Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bringing Home the Seitan

Back in the day, around the time I first started blogging (2007-2008), there was so much activity in the vegan blogosphere! We had a super-tight online community, and we'd all comment on one another's blogs. That still exists to some extent (hey, current blogger buds!!!), but so many of my old blogger buds moved on to other pursuits. Some gave up blogging altogether, while others started blogging more sporadically — only posting an update every few months or so. Others, like Kris Holechek Peters (of the Nom! Nom! Nom! blog), got pretty busy writing cookbooks.

But I've long been a Kris fan. I followed her blog back in the day, and I love her Trader Joe's Cookbook (even though we don't have a TJ's in Memphis and I can't access some of the products - we're getting one though!). But now Kris has a new book out, and I think it's her best work yet! Bringing Home the Seitan is packed with 100 wheat meat recipes for tacos, stir-fries, BBQ, and more.

I love, love, love homemade seitan. It's one of the most protein-packed vegan foods you can eat. It's super-versatile, and it's so simple to make it at home. Kris includes basic recipes for making seitan chicken, beef, sausage, ham, burgers, and lunch meat, and then she offers tons of recipes for using the wheat meat in everything from soups and stews, sandwiches and salads, pasta dishes and casseroles, and so much more.

Honestly, everything in this book sounds amazing, but I settled on a few potluck-friendly dishes for our annual Memphis Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck tonight at Vaughan and Nicole's house. I've always wanted to try my hand at making my own vegan turkey, so I chose the Seitan and Mushrooms En Croute.

This is a hearty log of homemade seitan flecked with sauteed portabella and cremini mushrooms. It's baked until firm, and then it's wrapped in puff pastry and baked again. The seitan was tender and delicious, and honestly, I think this was just as good, if not better, than any storebought vegan turkey I've had. It was a big hit at the potluck!

I also wanted to bring some sort of appetizer, so I chose Jellied Crockpot "Meat"-Balls. I grew up in Arkansas, and Crockpot meatballs are a staple at just about every potluck.

These are made using Kris' recipe for Meaty Spheres (seitan meatballs) that are hand-rolled, individually wrapped in foil, and steamed until tender. Wrapping each ball was a little time-consuming but so worth it!

The sauce is just a jar of grape jelly and a bottle of cocktail sauce. Kris recommends serving these balls with bread, and though I've never had them that way, it sounded like a nice idea for soaking up the sauce. Plus, the white bread made this dish even more Arkansas!

These were a hit too! Both dishes were devoured quickly, so no leftovers for me. Guess I'll just have to try some more recipes from the book. Dying to try the Curried Seitan Stew, the Pulled Pork-ish Sandwiches with Creamy Slaw, the Israeli Salad with Chick'n and Tahini, and the Broccoli Cheddar Chick'n Skillet.

By the way, I'll have more pics from the potluck in tomorrow's post!


vegan peace said...

Wow, I need that book! Making seitan is something I still haven't mastered. Some recipes turn out great, and others have been epic failures! That seitan loaf in puff pastry is seriously gorgeous!! The jellied seitan balls sound interesting too. I've never heard of the combo of grape jelly and cocktail sauce!

Jesse Ashby said...

I blogged from 2007-2012 as Midwest Vegan. I just got too busy. Plus, blogging has definitely changed. For me it was a hobby but for some it's a full time job. I can't compete with that! Lol.

Dana said...

Yum! Everything looks so good. I hear you on the blogging fade away. I feel like I'm doing that right now. I'm glad you have kept being crunky. I love reading your blog. :)

Susan said...

Sounds like a gluteny good time!

Tea and Sympatico said...

I've not explored the world of seitan very much but this sounds like a great book.