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lazy vegetarians are everywhere. this is a collection of easy recipes and tips for dining out for vegetarians with little time or effort.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The other fake meat

One of the big things for any vegan or vegetarian is meat substitutes. Buying them gets expensive and making them is often hard to do and very time consuming.

Long long ago, a friend of mine sent me a link to VRG.org and their recipe for seitan. For the uninitiated, seitan (pronounced say-TAHN for the lame and satan for the cool) is a wheat gluten based meat substitute that is not great on its own, but make a good base for making just about anything.

The gluten flour is about the only thing that is not readily available in all stores. The kombu seaweed can really be subbed for any seaweed which can be found in the "ethnic" section of your local supermarket.
Gluten flour (aka vital wheat gluten) is available in some supermarkets, but not all. Whole Foods will probably have it, there is a brand called Bob's Red Mill that is available pretty widely in with baking products and bread-making supplies and also on Amazon.com.

Quick Homemade Seitan
(Makes 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds or 2 to 2-1/2 cups)

2 cups gluten flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1-1/4 cups water or vegetable stock
3 Tablespoons lite tamari, Braggs liquid amino acids, or soy sauce
1-3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (optional)

Add garlic powder and ginger to flour and stir. Mix liquids together and add to flour mixture all at once. Mix vigorously with a fork. When it forms a stiff dough knead it 10 to 15 times.

Let the dough rest 2 to 5 minutes, then knead it a few more times. Let it rest another 15 minutes before proceeding.

Cut gluten into 6 to 8 pieces and stretch into thin cutlets. Simmer in broth for 30 to 60 minutes.

Broth:
4 cups water
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
3-inch piece of kombu (a type of seaweed)
3-4 slices ginger (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring broth to a boil. Add cutlets one at a time. Reduce heat to barely simmer when saucepan is covered. Seitan may be used, refrigerated, or frozen at this point.

Total Calories per 4 oz. Serving: 77
Fat: 0 grams

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