Sunday, November 20, 2011

Seitan - a vegan protein for Thanksgiving or any occasion

A recipe for a vegetarian 'turkey' option from my sweet brother Alex, who is not only making me a faux turkey for Thanksgiving, sent on the recipe and recommendations for those of you who will have vegetarians at your table. Thanks, Al!
I am making a Seitan dish for our favorite Richmond-Food-Collective-organizer-who-is-named-Erin when she comes up to Thanksgiving this year. Seitan is not only a great "meat substitute" but a delicious, versatile protein dish on it's own. And it's easy and cheap to make and stores in the fridge for quick use in many different dishes.

One quick note - Seitan is pretty much 100% wheat gluten. So if you're on a gluten-free diet, this is about as far from that as you could go. But for everyone else, it's a nice, healthy, fun protein that can cook up quickly to go in many dishes. I use the recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen.
Image credit - Utopian Kitchen

Setian starts life as wheat gluten mixed with other flavoring ingredients - you mix it all together into almost a dough. I use my KitchenAid with the dough hook. Then, you simmer this dough in a broth and voila - seitan! It takes maybe an hour and this part is a great weekend activity.

But here's where it gets fun. You can then store the seitan in the cooled broth in your fridge and then grab it out to stir fry, grill, saute, or cook in any number of ways. So, make up a big batch of seitan on the weekend, and then during the week, cook it anytime in just about any recipe. After you've made the broth simmered seitan, it's fully cooked and can be then used quickly anytime in just about any dish.

Got a recipe a friend sent that calls for beef? Use your seitan! Want to stir fry some veggies in your fridge before they go bad? Use your seitan! Want to make vegan shish-kabobs for the grill? You know - seitan! It's a versatile protein that cooks well in sauces and fries up nicely and is almost impossible to overcook or dry out.

I'm going to try this out for Thanksgiving this year. I plan to pan fry up some seitan to brown up the edges and give it some crispy delicious exterior with a soft and moist interior. Will go great with mashed potatoes and stuffing. Yum!


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