15 June 2010

Taking on the V-Con

This is the first Tuesday of the rest of your culinary life...

So recently some extremely charming and beautiful women asked if I would like to be in a threesome, I blushed and politely declined but then was informed it was a cooking threesome in which I replied, "Hells yeah!" and then something along the line of, "Bitches get stitches," and I still have no idea why I said that. But seriously folks this is a serious matter, Katie, Courtney and I are taking on the V-con, the Veganomicon to you newbies. This is an amazing cookbook that was published in 2007 and though only three years old will go down in the annals of history. Penned by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero (yeah both ladies have three names, not unlike John Wilkes Booth, except they are out to assassinate your taste buds with killer foods) this book is filled from cover to cover with vital information, mouth-watering recipes and seventh grade humour everyone can enjoy. Our goal is to post a new recipe every Tuesday and share our results, whether disastrous or brilliant.

This book is rather new to me and I am very excited to cook my way through every recipe along with giving reviews and feed back on the difficultly/easiness of each recipe, a comprehensive review of flavor, texture etc... and also any modifications I may make.

The first recipe was chosen by Katie, she decided on the Simple Seitan (my namesake) as the starter. The reason being that seitan (pronounced say-taan, not Satan) is a basic mock meat that is chewy in texture but like tofu can really be made to taste like anything. Seitan is made from vital wheat gluten, so not a good idea for any of you Celiacs out there. I have purchased pre-made seitan before and was very pleased and really had no desire to make my own. Timmy has been known to whip up a batch or two and surprise me with a wicked good lunch, but it is a bit of a process, mostly a sit down, pick up a book and wait process, but a process none the less.

Simple Seitan
1 cup vital wheat gluten flour
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used Braggs)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated

8 cups cold water plus 3 bouillon cubes
1/4 cup soy sauce

Mix together the gluten flour and yeast in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix together veggie broth, soy sauce, olive oil and garlic. Pour the wet into the dry and stir with a wooden spoon until most of the moisture has been absorbed and the ingredients are clumped together. Knead the mixture for about 3 minutes until the dough is elastic. Divide into 3 pieces and then knead those in your hand to stretch them out a bit.

Prepare the broth: Fill a stockpot with the water, bouillon cubes, soy sauce and add the wheat gluten pieces. Cover and bring to a boil. Try to catch it as soon as it boils and then lower the heat to simmer. Partially cover the pot so that the steam can escape and let it simmer for 1 hour, turning the seitan occasionally. Turn off the heat and take the lid off; let it sit for 15 minutes.

Remove from the broth and place in a strainer until it is cool enough to touch. It is now ready to be sliced up and used.

I followed the recipe pretty much to a T but instead of bouillon cubes I used a condensed liquid vegetable broth from Trader Joe's. The recipe is pretty simple (as the name suggests) and easy to follow. I was a bit concerned at first when my seitan was done simmering because it was pretty spongy but once it cooled and dried a bit it was like the good ol' seitan I know and love. The flavor was mild, I was worried it would be a bit salty because of all of the Bragg's Liquid Aminos used but it was just right.

I decided to make chicken fried steaks with my seitan. I paired it with mashed sweet potatoes, cooked in the left over seitan broth and I also made lemony green beans. The dinner was amazing!

steaks up close and personal

Since there are only two of us we had a bit too much seitan so I was able to make spicy chicken wings as well. I paired the wings with sliced carrots, celery and home made vegan ranch dressing.

Timmy helped me make wing sauce even though his right wing is broken

should be called "kicken wings"


  1. Awesome-o post! I loved your tawdry intro.
    I'm making jerked seitan for dinner tonight (since my sammich was just so good) and now I know that I should make a full recipe because I am eating it like crazy!
    I think it's tastier than store bought.

    (p.s. next time you should try making it with some homemade stock if you get a chance to make some stock...I know that it is pretty involved but still. Om nom nom!)

  2. I've been meaning to make home-made seitan, but I am much too lazy. I love V-con and can't wait to see all the fun. I've made quite a bit from it already and some are family favorites now...such as the Sweet Basil Pesto Tapenade....soo delish! My meat and potatoes dad made it to take to his work potluck, of all things!

  3. Good luck with the V-con mission. Should keep you out of trouble for a while, lol. There's quite a few recipes in there y'know. ;o)

    Hope Timbo's disco wing is feeling better soon.

    Mr Kiki

  4. This is going to be a fun adventure to watch! So many wonderful recipes in that book.

  5. Oh yeah! This was the first book of my illustrious testing career. I have many fond memories of "Vegan Mondays" in which I tested recipes and my sister and neice came over to make sure I made them right.

    There are many amazing recipes in this must have vegan wonder of a cook book. I highly recommend the Baja Tacos. I regularly make the chick pea noodle soup.

    Poor Tim. I hope he heals quickly.

    I lost your number and I want to bake some goodies for next weekend.

  6. Sorry for post number two, but I forgot to say that I am drooling all over my keyboard over your seitan dishes.