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Marinated Crock Pot Seitan

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I had some leftover crock pot seitan (from this post) that I thought might taste good in a rice bowl.  This particular seitan recipe from The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour is meant for use in slow cookers (it’s wetter), so the raw dough had to be cooked a bit before just tossing it into a rice bowl.  I decided to try a double boiler method.  First, I put the seitan slices into an oven-safe bowl, tossed them in Mrs. Dash Spicy Teriyaki Marinade.  Next, I added some water to the crock pot, thinking that, as the water heated up, the heat would transfer to the bowl more effectively and lightly cook the seitan.  I was careful not to add so much water that it would spill over into the bowl.

marinated crock pot seitan | A Vegan in Progress

The seitan came out perfect.  It was a great meat substitute that went very well with some rice and veggies.  It was a delicious and easy lunch (even easier if you have a programmable rice cooker with a steaming basket, like we do).  I will be using this technique again!

Marinated Crock Pot Seitan | A Vegan in Progress

Vegan Recipe – From-The-Pantry Pot Pie

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Yet another vegan crock pot recipe from my new cookbook, The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour.

I love pot pie, so I was looking forward to trying this recipe.  It’s very easy to make and very flexible.  You can use whatever leftover veggies you have (I always keep a few bags of frozen items on hand for meals just like this), and you can add beans in place of the seitan if you so choose.

For the stew:
1 small onion, minced (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1 large stalk celery, minced (optional)
1 1/2 cups cubed chicken-flavored seitan, store bought or homemade (I used some that I made and froze in this post) or use crumbled, cooked, vegan sausage or diced tofu, beans, or potato
1 pound frozen mixed green beans, carrots, and peas (you can use fresh leftovers instead)
1 cup water, add more if needed
2 tablespoons vegan chicken-flavored bouillon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons flour, if needed

For the biscuits:
1 cup white, whole wheat, or gluten-free flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup plain or unsweetened nondairy milk

The night before:
Place the cut-up onion, garlic, celery, and seitan in a large airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

In the morning:
Oil the crock of your slow cooker (skip this step if you use a liner like I do).  Combine all of the ingredients for the stew except for the flour in the slow cooker.  Add 1 to 2 cups extra water if you will cook it longer than 8 hours, or if your slow cooker runs a little hot.  Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

About 30 minutes before serving:
Add more water if the mixture is too thick, or add the flour if the stew needs to thicken up a bit.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.

To make the biscuits:
Combine all of the biscuit ingredients in a bowl and work until it comes together into a dough.  Turn the mixture out onto a floured cutting board (or cover a cutting board with parchment paper as I did), roll out 1/2 inch thick (or smush it with your fingers like I had to – couldn’t find a rolling pin anywhere!), and cut into circles with the rim of a drinking glass.  Place in the slow cooker on top of the filling.  Turn the slow cooker to high.  Prop open the lid with the handle of a wooden spoon, or place a clean dishtowel under the lid to prevent condensation from dripping onto your biscuits (I just set the lid back down and a slight angle so that some steam could escape).  Cook an additional 30 minutes.

The bag of frozen veggies that we had on hand was peas, carrots, and corn, but no green beans.  I added the extra water as suggested and it definitely came out watery.  I added the flour and a few tablespoons of cornstarch, which thickened it up nicely.  The biscuits took a long time to cook… I left it on high for one hour and they were still pale in color and a little doughy.

Slow Cooker From-The-Pantry Pot Pie | A Vegan in Progress

I added a sprinkle of sea salt on top of each biscuit

However, the final product was delish!  I loved it and went back for seconds.  The slightly doughy biscuits seemed a little more like dumplings, but that’s fine by me!  In my opinion, it would have been perfect even without the seitan, but Eric really liked having it in the pot pie stew.  He said that it mimics the texture enough and is masked by the flavor of the vegan chicken-flavored bouillon in the stew, so you would just assume it was chicken if you weren’t told otherwise.  I have folded down the corner or this page because this recipe will be a regular one in our house!

Day Eight

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Day eight in Vegan in 30 Days says to eliminate poultry.  I was definitely worried about this step because chicken and turkey were the only types of meat that I ever ate.  In Sarah Taylor’s book, she says that it was her biggest mental hurdle as well, but goes on to say that it was the easiest physical hurdle.  She points out that chicken doesn’t taste like much of anything, just the sauce and seasonings that is added to it.

Since I posted Day Seven, Part A, I have cut out the remaining meat from my diet.  It has been a lot easier than I had thought.  I began to realize that it wasn’t the chicken that I liked, but the food that happens to have chicken in it.  If I could get southwestern eggrolls from Chilis without the chicken (cheese too), I would be no less satisfied with the appetizer.  In terms of dining out, I can always try asking for menu items without certain ingredients, but in the case of something like southwestern eggrolls, I’m only going to get a vegan version if I make it myself.

This week, as part of my transition away from poultry, I tried making my own seitan, using a recipe from the The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour cookbook.  You end up stretching the dough out and cutting it into pieces.  Once cooked, the pieces shrink quite a bit, so next time I may cut some even larger.  This seitan recipe is for use in slow cookers (it’s wetter) and it yields quite a bit of seitan, as you can see below.  It freezes well, so this will make vegan cooking a lot simpler!

Slow Cooker Seitan | A Vegan in Progress

Uncooked dough & cooked seitan in vegan broth

Packed up slow cooker seitan | A Vegan in Progress

The finished product, packed in broth