Sunday, November 22, 2009

Seitan (save 83%)

We've been making Vegan Dad's Veggie Lunch Meat Seitan for a while now. A few months ago, however, our local stores stopped carrying vital wheat gluten in bulk and at $3.33 a pound, the online options are twice as expensive as our previous supply. So I decided to make a round, do a little substitution, and find out how much my seitan was costing us.


1/3 cup dried pintos
1/2 a bay leaf
1 clove garlic
1 tsp fennel
1/4 tsp peppercorns
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 tsp sage
1 tsp Braggs or soy sauce
2 cups vital wheat gluten
2/3 cups high gluten wheat flour

To begin, you'll want a cup of cooked beans. I think this recipe is great with pinto beans, black bean in a pinch, but stay away from the white beans Vegan Dad recommends--they're too bland and make the finished product taste processed.

  • Soak 1/3 of a cup of dried beans overnight, then bring them to boil in two cups of water with half a bay leaf.
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook for 90 minutes

Save the bean juice

now, bring a steamer up to steam.

  • Put the garlic in your food processor and chop it until it's fine.
  • Grind the fennel and the pepper in a spice grinder, then add to the food processor.
  • Add in the oil, salt, paprika, onion powder, tumeric, sage, braggs, and cooked beans (but not the bean juice) and blend.
  • Measure the bean juice and add water until you have 2 cups. Add that into the bowl
  • Put 1/2 the gluten and all of the flour into a mixing bowl, then pour the food processor on top of the flour. Add the rest of the gluten on top.
  • Use your hands to mix all of the ingredients together until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Lay out a 12 inch by 24 inch piece of aluminum foil and shape the wet proto-seitan into a 10-inch log. Roll the log into the foil and twist off the ends.
  • Set your over for 350 degrees
  • Steam the seitan log for 45 minutes
  • Bake the seitan log for 45 minutes

This gives a loaf that's a little lighter and a bit less spicy than Vegan Dad's recipe. There's not really anything on the market that compares in taste, but a spicy version of LightLife's Steak style Smart Strips might be equivalent

1/3 cupdried pintos$0.20
1/2 a leafbay leaf$0.10
1 clovegarlic$0.15
1 tspfennel$0.05
1/4 tsppeppercorns$0.03
1/4 cupolive oil$0.35
2 tspsalt$0.00
2 tsppaprika$0.20
2 tsponion powder$0.35
1/4 tsptumeric$0.02
1 tspsage$0.30
1 tspbraggs$0.04
2 cupsvital wheat gluten$1.67
2/3 cupshigh gluten wheat flour$0.33
3 sqftaluminum foil$0.12

for a total of $3.91. I got a 30 oz log, for a cost of $0.13 per oz. Compared to those LightLife Smart Strips, I saved 83%!

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