One of the comments I often hear from people who are new-ish to veganism is, “I love vegan food, but you know, sometimes I just miss the texture of meat.” When we’re really looking for a hearty meal, and a salad – even a beautiful, delicious, power-packed salad – is not going to cut it, it may be time to bring out the seitan.
It took me a long time to warm up to seitan, and truth be told, I still reach for the tofu or tempeh more often. However, I have learned that preparing seitan with love and creativity, using it with a variety of delicious sauces, and experimenting with cooking and processing methods go a long way to creating a really special dish that is hard to replicate with other plant-based foods.
Bringing Home the Seitan, a new cookbook by Kris Holechek Peters, walks readers through the process of becoming really good at making seitan taste amazing. It’s a pretty small book, but it covers a lot of information – from recipes and tips for making the basics e.g. chick’n, beef, sausages, ham, lunchmeat, etc, to specialty items, like Smoky Maple Breakfast Links, and then recipes for snacks, soups, lunch, dinner and special occasions.
The recipes are creative, and vary in difficulty. Some are very simple and straight-forward; others are more of a commitment for people who want to spend more time and take their seitan experience to the next level. I love that there is so much information on one topic in this book – it truly is a go-to resource for anyone who wants to learn the art of seitan.
In preparing for this review, I tried out the basic chick’n recipe, which I then used to make the Chick’n Pot Pie (delicious!) and some Chick’n Pepperoni for a pizza. Even my husband, who’s a bit of a seitan skeptic, enjoyed them.
Over the past week we have been sharing recipes from Bringing Home the Seitan on the Vegan Mainstream Cookbook Club, and today we have two more to share with you. The Basic Chick’n recipe that you will need to make the following recipe can be found here.
Southwest BBQ Chick’n Pizza
A little spice, a little tart, a lot of flavor. This is a favorite appetizer that comes together with a quickness.
Makes 4 to 5 servings
- 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted but still chilled
- 1⁄4 cup Easy BBQ Sauce
- 1⁄2 recipe Basic Chick’n, cut into thin, 2-inch-long strips
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1⁄4 red onion, sliced into thin half moons
- 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro
Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unfold or unroll the puff pastry onto the parchment.
Spread the barbecue sauce (recipe below) across the puff pastry, leaving a 1⁄4-inch border around the edge.
Sprinkle Basic Chick’n evenly across the sauce, top with mozzarella, and sprinkle onion on top.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is golden and melted and the edges of the puff pastry are browned and puffy.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before sprinkling with cilantro and serving.
Easy BBQ Sauce
This sauce is a great base for many reasons, least of all the fact that it is a great base from which you can experiment and create variations: smokier, tangier, spicier—whatever tickles your fancy.
Makes 2 1⁄2 cups
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1⁄3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1⁄3 cup honey or agave
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
In a medium saucepan, whisk together all of the ingredients. Bring mixture to a light boil over medium- high heat. Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer, whisking often, until slightly thickened and the flavor has melded, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.