Thursday, April 12, 2012

Homemade Vegetarian Meat: Seitan

For those who can eat gluten, seitan is the best replacement you can find for meat. The main ingredient is vital wheat gluten which is mixed with another kind of flour/s and spices. The interesting aspect of gluten flour besides the texture it imparts is the amount of protein it contains. For example, the next cutlets I'll show you, each one has 30 g of protein! Who says vegetarians don't eat enough protein? In the past I've made seitan with less than happy results, the gluten flavor was very strong and the texture was too chewy which was undesirable. I stopped making seitan for a long time and this week I decided to try it again with a few changes to improve the taste and texture, and it worked! It WORKED!  Now it has a very mild taste and the texture is similar to stewed meat, just a bit chewy and delicious. I'm so happy! Enjoy the next recipe and make it! You will thank me later ;-)

Seitan (the best you've ever tried!)

Makes 4 cutlets

Ingredients

For the Seitan:

1 cup of Vital Wheat Gluten Flour
1/2 cup organic soy flour
2 tablespoons Veggie Seasoning
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (optional)
1 tablespoon Olive oil
3/4 - 1 cup water

For the broth:

6 cups water
2 tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
2 tablespoons of Veggie Seasoning

Method



In a medium bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten flour, soy flour, veggie seasoning and peppers. 
Mix the water and oil and add it to the dry ingredients, mixing with your hands until it forms a uniform ball.  
Knead for 4 minutes.
Cut into 4 pieces and stretch the dough into 4 cutlets. 
In a large pot combine the broth ingredients (do not heat it up yet).
Place the cutlets in the cold broth and let them rest there for 10 minutes.  

I made them in my (newly purchased!) pressure cooker  which reduces the time significantly but you make it in a regular pot if you don't have one. If making in a pressure cooker, close the lid after the previously mentioned 10 minutes, after steam starts escaping, count 30 minutes. Use the natural release method. 

If making in a regular pot, bring the broth to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour. 

When ready, the cutlets will increase in size as they absorb the liquid. You can drain them for a little while, squeeze out some of the liquid or cook them like I did in the next recipe so the liquid dries up. 

Nutritional Information

Calories: 232
Total Fat: 6.1 g (Saturated 1 g, Polyunsaturated 1.6 g, Monounsaturated 3 g, Trans Fat 0 g)
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Potassium: 190 mg
Total Carbs: 12.2 g (Fiber 0.3 g, Sugars 0.2 g)
Protein: 30.5 g
Vitamin A: 2.5 %
Calcium: 6%
Iron: 17.5%

Wine and Mushroom Seitan

 

Ingredients

4 Seitan Cutlets
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine 
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Method

In a large high rimmed pan or pot, heat up the oil and cook the garlic until fragrant (about 30 seconds)
Add the cutlets, without overcrowding the pan, and lightly brown them on each side (you may have to do this in two batches). 
Remove the cutlets (leaving the brown bits) and add the mushrooms and parsley, cook until softened. 
Add the wine to deglaze the pan and return the cutlets to keep cooking with the mushrooms. 
Cook until the liquid is absorbed. 
Add salt and pepper.
Serve!


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