Sunday, 13 December 2015

CREAMY SPAGHETTI WITH "MHEAT", MUSHROOMS, GREEN BEANS & RED CABBAGE (Sgaia Review)


Hello again. This month is rolling by so fast and there's still so much to do! Somebody make it stop! :') Before we know it, the year will be up and we'll be making/breaking resolutions, reflecting on life and the path we're on, thinking of ways to make next year better than this year...all that deep stuff. 

But before we get tooo deep (and off-topic!), let's move on to the main point of this post: a review of the product "Mheat" by the company Sgaia. Notice the 'h' in the spelling of "Mheat"? That, according to the makers, stands for 'healthy, happy, herbivore...and hungry' :) With that positive intro, things can surely only get better.

If you're unfamiliar with seitan, it's a meat substitute made with the gluten extracted from wheat flour. It originated in China around the 6th Century and remains a popular stand-in for meat in terms of taste and texture. The first time I ever tried seitan was at a vegan restaurant in West London and I've wanted to make my own ever since. One day, one day....

I was very excited to try this seitan product - hand-made by the creative duo, Hilary and Alberto - no less because it would be my first time cooking with seitan at home.  The seitan is made using the traditional method but with a few tweaks. 'Mheat' is low in fat and high in protein, and you'll be encouraged to hear that the ingredient list is very short: wheat gluten, soya protein, water, shoyu, molasses, garlic, sea salt, and yeast extract. No hidden junk or chemicals, which is how all food should be made.

The product arrived in the post in a chilled pouch to keep it fresh, and was packaged in a really elegant box with the name of the company and product printed clearly on the front. 


The 'Mheat' itself was inside a clear, vacuum-sealed pack. As you'll see in the image below, the 'Mheat' does have the appearance of real meat. The possibilities are endless in terms of what you can do with it - stir-fries, stews, cooked as a 'steak', etc. I opted for this pasta dish and the inclusion of 'Mheat' took it to a whole new level. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the best pasta dishes I have ever made, and the addition of 'Mheat' made it more hearty and filling. It is also worth mentioning that when pan-fried, the strips became crispy on the outside, which gets a thumbs up from me.


If you'd like to try out Sgaia's 'Mheat' for yourself, you can buy it directly from their website or from one of their stockists. It's perfect for transitioning vegans who still crave the texture of regular meat, and also for other vegans who want to experiment with new recipes and cooking techniques using seitan. Follow Sgaia Foods on Facebook and Twitter to find out more about them! :)

Now on to the recipe!

Ingredients
(serves 2)
- 2 servings Spaghetti
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- Sgaia 'Mheat' (cut into strips)
- 1 red onion (thinly sliced)
- 5 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper
- 1 cup red cabbage (shredded)
- Handful green beans (steamed or boiled)
- 4 Mushrooms (sliced)
- 250g Coconut Cream
- Salt to taste
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- Watercress (optional)


1. Start by cooking your spaghetti in a pot of lightly salted boiling water until al dente. Throw in the green beans towards the end of the cooking time to blanch them. Drain and set aside.


2. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and add the strips of Mheat. Fry until browned on the outside - turn the pieces over if necessary to brown evenly.



3. Add the sliced onions, garlic, scotch bonnet and red onions. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then add red cabbage, and mushrooms.



4. Add the coconut cream, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for five minutes. Season to taste and add the dried thyme and a vegetable stock cube. Add the spaghetti and green beans to the creamy sauce and allow to cook for another five minutes on medium heat until the pasta has soaked up most of the liquid.


5. Serve hot with a generous garnish of watercress or other fresh greens you have at home.


Note: This review has been organised by the VEGAN lifestyle ASSOCIATION. It has not been paid for and the products were sent free of charge. This is my genuine and unbiased review of the product. 

Sgaia Foods are listed with the VLA and you can see their listing here.

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