I think a lot of times vegetarians don't take the leap vegan because how how limiting they feel it will be. By taking the grilled cheese and baked manicotti off the menu, we lose site of all the other things that are out there.
Then you think, "Hey, I can do this! Just look at all the vegetarian foods on the market!" But when you start reading the labels on those boxes, it becomes apparent that it's not a very vegan friendly world out there (unless you live some place like L.A. or NYC - but I have to admit, Cleveland wasn't that bad. New vegan restaurants were popping up as I left. If you live in that area, check out The Flaming Ice Cube in Public Square. Now there's some yummy stuff.)
But you can't be going out to lunch all the time - it's both expensive and time consuming (and fattening) and that means cooking.
I've always like to experiment in the kitchen. Some of my favorite memories as a child involve cooking, food (and seeing what concoctions could be made in our new, state of the art, microwave!!)
|psst! It didn't have a dial = super duper cool|
Finding something that is both vegan, reasonably priced and not loaded with sodium can be tricky - so I started doing research. I used to be addicted to Turtle Island Foods Tofurky Deli Slices (which are amazing) but due to over consumption of processed soy, I had to give them up. This left a massive hole in my diet. I, like many, and a fan of quick and convenient foods for snacking, lunches, etc - so I needed to figure things out and fast.
Enter - Gluten Flour and the Seitan Roast.
You can thinly slice it for cold cuts, dice it up and add it to your three bean chili. You can slice it into strips and use it in fajitas or cut a thick slab and prepare it like a fillet - we do all these in this house.
The price of this "roast" is around $5-7 - compared to a Holiday Roast which will run you around $20. You won't use the entire bottle of wine in the roast, which means you can save the rest for dinner (or whatever you'd like to do with it.) You won't use all of the flour in one sitting, which means 2 roasts and once you buy the herbs, you can make 20+ and still have herbs left over.
As for the broth, use your own [here's a good recipe if you want to make your own] or you can just buy a quart at the store. Buy low sodium! ALWAYS buy low sodium, you can add the salt you want later.
And with out further adieu, here is my recipe!
1 can organic white beans. (the roast in the photo, I used navy, they were on sale.)
1 tspn Onion
1/2 tspn garlic
1 1/4 tspn rubbed sage
1 1/4 thyme
1/2 tspn cumin
1.4 tspn salt
1/2 C White Wine - I used a beringer chardonnay, they're reasonably priced and tasty. If you don't want to use wine, substitute with vegetable broth. You can also up your Bragg amount, but the roast will be VERY salty.
1/3 C Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
1/2 C Water
2 medium onions
3 cloves garlic
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 C Wine (or Soy Sauce)
4 C Vegetable Broth
In a food processor blend the beans, seasoning and add the 1/2 c wine. Blend until smooth. Add Bragg's Liquid Aminos. Don't add the last 1/2 Cup water.
In another bowl add the Gluten Flour and slowly add the bean mixture. If it's still a little dry use the last 1/2 Cup of water until you get a nice stretchy dough (you may not need the water)
Kneed the dough on the counter for a few minutes and form what ever shape you'd like. Wrap it in cheese cloth and place it in the slow cooker. Add the onions and garlic (and feel free to add celery and carrots). Cover with remaining wine and 4 cups of broth. If it's still not covered, top off with water.
Turn the cooker on high and let it cook for 24 hours. The longer you let your roast cook, the juicer it will become.
When your roast is finished, take it out of liquid and remove cheese cloth. Place in a container that can be sealed - like a pyrex bowl with a lid - and add 2 tablespoons of the liquid it was roasted in, into the container.
Now! Don't go and throw out the liquid you cooked the roast in. Pull out your quart pan an set it on the stove - mix together 2 TBSP of Vegan Butter (like Earth Balance) and 2 TBSP of flour - mix it up until all the butter is absorbed into the flour. Slow add the liquid to the pan, one ladle full at a time
(NOTE: if you don't like chunky gravy, you may want to strain out the onions - REGARDLESS - REMOVE THE BAY LEAVES. You don't want them in your gravy.)
Allow the gravy to boil, the lower the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes - give it a stir here and there to scrap off the goodness from the bottom of the pan. Add 1 tspn of Rubbed Sage, 1/2 Garlic Powder, 1 tspn Onion Powder - a little salt and pepper to taste - and now you have a perfect gravy to go with your new Vegan Roast!
This recipe has a mild flavor, so you will be able to adjust the flavor of the dish you're making and not have your meals OVERPOWERED by a strong flavored Vegan Roast.
Hope you love it as much as we do! And PLEASE if you make it, let me know what you think!
|100% Vegan Yum|