Food!

One day I want to own my own place that serves vegetarian food for the masses, things that combine the home cooked goodness of America and abroad. Here I will write about what inspires me to eat, cook, and learn.

Hi! Welcome to Lindsey’s!

I often practice what I will say to guests when they visit my future eatery. Usually the line above is the best I can come up with. Someday I would like to open a vegetarian restaurant that serves the find of food we remember from our carnivorous childhoods. Some will scoff at the idea of eating mock meat; vegetarians will say it goes against the code and meat eaters will say “just eat meat!” When it comes to such controversial issues, I like to listen to my stomach, and my stomach says to eat something that tastes good, so over this last week I decided to do just that.

I had been craving fried chicken, or something like it, for days. I had been eating a lot of tofu, but it just wasn’t doing the trick, so I decided to try making a batch of seitan. I had tried making a batch of this in boiling water before, with terrible results. The seitan was either gloppy or too spongy, and the taste was no better than tofu. I decided it was not worth the trouble.

Then I moved to China and discovered a culinary labyrinth of mock meats, with everything from fake deli meats to shark’s fin soup. I have tried many dishes that could have fooled any carnivore, so I knew it could be done. Armed with that knowledge and my being spoiled by store bought mock meat while visiting family in the U.S., I decided to make this crazy little thing called wheat meat again.

I got this crock pot seitan recipe from Vegan Luvies and tweaked it a bit. The results were so amazing, juicy and flavorful, much unlike my previous experience.

I made the broth with Better Than Chicken base and added a bit of seaweed and poultry seasoning. About one to two sheets of sushi seaweed should do the trick and two tsp. of poultry seasoning. I didn’t have onion powder so I used one fresh onion. The only thing I put different in the vital wheat gluten was 3 tbs. of nutritional yeast. Cook for 7 hours on low and done! Makes 5-6 good sized steaks. One thing I would do differently is try and get some of the bubbles out. I kneaded it a lot, so it had a good consistency, just lots of bubbles.

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So, what is the first thing I did with all that seitan? I put some of it in a mixture of egg and milk then dredged it in flour spiked with Cajun seasoning. One bite of those crispy and juicy little nuggets and I was in heaven. See, vegetarian food can be so good that it reminds you of childhood.

Next time I will write about how I turned the rest of the batch into three crock pot meals that I stuck in the freezer for those, “Oh, crap. I don’t want to cook tonight,” nights.

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