Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

Seitan Worship

January 22nd, 2008

I made my first attempt at seitan yesterday. I was planning white chili for dinner and wanted something extra for it. I used a recipe from “Vegan With A Vengeance” (a great book, if you don’t have it get it.) and made a few alterations on flavor. It came out ok but I think the gluten I used was a little less than fresh and it could have come out better but overall I was happy.

For those that don’t know, seitan is a chewy textured food used sometimes as a meat-substitute or a substitute for tofu in some dishes. It is made using vital wheat gluten, a little four and water as well as ingredients for flavoring if desired. For those that like meat-substitutes it can be a popular addition to dishes and can be easy to prepare.

Try this recipe, it is the same one from the book but is also posted on the author’s website:

1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1 cup very cold water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated on a microplane grater
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Simmering Broth
10 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup soy sauce

In a large bowl, mix together Vital Wheat Gluten Flour and nutritional yeast flakes.

In a seperate bowl, mix together reamining ingredients: water or veg broth, soy sauce. tomato paste, garlic, lemon zest.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine with a firm spatula, knead dough for about 3 minutes until a spongy, elastic dough is formed. Let dough rest for a couple of minutes and prepare your broth, but don’t start boiling it.

Now roll your dough into a log shape about 8 inches long and cut into 3 equal sized pieces. Place the pieces in the broth. It is important that the water/broth be very cold when you add the dough, it helps with the texture and ensures that it doesn’t fall apart. Partially cover the pot (leave a little space for steam to escape) and bring to a boil.

When the water has come to a boil set the heat to low and gently simmer for an hour, turning the peices every now and again.

Now you’ve got gluten. Let it cool in the simmering broth for at least a half an hour. It is best if it cools completely.

What you do next depends on the recipe you are using. If it calls for gluten use it as is. If you want to store some of it for later use put it in a sealable container covered in the simmering broth.

If your recipe calls for seitan cut your peices up as desired. I prefer to use a cast iron skillet for the frying because it produces the best flavor and texture. Use as little oil as possible to coat the bottom of the skillet, 1 teaspoon may suffice. Heat the skillet over medium high and add your gluten. Cook for about 20 minutes, turning the pieces occasionally.


Virtues of Nutritional Yeast

January 8th, 2008

This is going to be one of those late-nite-before-bed-nonsense posts…

Nutritional yeast is great. If you are vegan or vegetarian and you DON’T have this in your pantry/cabinet then go out and buy some now. In fact, even if you are a hardcore meat-eater, you should get some for the great flavor it has as a popcorn topping. You can find it in bulk at Wild Oats or Whole Foods as well as in large cans in the health section, although I don’t recommend purchasing it in this way as it will cost you alot more. This great little flake gives a powerful dose of vitamin B12 as well as protein. It has a great, sharp cheese flavor and works well in anything that needs that tasty kick. I made a batch of cheeseburger macaroni tonight using it. I’ve used it for macaroni-and-not-cheese, grilled cheese (after making a spread from the yeast), cheesy biscuits, I’ll even go as far as to eat a spoonful dry and plain!

Like I said, a late ramble but the greatness of nutritional yeast had to be shared! Now you know!


Peppermint Ice Cream

December 20th, 2007

Call it Ice Cream, call it Soy Cream, call it the best stuff ever.

Peppermint Ice Cream

2 cups soy milk
2 cups soy creamer
2 TBS arrowroot
½ cup evaporated cane juice
1 TBS vanilla extract
4-5 peppermint sticks, crushed

Whisk 1/4 cup of the soy milk with the arrowroot. Heat the remaining soy milk and soy creamer to a simmer. Add the evaporated cane juice to the soy mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Add the arrowroot and stir until thickened, about 2 – 3 minutes. You are not looking for a “pudding” consistency, just a light thickening.

Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Add vanilla and cool completely in refrigerator.

Prepare accordingly using your ice cream maker.

When the soy cream reaches the point where it is almost finished add the crushed peppermint and turn the ice cream maker back on/keep cranking/etc for 3 – 4 more minutes.

RELATED:  If you don’t have one of the Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers, then go now and get one.  It makes recipes like these too simple to finish up.


C Is For Cookie!

December 20th, 2007

RumNog Pecan Cookies

Fresh RumNog Pecan Cookies, I love these things. They were just made today and I have just delivered a few tins, supplemented with fudge, to some of my clients. They were baked fresh this morning and I made certain a few were left over for me to munch on for the next few hours, that’s about all they will last. In fact I have eaten two as I am writing this. We picked up fresh pecans on our way back from Atlanta earlier this week just to make these. I can’t say much more about these except DELICIOUS!


Stuffed Bell Peppers

November 29th, 2007

I don’t write much about what I cook and eat.  Here’s a first.  Tonight I will be making Stuffed Bell Peppers.   Not the first time I have made this and it is very simple.   Tomatoes, TVP, a few spices that I am in the mood for, a little worcestershire (No, not common worcestershire, I prefer Annie’s Naturals brand.)  and, of course, bell peppers.  I just ran out of fresh from the garden bell peppers so I picked up two organic ones from Wild Oats, actually a deal at $2.49 a pound as opposed to what they usually go for.

Mashed Potatoes is always a great side and it will be there tonight as well, but I have some fennel that I picked up from Whole Foods this weekend as a “Let’s try something new.” thing.  I’ll probably sautee that to go along.