More than thirty days behind in posts, (meaning I now have 30 days worth of notes to catch up with and write about) we're going to have to shorten these posts up a bit. No one will hold it against me I'm sure.
The day is May 18, 2021, the fourth day of The Highlights of my Day blogging project and challenge to myself. On this day I made seitan, had a Zoom meeting with a home improvements contractor and sketched a bathroom vanity.
I'll talk a little bit about the seitan and you'll find the recipe below. If you're reading this you might be thinking, "what the hell is seitan?" and that's fair. I didn't know what seitan was up until a few years ago. It's actually one of the coolest things to eat that you may have never heard about / eaten... Actually, you probably have eaten it and just don't realize it.
What is Seitan?
Seitan is a plantbased 'meat' made from a flour-like product called vital wheat gluten. Some refer to it as a "vegetarian meat substitute." Seitan is basically made via the reaction of vital wheat gluten (derived from the wheat plant) with liquid / water. Simply mixing the two together forms a chewy / tough dough that can mimic the texture (and flavor if you add broth and spices) of many animal meats such as turkey, chicken and ham. As with many fine recipes, if you don't know what you're doing seitan can come out pretty soppy and badly.. but if you do know what you're doing, you can make a plant-based deli sandwich that would have your most meat loving friends jealous.
You've probably eaten 'seitan' even if you don't think so and here's why I say that. If you've ever had a sausage, a product like a 'Slim Jim', or even a burger or taco at a chain restaurant, chances are a portion of your meat patty was sometimes actually seitan (that is, a mixture of vital wheat gluten and water). This is because some manufacturers actually use the concept of 'seitan' as 'filler' to 'plump up' their meat while keeping it full and well, meaty. If this isn't a testament to how meat-like seitan can be, I don't know what is. Most intentionally plant-based 'meats' are made of some type of 'seitan' with the exceptions being gluten-free and bean, nut, or soy based alternatives.
History of Seitan
"Seitan dates back to ancient China, almost 1,500 years ago. Buddhist monks in the sixth century discovered the wheat meat after soaking their wheat dough in water, removing all the starch, leaving a high protein wheat gluten." - LoveSeitan.com
So how do you make seitan? Well, it's easy. I'll add the recipe here for how to make a really good seitan 'roast' for use in soups, BBQ or for carver cold cuts on sandwiches.
Note: Seitan does contain gluten, so just beware if you have an allergy or sensitivity. In that case, if you want to learn more vegetarian and plant-based cooking, look for gluten-free alternatives. Also, if you want to try seitan but don't feel like making it, simply pick some up in the speciality section of most grocery stores under the label 'seitan' and also note that most of the plant-based meats on the shelves are also a type of seitan. Why not try some of those too!?