A delicious dinner (and 5,000 hits!)

by nomeatbarefeet

Ironically I still feel like blogging does not come easy for us. We talk about needing to read more posts from other blogs, about being diligent and consistent in our writing, and always trying to find something interesting to write about. Sometimes one or all of these fall by the side of the road and get left behind—oh well. The other day I did notice that we blew by the 5,000 hit mark, which is pretty cool. I’m not sure how much longer I will continue to vocalize about these numbers, but for now its a pretty amazing feeling—not to mention a continual sense of gratitude to all you readers.

The weather in Vermont has been all of the place these last few week: really hot, then a bit of snow overnight, then back hot again. We were feeling like making one last “cold weather” meal (though that presupposes that the weather is going to stay warmer), so we opted for a seitan roast. Not being all that happy with the seitan we have made in the past (our jaw muscles get one hell of a workout) we looked up one on Post Punk Kitchen. While seitan can be labor intensive the recipe we found was pretty simple. In place of the filling Isa uses we just subbed in a simple store stuffing and then added some craisans. To top it off we roasted some sweet potatoes (with Earth Balance) and some fresh beets (topped with olive oil, salt, and pepper) from City Market. It made for a delicious meal, one that we will definitely be remaking for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Seitan Roast (*This is slightly adapted from the recipe on Post Punk Kitchen. I felt like I had to post the recipe because it was just that good. Isa’s recipes never disappoint, so be sure to check out her site or any of the helpful cook books that she has put out including Vegan with a Vengeance, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Veganomicon, Vegan Brunch,Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and Appetite for Reduction.*)

3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup cooked pinto beans, rinsed and drained (fresh or canned)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed between your fingers
Several dashes fresh black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a food processor, pulse the garlic until well chopped. Add the beans, broth, olive oil and soy sauce and puree until mostly smooth (a few pieces of bean are okay, but they should be no bigger than a pea.)

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, herbs and spices. Make a well in the center and add the bean mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts coming together to form a ball of dough. Knead until everything is well incorporated.

Now we’re going to roll out the seitan and form the roast. Place two pieces of tin foil (about 18 inches long) horizontally in front of you. The sheet further from you should overlap the closer sheet by about 6 inches. This way you have enough foil to wrap around the whole roast.

On a separate surface, use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten the seitan into a roughly 12 x 10 rectangle. If any pieces rip, don’t worry about it, just use a pinch of dough from the ends to repair any holes.

Place the filling in the lower 1/3 of the seitan rectangle, leaving about 2 inches of space at both ends. Make sure the filling is compact, use your hands to form it into a nice, tight bundle.

Now roll! Roll the bottom part of the seitan up and over the filling. Keep rolling until in it’s in a log shape. Now pinch together the seam and pinch together the sides to seal. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it will snap into shape when baking.

Place the roll in the center of the tinfoil and roll up like a tootsie roll, making sure the ends are tightly wrapped. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for an about 90 minutes. Rotate the roll every 20 minutes for even cooking.

Remove from oven and let cool. Unwrap, slice and serve!