Vegetarian Coast to Coast

Healthy Living With A Coastal Flair

Posts tagged processes

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Seitan (Sey-tan)

Did you know 30 years ago, that meat alternatives were not readily available to the vegetarian/vegan consumer? What was available for protein was tofu mainly and tofu was not desirable for those of us coming off of a meat heavy diet. Part of our problem was that newbies to vegetarianism did not have a strong network of people to guide them in how to prepare the food correctly and make it edible even for the carnivores in their families they were trying to feed. Needless to say, until I mastered spices and sauces, my family had a hard time with accepting any other meat alternative. For Tofu, l learned that freezing it made into a more meat like texture and flavorings could soaked into it to make it palatable for my carnivourous family. I also learned that making seitan also has become easier since Bob’s Red Mill has come out with a vital wheat gluten base for making the seitan.

When I first started making seitan, I would take 10 cups of whole wheat flour freshly ground from my german flour grinder. I would then add enough water to make a ball of dough and knead it for 10 minutes to build gluten. The process of washing the gluten begins in bowls and bowls of water until the gluten water runs clear. Much like the process of washing rice before putting it into the steamer. At this point the gluten can now be processed into steaks, roasts, cutlets and ground. Nowadays, the process is very streamlined with the vital wheat gluten flour already rinsed and dried and ready to use.

Vegan on the Cheap has several really good recipes for making cutlets and sausage variations, so be sure to check them out.

I also think that Tal Ronnen has been a major contributor to making seitan more palatable and marketable with his Gardien products available at most of your Whole Foods Markets. His innovations with the product make it indistinguishable from the real thing.

For those with wheat allergies seitan is not a good meat alternative for you and you should look for something that is nut based or bean based. They are out there, but I have not been successful at making these products in house.

Filed under seitan vegan Tal Ronnen Gardien gluten processes