Seitan

Braised Seitan with Portobello and Tomatoes Recipe.

My Braised Seitan with Portobello and Tomatoes came out fantastic!

I promised myself not just one but two things, no, make that three:
– Turn everyone on to it. Yeah right, I can hear you chuckling to yourself! Nice try, Levana!
– Share my Seitan dish with you. Ha, now this is a step in the right direction.
– Make my Seitan at our next gathering for my meat-eating friends, and don’t even think of saying the S word until everyone polishes off their plate!

Have you noticed, as I did, that the number of guests with special dietary needs seems to grow by the day? This past Rosh Hashanah, several of my guests took off, for various reasons, meat and poultry from their meals. Sigh…. for their sake and ours. But one thing is certain: Our vegan friends must not be dismissed or, worse, neglected. And since in my house, we happily go by the 80/20 diet (plant foods/meat, fish and poultry) at all times, there is always plenty of vegetarian dishes to choose from. Still it is no hardship to add just one vegetarian or vegan dish as a special main course treat to our meatless friends.

Low carb, delicious, healthy and high in protein, seitan easily fits the bill.

What is seitan, and how to make seitan from scratch: It’s all in this link, clearly explained. I confess I got a jumpstart with store-bought all natural seitan and went on with my recipe. This is one of the very rare times I didn’t start a dish from scratch, but it is a great product and absolutely no preservatives, so not too bad!

Good news for our Gluten-Free Friends: You can even make your own, gluten-free

I have the modest hope I have mastered the rudiments of the art of using seitan. And you know what? Nothing to it! Quick cooking and versatile, you will find tinkering with it a real pleasure. I will start with my tried and true newborn seitan star recipe, and will work on developing a couple other favorites, substituting seitan for chicken or meat: Bourguignon, Piccata, Marsala, curry, pasta sauce, “meatballs” etc….

The following recipe serves eight

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced small
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, or 5 plum tomatoes, diced small
  • 1 1/2 pounds portobello, diced
  • 1 cup sake or other dry white wine (liquor stores)
  • 2 cups water
  • Nice mixture of fresh herbs, 2 tablespoons of each: I used tarragon, thyme and rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • Ground pepper to taste (no added salt in the dish: The seitan is seasoned)
  • 3 pounds diced seitan (refrigerated section of health food stores) or make your own, following above link instructions

Instructions

Heat the oil in a wide bottom pot or a large skillet with deep sides. Add the onion, garlic and tomatoes, and saute 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute until most liquids evaporate. Stir in all remaining ingredients, and bring the mixture to boil. Reduce the flame to medium, and cook covered about 15 minutes. Transfer the seitan and vegetables to a platter with a slotted spoon. Check the liquids in the pot. If there is too much liquid, reduce it on a high flame a couple minutes, until  the sauce is thickened, and pour it over the dish. Serve hot, alone or with rice or other grain, potatoes or noodles.

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