For the Sloppy Joe:
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced medium
1 pound seitan, chopped into bite sized pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Several dashes fresh black pepper
14 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
For the spinach:
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb spinach, washed well, stems removed
1 cup coconut milk (regular or light)
2 star anise
1/4 teaspoon salt
Prepare the Sloppy Joe:
Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Saute onion in one tablespoon coconut oil and a pinch of salt, until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the seitan and cook for about 10 minutes, until nicely browned, stirring often. Push the seitan and onions to one side of the pan so that you have space to quickly saute the garlic and ginger. Put the remaining teaspoon of coconut oil in the pan and toss in the garlic and ginger, stirring as it sizzles, for about 15 seconds. Then mix it up with the seitan and onions.
Add thyme, paprika, salt, allspice, red pepper flakes, cinnamon and black pepper and toss to coat everything and cook the spices a bit.
Add the tomatoes, and cook for about 10 more minutes, tossing often. Lastly, mix in the maple syrup, lime juice and mustard. Let cook for a minute or so, then taste for salt and seasonings, and serve.
Prepare the spinach:
Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Quickly saute the garlic in coconut oil, just so it sizzles for a few seconds, being careful that it doesn’t burn. Add the spinach in batches, tossing with tongs, until it is all wilted and fits in the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes, until a lot of moisture is released.
Now we’re going to get rid of the excess moisture, but try not to lose any garlic or spinach in the process. Shove the spinach off to one side, and carefully (don’t burn yourself, dummy!) lift the pan and drain the excess water into the sink. The spinach might all just behave itself and stay on one side of the pot, but use the tongs to keep it from falling into the sink just in case.
Now return to the heat, add the coconut milk, star anise and salt. Bring coconut milk to a boil and stir often, for about 5 minutes, so that the star anise releases its flavor. Turn the heat off and let it rest for 10 minutes or so, soaking up the coconut milk yumminess.
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