The Back of My Freezer: Seitan

Can you imagine a better salad?

For the record, I’m not exactly sure when I bought this package. Or why, for that matter. Really, I’m not even exactly sure what seitan is. According to the back of the package, it’s made out of wheat gluten and has the “mouth feel” of chicken. I can’t say if that’s true or not because I don’t remember what chicken tastes like but, well, there it is.

All I know is that, when this 2-serving, $5 mass was defrosted, it looked like something my cat hacked up at 2 AM last night. (Unrelated side note: For those of you who’ve never heard the sound coming out of a cat as a hair-ball is viciously expelled from their body, I can only describe it as akin to one you would imagine the boogie man making).

Either way, at $5 for such a small box, I wasn’t about to throw it in the trash. That and my growling stomach made me even more inclined to using it. The taste was actually pretty bland, so I figured it might not be that bad if I could spice it up a bit. Meyer Lemon? Balsamic Vinegar? Garlic? Sure why, not. (Funny thing, I used to hate vinegar but I’ve been obsessed with sniffing it lately…I think it’s probably my horribly clogged sinuses).

For extra kicks, throw in some lettuce.

Close up of seitan

Simple Salad Made Inspiring with Lemon-Balsamic Seitan and Sauteed Mixed Peppers
makes 1 salad

  • Lettuce of choice (“Seven Lettuce” or Mediterranean blends would would nicely for this)
  • Tomatoes, chopped or, even better, sun-dried tomatoes
  • Unseasoned seitan
  • 3 pepper onion blend + mushrooms

For the sauce/dressing:

  • 1-2 meyer lemons, juice, pulp and rind (or just juice)
  • Few squirts balsamic vinegar
  • Garlic powder + onion powder + italian seasoning
  • Dried rosemary
  • Dried mint leaves
  • Salt and pepper

→For the sauce/dressing, mix the sauce ingredients together, whisking well. Note that all dry ingredients were measured in pinches (I added about a few pinches of each).

Put the lettuce in a bowl/salad plate. Put the tomatoes on top.

In a small frying pan sprayed with nonstick spray, “saute” the 3 pepper onion blend with the mushrooms. Put this on top of the salad.

In the same frying pan (sprayed with some more spray), saute the seitan. Once it looks a little brown, add about half of the sauce/dressing you made. Put this on top of the lettuce/peppers.

Pour the rest of the dressing over the top of the salad.

Serve with some thinly sliced meyer lemons if you want.

Yet another side note: I just realized how completely disjointed this post sounds (and how much the recipe title resembles a newspaper heading). I blame the sinuses. And the fact that I’m currently sniffing lab fumes.


4 responses to “The Back of My Freezer: Seitan

  1. sarah February 14, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    LOL!!! I watched a video on how to make it so basically it is just flour that has had all the other stuff, but gluten rinsed/kneaded away…I think it takes like 30 minutes to make…way cheaper if you want to make it yourself…I have not yet…it is on my list of things I should do…it does have a similar texture to chicken, but I would not say it tastes the same….I have done stir fry’s with it that have been successful…marinating it is good too….husband doesn’t mind it too much either….

    • Mekkie February 15, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      Well, here’s the funny thing: I’ve been veggie for a long time (ironically, it’s the one food restriction I have that has no association with my eating disorder), but I’ve never had seitan before. I’ve had fake meat from the typical soy to the more obscure mycoprotein. There wasn’t anything wrong with the seitan, but it just didn’t sit right with me. I didn’t mind the texture at all or the taste, for that matter…but something was off. Maybe it’s just these stupid allergies. Everything tastes funny these days.

      I can’t believe you’re going to try to make it at home! That’s really adventurous. I can’t wait to hear about it!!!

  2. sarah February 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    i can understand that…I have had good and not so good experiences with it….i hear there are good Chinese recipes for seitan

    • Mekkie February 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      Well the recipe was great. I loved the sauce. I loved the salad. I even loved the seitan. I just felt really sick and icky after eating it. I can’t explain it any better than “icky,” which is kind of sad for a writer.

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