Heirloom Beans & Seitan

Heirloom Beans & Seitan Recipe


A few weeks back Wayne and I spent three days visiting Palm Springs. The weather was hot (in a good way), and the weekend was set against the backdrop of a piercingly clear blue sky. We visited date farms, browsed vintage furniture shops, brunched outdoors under giant umbrellas, lounged around near the hotel pool, and went to a beautiful evening wedding at the Corona Yacht Club. We arrived home late Sunday night, neither of us felt like going out again, and it became one of those nights where dinner comes together as I pick and pull from every shelf, drawer, and pocket in the refrigerator/freezer. We ended up having this heirloom bean and broccoli bowl with shallots and seitan. It's filling and hearty, and the roasted broccoli works nicely with the beans and the dusting of cheese I add at the end. I've cooked this three or four times since that night, and thought it might be the kind of thing you'd like to make too.

Heirloom Beans with Seitan

I suspect some of you might not be familiar with seitan. You can buy it at many natural food stores, and the Whole Foods Markets here in San Francisco stock it as well. But let me back up a bit and say, I've only recently become enamored with seitan. In fact, it has always been one of those ingredients I would skip over at the store. I suspect this was because I've never been interested in making meals with faux meat. In addition to that, I think we can agree, seitan is not an attractive ingredient. To my eye it looks like dense, wet, papier-mâché. Nicknames? Some people call it wheat meat....again, not very charming. All that aside, I've come to enjoy seitan. Here's how.

Heirloom Beans with Seitan

Wayne came home with some "cutlets" one day (this one). He chopped them into small chunks which he then pan-fried. The little pieces got nice and brown, and crispy. I had to admit it was quite good. Ever since, and despite its status as the least photogenic ingredient in my refrigerator, I've been making an effort to been cooking with more and more of it - mostly in stir-frys, or as a protein-packed topping on chunky soups, or in a range of throw-it-all-in-the-skillet type meals like this one.

For the other components in this particular recipe? I almost always have bags of leftover cooked heirloom beans in my freezer, so I used those. And then tossed a few handfuls of broccoli in olive oil and roasted it for just a few minutes. That's pretty much it.

I'll leave you with a couple snapshots from Palm Springs. Here's a picture of Wayne enjoying a morning espresso. And a photo of one of the date farms we visited. I made date cookies when I got home using little date chunks and a recipe I found on the side of a bag of the date pieces. Unfortunately, they were quite bad, which is why they never made it onto the site :/

 
 
 
 

Heirloom Beans & Seitan Recipe

Feel free to tweak the ratio of beans to seitan if you like more beans or less. You might also crisp up the beans if you like - I've also thought about adding the beans to the broccoli pan and heating them up that way....You can use any number of beans here - preferably beans that hold their shape. In my freezer I happened to have some heirloom beans bought and cooked from the farmers' market (some sort of cranberry bean?), as well as some Hutterite soup beans from Rancho Gordo - so I used this slightly bizarre combination (this is what you see in the photo). But I've also used white cannelini beans in the past, and chickpeas are great too. From a can will work - just drain, rinse, and shake off any extra water before using.

1 small-medium head of broccoli or broccolini, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
fine grain sea salt

4 ounces seitan, sliced into smallish bite-sized pieces
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon clarified butter or extra virgin olive oil
2 cups of your favorite cooked beans (see head notes)
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padano

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Toss the broccoli with the olive oil and a couple pinches of salt, and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the broccoli is cooked through and has starting to char just a bit where it is touching the pan. Alternately you might boil, steam, or saute the broccoli - but I like roasting the broccoli for this, it works particularly well.

In the meantime, in a large non-stick or (preferably) well-seasoned pan, over medium high heat, saute the seitan and shallots in a bit of clarified butter or olive oil. I like to get the seitan nice and dark and a touch crispy at the edges. The shallots should brown up nicely as well - ten minutes or so. Stir in the beans and cook until they are heated through, you can even let those brown up a bit if you like. At this point, stir in half the grated cheese, taste, and adjust seasoning if needed with more salt.

Turn the beans and seitan out onto a large plate or platter, top with the roasted broccoli and finish with the remaining cheese.

Serves about 2 as a main, 4 as a side.

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 20 min

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Your Comments


Hi Heidi, I totally understand how you feel about cooking food that doesn't look as good as it tastes. However, this actually looks really delicious. It seems to me like everytime you use broccoli the dish always looks (and tastes) good.
Regarding your date cookies. We use dates as the main ingredient for a lot of sweets (chocolate cake, carrot cake, vegan truffles...) and it almost always tastes great. So don't give up on the dates.

 

Koek!
December 1, 2009

Oh yum! Do you think it would work without seitan though? I have NEVER seen seitan in any health food stores here in Cape Town unfortunately... How about adding tofu fried in a little oil and soy sauce instead?

 

That looks delicious! I bet I could figure out something to sub for the seitan since I can't eat gluten.

 

Estela @ Weekly Bite
December 1, 2009

Heidi, this looks delicious! I've never cooked heirloom bean before. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen them (that I know of).

This is what I love about your site. I'm always learning new things :)

 

Susan
December 1, 2009

This looks delicious! I love roasted broccoli, especially with cumin seeds and coriander seeds. I haven't thought of adding beans, but now I have another reason to roast more broccoli (can you hear my kids groaning in the background?)

 

Simply Life
December 1, 2009

Wow, I'm so impressed you were able to just look around and come up with this! Looks delicious, as always!

 

The Gardener's Eden
December 1, 2009

What I like most about this dish is that you have not only addressed, but embraced, an everyday reality here. We all get busy, (especially at this time of the year), and we all run out of fresh ingredients and come home to meals made from whatever we can find in the pantry.
This does not look like a scavenged meal at all - it looks delightful. And I think knowing how to make something delicious out of whatever you can scrape together is the true test, and very essence of knowing how to cook.
Thank you Heidi, I'm working on it !
Michaela

 

I'm new to seitan. It's nickname wheat meat makes it sound rather interesting. I'll have to try it.

 

Reginald @ Ceramic Canvas
December 1, 2009

Heidi,

I must say, I love this site.

I always find something

interesting and unique that inspires

me to eat and eat in a healthy

way. Now, I'm on the search for seitan!

 

Carla
December 1, 2009

My mom makes excellent oatmeal date bars! The base is oats and a bit of butter and sugar (probably brown); then a nice rich layer of pretty much just dates all smushed up; and then crumbly oaty topping. I don't know the exact recipe, though.

 

BigGirlPhoebz
December 1, 2009

This looks like a fabulous mix of protein and veggies. I think I might try adding some pasta to this to make it a complete meal. My favorite legume is chickpeas, and I actually love pairing them with broccoli. I made this Whole Wheat Fusilli with Roasted Broccoli, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Chickpeas and it was the most satisfying, flavorful, well rounded meal! Next time, seitan!

 

Nutmeg Nanny
December 1, 2009

Delicious and healthy. This is a perfect Fall weather salad.

 

Cheryl
December 1, 2009

I was just reading about date farms a few days ago in an issue of Sunset from, I don't remember, sometime in the past few months. (I'm always behind.) We eat a ton of dates in my house and I loved seeing the pictures of the trees and learning how they grow. You and Wayne are lucky, and the Flickr photos are lovely.

While I'm all for broccoli and heirloom beans (I'm keeping quiet on the seitan), I look forward to future date recipes!

HS: I love dates too! Wayne bought a date shake at one of the farms, which was delicious for a sip or two, but wow - SO sweet.

 

Liz
December 1, 2009

So timely. Our good friends down the street cook with seitan quite a bit, but I've always stuck to tofu and tempeh after encountering some pretty rubbery, heartburn-inducing renditions of seitan at Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants. I really appreciate a) hearing that I'm not alone in finding the whole 'wheat meat' thing a bit off-putting, and b) hearing from someone I trust that this, too, can be properly prepared into something my family will eat.

It's always very rewarding to start at "eww, I don't like [insert name of ingredient here]," and get to, "wow, I never liked [ingredient] until you cooked it for me." Some things never make the cut, but we try!

 

Elizabeth
December 1, 2009

Hi Heidi -
I recently purchased Vital Wheat Gluten Flour to make my own Seitan. Have you come across any good recipes to make the Seitan from scratch ?
Thanks so much, Elizabeth

HS: Hi Elizabeth, I did make seitan a few times from scratch - it has been years though. And I can't remember which recipe I used unfortunately. I remember kneading dough for a while to develop the gluten strands and then rinsing the ball of dough to get rid of everything but the gluten.....it was quite fascinating, but a bit of a project, and my results weren't so tasty. ;) Maybe someone else in the comments will have a specific recipe to recommend.

 

The Ordinary Vegetarian
December 1, 2009

I've always shied away from seitan myself. High time I try it, this sounds like a superb winter dinner.

 

Kirsten
December 1, 2009

For those who said it's hard to find seitan (and crafty people like Heidi, of course) it's actually quite easy to make yourself. You basically mix wheat gluten and water, kneed it a little, and then simmer the spongy dough in broth for about an hour. You can add herbs directly to the seitan dough and can also flavor it with the broth (it soaks up a ton of broth as it cooks, and chunks of seitan double or triple in size as they cook).

Several of my vegan cookbooks have instructions. Here's one that has a few more ingredients in it than I usually use, but it looks good! The process is the same as I've done. http://www.theppk.com/recipes/dbrecipes/index.php?RecipeID=112

(There are also instructions out there for starting from flour instead of wheat gluten, but that looks like a huge pain and it works just fine if you start from gluten.)

 

A. Reid
December 1, 2009

I should point out that Seitan is almost entirely wheat gluten, making it unsuitable for the gluten intolerant and those with Celiac disease. Just in case someone didn't guess that from the phrase "wheat meat". :)

 

Jenn@slim-shoppin
December 1, 2009

That looks like a great comforting meal. I love pulling together a great meal, when it seems like there is nothing to make in the house!

And I love that picture of Wayne, what a great shot!

 

Kate
December 1, 2009

Heidi --
Where do you get your beautiful broccoli? I've been buying the organic broccoli at Whole Foods in Noe but even that is yellow underneath the green canopy and just... not so good.

 

Alta
December 1, 2009

Love this throw-it-all-together idea. I'd just eliminate the seitan (no gluten for me!), but I love this idea. And I'm jealous you got to visit a date farm. Gotta make a mental note to do that if/when I get to Florida.

 

FoodFitnessFreshair
December 1, 2009

This recipe looks great. I love doing new things with seitan, as it's one of my substitutes for meat in recipes. I also like trying out new heirloom beans. We grow several varieties over the summer in my garden and store them for the winter, and they provide a great change of pace from my normal black bean/garbanzo bean consumption.

 

Dawn
December 1, 2009

I've never tried freezing beans, but it would be so convenient since I'm no longer a fan of canned ones (with a few exceptions). Do you heat them right out of the freezer? Any ones that you would avoid freezing?

 

Marisa
December 1, 2009

Thanks for posting, Heidi. I personally LOOOOVE seitan (much more so than tempeh, which I really dislike) and tend to use seitan in most of the recipes where you use tempeh :-)
Regardless, your recipes are always stellar!

 

Samia
December 1, 2009

I have made seitan before, and I used the recipe in the Veganomicon (which I think is the same as the one referenced in the link). It was really good. Cooking it in the broth gives it a lot of flavor. It wasn't really that hard, just takes time (the boiling). It's so easy to cook with, and doesn't break apart like tofu.

This looks like a great recipe, I look forward to trying it.

 

Maninas
December 1, 2009

Creativity out of the freezer! :)))) I love how that can sometimes surprise and delight!

 

Lentil Breakdown
December 1, 2009

I make lots of different roasted veggies, but broccoli and cauliflower don't seem to work as well for me. Was the broccoli that you roasted for a few minutes super al dente?

 

Anonymous
December 1, 2009

Wow this sounds delicious and I can't wait to try! Glad you had a wonderful time in FLA! Thank you for the always YUMMY posts!!!

 

Frank M
December 1, 2009

Heidi, Great recipe, I will try it tomorrow I'm always looking for new and different ways to save time

 

OperaJoys
December 1, 2009

Love beans, but I'm not sure of the seitan or broccoli here. I'd surely like to have a bowl of it to know.

I do like the roasting of the broccoli idea!

 

Christine
December 1, 2009

Right there with you on the seitan and its slice o' cow poo look. But last weekend I visited my parents, and my mom tossed a package of homemade wheat meat into the cooler for me to take home. She made it herself. I am one of those guilt-driven midwesterners who can't waste food, much less things my mother made me. So I ate it. I was shocked by the taste, not at all meaty or even pretending to be. It's almost succulent inside. I'm not sure how she flavored it, but I've asked her to show me how to make it over the holidays. It's extremely high in protein and very little work. I'm excited to have another very flexible protein source that I can make at home.

 

Anonymous
December 1, 2009

I like how you cooked the brocolli, I gotta try that. Seitan is pretty good, I've had luck marinating it and using in a number of recipes. Not entirely sure how I feel about vital wheat gluten...isn't that a fairly refined grain? I really don't know much about it...will have to research!

HS: When i made seitan I didn't use Vital Wheat Gluten. I think there are a number of ways to approach it.

 

Midge
December 1, 2009

Heidi, thanks so much for another (yet again!) wonderful recipe. Can't wait to try it.

I was in Palm Springs a couple of weeks ago myself and went to a vegan organic place called Native Foods. The food was absolutely delicious. Hopefully you can visit the next time you're in that area. I bought a copy of Chef Tanya's (owner) cookbook and she has a recipe for homemade seitan in there, which I can't wait to try as well. I guess that's the secret to a good dish. The ones you can buy at the store just won't cut it.

 

This looks amazing. I haven't used seitan so I look forward to trying this recipe. Thanks!

 

Marci
December 1, 2009

Ok Heidi, I'll give seitan a try, you've convinced me.

 

Kitchen M
December 1, 2009

I didn't realize what Seitan was until I looked it up in Japanese! I have to say that it looks far different from the Japanese Fu I know though.
I wanted to take a close look of the image (texture, color, ingrediets, flavors and etc), but the website you linked has a flash and the image wouldn't stay!! LOL
The Japanese kind that I've had wasn't gooey or sticky at all but how are these ones, I wonder.

 

Sarah
December 1, 2009

Yum! I have heirloom beans, and broccoli from the farmshare, and seitan. I know what I'm making for dinner this week :-D

Hint -- for extra-chewy-and-delicious homemade seitan, mix gluten and water, roll it into little balls, then bake it in the oven at 400 for about 20 minutes until it puff up (it's quite dramatic). Then slice the puffs (or not) and braise them with your recipe.

Vital wheat gluten is refined, but your other option is starting with flour and refining it yourself by washing off everything except the gluten. It's just the nature of the food.

 

Hi Heidi,

For some reason I can't get to the photo link of the Palm Springs date farm but I'm wondering if it was Shields. We visited and did a story on it. It was tons of fun. Wondering if it was still torn up or if the remodeling was finished.

I also have a real fondness for Rancho Gordo beans. I think what Dave is doing, saving heirloom varieties, is so worthwhile. And of course, the beans are absolutely delicious and... did you know that they are on average 1 year old compared to most dried beans which are 5-10 years old - sitting in warehouses somewhere. Ick!

Here's the link to the date story if you are interested.
http://www.nativefoodandwine.com/features/2009/9/29/dates-the-deserts-candy.html

Cheers. Great work as always.

 

Erin D.
December 1, 2009

Mmmm... I love heat. We just got back from Palm Springs about a week ago. It was a good break - wish I would have found the date farm though. I did, however, find a wonderful restaurant. We ate at Native Foods (two locations within the area) 3 out of the 5 nights we were there. They specialize in vegan cuisine and it was OH!-soooo-good. I had seitan in a couple different dishes. They are definitely worth checking out the next time you are there (the desserts were really good too!).

 

lisa @ dandysugar
December 1, 2009

I love your creativity. Looks like this dish will be dinner sometime soon!

 

nithya at hungrydesi
December 1, 2009

Some of my best marinades and sauces originate from the picking things from the fridge, pantry, etc. that you described. Love it! I usually cook seitan in big chunks and find it to be so dry on the inside and tasteless. For some reason, I never thought to cut it up into small pieces like this....I have a pack in my fridge and am going to try it tomorrow!

 

Stacy
December 1, 2009

"Hippie bowls," as I call them, are some of my favorite dinners and I eat them all the time. I made something similar recently with beans and tempeh on a bed of lettuce that was delicious when I was only aiming for a fridge-buster.

 

Jessi
December 1, 2009

So I've been wondering what seitan is, and glad I've read pretty much all the comments here. I might take the lazy route and just buy it. =) When I'm feeling less lazy I might try one of the suggestions above on how to make some.
I LOVE broccoli!!! I usually get at least 2 kgs a week (just over 4 pounds for you non-metric peeps), the greenest, yummiest, tightest bunches available. =)
Thanks Heidi!

 

Jessica
December 1, 2009

I discovered your website last year and promptly fell in love. I check it religiously and make many of your dishes. I can honestly say that I've never been disappointed in any of them - you really make wonderful recipes! This dish was no exception. I made it for dinner tonight, and even though I'd never made a seitan dish before, both my husband and I were curious and even a little bit excited to try it (rather than scared!) because we've had such great results from you in the past. Thanks so much for this dish and the multitude of others! You're always the first site I check when I am looking for something delicious and new to make.

 

guru
December 1, 2009

This looks amazing. I haven't used seitan so I look forward to trying this recipe. Thanks!

 

I had never heard of seitan before... I'll check at my organic food store and give it a try! Thanks for the recipe :-D

 

Joerg
December 2, 2009

This is absolute great, thank you so much

 

LoveFeast Table
December 2, 2009

My horizon is expanded!! I didn't even know about seitan. You always manage to make anything and everything look delish!! Every time I come to your site I definitely leave inspired to eat healthier and better!

 

cookeaze
December 2, 2009

This looks absolutely beautiful! It sounds so healthy and delicious. I'm a BIG fan of Beans. I love this recipe, thanks for sharing. So glad I found you, you've such a wonderful blog.

 

Cathy
December 2, 2009

So glad to see you using seitan. More seitan recipes, please! It's great in stews.

 

Tony
December 2, 2009

I've only recently discovered heirloom beans. I was kind of blown away by how delicious they are and I have been looking for more recipes in which to use them. I will definitely have to try this; it looks perfect. And, don't be afraid of seitan, people (unless you can't eat gluten, of course). It is wonderful and satisfying. I use it in vegetarian shepherd's pie and it's fantastic.

 

bob
December 2, 2009

bulk, unflavored seitan at chinese grocers is much cheaper (and low salt) compared with packaged versions from "health food stores". versatile base to extend or replace a variety of meat/seafood. tastes like chicken w/o the chicken. caution: you have to REALLY use your imagination.

 

Wendy
December 2, 2009

this looks yummy! Almost enough to make me try to make seitan. I searched all. over. the. place when I had another recipe I wanted to try that called for it. I eventually just substituted chicken. I've since found a couple of recipes that came highly recommended. Thanks for the reminder!

 

Don
December 2, 2009

It looks like Roasted almonds in there, But looking through the ingredients I don't see any. I havent tasted the seitan, but have tasted the kamut.

 

I love how sometimes spur of the moment meals can look so pretty. I'm excited to try this. The few times I've tried seitan at restaurants, I haven't been impressed. I think I'm going to give it a try again, this time in my own kitchen. Thank you for the inspiration.

 

Kate
December 3, 2009

Someone at Whole Foods Market has a shirt that says, "Don't Fear Seitan" with a picture of the devil, heh.

 

siobhan
December 3, 2009

My name for the vegan restaurant I want to open is Seitanic. :)

 

tobias cooks!
December 3, 2009

i love salads and dishes with beans. these beans are new to me. very interesting.

 

VillageCook
December 3, 2009

Sounds yummy! Your images are always so beautiful too :)

 

Chatty
December 4, 2009

I must tell you I almost skipped reading this recipe because I have had such bad luck with seitan. But, I always like reading your posts - so even though I didn't think I would try the recipe, I read it. I have the same feelings about seitan that you did, and that fact that you had trouble coming to like it made me feel that if you like this recipe, then it is worth tryin again. I love roasted broccoli, and I always have some beans around - if I use canned garbanzos (which I have in the pantry) I think I will roll them around in a dry pan after draining, or, maybe even better - drain them well and put them in with the broccoli to roast/toast. I like them when the skin gets a bit charred. So, I'm off to buy some seitan!

 

Jim
December 4, 2009

You're right, we can all agree: Satan is not an attractive ingredient. :-)

 

Jody
December 4, 2009

Heidi - I'm intrigued about your freezing cooked beans - I never thought about doing that before. Any tips? How do you package them? How long do they keep in the feezer?

 

Virtualgdbk
December 6, 2009

Well, just made this tonight and thought it was delicious, incredibly wholesome and simple, sauteeing the seitan with shallot and ghee made an incredible, subtle flavor. my only issue was that i had to use a bit too much salt to get the flavors going. I'm not vegetarian, though do eat only cruelty-free animal products, and I would probably cook the beans in stock next time. also liked the idea someone mentioned of adding cumin seed to the broccoli. oh! also I subbed in some brussel sprouts, since i only had one tiny stalk of broc left.

 

carol
December 6, 2009

Heidi,

Just made this tonight and it was delicious! Looking forward to chowing on the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Thanks for your great site - your recipes help stretch me as a cook and they never let me down. Many of your creations are now in regular rotation at my house! Thanks for sharing your talent!

 

granuaile
December 7, 2009

Hello Heidi, I purchased a box full of dates, I would love it if you came with some recipes for dates. :D
Thanks for the seitan idea. I will try that as well. Bought wheat gluten this weekend, may even try to make this myself. -Grania

 

Donna
December 7, 2009

I grew up in Hemet - glad to see someone else enjoying the area!

Look around for other date recipes - they exist - and they can be VERY tasty. (Try something more cake-like. Dates need moisture to bring out the flavor....)

 

Jessica L Caneal
December 7, 2009

I just made this one for dinner tonight and it was absolutely delicious. I was worried that the seitan wouldn't have any flavor since there are not too many spices added, but it all came together beautiful and warmed us right up!

I added two cloves of roasted garlic to the pan with the shallots and seitan, and since I am vegan I made a vegan parmesan by blending once cup of raw cashews with a teaspoon of veggie broth powder in the food processor. I also used canned black-eyed peas since I did not have any hierloom beans on hand.

Thanks for the great post. I always enjoy them!

 

Family Cookbook - Denise
December 8, 2009

Always something new to learn about here.

I've never tried seitan before. I admit, the "wheat meat" description is not grabbing me, but I'm always willing to try at least once.

The heirloom beans or chickpeas sound perfect. And I may have to lean toward the tofu substitution if the seitan doesn't pan out for me.

Thanks for the interesting ideas, as always.

 

Deviled Eggs Recipe
December 9, 2009

The photo makes me hungry! I've never heard of seitan before. I also have never heard of heirloom beans. I have no idea where to purchase them. I think I will try this recipe with pinto beans. Thanks for sharing!

 

LK
December 21, 2009


For those wishing to try making their own seitan, you can find a nice recipe here - http://www.bleedingheartlandrollergirls.com/bios/ (click on the bio for "Lord Seitan" to find it)

 

Ngoc
January 22, 2010

I made this tonight with homemade seitan from the Real Food Daily cookbook. Absolutely delicious and satisfying!

 

Sean Cantkier
February 11, 2010

This looks like a great recipe! i am always looking for high protein vegetarian meals and I will try this one out this weekend if I can find all of the ingredients.

 

Amanda
March 3, 2010

I’ve been trying to master seitan lately, and here is my take:
Talking about "How to make seitan" is like talking about "how to make cookies": there are many methods, and you kind of need to get a feel for what it should look and taste like before you are confident making it. It’s helpful to get a package from the store to get a general idea - but remember, this is like getting a package of deli turkey and thinking that is what turkey is. Not true- it is just one version.

After you know what you are generally aiming for, I recommend making your own. It is much more economical, and you can tailor it to the recipe you have and to your taste. With gluten flour it is really very easy. The most basic seitan would be made with gluten and liquid- at a ratio of about a cup of gluten flour to about ¾ cup liquid. Into the gluten flour you would put your dry additives, into the liquid you would put your wet additives, then you would mix the two, knead it, and cook it in liquid, then let it cook.

The type of liquid, wet additives and dry additives you use depends on the flavor you want. For me, for the base liquid in the seitan I use stock. (Vegetarian if I want that flavor; if I am trying to imitate chicken or beef, I will use that type of broth – obviously, I am not vegan.) For the wet additives, I use a variety of things: oil, soy sauce/tamari, tahini, etc., depending on the flavor I am going for. For the dry additives, I always use nutritional yeast, then if I am going for a chicken flavor, I add some chicken bouillon and poultry seasoning. For beef flavor, I add beef bullion, pepper, garlic, onion, salt. For vegetarian…. You get the idea!

Mix the wet and dry until it forms a ball. Then you need to knead and let rest, like bread. I have started using my bread machine for this, and it is great – I put it in on the dough cycle for about 20 minutes. Then I take it out, divide it into pieces, put it in a pot of cold liquid (broth or water), bring it to a boil, turn it to med-low, and cook for an hour partially covered, turning at 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, uncover, and let it completely cool in the pot/broth. Then take it out (I like to press out the liquid) and you have your seitan.

I can’t say enough about seitan. I pan-fry it and have it with poached eggs, I broil it and put it in a pita with veggies and hummus, I add it to soups, and I have even made chicken fried seitan (which my kids loved). It is a non-meat and non-tofu way to add protein, and you can completely control what goes into it if you make it. As far as looks, to me it's like a cutlet of chicken - you need to dress it up.

For some good starter recipes, look in Vegan with a Vengeance and Garden of Vegan.