Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Chicken" burgers with chili fries and chopped salad

Once again, I have inadvertently managed to create a plate of food that is more or less a study in one single colour...sigh.

And didn't start out that way.

This is the Zoa's chicken-style okara burgers, thawed out and lightly pan-fried, along with the Chopped salad with creamy chipotle ranch dressing from the Candle Cafe Cookbook (which was wonderful, by the way), and chili fries.

I even made my own buns; I'm getting right into this keeping-bread-dough-in-the-refrigerator thing. Look, I made three hamburger buns, in seconds, tonight:

But why does this happen? Why? Every single time?

However, they were truly, taste-wise, delightful, and I have to admit that their weird shapes do have a certain goofy, demented charm. I'll leave you with a beauty shot of the chopped salad, before the dressing. It's so lovely, it doesn't even seem like food, does it? Maybe that's why I don't eat salad all that often (though I am trying to remedy this):

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dolmades (the Greek way)

I thought I'd make up for my lo-fat day yesterday, so I...uh...did.

Here you see homemade pita bread, baba ganoush, Bryanna's "Bulgarian"-style tofu yogurt, zucchini salad with garlic, olive oil, and sherry vinegar, white beans (somewhat over)baked with rubbed sage and olive oil, and dolmades. Oh, and vegan okara hot dogs, which I was experimenting with. What a great meal! I ate so much my stomach hurts. Which shouldn't be the mark of a great meal but sometimes it just is.

Recipes for baba ganoush are everywhere. This one was from the Candle Cafe Cookbook, and especially interested me because it called for a significant amount of vegan mayonnaise. However, and unusually, the Veganaise didn't end up making the baba ganoush taste any more stupendous than it normally would, so I won't bother with it next time.

I'll just focus on the dolmades for this post. Readers of this blog may recall that back in February I made another kind of dolmades that were baked in vegetable stock. They were good, but this is the real deal. I was working from Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking, but there are many recipes for stuffed grape leaves out there. The real secret to making them great is the way they're cooked.

This filling was a mixture of parboiled jasmine rice, ground almonds, green onions, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Roll it up in grape leaves, and place the rolls in a heavy-bottomed pan. They can be up to three layers deep if they have to be, but one or two is usually best:

Now make a sauce of lots and lots of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and a little water, and pour it on:

Simmer for about an hour, covered, until the rice is fully cooked and all the liquid is absorbed. You, too, will eat until you're sick. It's good warm or at room temperature, but you and your guests will most appreciate it if you're around to smell it while it's simmering.

And while I was hanging about in the kitchen, I did another little okara experiment. This was just a small batch of "hot dogs" but the experiment wasn't so much making them in that shape as increasing the amount of okara per cup of gluten flour. The proportions were:

1 cup gluten flour
1/2 cup okara
2 tbsp chickpea flour
+ various spices and seasonings of choice

Success! These dogs could have been cooked on a stick over an open fire. I pan fried them, however, after steaming them individually wrapped in tinfoil for an hour.

Not bad (these ones are the steamed ones right out of their packets)!

The Great Soymilk Challenge, Part 3 (wrap up)

Well, it finally arrived, the long-awaited barley malt powder, which I had been searching for in vain ever since ordering my new SoyQuick machine and seeing the video of this recipe demonstrated by Julie Hasson on the SoyQuick site.

I'm sure I ordered the right thing. This stuff tastes wonderful, a lot like the Ovaltine of my childhood, and I'm going to find uses for it, but those uses will not, unfortunately, include my daily soymilk. In a chocolate (malted) milkshake! In a creamy (malted) smoothie! Maybe I'll even create some form of vegan Ovaltine.

But after all the hype and anticipation, I was seriously underwhelmed by this recipe. And also, after now many trials of the SoyQuick maker and several different recipes and methods, the video in general.

For the benefit of the uninitated:

1. I love my new SoyQuick Premier Milk Maker 930P. It's a great product and works just exactly as advertised.

2. But you are never, ever, going to be able to filter out all the okara with a single gold coffee filter. I use a three-filter system that I'm getting increasingly comfortable with. Keep your sink full of soapy water and everything goes pretty fast. Pretty fast, but you still end up with 1 1/2 cups of okara, after it's been squeezed in a cloth. That filter of Julie's would hold maybe half a cup, wet. Maybe during the gap in filming she's emptying it several times. But she doesn't say so.

3. So this barley malt stuff. First, it isn't "easily available in health food stores" where I live: I had to order it from another country. But anyway. You're supposed to add it to the milk after it's been strained as a flavouring. Julie Hasson does a little whisking, but, my friends, I assure you that you could whisk for an hour without getting this powder to incorporate into your soymilk. She does murmur something about an immersion blender under her breath, and that is the tool you require. Fortunately, I have one. Unfortunately, barley malt powder is a grain product, a kind of flour, and the texture of the milk with three tablespoons of barley malt powder is somewhat gritty. The taste is okay, but in my opinion no more than that. It didn't separate as it cooled, or in coffee, unlike barley malt syrup or date syrup, so it's viable at least. I had some of my regular homemade soymilk to use as a comparison, and to me that tasted much fresher and just generally brighter and better.

Except for the part about the filter which is just fact, this is all a matter of preference, so I'm going to give both recipes and you can make your own call. The Julie Hasson one I wrote down from the video since I couldn't seem to link to anywhere where it is given in writing.

Julie Hasson's SoyQuick 930P soymilk recipe

(2 cups that come with the maker; I am assuming here) soy beans
1 tbsp jasmine rice
1 tbsp rolled oats

4 tbsp barley malt extract
2 tbsp sugar
pinch salt
vanilla to taste

* * *

Zoa's favorite soymilk recipe (for lattes; for drinking plain, decrease the oatmeal to 2 tbsp):

2 cups soy beans
3 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp chopped dates

2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

And that, for the time being at least, is that!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mustard mac slaw

Another recipe from American Vegan Kitchen, this salad wins The Airy Way's colour award for the month of April (or possibly any month).

It's a coleslaw with pasta, or pasta salad with cabbage and stuff, and I had made and eaten the whole thing before I realized it had no fat in it at all.

But since I didn't notice until I started posting about it, I guess it'll be all right just this once.

Here's the radioactive-looking sauce (which gets its colour from the mustard in the recipe's title), and it's actually very fiery:

Here's the adorable "gnocchi" pasta I used:

Here in a blaze of brilliance is the vegetable mix, with the pasta, but pre-sauce:

This was my whole supper tonight since I worked late and didn't have much time to cook, and it was really fast to put together. I need to eat more salad...

Monday, April 26, 2010


My copy of American Vegan Kitchen has finally arrived! It had been held up by another item on backorder for a few weeks, but whatever, I have it now.

I order a lot of books, and lately have begun having them delivered to my work, as being more convenient since I only have to go up to reception to get them instead of across half the continent to the local post office. Anyway, the point is that I had it on the bus with me on the way home today, and, the Amazon preview is not doing this book justice. I read it until I felt faint and had to put it away. Tami, I want to be in your diner, now.

I had to pick one thing to make tonight, it being a work night and all, so I picked handitos. Handitos is supposed to be a wrap, but I had it deconstructed for reasons that will become clearer as you read on. To make them, first you toss chopped seitan in a secret blend of spices, and fry it up:

Then you fry some vegetables and crumbled Vegan Sausage Links (also from the book, but I haven't made them yet; this is coming up very soon in my okara seitan series, though: for now I used existing seitan because it's everywhere):

My jalapeno wasn't very hot, though, so I screwed my courage to the sticking place and used one of these:
Whoa. Anyway, the reason this dish isn't a wrap is because of my flatbread. I've had some pita dough in the fridge for a while. Bryanna says you can use it for up to two weeks, and since I copy everything Bryanna does and trust her, apparently literally, with my life, I've been keeping it around, and she is, once again, so right. Dough just continues to improve and improve in the fridge. It gets sour. It gets a little slimy, but cook it up and you won't be sorry. Who could resist this:

The thing was the way I cooked it, a Madhur Jaffrey tip, where you roll out a flatbread, cook it on an ungreased medium-hot cast iron skillet for a minute or so, then dab water over the top (uncooked) side and put the whole skillet under the broiler for another minute, remove it, brush the top with Earth Balance...sigh...anyway, I got a very crispy, utterly wonderful product, that wasn't going to roll around anything whatever, but did I care? Rhetorical question: I did not. We adapt to deliciousness here at the Airy Way, so I chopped it into quarters. Anyway, unless you're a genius photographer, wraps are hard to make pretty, but a big mess of awesomeness isn't hard to sell ;-)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Okara pasta

After my last post, the cannelloni with the crepes from Vegan Brunch, I got wondering why I couldn't make pasta out of okara. So I went searching for recipes, and found one!

It's over here at Okara Mountain (but that's not what you're looking at to the left; the recipe for that is below).

With trepidation in my heart, I dug out my old Pasta Queen pasta maker, so old that the plastic parts have begun to crack, and not exactly a daily fixture in my kitchen, and went to work. Well, well, the dough was nice and smooth and slid pleasantly through the rollers, unlike many a batch I've made in the past without okara. I was so confident that I quickly threw together some filling and ran it all through the ravioli attachment (that I simply had to have twenty years ago). After an initial failed batch (my fault, not enough flour on the dough) whoa, look at this! The filling, by the way, was just crumbled seitan (yes, okara seitan!), lightly fried with chopped onions, spinach, almonzano, and spices, the whole mess ground up fine in the same food processor in which I had made the pasta.

With ravioli, it's easier to get the ends off and the little packets separated if you put the whole thing in the freezer for about half an hour. I did that, and got this:

Coming soon to a casserole near here, the ugly bits (but of course the most delicious):

I also made fettucini in this batch, and had it for supper on Saturday with the walnut sauce from Bryanna Clark Grogan's Nonna's Italian Kitchen. It was the first time I'd tried walnut sauce, which is essentially a reduction of soymilk, roasted ground walnuts, garlic, and almonzano, and I liked it very much, but it's really rich and a little goes a long way.

Today I poked around a little more in different recipes, especially Nonna's Italian Kitchen, and came up with my own recipe for okara pasta, which incorporates, as Bryanna's pasta recipe does, chickpea flour, because isn't everything better with chickpea flour? Actually, it did seem to strengthen the pasta, and certainly gave it more flavour. Here's what I did. Bear in mind that proportions of okara and water may vary depending on how much water is in your okara:

Zoa's okara pasta

1 1/2 cups flour (I used durum atta)
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup okara, well squeezed
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup water

Add the flours and salt into the bowl of a food processor with the dough attachment, and pulse a few times to mix. Add the okara, the olive oil, and 1/4 cup of water, and process. You want to just get to the point where the dough forms a single ball. Add water just a teaspoon at a time until you get to that point, then process for 30 seconds. You should have a rather damp dough that still has some body to it. Let the dough rest for at least 10 minutes (while you prepare your filling, for instance).

I won't give directions for rolling out pasta, but if you don't have a pasta maker, there's absolutely no problem with rolling it out by hand; just make sure there's lots of flour under it so it won't stick to your counter. I made cannelloni by cutting the sheet of pasta into squares, and rolling each square up around a filling of tofu ricotta, steamed spinach, almonzano, and nutmeg:

If you're going to bake the pasta, you don't need to cook it first. To boil it, heat a big pot of salted water to boiling point, drop in some pasta, and basically by the time the water returns to a boil, or at most 10-15 seconds later for the heavier pasta, it will be done. Really!

Here they all are, ready for the final saucing and cooking. The sauce, incidentally, is my favorite easiest raw sauce, where you take a can of diced tomatoes, add chopped garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper, all to taste, and puree with an immersion blender. Wunderbar!

They're done! At the top of this post are a couple of the cannelloni on a plate...

There was some pasta dough left over after the cannelloni, so I made pappardelle by folding long sheets of pasta dough over and over to make a shape about 4" x 6", and then slicing the dough lengthwise with a knife, and shaking out the long noodles and forming them into nests. I had my doubts that the nests would dry on their own, so I put them in the freezer and once they're frozen will transfer them to plastic bags for further freezer storage.

I was pretty pleased with this experiment, especially after I worked out a production protocol that didn't spew flour over the entire kitchen, and will definitely make this again, despite my mother's helpful, supportive remark that all I need around here is more pasta. But, Mom, it's okara pasta!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cannelloni with ricotta, tomato pesto, and sauteed tomatoes

This dish really might as well have been a plate full of soybeans with a few mushrooms and cashews on the side, but how much more delicious when it's in the form of:

1. Crepes from Vegan Brunch, wrapped around:

2. Tofu ricotta from Nonna's Italian Kitchen mixed with some tomato pesto, topped with:

3. Bechamel sauce and almonzano, and baked until hot and golden.

This was actually inspired by the Cannellini with ricotta, pesto, and sauteed tomatoes from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Though I believe on perusal of the recipe that though I ended up with something which I imagine is pretty similar to what Deborah Madison would have made, I substituted every ingredient except, uh, salt and pepper. Vive la différence!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Seitan with pineapple, carrots, and ginger

Another adaptation from Rose Reisman Brings Home Light Cooking. Her recipe calls for chicken breasts, which you bake in the sauce, but in my opinion a stirfry works better.

This is a nice, simple, easy meal with a sweet sauce that even your kids might like, and of course you could use any kind of protein. Featured here are the meatballs from my chicken-style okara burgers recipe.

Here's the recipe, without the gory bits:

Seitan with pineapple, carrots and ginger
Adapted from Rose Reisman Brings Home Light Cooking
Serves 2

Approximately 2 cups of seitan meatballs, tofu chunks, etc.
1 tbsp Earth Balance or canola oil
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger

1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup pineapple chunks

In a large non-stick skillet, heat half a tablespoon of canola oil or Earth Balance and fry your seitan until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, heat the rest of the oil and add the pepper, onion, carrot, garlic, and ginger. I also tossed in one of those superhot little peppers, whole, to see if it would heat the dish (it didn't), and stir fry until tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients together into a sauce, and pour into the skillet along with the pineapple chunks; cook for 3 to 4 minutes until thickened and translucent. Add the seitan back in and gently cook for a few minutes more until the seitan is heated through.

This was served with a mixture of parboiled brown rice, black hulled barley, and daikon radish seeds that I picked up at the Bulk Barn the other day. Interesting!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Seitan chicken stuffed with sundried tomato pesto in creamy sauce

Well, vegans, dig out your omni cookbooks, because you need be deprived no longer. This beautiful meal (or something similar) can be yours with little effort.

I know I said I wasn't going to do any more experiments with okara seitan, but tonight I couldn't resist. Inspired partly by Rose's gorgeous post about Seitan braciole, and partly by recipe books I have been reading through, and having a little okara on hand, I decided to try the rolling technique with my own chicken-style okara seitan. This is so worthwhile; this is so every recipe you've ever read that starts "Place chicken between two sheets of waxed paper; pound until flattened." No longer do you have to worry that your seitan will not pound flat. This seitan will.

This recipe is based on the Chicken breasts stuffed with red pepper puree in creamy sauce from Rose Reisman Brings Home Light Cooking. However, instead of the red pepper puree, I used some sundried tomato pesto that I made yesterday (recipe to follow in another post; yesterday I was just winging it to see if it would work out at all and not recording measurements, but in fact it was a success after all) mixed with some whole wheat breadcrumbs. I did make the creamy sauce (recipe at the end of this post), but you certainly don't have to. What I did was:

Make the chicken-style okara seitan (for boiling) linked to above. Take about 3/4 cup and form it into a ball, then roll it out into a rough rectangle under a sheet of waxed paper. Trim the edges if you need to to get a proper rectangle the width of your baking pan, and spread with the pesto-breadcrumb mix:

Roll the whole thing up like a jelly roll. I'm now not convinced you need any string, but I wasn't sure as I was cooking, so I bound it up and placed it in the pan, then poured on approximately 1 cup broth (check for salt; you don't want it too salty since the broth will all absorb into the seitan):

Bake at 375F for approximately 45 minutes (for a small roll like this one). I turned it twice. Next time I might try placing some parchment paper at the bottom of the pan, since the seitan stuck a bit. Meanwhile, I rolled out the rest of the seitan as above, but boiled it in a light broth in thin pieces:

Ooh, the roll is done!

One mistake I made with this meal is that one should never, ever, roast gai lan. It doesn't look great, and the texture was so tough as to make it nearly inedible. The rest of the meal was A+, though!

The creamy sauce was nice (though frankly I'm still not sure that it altogether compliments the seitan, though it was delicious with the cauliflower), and it only took a few minutes to put together.

Creamy sauce:
2 tsp Earth Balance
2 tsp all-purpose flour
3/4 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 tbsp almonzano
1/4 tsp dried dill
pinch paprika

In a small saucepan, melt the Earth Balance; add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually add soy milk and cook, stirring, until thickened, approximately 3 minutes. Stir in almonzano, dill, and paprika. Pour over seitan.

Greek-style okara seitan gyros

A pretty quick meal, except that I made my own pita bread (from Deborah Madison's recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone). Most of the dough got refrigerated for later, so the next time it will be nearly instant.

Here you see one of the very thin Mark-style okara seitan chick'n cutlets (recipe here), marinated for half an hour in a light lemon viniagrette with oregano and dill, then grilled and cut into bite-sized pieces and mixed with fried onions.

Meanwhile I blended up some tofu yogurt, added dill, lemon, and salt and pepper for a little sauce, and this was fantastic, as always.

Finally, I tried some date syrup in a Middle-Eastern recipe from somewhere on the internet (1/2 cup date syrup, 1 tbsp tahini, and 1 tbsp lemon juice), which tasted very date-y and sweet and strange (in a sandwich).

I am so enjoying my okara seitan, especially rolled out thin thin like this and grilled until it's crispy. Regular seitan will not roll out thin thin, but you poor unfortunates who don't have any okara could probably mash some white beans to use in the recipe instead if you wanted to try it...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ordinary little things

How glad I am that spring has come at last! I'm one of those people who walk around perpetually lost in their own thoughts. If I pass you on the street, I won't see you. I won't notice your new haircut, or your cool shoes, or your wedding ring. If I drove a car, I would crash it. Sometimes I crash my bike, just out of absent-mindedness. I'd make a terrible witness. So I need some help connecting with the outside world sometimes, and my camera is just such a help. Blots of colour on brown-gray soil become whole environments; apparently smooth surfaces are none such. Ordinary little things, when viewed from a slightly different perspective, become miraculous. Here are some very ordinary things that I found in my garden this afternoon.

First, a green onion, scarcely out of the ice but already beginning to flower.


Creeping Jenny:
Some fleshy little groundcover whose name I don't know, very close up:

Not sure, but it's beautiful!

The reason it's so hard to take photographs of the insides of yellow crocuses: they just dissolve into heavenly radiance:

this is the garden:colours come and go,
frail azures fluttering from night's outer wing
strong silent greens silently lingering,
absolute lights like baths of golden snow.
This is the garden:pursed lips do blow
upon cool flutes within wide glooms,and sing
(of harps celestial to the quivering string)
invisible faces hauntingly and slow.

This is the garden. Time shall surely reap
and on Death's blade lie many a flower curled,
in other lands where other songs be sung;
yet stand They here enraptured,as among
the slow deep trees perpetual of sleep
some silver-fingered fountain steals the world.

e.e. cummings

Frittata with peppers and crispy hash browns

This is, once again, the omelet recipe from Vegan Brunch, but this time in frittata form.

I briefly sauteed sweet red and jalapeno peppers and green onions in a non-stick pan, poured the omelet mix over them, covered the pan, and let cook on medium-low heat until the omelet was set and beginning to brown. The vegetables stayed colorfully on the bottom!

Served here with sprinklings of cashew cheese and chipotle pepper, avocado (as you see), and the simple but interesting hash browns from Simply Recipes. Click on the link for complete instructions and lovely pictures. Suffice it to say that I feel even better about purchasing my potato ricer than I already did now that I see how much more it can do than simply rice potatoes!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Testing the limits of chicken-style okara seitan some more

This post has two new recipes! I woke up this morning inspired by Tami's All-American Incrediburgers from her American Vegan Kitchen. I've made these burgers before, and pretty much the only way they could be more incredible would be if they could use up some okara.

And then I thought of all the okara seitan currently frozen in my deep freezer and thought...why not grind some of that up and use it in place of the TVP in Tami's recipe?

And then I decided to make chicken-style burgers rather than beef-style and felt a little foolish starting because basically I was adding cooked chicken seitan to raw chicken seitan and expecting some revelatory new product. But actually, the texture was really interesting, plus I discovered that steamed seitan sausages (at least my chicken-style ones) change texture in the freezer, in a good way (but more on that in another post).

I've posted about the All-American Incrediburgers already, and thought I would make mine somewhat smaller this time. In fact, the recipe I'm going to give makes a lot of seitan. If you made it all into little burgers like the ones at the top of this post, I'm guessing you would get about 20. I made 10, and then formed the rest of them into balls because I wanted to try steaming them freestyle as well as in packets. Here's what I did:

Zoa's chicken-style okara burgers
makes 20 small burgers

Dry mix:
1 1/2 cups gluten flour
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup ground roasted almonds
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cups ground chicken-style seitan
1/2 onion, finely chopped

Wet mix:
1 1/2 cups okara, well squeezed
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup tamari
1 cup water

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients together in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon, and then with your hands, until a moderately smooth, moderately stiff dough forms. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes for the gluten to relax so that it's easier to press out.

What I ended up doing was pressing the dough out into a large sheet around 1/2 inch thick, and then using a sturdy wineglass to cut out round shapes (which is what you see at the beginning of this post), but of course you can form your burgers any way you want to.

Wrap each of the finished burgers in its own little tinfoil packet (this is Tami's genius idea) and steam all the packets for about 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your burgers. Mine didn't take a whole hour because they were so small.

Here's what the burger looks like right out of the steamer:

You can keep them in their packets and let them cool on the counter or in the refrigerator, or freeze them at this point. They will firm up considerably.

When you're ready to cook, brush both sides of the burgers with canola oil and grill or fry over medium-high heat. This was pretty good! It had a nice texture and a mild buttery flavour, a little less buttery than the chicken-style seitan alone, because I didn't add any extra chickpea flour, but very flavourful, and it held together beautifully.

I can't show you the inside of the burger because I'm lousy at taking pictures of things from the side; however, I then made some of the same seitan into balls, and steamed them. Here they are right out of the steamer. As you can see, nothing drastic happened to them in there:

I pan fried some of them and broke one open. They were tender but with an interesting, non-homogenous texture that I liked a lot. I will make both the burgers and the balls again, despite the extra work of grinding up cooked seitan first.

So by that time I was getting pretty tired of seitan and came upstairs to check the computer, and lo and behold, Mark over at Irreverent Vegan is also making seitan, in Perfect chicken caesar salad, to be precise! And dang, his looks awesome, and he has a technique in his post I haven't tried yet. And after this week's soy milk adventures I still had a cup of okara which I was even considering composting, but my conscience told me this was kismet, and that I must try it!

What follows is based on Mark's recipe, but it isn't that recipe because it includes a substantial amount of okara; also I have decreased the amounts but otherwise tried to follow Mark's as best I could, and was totally slavish in the matter of technique.

Mark-style okara seitan chick'n cutlets

Dry mix:
1 1/2 cups gluten flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt

Wet mix:
1 cup okara
3/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves, crushed or pressed
1 tbsp olive oil

Any very flavourful vegetable stock. I used a mixture of various powders I had around, including McCormick's vegetable stock, Bryanna's chicken-style broth powder, and some homemade poultry seasoning, plus 2 bay leaves.

Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together separately. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Knead into a uniform dough. My dough was very stiff.

Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

Now at this point Mark's new technique comes in. You take a golf ball-sized chunk of the dough, flatten it out a bit, put it on your clean counter, and lay a piece of waxed paper over it. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out under the waxed paper as thin as you can get it. I got mine pretty thin:
Mark says that when you peel off the paper, the dough will "stretch back," but I am finding that one of the interesting things about seitan with a whole lot of okara in it is that it doesn't really do that:

So now, fill a large pot with cold broth, and add any herbs you are using. As you make them, place the seitan pieces in the cold broth; the broth should cover the pieces. You can see that I eventually got over the novel experience of rolling seitan really really thin and made some thicker pieces so I could grill and slice them. Let them all sit there for about ten minutes, then bring the water to a gentle boil, reduce heat, and cover. Cook for 1 hour. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. They're ready to use (or freeze, in a little more of the broth).

By this time I had accumulated quite a bit of seitan, and I knew that the thick pieces would grill and slice nicely, but was curious about those thin little guys, so I brushed one of them with canola oil and placed it into the panini press. This is how it came out:

Kind of pretty, hey? But even more than that, it was crispy! Yes, it made a sound when I bit into a piece. I was so thrilled! That doesn't usually happen with seitan. How would I eat something like this? Well, cut it into pieces and put it into, oh, I don't know...a salad?

(But I didn't do that because this post is already long enough, and besides, I'm going out for supper, no naturally I just ate most of it plain.) The Mark-style seitan had a totally different flavour from mine, very herby from the broth it was cooked in. It was easy to make, and I'm sure it would hold up well under any kind of sauce. As he says in his post, it's they're intended to take on the flavour of the sauces and other foods they're cooked with. I love the rolling-pin-and-waxed-paper technique.

Now, however, I must put the gluten flour away for a while, for the sake of my sanity and because my deep freezer is full of seitan. There's just so much okara...