Open thread

Open thread


Continuing the cooking theme

The above picture is not meat – it’s seitan and it’s probably pretty delicious.

Jenn (my wife) was vegetarian for 12 years (since age 18). She’d never in her life had Buffalo wings. About 4 years ago she got pregnant and decided to try them. We ate wings 2 times a week for a full year. I kid you not. Anyway, I dabbled in vegetarianism for a couple of years (until bacon drew me back!) and one thing I really enjoyed was the “mock chicken” in my Pad Thai from Thanh Thao in Portland. I also really enjoy the faux Buffalo Wings at Red Bamboo in NYC.

Lately I’ve been making my own seitan in an attempt to recreate the Red Bamboo wings. I’ve been scouring the web for different recipes. Most of the sites are run by vegans and hippies, the far left (if you are so inclined). That’s pretty much what I was expecting. What surprised me was coming upon a survivalist, militia-type website (you know, far right kind of folks) with some fabulous seitan recipes.

I like to imagine seitan bridging the gap between these very different (but very similar?) groups.

All hail Seitan!

I can’t find the link right now but I’ll post it if I do. I also found a good recipe written by a woman who loves to eat seitan but can’t call it that because “it’s the name of the most evil being in my religion”.

It’s good to be alive!

Have a great weekend.

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  • gerryf

    One thing I never quite understand is why vegetarian seek psuedo-meat if they are vegetarians.

  • kranky kritter

    I think they seek the familiar experience. They do need the protein regardless so why not treat the meatless substitute protein in the same way everyone else treats protein? The problem comes when the substitute protein is still the focal point, but can’t deliver comparable deliciousness.

    I don’t find all protein substitutes even remotely equal, and I like to try new things. I enjoy the problem-solving challenges inherent in trying to eat more healthily without sacrificing taste. I bet most folks are like me, they just can’t talk themselves into some new food based on virtue if the taste is not simply different, but noticeably inferior.

    Some flavors of boca burgers are pretty decent as long as you operate with the understanding that it’s not a hamburger. At the same time, if you aren’t eating a soy disc for moral or sociopolitical reasons, then you can achieve much the same dietary benefit in caloric and nutritional terms by eating a reasonably sized burger made from very lean beef.

    One dietary change I have recently tried to good benefit was to eat a lot more pro-biotic food. Primarily this means particular types of yogurt and other dairy products which include active beneficial bacteria. The biggest plus, IMO, is that yogurt with active bacteria actually tastes a lot better. There’s almost no way to save totally nonfat yogurt that has been artificially sweetened from tasting subpar. But lowfat yogurt with active cultures is really quite good, and not too high in calories.

    I’ve also been eating a lot of whole grain cereal with kefir instead of milk, and it’s really good stuff. Tasty. (Kefir is a fermented milk drink sort of like a liquid yogurt) And my digestive system seems to have responded very positively to the changes. I recommend that anyone who has any digestive problems at all (acid reflux, or upset stomach, BMs that are either too frequent or too infrequent, stress-related stomach upset) to read up on the theory behind it to satisfy themselves of the scientific soundness of it.

  • gerryf

    You do realize that some say that the Prophet Mohammed himself bestowed kefir grains as a gift to his people–better watch out, someone is going to accuse you of adhering to Halal foods or following Sharia Law …..

    I, however, am already a thrice damned liberal so I will give it a try. Thanks for the tip!

  • mw

    I think I should take this opportunity to agree with Gerry, as I am not sure when, if ever, this may happen again.

    I mean – it’s not like carnivores shape their ground beef into spears of asparagus and paint them green.

  • kranky kritter

    Well, no one is really a carnivore per se in the sense of eating only meat. Most non-vegetarians are omnivores.

  • Jacob

    Speak for yourself MW, I just had a delicious faux-apple (ground veal spiced with paprika and shaped into an apple).

    I think KK is right about familiarity. For me it was about deliciousness, some of these faux meats are downright great (I’m gonna go ahead and plug Red Bamboo again).

    For a lot of my friends it’s also a special treat. You spend a month eating greens and nuts and it’s nice to chomp into a textured meat substitute slathered in wing sauce.

    I prefer a healthy balance.

    KK: Sometimes I keep Kefir in the fridge and occasionally I prepare probiotic meals. Frankly, it gives me terrible gas and I don’t really feel any differently when I eat it.

    Gerry: I did not know that. Now I know what to make for dinner if I ever have a Mulsim over.