Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our New Protein

Somewhere or other I picked up the idea to try making seitan. Seitan is made out of vital wheat gluten flour, the protein found in wheat. There's a complicated method whereby you make a dough out of flour and water, knead it, and wash it and wash it until only the gluten is left. OR you can buy vital wheat gluten flour. So, this is what I did...

I took 22 ounces of Bob's Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten (which had been in the freezer for, er, a year at least) and flavored it with soy sauce (1/2 cup), ginger (a bunch, grated), and three cloves of garlic, mashed. Then I added water until it turned into a giant rubber ball. It was the strangest stuff I'd ever seen. I tasted a bit, and you could chew it just like bubble gum and it never dissolved! Then I cut it into "cutlets" and boiled it for an hour in water, soy sauce, and slices of ginger. The pieces swelled up A LOT. So much that I had to take many of the pieces out and do it in three batches instead of two. I marinated the cutlets in barbecue sauce then DH threw them on the barbecue. We didn't have long to marinate them, maybe 20 minutes. He barbecued them for maybe 5 or 6 minutes per side. They came out nice and crispy, just like chicken with barbecue sauce. I thought it was pretty good! We served it with rice and a caesar salad.

Now for the cost. :) It only costs $1.15 per pound to make! An ounce of seitan has 9 grams of protein (more than chicken), a negligible amount of carbohydrate, and no fat. An egg, which is a similar amount of protein costs about $0.15. An ounce of kosher chicken (leg quarter meat) costs about $0.16 (but MUCH less if you don't eat kosher!!). The same amount of protein in seitan costs only $0.07. I put out about one-fourth of the batch tonight and it was enough for 2 adults, 1 kid, and for 3 kids to say yuck to. :) Plus enough leftover for Dean's lunch. Anyway... it was like a science lab experiment and lots of fun. I put 4.5 pounds of it into the freezer. Yahoo. Thus ends the culinary adventure du jour.

1 comment:

Andrew and Rebecca said...

This is one of my favorite posts but only because "gluten" is something SDA's have made a tradition of for as long as I can remember (my mom makes a "dough-pep" version, too)...a filling casserole that is meatless. Andrew has a recipe passed down for three generations that calls for making the gluten, boiling in a tomatoe/garlic/onion broth, then breading w/ brewers yeast (nutritional yeast at some stores, bulk section), fry in oil. Put in a casserole dish w/ a mushroom soup/sour cream sauce (and a little more brewers yeast if you like that flavor)...super yummy. Our relatives who are big meat eaters even request and look forward to this each Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's a tradition here in our family that Andrew is teaching Chloe and Elliot to make, too. We'll HAVE to try it barbequed now!!! =D