Looks Like Something the Cat Coughed Up

Our new vegan lifestyle has led to a huge increase in our tofu consumption. Looking to replace meat with some kind of protein, tofu has been the easiest choice. Of course, there is conflicting information out there about just how much tofu you should be consuming. Admittedly, I have done only the most cursory of online searches to solve this newest (to us) nutritional mystery. Since the new vegan thing is different enough, I’m not going to do any further research for now. Suffice it to say, there are other ways to get your protein. Jane usually makes a tofu stir-fry once a week. And there’s always a bean based dish or three. We’ve also had a few things with store-bought chicken seitan. And we’ve discovered that some grains have protein too! (Couscous and quinoa, for example.)

Looking for alternative sources of protein, Jane decided to try and make seitan at home. We’ve had seitan, or “wheat meat” as it is also known, in a few of the vegan restaurants we’ve tried and it’s been mostly good. Time for an adventure in the kitchen.

We really both love the Real Food Daily Cookbook cookbook by Ann Gentry (as we’ve said many times already). However, her recipe for basic seitan was far more work than Jane felt like undertaking for her first venture into the world of home-made seitan. We did have a recipe in The Accidental Vegan by Devra Gartenstein that looked simple.

Basically, you take some wheat gluten (Jane used Bob’s Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten) and water to form the dough. That’s the attractive picture at the top of this post. We’ve both made bread before and adding the water to the wheat gluten is pretty much like the beginning stages of making a loaf of bread. However, it really looks like cat puke, as any of you who live with the furry beasts can attest to! Then you boil it in water with soy sauce and ginger. Pretty simple. And pretty tasty.

For our dinner last night, Jane then made a gravy based on nutritional yeast and flour and which was rather good. She also roasted butternut squash with olive oil and brown sugar, salt and pepper. The picture does not do it justice. Dinner was yummy. Hearty winter fare. As usual, our entree was accompanied by a salad of mixed field greens with onion, apple, cranberries and a balsamic dressing.

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