Thanksgiving 2013: Slow Cooker Seitan Roast

As I mentioned in my previous post I was going to make a seitan roast in my crockpot for my work’s Thanksgiving potluck. It came out awesome!!! This is my new favorite way to make seitan. So easy, very little mess, and it was so juicy!

Crockpot Seitan Roast
2 cups vital wheat gluten
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 soy sauce
1 tbs herb de Provence
1 garlic, minced
1 large carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 large potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 stalks of celery,  cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 onion, cut into quarters

4 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large blow, mix together the vital wheat gluten, 2 cups vegetable broth, soy sauce, herb de Provence, and garlic. It should form a moist—but not sticky-dough.

Knead the dough gently for a minute or two.

(I made my dough the night before and left it in the fridge overnight. I don’t think this changes the flavor or texture, so this step is optional).

Shape the dough into a loaf.

Place in your slow cooker.

Cover the loaf with the cut carrots, potatoes, celery, and onion.

Cover the loaf and veggies with the remaining vegetable broth.

Turn your cooker on medium-low and let it cook for 4-6 hours (I put mine in at 8 AM and it was ready around 12:45).

It’s ready when the seitan firm (but not hard) and no longer chewy….and obviously when vegetables are soft. There should be a little broth left (which should have tons of flavor by now and will make a great thin gravy).

I found a nice platter in the cabinet at work, so I sliced up the seitan and plated everything nicely. The president of the company—who is a big meat eater—took a sliced and liked it! I had to go back to work so I forgot to see if any was left afterwards….so  I am going to imagine it was all gone 🙂

This is a seriously awesome and easy meal, any time of the year.

Thanksgiving 2011: Seitan Roast

I saw the recipe on VegWeb for a Holiday Seitan Roast awhile ago and thought it sounded interesting. I love seitan, as evident in my two other posts about it, so I decided this year I would give the roast a try. But I deviated a from the recipe quite a bit. I boiled the roasts (the recipes makes two small loaves) first because I like the texture of boiled then baked seitan. Overall, I REALLY loved this dish. It was easy to make, flavorful and juicy. It even sops up gravy well. I am definitely be making this again sometime.

Seitan Roast
Broth:
5 cups vegetable stock
1 tbs soy sauce
1/4 an onion, cut into chunks
1 carrot, cut into chunks
A small pinch of salt and pepper 
Dough:
2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup vegetable broth 
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp house seasoning
A small pinch of salt and pepper 
Baste:
2 carrots, quartered 
1 small onion, quartered and sliced divided

2 cups vegetable broth (you can use the broth you boiled the seitan in)
2 tbs low sodium soy sauce 
1 tsp cumin
1 tbs Italian seasoning

In a large pot, add all the ingredients for the broth together and set aside. Do not turn the burner on yet. 

In a large bowl, add the vital wheat gluten and nutritional yeast and mix together lightly. 

Add the remanning ingredients and stir until it is too thick for a spoon.

Knead the dough the rest of the way until it comes together and is smooth. This should only take a minute or two so don’t over knead. 


Divided in half and form into small loaves. 

Put the loaves into the broth, turn on the heat, and bring to a boil. Make sure to cover with a lid. 

Once it starts to boil, reduce to a simmer and keep the lid on. Boil for about 30 minutes total. 

While that boils, pre heat the oven to 350 and spray a baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine the all baste ingredients except the carrots and onion.

Remove the loaves from the broth and place them in the baking pan. Spread the quartered carrots and onions around the loaves and cover with half the baste.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the broth is absorbed. Cover with the remaining baste and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Plate, slice, and serve. I topped mine with some mushroom gravy. I think I will make this again for Christmas. 

Homemade Seitan II: Seitan Ribs

Awhile ago I posted a recipe for homemade seitan where you wash the starch off all purpose flour dough. It makes a very tasty meat substitute, but it is time consuming and annoying to do. There is an easier way to make your own seitan: vital wheat gluten. It is simply gluten flour, flour that already has the starch removed. I have not bought it before because plain flour is usually cheaper. But I found a small box on sale for $2.99 at my local health food store (two hippies got into a fight in the check-out line so I stepped behind to display to get out of their way and noticed the box on the shelf).

The beauty of vital wheat gluten is there is no washing necessary. Just mix the ingredients, knead lightly, and boil. Takes at least half an hour off the prep time. Awhile ago I saw a blog for BBQ seitan ribs, which I magically cannot find again, so I decided to made a similar recipe.

Vital Wheat Gluten Seitan
1 cup vital wheat gluten 
3/4 cup vegetable broth 
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tps smoked paprika 
1 tps chili powder
1 tps garlic powder
6 cups water or vegetable broth
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs paprika
1 tps garlic powder
1 tps cumin
2 cloves of garlic, skin removed and crushed

In a small bowl, add vital wheat gluten. Shift through it a bit to get any clumps out.

Add the remaining 3/4 cup vegetable broth, 2 tps soy sauce, smoked paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder. 

Knead the ball for a minute or so, just until it all comes together and is smooth. 

Let it rest for 5 minutes, then knead a few more times. 

Divide and mold into desired shapes. I tore mine in half, flatten out one half into slab for my rips, and made a patty and nuggets with the other half. 

Add combine the remaining ingredients into a large pot. Add the seitan pieces and cover with a lid. 

Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce to simmer and cook 45 mins to 1 hour. 

Turn off the heat, leave the lid on and let it cool in the stock.

Once cool, remove the stock. It’s ready to be used right away or can be stored for later.

Seitan Ribs
1 large, flat seitan steak 
BBQ sauce(used any style or brand you like, I used a sweeter one)
BBQ rub (again, any style or brand you like, mine was just a mix of random spices I had in the pantry: paprika, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, and chipotle)

Pre-heat the oven to broil or heat up the grill.

Cut the strips into the steak like rips.

Now brush on BBQ sauce. 

Rub the seitan steak with the BBQ rub. And yeah I know, traditionally you don’t put sauce on it if you have a rub but that what I recipe I based this on said and I like the combination.

Bake for 30 minutes or so, until the seitan has a crunchy blacken crust. I am not sure on the grill time since I don’t have a grill. I really wish I could the site I got this recipe from.

I think I like seitan better this way, but in the end I will go with whats cheapest. So unless vital wheat gluten is on sale, I will just make the flour dough and wash the stretch out. But I will totally make these ribs again sometime. They are chewy and smokey, so delicious. 

Seitan ribs, green beans, and olive bread. 

Feel Better Vegetable Soup

I’ve felt kind of crummy all weekend, I think I caught a cold or something. So, I decided to make the best thing for a cold, soup! There is tons of research on the healing properties of vegetable and chicken soups—but since I am a vegan I am only going to talk about vegetable soup. Since soup is largely liquid based, it helps keep you hydrated, which is key to fighting a cold. The vegetables also can act like anti-inflammatories and help lessen congestion and soreness. The protein in the seitan also helps boost your body’s ability to fight off sickness as well. I’ll post some links at the bottom.
Besides all those wonderful health qualities, who doesn’t love a big steaming bowl of soup? That’s the main reason I decided to make this. It conjures up happy memories of my mom bringing a bowl of her homemade soup and kissing me on the forehead to make me feel better. It’s also proven that thinking of happy memories helps your immunity too (I watched a very good documentary recently called The Science of Healing with Dr. Esther Sternberg on the subject).
I guess this is based on my mom’s chicken soup recipe, just minus the chicken. It’s pretty much the standard vegetable soup recipe and it’s very easy. I wanted more of the seitan I posted yesterday, I made up another batch to add more protein to the soup. I made my own broth because it makes all the difference in the world. Plus, there is way less sodium than the stuff in the box or can. 

Vegetable and Seitan Soup
1 large onion
3 large carrots
4 stalks of celery
2 cloves of garlic
1 half inch piece of ginger
8 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup seitan

Peal the onion and chop off the ends. Cut into quarters. Cut the ends off the carrots and celery, cut into quarters as well. Peal the finer and chop off the ends. Peal the ginger. Throw everything into a large pot.

Add the water, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

Cover and turn on the heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about an hour, until the veggies are tender. 

Remove the veggies. If you strain them, make sure you do not accidentally throw out the broth. Set the veggies aside to cool. Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Once the veggies are cooled, chop into bite size pieces. Some people discard the garlic and ginger, but I chop it up too.

Add the veggies back to the broth.

Add the seitan and turn the heat to low. Let it cook for a few minutes, just to warm everything back up.

I served mine over wild jasmine rice, but noodles would be wonderful too.

I hope I feel better tomorrow. And if not, I have plenty to soup to help me feel better.

Links on Cold Cures:
Today Show: The Truth About Six Common Cold Remedies
Mayo Clinic: Common Cold
10 Simple Ways to Cure Cold

Homemade Seitan

Seitan is my favorite meat alternative. As much as I love tofu, you can only eat so much soy before it gets old. Seitan is wheat protein that has all the starch washed away. If you have Celiac Disease or any other gluten allergy, it’s the exact thing you are allergic to, so sadly this tasty dish is not for you. But, if you have no issues with gluten, give “wheat meat” a try. It has a firmer and chewier texture, reminds me of chicken a little bit. Like tofu, it will take on the flavor of what ever you cook it in. It is sold in health food stores and you can find it in some normal grocery stores now too.

I have a hard time finding it in Hilo, so I decided to attempt to make my own. I actually made this awhile ago, but haven’t had the time to post it. I can’t remember where I first read about making your own seitan, but the idea stuck around in my head. I looked up some videos on YouTube and found the following to be the easiest to follow. I loved the final outcome but I have to admit, the process was a huge pain. The video says washing the dough takes 15 minutes but it took me more like 45 minutes. She says wash until the water is pretty clear, but trust me, wash that dough until the water is CRYSTAL clear. Any remaining starch (the stuff that makes the water whitish) will make your seitan tacky and gross. I had to make another batch because of that. So wash it more than you think is necessary, because it is totally necessary. 
This is my version of the recipe in the video, it’s pretty close to hers though. I made my plain with no spices because I did not know what I was going to use mine in. So I omitted the spices in the actual dough.  But I made sure I jazzed it up when I used it in the my final dishes. 
Homemade Seitan
Dough:
8 cups white all purpose flour
3 tbs nutritional yeast
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 and 1/2 cups water
Cooking Stock:
4 cups vegetable broth 
1/2 cup soy sauce
Follow this video, she explains everything very clearly and is easy to follow. Like I said earlier, wash until it is totally clear, not just pretty clear. It might take awhile, but it’s necessary. I cut mine into two shapes before boiling, steaks and nuggets. 
I used my seitan for all sorts of things.  I fried it up like chicken and had it with some BBQ sauce and green bean casserole one night. 
I sautéed it in olive oil with garlic and basil, then served with tomato sauce. 
I even ate the nuggets plain with some ketchup for lunch one day too. It’s always good to know what actually goes into the food you eat. Making your own of something ensures that there are no scary ingredients. Plus, I like the texture of my homemade stuff better than the store bought. 
I think next time I am going to use it has taco filling….