Seitan

SeitanTime to pay the piper for holiday indulgence.  Actually, this photo is from November, when I finally broke open the frozen package of vegan black-pepper sauced seitan from Vegetarian Plus I had in the freezer. Every now and then I can’t resist trying one of these meat alternative meals.

It was actually quite tasty, with lots of black pepper and a pleasant texture.  But while this made a nice lunch, it wouldn’t quite satisfy me for dinner. 

Obviously, given my comment about paying the piper, I regard this kind of food as punishment for delicious excess.  But why should that be?  I guess I lean more toward things like pasta with white beans and escarole, or whole wheat pasta with Swiss chard and walnuts…something that’s just plain yummy to me no matter the “healthfullness.”  And I like a sprinkle of cheese on that pasta, so it’s not vegan.

Thinking about seitan reminds me of a long-ago almost boyfriend. He invited me to dinner one night, and actually made wheat gluten (that’s what seitan is) for me.  I can’t remember what he did with it, as far as sauce or whatever, but I remember being completely repulsed – it was not in a tasty sauce like the one here, I assure you.  I choked down what I could, and fled home early.  Needless to say, that was not a smart choice of what to serve when you’re dating a foodie. 

That said, there is a long tradition of mock meat cuisine in Bhuddist culture, and some of those elaborate preparations are actually pretty wonderful, creative and flavorsome.  But that home made wheat gluten dinner was a far cry from that!

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