Tag Archives: seitan

an old favorite done local

Once upon a time, our month long New Year’s resolution was to try a new recipe a day for an entire month. I could have sworn we blogged this here, but apparently we didn’t. You can read all about it on the 31 recipes in 31 days Flickr set. It was a lot of work, but we made it the entire month and some days even tried more than one new recipe. The end result was we got out of a dinner rut and found quite a few new favorites.

So when we were shopping at the farmer’s market this week, it didn’t take long for us to decide we wanted to use local ingredients to make a couple recipes we tried back in January of 2009 that are now old favorites: Martha Stewart’s colcannon and barbecue braised short ribs from Vegan Vittles.

Here’s what we got: Walla Walla sweet onions, kailaan, and leeks.

Those onions were calling to us every week. It did force us to think about exactly how nearby something needs to be to be local. Walla Walla is a good 300 miles from us. The only answer we could come up with was “the closer the better,” and we decided to go for it with the onions that traveled 300 miles.

The kailaan was described to us as a green that is sweeter and softer than kale. We thought it looked a little like broccoli rabe, and it did taste awfully sweet raw. A little help from Google tells us this is also called Chinese kale OR Chinese broccoli. You can basically eat every part of it, and we sure did.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love leeks? I really love leeks. I love them so much I put an entire bunch in this batch of colcannon instead of just one.

And I do think the ribs were better than ever, smothered in all those sweet onions. Since we bought them with the stalks, I used the light green parts, too. I may have used extra onions as well.

This meal is so satisfying. You know it is good when the inevitable, “What’s for dinner?” hour arrives and the kid cheers at the answer.

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when life gives you spongy seitan, make seitanade

Ugh, the worst thing that can happen when you make homemade seitan is a whole recipe’s worth of spongy seitan. It happens to the best of us. Unfortunately, I made a double batch yesterday. Two whole batches of super spongy seitan. It’s not inedible, but it ain’t good.

taste = good, texture = not desirable

I baked it after it came out of the broth spongy and wet. It certainly looks a little better, and it tastes pretty good, but that texture isn’t the most appealing for a protein. So I decided to make a loaf out of some of it, and here’s what I did:

salvaged seitan loaf

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, finally diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2/3 a recipe of seitan (perhaps 2 cups? the recipe was from Vegan Vittles)
1 can navy beans
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon vegetarian worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
3 small carrots, grated
1/3 cup oatmeal

I sauteed the onion and celery until nice and golden, an then added garlic and sauteed a minute longer. Put everything but the oatmeal and carrot in the food processor and pulsed until well combined, being sure to leave some texture. My seitan was already on the salty side, so I didn’t need any salt. Then I just added in the grated carrot and oatmeal and combined. Threw it into a greased loaf pan and baked at 375 for about 45 minutes.

ready to go in the oven

It’s a work in progress. Next time I’d do bread crumbs instead of oatmeal, and add more, and use more seitan. It came out a little softer than I’d like, but we all agreed it was freaking delicious, especially with gigantic salads on the side: baby greens, cabbage, grated carrot, green onion, cucumber, and black beans. There was going to be red bell pepper, but I cut it open to find a big ol’ worm inside. Blech! Lucky for you, I was too grossed out to take a picture.

I think I’m gonna try to shred some of the seitan for tacos and turn some more into faux sausage patties. Even if it’s not perfect, it has to beat buying expensive, packaged proteins from the store.


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