April 7th, 2004

easter food

hey, all you easter-celebrating-types! this is my first easter as vegan, and, as i'm going home for the holiday, my mom asked if i wanted anything special prepared. what are some good easter-ish foods for the holiday? all i can think of are ham, eggs, and easter soup [we're polish]. thanks in advance!
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The N

Vegan Tzatziki

Hello Folks!

Would someone recommend a good and relatively quick vegan tzatziki recipe? I've found a couple of non-vegan recipes, but I was wondering if just substituting soy yogurt for regular yogurt would do the trick. Plus, one recipe I found seems pretty involved: you have to let the cucumber bits drain twice for 30 minutes at a time!

Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

Hail Seitan!

If you want to cook with a lot of seitan, but the stuff is too damn expensive, it's relatively easy to make from vital wheat gluten powder. (Sorry if someone's already posted something like this, but I've noticed a lot of vegans don't seem to be aware of how easy and apparently cost-effective it is to make seitan, so it deserves to be mentioned anyway)

Recipe obtained here

Quick Homemade Gluten
(Makes 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds or 2 to 2-1/2 cups)

This is the basic recipe for gluten.

2 cups gluten flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1-1/4 cups water or vegetable stock
3 Tablespoons lite tamari, Braggs liquid amino acids, or soy sauce
1-3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (optional)

Add garlic powder and ginger to flour and stir. Mix liquids together and add to flour mixture all at once. Mix vigorously with a fork. When it forms a stiff dough knead it 10 to 15 times.

Let the dough rest 2 to 5 minutes, then knead it a few more times. Let it rest another 15 minutes before proceeding.

Cut gluten into 6 to 8 pieces and stretch into thin cutlets. Simmer in broth for 30 to 60 minutes.

Broth:
4 cups water
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
3-inch piece of kombu (a type of seaweed)
3-4 slices ginger (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring broth to a boil. Add cutlets one at a time. Reduce heat to barely simmer when saucepan is covered. Seitan may be used, refrigerated, or frozen at this point.

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I tripled this recipe (I cook for a lot of people) and ended up with a huge amount of seitan. Vital wheat gluten cost me about $2.39/lb at my local co-op, and it seems that most of the mass of seitan actually comes from water. When I made this recipe, I chopped up the gluten into small pieces, as opposed to slabs like you'd get at the store, before simmering it in the broth, and that was a bad idea, because a) It doesn't turn out as well b) You might have to re-chop it anyway c) Cutting uncooked wheat gluten is far more difficult than cooken seitan.

On my first try, however, even though I messed it up a little, the seitan turned out amazingly well, and ended up substituting for chicken in an ad-lib soup.

I have extra seitan, which will probably end up in a stir-fry or something. I called my soup the "Seitanic Ritual Soup."

Some pieces seemed kind of bland, so it might be a good idea to put more garlic/ginger/spices in the broth or even the seitan itself. Perhaps it was that I forgot to mix the tamari with the water before mixing it into the gluten powder mixture.

Make your non-vegetarian friends say, "You're kidding? This is vegan? It's not chicken?" Join the cult of Seitan.

Oh, and I have no idea what kombu is, either, or where to get it.