Monday, January 26, 2009

Meatless Monday! (Homemade Seitan & Maple Balsamic Dressing)

Today's recipes are courtesy of my good friend Robin. She is vegetarian and pretty darn close to vegan. She is also a wonderful cook so we swap recipes all the time and love to try each others cooking.

But first a word about Seitan. Seitan (pronounced Say-shawn or Say-tan depending on what you prefer) is a flavored wheat gluten. Seitan is a seasoned gluten wheat loaf. I had tried some store bought stuff and hated it. It tasted like rubber. Then I tried the stuff Robin made and was sold. It's so good! So this week I'm posting her recipe for Maple Balsamic Grilled Seitan. I've also included the links to where she found the recipes for this and the Homemade Seitan. Enjoy!

Maple Balsamic Dressing

Homemade Seitan

Maple-Balsamic Grilled Seitan, Corn and Pepper Relish, Marinated Tomatoes

Maple Balsamic Dressing


1/2 cup tomato juice
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon
freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil


Combine all ingredients except oil, stirring well. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk until well combined.
Note: Refrigerate dressing in an airtight container for up to five days; stir well before using.

Homemade Seitan
from Post Punk Kitchen

Traditionally wheat flour is washed and kneeded 3 times and over 2 days in order to make the wheat gluten, but this seitan is made quicker by using Vital Wheat Gluten flour. The flavoring for this goes well with pretty much anything, but depending what you are using it for you can change the flavors up a bit by adding finely chopped herbs to the mixture, or if you're making something Asian or Indian, some grated ginger wouldn't hurt.


1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1 cup very cold water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated on a microplane grater
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest


In a large bowl, mix together Vital Wheat Gluten Flour and nutritional yeast flakes.

In a seperate bowl, mix together reamining ingredients: water or veg broth, soy sauce. tomato paste, garlic, lemon zest.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine with a firm spatula, knead dough for about 3 minutes until a spongy, elastic dough is formed. Let dough rest for a couple of minutes and prepare your broth, but don't start boiling it.

Now roll your dough into a log shape about 8 inches long and cut into 3 equal sized pieces. Place the pieces in the broth. It is important that the water/broth be very cold when you add the dough, it helps with the texture and ensures that it doesn't fall apart. Partially cover the pot (leave a little space for steam to escape) and bring to a boil.

When the water has come to a boil set the heat to low and gently simmer for an hour, turning the peices every now and again.

Now you've got gluten. Let it cool in the simmering broth for at least a half an hour. It is best if it cools completely.

What you do next depends on the recipe you are using. If it calls for gluten use it as is. If you want to store some of it for later use put it in a sealable container covered in the simmering broth.

If your recipe calls for seitan cut your peices up as desired. I prefer to use a cast iron skillet for the frying because it produces the best flavor and texture. Use as little oil as possible to coat the bottom of the skillet, 1 teaspoon may suffice. Heat the skillet over medium high and add your gluten. Cook for about 20 minutes, turning the pieces occasionally. And there you have it. Yummy seitan.

Corn and Pepper Relish
I used a Cooking Light recipe as a guide, made a few substitutions and tossed everything together. Super easy! I've made this before without toasting the corn and it's good both ways, though my husband prefers the toasted version.
2-3 big handfuls of corn kernels (I used frozen)
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 big handful of chopped bell pepper
1 big handful of chopped onion
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1 pinch of ground cumin
squeeze of lime
splash of cider vinegar
1/2-1 teaspoon agave nectar
salt and pepper, to taste
Add corn and mustard seeds to a dry skillet. Toast until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well.
Recipe: Marinated Tomatoes with Lemon and Summer Savory from Cooking Light. (I didn't bother to include the sugar.)
Maple-Balsamic Grilled Seitan: I used the recipe for Maple-Balsamic Dressing from Cooking Light as a marinade for the seitan. I then grilled the marinated seitan in an oiled grill pan over med-low heat. I cooked the leftover marinade down to thicken it and brushed it over the grilled seitan. It was quite good, especially with the marinated tomotoes.


Joelen said...

i never would have thought to make my own seitan. I've had it a few times and its delicious! I'll have to check this out since buying it can be so expensive!

Queen Mommy said...

One quick note about the Seitan... I didn't see the recipe for the broth to you boil it in. It's 12 cups water or vegetable broth + 1/2 cup soy sauce (I always use Bragg Liquid Aminos). The more vegetable broth you use the more flavor your seitan will have. I usually use about 1/2 broth 1/2 water.

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