Seitan

Variety is not my specialty when it comes to breakfast. Bowls of chunky cottage cheese got me through each morning in kindergarten. In high school I relied on carnation instant breakfast and raspberry nutri-grain bars. College was the era of toasted bagels with the exciting choices of either cream cheese or butter. Whatever the trend, it has always been comforting to wake up looking forward to that first meal. Do you have a morning comfort food?

I am sure having not escaped notice is my current breakfast of choice: Oatmeal with soy yogurt, berries, and almond butter. Yesterday morning I opted for puffed wheat rather than oatmeal. Pictured with a mug of white peony tea.

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For lunch I used the left over quinoa salad to make a sandwich. I spread my favorite mustard on two slices of bread…

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added a few globs of the quinoa, and topped with a pile of lettuce.

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It was a cool rainy day in New York. The perfect day for cooking. After eating a snack of cherries and pineapple, I dug out all of the ingredients needed to make seitan. (That’s nutritional yeast in the plastic bag)

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Seitan is popular as a meat substitute and very high in protein. After mixing the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and kneading for a few minutes, you are left with an elastic mass with visible gluten strands.

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My seitan recipe evolved from the one in Veganomicon.

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten flour
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup veg broth
  • 1/4 cup braggs (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Mix flour and yeast. In a separate bowl mix remaining ingredients. Add wet to dry and stir until moisture is absorbed. Knead the dough with your hands for a few minutes until elastic. Cut dough into 3 pieces and knead each piece. Prepare the broth in a stockpot:

  • 4 cups veg broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup braggs

Add the dough pieces. Cover pot and bring to a boil. When boils immediately reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour with pot only partially covered. You should flip the seitan a couple times so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Remove pieces from the broth, and you are ready to use them in another recipe.

I made seitan in a mole poblano sauce (also from Veganomicon–I am working my way through this cookbook). The sauce contained chocolate, peanut butter, veg broth, tomatoes, tortilla chips, almonds, and chipotle along with several other spices. Served over a bead of rice:

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Dessert was mini vegan brownies from a Food & Wine recipe that my auntie sent me. I altered the recipe slightly, because I did not need to make them gluten free. I used white whole wheat flour and left out the xanthan gum. These are high on my list of favorite vegan brownies. Instant portion control, unless you eat five of them…

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Last night included another evening run. It was still raining, so I headed to the gym for a treadmill workout. I ran 2.75 miles all at an incline, and I could not have run one step further. Something about being in the gym made this one of the most sweaty workouts ever! I was literally dripping–wet head phones, wet hair, sweat everywhere! I went through an arms and shoulder circuit on the machines, stretched really well, and headed home for a movie.

David came over to finish watching Hertzog’s Fitzcarraldo with James and me. The skeletal Klaus Kinski stars as an insane Irishman intent on building an opera house in Peru. Money is of the essence, and in order to “out-billion” and “out-rubber” the rich rubber moguls of Peru and obtain the funds for his obsessive dream, Fitzcarraldo needs to navigate uncharted rubber tree territory in a steam ship avoiding deadly rapids and “dangerous” natives. The most famous scene involves pulling the 320-ton steam boat over a steep hill in order to bypass rapids and connect to another river. Slow moving at points, this movie is worth seeing, if only for the final shot in which Fitzcarraldo is shown maniacally puffing on the longest cigar ever made while basking in the glory of a full orchestra and cast of singers floating down the river on his disabled ship. Of course, as musicians we were stuck in a constant game of guess that aria. I ended up munching on two more brownies and having a few sips of read wine.

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3 responses to “Seitan

  1. great job on running 2.75 miles that is great mileage! everything you’ve made looks so healthy and delicious keep up the good work :)

  2. This post should be required reading for all those who say vegetarian eating just isn’t normal for humans. We truly do have a choice and plenty alternatives to animal flesh. We are higher beings after all right?

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