Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve...resolutions anyone?

Every year I make the same resolutions.

Lose weight, eat better, work out and generally be a healthier person.

I am going to Hawaii in March, so weight loss between now and then is CRUCIAL! Now I know this blog is about JUST THE FOOD, so I will try to make sure to post some healthy recipes, that TASTE GOOD TOO! I'll even try to post some nutritional info on the recipes I post that I get off of the Sparkpeople website, which I also resolve to start using again after tomorrow.

To start off I am having a wonderfully fancy "steak" dinner tonight with good friends to ring in the new year. I am in charge of the vegan "steaks" since several of the dinner guests will be vegetarian or vegan. I used a traditional method of rinsing, kneading and boiling the seitan tightly in cheesecloth, using the recipe in Cozy Inside. The only thing I did differently than normal, was to shape the "log" a little fatter before wrapping in cheesecloth, so that the slices will be larger and more "steak" like.

After boiling, I let the logs rest in their broth to stay moist. Just before serving, I sliced them into nice thick slices, sprinkled with some fresh cracked black pepper and pan "seared" for a few minutes on each side, in just a smidge of olive oil, just to give them a crispy bite.

Seitan is one of my favorite protein foods. It is so versatile and it tastes so good. Other than the fairly high sodium content, seitan is pretty healthy too! It is generally low in fat, high in protein and relatively low in carbs.

A basic search for nutritional facts gives the following info:

A typical 4 oz T-bone steak provides:
Calories: 149.7 (30% from fat!!!)
Total Fat: 5.15 g
Saturated Fat: 2.0 g
Cholesterol: 44.25 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 0.0 g
Fiber: 0.0 g
Protein: 48.4 g

While an equal sized portion of commercially available WhiteWave brand seitan provides:
Calories: 112.5 (only 11% from heart healthy fats!)
Total Fat: 1.5g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0g
Total Carbohydrate: 4.5g
Fiber: 1.5g
Protein: 27g

So make some seitan, make it often, eat it and enjoy it often! I think you might even burn a few calories kneading and rinsing it!

Traditional Boiled Seitan (from Cozy Inside)
1 cup vital wheat gluten flour
5 cups whole wheat flour
2 ½ cups water (or vegetable broth)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp garlic, minced (dried is fine)
2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper

In a large mixing bowl mix the flours, slowly add water and form a stiff dough. Knead the dough about 70 times. I do it right in the bowl. Let rest 20 minutes. After resting, take dough, in the bowl, to the sink and cover with water. Knead the dough until the water becomes milky, empty the water from the bowl and repeat. Do this 10-12 times. By the 10th to 12th time, the dough will feel and look like the consistency of brains. After the last rinse, add the nutritional yeast, onion powder, parsley, and pepper. Mix thoroughly, by hand.

Divide dough into two equal pieces. Place one piece of dough in the center of a large piece of cheesecloth and roll in tightly into a "log" shape. Tie the ends to secure. Repeat with the other piece. Place both "logs“ in the broth (recipe below) and simmer for 90 minutes. Remove from broth and set on a plate to cool. Remove from cheesecloth. If the cheesecloth is sticking, run under some water, and it should come off easily. You can store it in the fridge (in foil) or in a plastic container. To keep it really moist, place some of the broth in the container.) Keeps in the fridge about two weeks, or indefinitely in the freezer

Traditional Boiling Broth for Seitan

10 cups water
2 cups soy sauce
10 cloves garlic (chopped in half)
5 whole bay leaves

In your largest stock pot, put all ingredients in and bring to a boil, add seitan pieces and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 90 minutes.


tal said...

I can't wait for your book to arrive in the mail (all the way to Israel), it should be here soon and I'm looking forward to making some of the recipies.
I never tried making seiten before, I think that I'll try sometime soon since your photo looks tasty.

Have a happy new year

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Happy New Year, Joni!

I need to try making boiled seitan.

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

oooh, your trip to Hawaii sounds divine!! Have a lovely time; and good luck with your resolutions, before then!!

Happy belated new year :0)

Rural Vegan said...

I never realized how healthy seitan was, that's handy to know. Good luck on your resolution, a trip to Hawaii is about the best motivator I can think of!

mustardseed said...

Hey Joni missed you loads!

Oh I have a vegetarian friend who hates seitan but likes tofu and beans and nearly all veggies, what do you recommend from Cozy Inside? She's more of a Italian style person with all the pasta and loads of oregano.

Joni Marie Newman said...

what about spaghetti and meetballs? I know you've had trouble with the meetballs falling apart, but thats okay in the spaghetti sauce. it just becomes "meetsauce"! there isn't really any other italian stuff in the book...why not wow her with the curried cashew "chicken" salad and home made flatbreads?

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All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni