Monday, December 8, 2008

Western Maryland Vegetarian Society and a recipe

Wow...almost 2 months since I've posted anything. It's not like there is a lack of vegan related topics to blog fact, the further I get into this, the more I realize how much loops back to our society's brutal ( or indifferent ) treatment of animals and our disconnect from nature. Living right across from a cow and calf operation is a constant sad reminder.
But yesterday afternoon, I took a break and attended a Vegan Holiday Potluck in Hagerstown, hosted by Western Maryland Vegetarian , met some great people and am now re-energized ! We had some fantastic food at the potluck . The big hits were Chocolate Almond cupcakes made by the daughter of a couple attending. I'm sorry I don't remember their names, but I do recall that the young baker got the recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. I think there was a total of 15 people ...and like Ginnie says, we were all speaking the same language :> Nice, also, to see a table loaded with beautiful, tasty vegan foods and not have to wonder about it's origins.
And now, a recipe for a chicken-like Seitan. It is easy to make, just make sure you have everything. I've made this several times and love it as a sandwich filling ( slice it thinly ) , cut into strips and fried up for fajitas, chopped up and added to a Shepard's Pie...and it freezes very well. The recipe originates from Ann Gentry's Real Food Daily cookbook. Lot's of great recipes in it, and all vegan !

Chicken-style Seitan:

1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for pan, plus 1/2 cup canola oil

2/3 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

3 1/2 cups gluten flour

1 cup garbanzo flour

2/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1 3/4 cups freshly cooked cannellini beans, see Cook's note*

1/3 cup tamari

3 cups water

*Cook's Note: If your blender isn't large enough to hold all of the water called for in this recipe, add just enough of it to create a smooth and creamy bean puree, then stir the remaining water into the puree in a large bowl. You can substitute canned organic white beans for the freshly cooked cannellini beans, if desired. After draining, a 15-ounce can will yield 1 3/4 cups of beans.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Lightly oil the parchment paper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender. Set aside to cool.

Stir the gluten flour, garbanzo flour, nutritional yeast, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Puree the beans, 1/2 cup canola oil, tamari, and sauteed onion mixture in a blender until smooth, adding some of the water to create a smooth and creamy consistency. Whisk the bean puree and the remaining water in another large bowl to blend. Quickly stir the bean mixture into the flour mixture until a very wet dough forms. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Cover with aluminum foil.

Place the pan of Seitan Dough in a larger roasting pan. Add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the pan of seitan. Bake for 2 hours, adding more water to the roasting pan if necessary, or until the seitan is firm on top. Cool the seitan to room temperature. Quarter the seitan into 4 equal (1-pound each) squares.

The seitan will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated. Wrap the seitan squares separately in plastic wrap, then enclose them in a resealable plastic bag and freeze them up to 1 week, if desired.

Yield: 4 1/2 pounds

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