Friends! I am overwhelmed! Yesterday I asked you to help me raise $730 for Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary — a way to celebrate my 730 days (2 years) of living a vegan lifestyle. As of this morning we have raised $430!
We are over half way there! And, guess what? A supporter of WFAS has pledged to match half of what we raise. Thank you, one and all, for any size donation!
Now, a weekend cooking tale. Sunday morning I pulled my veggie scrap bag out of the freezer. The one-gallon bag was ready to burst! As it thawed on the counter I wondered how I should season my homemade vegetable broth this week. I sent out a message on Facebook and Twitter for ideas. The overwhelming winner? Cinnamon! (Thanks, Elisa!)
I loved the idea of simmering the veggies in cinnamon and knew I needed to add a few more spices in the mix. Cumin came to mind. Then I spied fresh ginger root on the counter. YES!
My pressure cooker vegetable broth this week:
- 8.5 cups filtered water
- 1 gallon bag of frozen vegetable scraps (lettuce, spinach, celery, tomatoes, mushroom stems, red and yellow onion, garlic, red and green peppers (and seeds), and asparagus)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Half inch fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
- Pinch of iodized sea salt (seriously, just a pinch, consider this a low-sodium stock)
I brought the veggies to pressure, then cooked at pressure for 10 minutes. I allowed for natural release and then strained the broth through a cheesecloth.
Delicious! This made over 12 cups of vegetable broth! Most often I store about four cups of stock in a mason jar in the refrigerator to dip into throughout the week; I also freeze a good amount in freezer bags. This week there wasn’t as much to store because as the aroma of cinnamon, ginger and cumin filled the house I had an idea!
I decided that the time had come. With inspiration from seitan recipes by Elise, Christy and Candle 79, it was time for me to try my own hand at creating a “wheat meat” dish, reflecting my own unique taste.
Cinnamon-Ginger Seitan & Veggies in Coconut Gravy
Keywords: stove top, pressure cooker, entrée, vegan, seitan
For the seitan
- 1.5 cups vital wheat gluten
- 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger, cinnamon and cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup vegetable broth (I used homemade, which was seasoned with ginger, cinnamon and cumin)
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- 2 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
- Cooking broth: 3 cups water, 3 cups broth (yep, the seasoned homemade broth!), and 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
For the veggies
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- Half a yellow onion, cut into half-moon slices
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, room temperature (I used So Delicious)
- 2.5 teaspoons arrowroot
- Two tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of cumin
- 2 handfuls kale, chopped
- Sea salt, to taste (I used about half a teaspoon)
For the seitan
- Combine the first six ingredients (dry) in a medium bowl (or KitchenAid bowl).
- Whisk together the wet ingredients (NOT the cooking broth) in a small bowl.
- Add wet to dry and stir until well combined.
- Knead for five minutes (I highly recommend using the dough hook of a Kitchen aid, or similar appliance).
- Pull dough apart to form six cutlets. Set aside.
- Bring broth ingredients to a boil in the uncovered pressure cooker and add the cutlets to the boiling water.
- Lock the pressure cooker cover in place.
- Bring to pressure, cook at low pressure for 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow for a natural release.
- Remove cutlets from the broth to cool before handling or serving.
- Store cutlets, in the cooking broth, in an airtight container in the refrigerator or in a sturdy bag for the freezer.
For the veggies
- Heat half a cup of vegetable stock in a large skillet.
- Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper and saute for a few minutes
- Add mushrooms and saute for five minutes.
- In a small bowl (or large measuring cup) whisk arrowroot in coconut milk, making sure to whisk away clumps.
- Add coconut milk to the skillet and bring to a boil to make a medium-thick coconut gravy.
- Add tomatoes, cinnamon, and cumin and bring back to a boil.
- Add kale, cover the skillet and reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Uncover the skillet, bring the heat back to medium high for one last quick boil.
- Taste and add sea salt, if desired.
- Serve veggies in a bowl, add thinly sliced seitan and spoon the coconut gravy from the vegetables over the top.
A few notes to the recipe:
- I opted to make smaller cutlets and place them directly in the water (versus wrapping in cheesecloth) because I thought this would allow for a consistent texture throughout the entire cutlet and that it would be more moist (I was right). Moist — but not too moist, i.e. not done enough — is important because seitan can dry out when stored and be too tough. Not this seitan!
- Blackstrap molasses, you ask? The smell of cinnamon, cumin and ginger was sweet. I love sweet and savory but I knew that aroma would not translate to an actual sweet taste. Adding just a small amount of molasses to the seitan did the trick.
- I used a nutritional yeast powder (versus flakes) that was fortified with vitamins (some people assume all nutritional yeast is a source of B-12. Not so! Look for “fortified” on the label and make sure B-12 is listed).
I feel really proud of this recipe.
I followed my intuition and combined foods and spices that just made sense to me.
And it worked!