I have been gluten-free for a while now and have been vegan since March, or thereabouts. I don’t really miss meat but in the spirit of getting my family off of it, I have searched for an alternative that does not include soy or wheat.
We’ve tried lentils, which are good but at least one person in the family can’t stand the lentil-y taste. And I must be doing something wrong because the kids keep asking if we are having meat this week. They nearly cry with joy when I say, “Yes, you’re having chicken.”
So to satisfy everyone with a meat alternative that is both gluten-free, soy free, nut free and vegan, I had to do a little digging. Okay, a lot of digging. What I found was surprising. There are at least two different base recipes for gluten-free seitan. Who’d a thunk it, right?!
UPDATE 11-26-14: The link to Bob’s Red Mill no longer works so I am posting the recipe here.
Mix everything together very well and wait 5 minutes or so to let the yeast do it’s thing. I found, though, that the yeast did not rise as much as expected and it took up to half an hour or more to see a difference.
Anyway, I chose the recipe from Bob’s Red Mill blog because a) it’s cheaper, and b) I had all the ingredients on hand. For a busy mom on a budget, that makes a big difference.
The one thing I don’t have is a food processor. I desperately need one but in the mean time I used my trusty, if somewhat old, blender. It worked just fine but I had to pull it apart to get the rest of the dough from under the blade.
And, since I did use a blender, I added a 1/3 cup of water to the mix so it wouldn’t burn out the motor. The comments on the recipe also show that it might be too dry as is, so adding a bit of water probably isn’t going to hurt anything.
I let it set on the counter for 10 minutes while I got the rest of dinner going. I didn’t see the dough rise appreciably but it might needed a lot more time, kind of like bread dough, I guess.
I used an ice cream scoop and wet hands to shape the dough. Most look like little sausage patties but at least two came out bigger and more “pork chop” shaped.
The recipe says to bake the seitan after searing it in the pan but does not say at what temperature or for how long. I did a bit of research and decided that, in general, 350 degrees Farenheit at 10 minutes a side would be good enough. I did cover the seitan with some tin foil to keep it from burning and keep the moisture in.
Here’s what they look like on the cookie sheet, ready to get baked:
After I pulled it out of the oven I glazed them a bit with some ketchup. They turned out quite tasty. One boy said he couldn’t tell the difference between the seitan and meatloaf. Mission accomplished.