Every week I try to add to my food storage, whether it’s canned, freeze dried or dehydrated. The biggest problem I run in to financially is the cost of buying animal proteins such as beef and chicken. I’ve purchased TVP (Textured Vegetable Protien) before but I wanted to see if there were any other alternatives I can get “on the cheap”. Purchasing freeze dried meat & poultry for long term food storage can be expensive. A typical #10 can of freeze died beef can cost anywhere from $60 – $70!
After doing some research I discovered Seitan (Pronounce SAY-TAN), a meat substitute made from vital wheat gluten. I experimented with several recipes and found 3 that were amazingly good. I tried making RIBS out of the beef Seitan but In my opinion as a carnivore, I prefer cooking them in stir-frys and stews.
You can get Vital Wheat Gluten from Honeyville Farms on Amazon. For the price, it’s worth giving these recipes a shot!
- 2 Tbsp vegetarian no chicken base
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- 2 Tbsp chickpea flour
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp poultry seasoning (or a pinch each of rosemary, sage, thyme, and marjoram)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- pinch of black pepper
- ¾ cup water
- 1 Tbsp oil
- Add the vegetarian no chicken base to the water. Alternatively, use 6 cups vegetable stock.
- Meanwhile, mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the water and oil to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Remove the seitan and knead for a couple of minutes, but not too long. Press the seitan into a rough square.
- Cut into the desired pieces. Remember that they will double in size once cooked.
- Once the broth is simmering, drop the pieces into it.
- Simmer gently uncovered for 30 minutes. Do not allow the water to boil rapidly. You just want to keep it right at that gentle simmer the whole time, adjusting the heat slightly as needed.
- Remove from heat and let cool in the broth. Once at room temperature, transfer everything, including the broth, to a container. Refrigerate overnight for a firmer texture or use immediately if desired. Freeze in broth for later use.
Seitan Ground “Beef”
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken-flavored broth), minus 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons seasoning, your choice (I used about 1 teaspoon paprika for a slightly richer look, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and about 1/2 combined teaspoon of basil, oregano, thyme for a savory flavor)
- 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- soy sauce, optional
- smashed cloves of garlic, optional
- In a measuring cup, whisk together broth, liquid smoke, garlic, olive oil. In a large bowl combine wheat gluten, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, dried seasonings, and salt. Form a well in center of dry ingredients and stir well with rubber spatula until dough leaves side of the bowl.
- Knead for 2-3 minutes to develop the gluten. You can whip out your big ass KitchenAid bowl here and use the dough hook, but O gives me dirty looks when I do this. Mas dishes, no gracias.
- Leave dough to rest for 10 min, knead again for 30 seconds.
- Place dough on cutting board and cut into 4 equal pieces.
- Tear off 4 pieces of foil and place piece of dough in the center of the foil. Loosely wrap foil to cover the loaf, leaving a bit of room for expansion. Don’t twist the ends and make a severe loaf shape for the seitan you plan on grinding, but you could definitely multitask here and steam some loaves. Pour about 1″ of water in a saucepan and add a bit of soy sauce and a couple smashed cloves of garlic if you like, then cover with a steamer basket.
- Place in steamer basket and steam for 30 minutes. Allow the dough to cool to the touch, then rip into a few pieces. Place in a food processor and pulse until just ground. Don’t over-grind. Use in recipes as you would cooked or raw ground beef.
- Freeze for up to two weeks in an airtight container or bag. Thaw before using.
- 2 cups vital wheat gluten (Bob’s Red Mill)
- 2 tablespoons spelt flour
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- 1/2 cup tamari, soy sauce (I used Bragg’s Amino Acids)
- 1 tablespoon ketchup (or tomato paste)
- 1 tablespoon oil (I used olive)
- 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 12 cups cold water
- 1/2 cup tamari (I used Bragg’s) or 1/2 cup soy sauce (I used Bragg’s)
- Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. I used my Kitchen Aid and it worked perfectly.
- Using the paddle attachment on the mixer slowly combine the dry ingredients.
- In a smaller bowl combine the wet ingredients and mix well with a whisk.
- Stop the stand mixer and add the wet ingredients to the dry all at once and slowly incorporate the wet into the dry.
- I added about 4 more tablespoons of spelt flour to the mix as I thought it was too wet. Mix for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes turn the dough out onto a cutting board and form it into a loaf shape and let it sit until broth comes to a boil. Turn the heat down to low at this point.
- Cut the loaf into 6 equal pieces and lower each one gently into the simmering broth and let it simmer covered for about 1 hour. Remember DO NOT LET THIS BOIL! It will create holes in your Seitan.
- The Seitan will be spongy and holes will make it even more so. You want to avoid that.
- After the hour is up remove the Seitan from the pot and place on a dish to cool. If you have room in the fridge this would be a good place to cool it down.
Remember, it has to be thoroughly cooled before its ready. Don’t be temped to dig in until it’s cold.
You can use this immediately, or store it in it’s broth in the fridge for about 5 days. You can even put the big chunks in a zip lock bag and freeze.
The Seitan can be used in place of any meat product, you can even grind it in the food processor and use it for burger if you wish.
Another way to use this is to take a few big pieces and dip in flour, soy milk and bread crumbs and fry or bake it, then top with your favorite gravy.