Tag Archives: seitan

Red Chile Seitan and Carmelized Onion Tamales


Red Chile Seitan & Carmelized Onion Tamales

I used foil instead of corn husks because foil is easy to find, and easier for first time tamale makers to use. Also, the corn husks I bought were moldy (sad). If you want to use corn husks instead, be sure to soak them in boiling water for an hour or two before using.

The sauce, filling, and batter can all be made ahead of time and then assembled before cooking.


1 recipe Red Chile Sauce (you can make this ahead of time)

1 1/2 cups seitan (store bought or homemade), cut into 1/4 in pieces
1 onion, sliced and then slices cut in half
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp olive oil

5 ounces vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups instant corn masa
1 to 2 cups no-chicken broth or vegetable stock
8 12″ pieces of foil
corn oil

Make the red chile sauce as directed in link above.

Meanwhile, make the tamale batter. In a food processor, add the shortening, salt and baking powder. Run to combine and beat the mixture to a fluffy texture. Add 1 cup masa to the food processor and run the food processor to combine. Add the other cup and run to combine. Add 1/2 cup stock while the food processor is running. Add more stock if the mixture is too crumbly. Check the lightness of the batter by checking to see if a dollop of batter floats in water. Add more stock if you need to, you want the mixture to be soft but moldable – not runny. Refrigerate the batter for an hour in a bowl well covered with plastic wrap.

To make the filling, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Add the onions, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and sugar (the sugar will help them carmelize). Cook the onions over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are carmelized. Don’t rush this. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, till fragrant. Then add the seitan and cook till the seitan starts to brown, stirring occasionally. Add about 1/2 cup of the chile sauce. The mixture should be lightly coated but not running. Allow it to cook down for a minute if runny. Remove from heat and set aside.

To finish the tamale batter, remove from the refrigerator and place the mixture in a mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup stock and mix on medium speed. Remixing the batter and bringing it back to the right consistency gives the tamales a better texture. When the batter looks soft and moldable but not runny, you are ready to make tamales.

Take a piece of foil and use a paper towel to lightly oil it. Take 1/3 cup batter into your hands (hands seem to work better here than any utensils I’ve tried) and shape it into a pancake shape and then place it on the foil. Using your hands spread the mixture out some more (but try not to get too thin on the edges) until it is about 5 in square. Add 1-2 Tbsp filling to the middle. Using one edge of the foil, roll 1/2 the batter over the top. You might need a spatula to help ease the batter off the foil. It might stick a little, but be patient and slow and it will roll over. Then use the other edge of the foil to roll over the other side of the dough. Fold up the bottom edge of the foil, fold up the top edge of the foil and then fold in the edges. Repeat with the remaining foil until you have no more batter. Note – I will try to take pictures of this part next time.

Place the tamales standing up in a steamer. Steam for 1 1/4 hours. Add more boiling water to the steamer about halfway through the cooking time. Remove the steamer basket and allow tamales to cool for about 10 minutes.

To serve, remove the tamales from the foil and drizzle with remaining chile sauce.


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Hellagood Seitan Stew

On Weds., I asked my husband what kind of soup or stew he wants Friday. I always make a soup or stew on Friday nights in the winter so that he can take leftovers in his thermos on Saturday for ski patrol. He replied that he wanted a stew. I asked, “like a chunky vegetable stew?”. He said, “more like a beef stew”. Well the gauntlet had been thrown. We’d never made a vegetarian “beef” stew that we liked much. The existing recipes we tried were always bland or just plain eww. I knew I could do better. And I did. This stew was spectacular! It smelled spectacular and tasted great… and looks scarily a little too much like beef stew.

Seitan Stew

Seitan Stew

The first part of getting this right, was getting the seitan right. I made the seitan the day before because it takes a while. To get the texture just right, I boiled it and then baked it. The seitan recipe is below.

This seitan stew recipe is adapted from an Emeril beef stew recipe.

‘Beefy’ Seitan Stew
Serves 6

1 recipe Seitan – beef style (recipe below – make a day ahead of time)
~3 tablespoons olive oil
Spice mixture ->
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
pinch cayenne
1/8 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
1/8 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
2 tablespoons earth balance
8 oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 large roughly chopped yellow onion
2-3 sliced carrots, (1-inch slices cut crosswise on a diagonal)
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
3 cloves roughly chopped garlic
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups beef style vegetarian stock or vegetable stock, at room temperature**
1 cup red wine
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3 to 4 cups 1-inch dice peeled yukon gold or red potatoes
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Steamed rice


Chop the seitan into bite size pieces and season the seitan by sprinkling with the spice mixture, being sure to toss the seitan well to evenly cover with the spices. Set a non-stick skillet or non-stick dutch oven oven (preferred) over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pot. Add the seitan to the pot and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the seitan from the pot and set aside.

If you used a skillet above for the seitan, nows the time to pull out the big pot for the stew and heat it up. Add the margarine and 1 Tbsp oilve oil and mushrooms to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute until onions are softened and lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes.

Add the wine and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the stock, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, allspice and browned seitan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes.

Add the potatoes to the stew and partially cover the pot with a lid. Continue cooking until the potatoes are very tender, about 45 minutes (to an hour). Remove the lid and discard the thyme and rosemary stems. Add the peas and parsley to the stew, stir well to combine, then remove from the heat. Serve hot with steamed rice.

** I used Edward and Sons Not-Beef boullion cubes dissolved in boiling water. This brand is so good that I buy 3-4 boxes at a time off the internet. For the stock for the stew – 2 Not-Beef boullion cubes to 4 1/2 cups boiling water.

Beefy Seitan
Adapted from The Vegan Lunchbox Pot Roast and La Dolce Vegan Beefy Seitan

2 vegetarian beef-flavored boullion cubes (See note above**)
1 tsp kosher salt – I cannot remember if I actually added this
1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup finely ground walnuts
2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sage
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp marmite
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp vegan worchestershire
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Stir in the boullion cubes and 1 tsp kosher salt. Let cubes dissolve while you work on the seitan.

In a mixing bowl, mix wheat gluten, ground walnuts, nutritional yeast, onion powder, sage, and garlic powder.

Then mix ONE cup of the broth with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp tomato paste, vegan worchestershire, and marmite.

Add the liquid to the wheat gluten mixture and stir till it forms a dough. Knead until it comes together in a loaf. Cut the loaf into 2″ square pieces.

Stir the other tablespoon nutritional yeast into the remaining broth. Add the gluten to this lukewarm broth and bring up to a simmer. Simmer the wheat gluten covered in the remaining broth (just barely a simmer) for 1 hour. This next part is important. Turn off the heat and let the seitan cool in its cooking liquid for 30-45 minutes.

Drain the seitan (reserve the remaining stock) and put it into a lightly oiled baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 min (this will cause it to firm up). Remove from the pan and place the seitan in a storage container with remaining broth until ready to use.

Here are some in progress pics:

Browning the seitan
Seitan Stew

Cooking the mushrooms – there are some seitan bits and spices stuck to the pan, because I learned that needed a non-stick pot for that part.
Seitan Stew

Added in the carrots, onions, celery
Seitan Stew

Simmering the stock with the vegetables and seitan (before adding potatoes)
Seitan Stew

Finally done. Looks scarily real, doesn’t it?
Seitan Stew


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Not-Chick’n Noodle Soup

Sometimes even a vegetarian wants that bowl of soup that we all remember from childhood… chicken noodle. And I know, most people would think that it is impossible for a vegetarian to have. Well, here is (in my humble opinion) the closest vegetarian thing to the real thing for when you really really neeed it. We now make this whenever one of us doesn’t feel very good.

This recipe is on its fourth modification from the original Tofu Noodle Soup recipe by Nava Atlas. I based my version off of Eat Peace’s Tofu Noodle Soup. Her version recommends (insists) on adding dill. I can’t stomach adding dill to this soup. All the other versions of this recipe use tofu which doesn’t feel right to me. But Eat Peace’s picture looked so good, that I had to try it and modify it so I would like it.

Not-“Chicken” Noodle Soup

1 T olive oil
3 celery stalks, diced small
3-4 carrots, scrubbed and diced
4-5 cloves garlic (about 1 1/2 Tbsp), minced
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 yellow onion, small, diced
1 tsp dried thyme, crushed between your fingers
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 cup hot water
2 Not Chick’n boullion cubes*
6 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp tumeric
4 oz angel hair pasta (or capellini, or vermicelli), broken in 1 1/2″ pieces
~16 oz white wave chicken style seitan, 1/4 inch dice
pinch cayenne

In a large stockpot (6 qt-ish), heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for about a minute. Add the thyme, and oregano. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to keep garlic and ginger from burning. Turn heat to medium low, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, place the boullion cubes in hot water and stir to combine.

Add the boullion/water mix and the 6 1/2 cups of water to the pot along with salt, pepper, paprika, and tumeric. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer covered for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Take the lid off, increase the heat again, and add the noodles, seitan, and pinch of cayenne. Cook about 10 minutes, until noodles are cooked. Stir, serve immediately.

This soup is really good the next day too, but you may find that the noodles have taken over. If that happens, make 2 cups of hot water and mix with a not chicken boullion cube. Add to the soup and adjust seasonings.

* I use Butlers Not Chick’n Boullion, which you can get at Food Fight Grocery. I swear by this ingredient and wouldn’t want to substitute anything else. I order about 3 boxes at a time and have them shipped to the house.
** I am normally not a huge fan of white wave seitan because it is squeaky, but it really works in this recipe. I cut the seitan really tiny which takes away the squeaky effect. It winds up tasting like the tiny chicken bits in Campbells chicken noodle soup (if any of you can remember that).


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Seitan Bourguinon on Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is also from Peter Berley’s book (his recipes take a long time and I was stuck inside this past weekend due to rain and snow); Seitan Bourguinon. I love any recipe that calls for a 1/2 bottle of red wine. This is a recipe I like a lot, but I don’t really like bites of mushroom. I don’t mind mushrooms if they are too small for me to notice them in the final product. So, I picked out all the mushrooms and ground them up in the food processor with some of the sauce and some water and added them back to the stew. I thought I would like this better than picking mushrooms out, but I really do like the sauce better without the mushrooms ground into it, so next time i will stick to the recipe. For the seitan, i used one batch of easy baked seitan (Vegan Yum Yum’s recipe).

This isn’t the best picture in the world and you cannot see the giant pile of mashed potatoes underneath, but it was quite tasty.



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Vegan Not-Turkey Pot Pie

On Saturday, I made Byanna Clark Grogan’s recipe for Soy Seitan “Turkey” to make up for the Cafe Indigo Roast. Bryanna’s recipe makes 3 lbs! It was ok and oddly tasted like turkey (and a bit like flour). So after a couple of dinners and a few sandwiches, I still had half of it left. Tonight I made a large portion of it into a pot pie – A Not-Turkey pot pie! It was really good and was reminiscent of a chicken pot pie or a turkey pot pie. So, if you have any leftover Tofurky, or Soy-Seitan Roast, or Celebration Roast, this is a great way to handle the leftovers. I suppose any chicken-style seitan would work here. Oh, and FYI – I wasn’t aiming for health food when I made this.

Not-Turkey (Vegan) Pot Pie

Vegan Not-Turkey Pot Pie

3 cups all purpose flour
2 sticks earth balance margarine, each stick cut into 8 pieces
1 tsp salt
ice water

4 tbsp earth balance margarine
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
3 yukon gold potatoes, diced (no need to peel)
1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
3/4 tsp dried rubbed sage
1/4 tsp dried thyme, rubbed between your fingers
1/4 tsp dried basil
2 cups boiling water
1 Not Chickn boullion cube
3 Tbs flour
1/2-3/4 cup soy milk
2 cups cubed seitan (chicken style – homemade will work best here)


Place 3 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, and 2 chopped sticks of earth balance margarine into a food processor. Pulse until no butter pieces are larger than the size of a pea. Add 8 tbsp ice water. Pulse in the food processor just enough to incorporate the water. If the dough is still too dry add more water. It should form a moist dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead a couple of times. Form into a ball and cut in half. Make each half into a flattened ball. Wrap each in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Dissolve the bouillon cube in 2 cups boiling water to make a stock. Set aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp earth balance margarine in a large pot. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until softened. Add dried herbs. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the stock. Add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are just softened. Add the frozen peas.

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp earth balance margarine in a nonstick skillet. Add the “turkey” and cook for a minute. Add 3 tbsp flour and cook for another minute. Add soy milk and heat until warmed and just starting to thicken.

Add the “turkey” mixture back to the vegetable mixture. Cook until thickened. If it gets too thick, make some more stock with water and another bouillon cube and add more stock (or add water). Set aside.

Roll out one of the dough rounds into a circle so that it is larger in diameter than your pie plate. Place it in the pie plate and trim the excess. Add the filling to the pie. You may have extra filling. Just fill it to the top of the pie (and eat the rest of the filling another time). Roll out the other crust and place it over the top. Trim the excess. Turn the edge of the bottom crust up over the top crust and press down to flute the edges.

Bake for 15 minutes at 400. Turn the oven down to 350 and cook for another 20-30 minutes.


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Stir Fry Noodle Bowl

When I travelled to San Francisco last year, I got noodle bowls all over the place. I love a good stir fry noodle bowl. I’ve been working on this recipe for a while and I think it is really close to what I want it to be. Next time I make it, the only change I will make it to add more liquid to the sauce – I might up the soy sauce and mirin and add a bit of water. It is pretty good as is, so I am going ahead and posting it. I’ll update it if I change it next time. This recipe is pretty versatile – you can replace any of the vegetables with others and it will be fine.


Stir Fry Noodle Bowl
Serves 4.

Stir Fry:
1 tsp + 1 Tbsp peanut oil (unrefined peanut oil is fantastic in this)
8 oz seitan (I like Bridge Seitan if you can find it), drained, rinsed, and sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 sm red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup snow peas, trimmed
2 scallions, greens in 2″ pieces, whites sliced
1/2 sm curly cabbage, thinly sliced
8-12 oz soba noodles or curly chinese noodles

2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Mirin
1 tsp Hot Sesame Oil
1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes
1/4 tsp chinese 5 spice powder
2 tsp natural peanut butter
1 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Hoisin sauce

Boil water for the pasta and cook according to directions.

Meanwhile, mix sauce ingredients and set aside.

In a large skillet or wok over high heat, heat 1 tsp peanut oil and add the seitan and cook till lightly browned. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Warm 1 tbsp peanut oil to the skillet and add the carrots and peppers. Cook about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the snow peas and scallions and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook covered for about 3 minutes. Add the seitan back to the pan and cook until heated through. Add the sauce ingredients and cook for about a minute more. If the sauce looks dry or sticks to the pan, add some water or veggie stock (you want it to be saucy to coat the noodles).

Drain the noodles when ready and add back to the large pot. Add the stir fry to the large noodle pot and toss to combine.

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Vegan Fried "Chicken" with Mashed Potatoes and Brussel Spouts… and brownies

Well, my week of only cooking from recipes that I can give you from the web is over. So, tonight I cooked vegan fried “chicken” from a recipe in La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer. It was really really good. There was no disagreement in the house about the fact that this was coming back again. We served it with mashed potatoes (made with soy milk and earth balance) and roasted garlicky brussel sprouts (from Vegan with Vengeance).

Vegan Fried Chicken

Yesterday we made brownies from Vive Le Vegan, by Dreena Burton. They are all gone. Here is a pic, for those of you who thought that vegans couldn’t have brownies:

Vegan Brownies

Our other interesting cooking experiment for the weekend was to make our own vegan cheese from a recipe in the Uncheese cookbook. We made a colby style. I haven’t tasted it yet, but it smells really good. I’ll let you know how it is. I have a few things planned for the vegan cheese this week. I’ll try to remember to take some pictures of it.


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