Homemade ‘steak’ sauce, and how I like my seitan (juicy and full of flavor).

Seitan is a nice addition to a veggie diet since it’s packed with protein (approx 25 g in a 4 oz serving). It’s made entirely from wheat gluten, which is the protein in wheat that makes it stretchy/sticky. I’m not crazy about the texture, I find it to be a little dry and rubbery, and it doesn’t absorb flavor that well. When I decide I want to have it, I always make sure to cook it in a way that makes it juicier and more tender. My favorite way to prepare it simmering on the stovetop, allowing the sauce to cook down and absorb into the seitan. The sauce I used tonight was a steak sauce recipe with simple common ingredients from allrecipes.com.

Tender seitan with homemade “steak” sauce

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 8 oz seitan cubes or strips
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (Amy’s Organics makes a great one)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • a few drops hot sauce of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Method:

  1. Whisk together all ingredients for sauce (everything except vegetable broth and seitan).
  2. In a medium sauce pan, add vegetable broth, sauce, and seitan.
  3. Cook over medium-medium low heat, stirring occassionally to prevent burning (sauce is high in sugar content.)
  4. Seitan is done when all sauce is cooked down, approx 30-35 minutes.

 

Before I started cooking the seitan, I threw some wild rice in the rice cooker. I steamed butternut squash and spinach on top to make a complete meal!

 

 

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Vegan potato chowder with seitan

Tonight I’m cooking inspired this recipe from the Whole Foods Market “Health Starts Here” program: Italian Chowder with Cod.

I admit that I’m a bit biased towards this program because I was paid for almost 2 years to represent it in-store. However, the program ROCKS. It’s all about Whole Foods, Plant-strong, Nutrient Dense and Healthy Fats (I talk a little bit about whole foods and healthy fats in a previous post.)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil*
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley*
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano*
  • Crushed red pepper (as desired for taste)*
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, quartered
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 – 15 oz can no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 – 15 oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced butternut squash*
  • 1 1/2 cups organic frozen yellow corn*
  • 1 – 16 oz bag frozen leafy greens*
  • 1/2 pound seitan, cut into chunks*

* means I changed from the original recipe. I decided to up the almond milk, potatoes, and onion since I’m adding in squash and corn so the chowder will be a bit bigger. I also upped the spices and added crushed red pepper per reviews in the comment section on the recipe page. And of course, subbing seitan for cod to make vegetarian.

1. Bring almond milk and spices to a boil in a large pot.

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2. Add potatoes and onions, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes.

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3. Using a blender or immersion blender, carefully purée contents of pot. Don’t burn yo-self!

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4. Whisk in tomato paste, add beans, tomatoes and squash. Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until squash is tender. Make sure to scrape bottom of pot often, almond milk will act the same as milk or cream and will burn on the bottom if not!

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5. Stir in kale, corn, and seitan, cover and simmer until kale is tender and seitan is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes more. When you first add these, it may look like there’s not enough liquid in the soup but the frozen greens and corn will cook out a bit of liquid and balance it out. Don’t add more!

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CHOWder DOWN!!!

 

(Note: the only thing I would change is to add some GARLIC. I forgot I wanted to do that.)