If you have any experience with vegetarian food, you’ve likely encountered seitan in your travels. Made from vital wheat gluten (it’s what makes dough stretchy and gives baked goods shape), seitan is used in place of meat in all kinds of dishes, from stew to stir-fry. Like tofu, it takes on the flavor of what you cook it in, so it’s a versatile, satisfying way to add protein to meals.
Though you can buy prepared seitan near the tofu in most Whole Foods stores, it’s easy to pay at least $3.49 for just a couple servings. It also usually comes pre-seasonsed (and way too salty!). Chris and I have been wanting to make our own for a while now, so last night was the night.
While I did laundry, he got to work on the seitan. This box of Arrowhead Mills Vital Wheat Gluten cost less than a container of prepared seitan would—and we ended up with more than twice the number of servings.
- 1 box (10 oz) Vital Wheat Gluten
- 2 cups water
- Vegetable broth
- Add vital wheat gluten to water in mixing bowl. Stir and then knead until mixed and elastic (about 5 minutes).
- Form dough into a 2 1/2 inch roll and let it rest for 5 minutes while you prepare the broth.
- Begin heating broth on medium heat.
- Cut the seitan into equal pieces about 1/2 inch thick. Place the seitan in the broth. Bring the mixture to a bowl and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for one hour.
- Can be removed and served immediately or left in the broth to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Though I can’t take credit for most of the rest of the meal (brown jasmine rice cooked with some of the seitan broth and an improvised sweet-and-sour sauce that used citrus instead of sugar), I did make the Braised & Glazed Brussel Sprouts a la Mark Bittman. This is my favorite way to enjoy brussel sprouts and one of the best go-to’s in his book How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.
Just a few weeks ago I was lamenting the fact that I wasn’t able to cook as much, so this week I’ve really been enjoying the extra time I have to spend on that. I’ve been roasting a lot of vegetables and also made a big batch of marinara to freeze. Before classes start up again, I’ll probably make a few pots of soup to freeze too. I have a lot of late afternoon and night classes this semester, which works perfectly for my new work schedule (more on that soon) but will probably require some pre-planning if I don’t want to eat Peanut Butter sandwiches and baby carrots for dinner three nights a week.
Enjoy your day. I’m off to do the new strength-training routine my physical therapist just prescribed. I still have to wait another two weeks or so to do yoga again, but I don’t mind. I’d rather hold off a little longer and be able to do the poses correctly and safely rather than dive right back in and risk more injury.
I have a lot of work to do today, but I’m also having lunch with one of my oldest and dearest friends. We met when we were assigned as lab partners in seventh grade and our first inside joke was about truffle pigs. She’s a nurse now, so I love that we can get together and trade gross-out hospital stories over omelets. It’s the little things : )
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