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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There comes a time in every healthy girl’s life that she has to fry something for her man: Vegan buffalo seitan

In passing, I mentioned to my boyfriend that I used to make fried buffalo seitan. Immediately, he said he wanted it. I haven’t made it in probably almost 2 years because, with the very high unhealthy fat and sodium content, it was something I decided I needed to remove from my cooking repertoire. But, as a special treat, I broke out the recipe last night with a few changes. I nixed the flour and subbed in whole wheat flour with a sprinkle of ground flax seed. And when I may have put these buffalo seitan bits on a pizza or sandwich with added fats and sodium, this time, I served with just plain steamed veggies.

So what is seitan anyway? Seitan is made from wheat gluten, which is the main protein of wheat. The wheat flour dough is stripped of its starch, and the elastic, gummy, sticky stuff that’s left is the gluten. Of course, seitan isn’t a good meat substitute for those of us who may have celiacs or a gluten intolerance… but for someone who has a bit of trouble digesting soy and no trouble with wheat, like myself, seitan is a great alternative. Generally, I don’t use meat substitutes, just because I feel the best when I concentrate on vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans. Seitan is fairly processed down, but it does offer a good hit of protein: 21 g of protein in one serving, with just 120 calories and 2 g of fat.

Some notes on the ingredients…

Oil: Olive oil is technically said to be the “healthiest” but the bottom line is that you’re using 100% fat no matter what. I chose canola for my budget’s sake. Try to find organic, and look for brands that avoid sourcing GMO! I used Whole Food’s 365.

Seitan: I used West Soy brand strips. The bigger the chunks you can get the better, but the little fried buffalo bits are also quite delicious.

Hot Sauce: Frank’s Red Hot is commonly used in buffalo sauce, but I used all-natural cayenne pepper hot sauce from The Scoville Food Institute. The sauce I used did not contain any garlic, but that is an ingredient in the Frank’s Red Hot. I felt it really benefited the sauce to add some fresh garlic in.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Oil for frying
  • 8 oz seitan
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 cups almond milk (or milk substitute of your choice)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic (optional)

Method:

  1. Open seitan, drain extra water. Wrap tightly in paper towels and press out extra moisture.
  2. Fill pan 1/4″ – 1/2″ with oil and heat over medium flame.
  3. Pour milk substitute into a bowl.
  4. Combine whole wheat flour and flax seed in second bowl.
  5. Dredge seitan in milk, then flour mixture, then back in milk.
  6. Place seitan carefully into hot oil, making sure to be careful for splash back.
  7. Fry seitan until breading is golden brown and crispy, flipping halfway through for even cooking.
  8. Drain seitan thoroughly on paper bags or paper towels. Press excess oil out with paper towels.
  9. Melt Earth Balance in a small sauce pan over medium low heat.
  10. Whisk in hot sauce and garlic.
  11. Toss seitan chunks in buffalo sauce. Enjoy!

 

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Other seitan recipe posts you might like:

38. slowcooker chick’n seitan. (makegreat.wordpress.com)

Top Chef Wednesday: Enchiladas with Onion & Seitan (suburbanvegan.com)

Pesto Infused Rice with Seitan (foodfitnessfreshair.com)


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.)