some heavy books on top. Dry it for around 10 minutes. Then cube the slices in 1 cm pieces. Put them aside.
Slice the mushrooms in around 2 cm quarters or slices. Put them also aside in a bowl.
Slice the leek in fine rings and the celery stalks in 0.5 cm slices. Heat olive oil in a medium size pot over medium heat. Stem the celery and the leek for a few minutes with the two mashed garlic cloves, while you cut the carrots. Quarter them lengthwise and slice them in around 1 cm pieces. Then add them to the pot.
Raise the heat to high heat. When it‘s hot add the seitan, the mushrooms and the vegan butter. Brown them for a couple of minutes while stirring now and then. Fry them until the seitan starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. We want this to happen, but be careful that it doesn‘t burn. Brown is good, black is bad.
Add the white wine and the lemon juice. With your wooden spoon scrape of the bottom of the pot, because we want the browned, roasted to mingle with the sauce. Add the vegetable stock, the nutmeg and agave syrup. Stir and bring to a boil. Let it simmer at low-medium heat for around 10 minutes. Add the spinach to the pot in the last 2 minutes.
Mix the soya cuisine with the arrowroot. Add the mixture to the sauce and let it just warm for around 30 secondes. Be careful not to cook arrowroot for too long, because little white bits can form, when it cooks for too long.
Enjoy the “Zurich Geschnetzeltes” with rice and decorate it with some baby spinach leaves and lemon slices.
Healthy for people & planet – please go always organic!