We’ve recently started incorporating seitan into our meals. Seitan is made from wheat gluten and is often used as a fake meat substitute; although we do use it to replace meat in some recipes, we also like to think of it as an excellent and tasty source of protein.
At first, we were purchasing seitan from the grocery store. However, seitan can be a little pricey, and recently the store was actually out. So, we’ve begun adventuring to make our own, using the “Simple Seitan” recipe from Veganomicon. We tried once in February, but due to some miscommunication about whether we were halving the recipe, we ended up with a less pleasing version.
However, we tried again last week! Seitan starts out as a stretchy dough. After the cooking process, you end up with this:
From here, seitan can be cut into cubes and used in a variety of dishes. We used the first hunk to make an orange-ginger stir-fry, which we’ve also made for Aaron’s parents in the past.
Then, tonight, we repeated a recipe we’ve come to love: vegan orange chicken. In general, I’m not a huge fan of using “meat substitutes” to re-create meat dishes. I would rather have new dishes that make interesting use of vegetables and grains. However, there are some marinades that I love and want to find new uses for; Aaron discovered that tempeh makes a good base for a lemon-dill marinade with which I grew up. And, I happen to adore the sauce that’s used for orange chicken (specifically, the gooey version that you get from Panda Express). A quick google search found us the Vegan Happy Hour blog and a wonderful vegan orange chicken recipe. This recipe creates a fantastic replication of orange chicken; the sauce, in particular, is remarkably close to what you’d get at the restaurant.