"Gluten-free seitan" sounds like a contradiction, huh? That's like saying, "gluten-free gluten." But enterprising vegans can come up with a substitute for anything!
When first flipping through my review copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, I was immediately struck by the recipe for Chicken-Style Gluten-Free Seitan. I have no problem digesting gluten, but I knew this was a recipe that I must try. So I cooked a batch on Wednesday night:
Doesn't it look just like regular seitan?! It's prepared in the same way too. A mixture of cooked and pureed veggies, a little tofu, and a combination of gluten-free flours (chickpea and brown rice) are mixed together and shaped into a log. Then it's wrapped in foil and steamed, similar to Terry Hope Romero's seitan in Viva Vegan.
Texture-wise, it's pretty spot-on after it's cooled in the fridge overnight, and it tastes similar to seitan too. I decided to use part of my gluten-free seitan in a pot of Mexicali Chili, also from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking:
This chili is amazing! It's loaded with fire-roasted tomatoes, beans, seitan, peppers, and lots of spices. It even contains cocoa powder, which always steps chili up to the next level. I added a habanero pepper, and I also used the jalapeno and cayenne called for in the recipe. So my batch is pretty spicy, just the way a proper chili should be.
The seitan didn't hold it's texture in the chili as well as I'd hoped, but it was still a delicious addition. It seems like the gluten-free version gets a little gummy after it's simmered in the chili broth. It might be best to use the rest of my batch fried up in sandwiches or salads.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking also has a recipe for gluten-free cornbread, but I didn't want to spend any more money on special gluten-free flours. I'm sure a gluten-free vegan would already have a good selection of alternative flours in their pantry, but not me. So I baked up a batch of my own recipe for Jalapeno-Corn Cornbread from my upcoming cookbook:
I guess eating a gluten-containing cornbread with a gluten-free chili is kinda silly. But it paired perfectly with this spicy, hearty chili.