I know some of you are rolling your eyes now. Can she stop posting pictures of food already?! When are they heading out for some crazy adventures instead, please?! Well I'm sorry but I am in a flow right now that has me spending time only on things I want and need to do and not so much what pleases others so you'll have to bear with me till the blog becomes a priority again. No worries though faithful readers, it will, as soon as we have figured some things out and when I can share more of our plans on here and more. But for now, let's talk food.
So I've been cooking quite a bit with Seitan lately. The fantastic wheat protein that is brilliant as a meat substitute, if you can and want to incorporate gluten in your diet that is. Wheat gluten is a good alternative to the many soybean-based meat substitutes such as tofu and tempeh, and is more appreciated by people who have hard to let go of meaty flavors as it can look, feel and taste pretty damn close to the real deal if prepared correctly. If you are new to Seitan I'd like to say that it always tastes best when it's been marinated for an hour or more before cooking. The wheat protein doesn't have a lot of flavor in itself, so to soak it in oil, maybe some soy and definitely salt and spices is how you give it some life. At least that is my experience. The price is ok, somewhere around $4-7 USD for a package that serves 3-4, but if you want to save even more, you could always try your hands on making it yourself from scratch. Seitan normally consists of: Water, vital wheat gluten, garbanzo bean or whole wheat flour, soy flour and/or soy sauce, garlic and spices.
Wheat gluten is often used instead of meat in Asian, vegetarian, Buddhist, and macrobiotic cuisines, so it is naturally what this vegan restaurant in downtown Boston uses for their lovely "veggie-chicken" and "veggie-beef" meals. You still won't find Seitan in every grocery store even though I think we aren't too far from that happening, but well-sorted markets such as Wholefoods and other modern markets do stock a variety of it. I've enjoyed the GMO-free Seitan from WestSoy, though I've heard from a few that Upton's is even better. This one is good, and the ground seitan is an excellent minced meat replacement for bolognese and tacos.
It's truly amazing the amount of new people that become vegetarians/vegans everyday around the world, and this product and it's more advanced siblings that will show up in the future, will continue helping in dropping the high speed in which factory farming is destructively producing meat today. The more of us that can cut down on eating meat - the better for our nature, world, our bodies, the animals and our karma obviously. If you don't want to quit eating meat completely, you might want to limit your meat consumption to only a few days a week instead of seven.
On the image at the top I've marinated Seitan strips in soy, oil and spices and then fried it up with scallions, red pepper and more spices. At the end I added some already oven baked potato wedges. Muy rico!
This one above was a chicken style meal that I made with butter squash, portobello mushrooms and cherry tomatoes chopped up in tiny pieces. Added both red chili and curry for warming flavor. I simmered the stew a pretty long while in olive oil and a bit of water.
Of course while I'm at it and since cooking and food experimenting takes so much of my time at the moment, I've also tried out some new vegan baked goods like these chocolate balls with chocolate frosting. They might look real good but don't let the image fool you, they tasted absolutely horrendous. Not because they're vegan, but because I made them late in the night after a long day of hustlin' already so for some reason I added one too many cups of flour into the batter. I guess I should have been warned when the mixture was hard as it was when I scooped the little shits into the muffin tin, but that totally didn't get my attention before they were baked and done. Consistence was that of a rock. Better luck next time.