• Seitan

    Posted on July 27, 2012 by Elaine in 5 minute meal, Athlete's Corner, Budget Conscious, Calorie Counter, Tastes just like..., Weight Loss.

    Have you been looking to cut down on your intake of red meat and poultry?  If so, seitan may be right for you.

    Here is a seitan parmagiana sandwich I had at Souen, a macrobiotic restaurant in Union Square.  What would have been tomato sauce was made with beets!  It was filling yet light and healthy.

    Seitan (pronounced “say-tahn”) is known as the fake meat that you would eat at vegetarian restaurants.   It originated from China but has been widely eaten in Japan, Asian, and macrobiotic diets.

    What is seitan made of?

    It is essentially wheat gluten.  It is made by mixing whole wheat flour with water and then kneading the mixture under water until the starch dissolves, leaving the stretchy gluten.  It is low in calorie, has no saturated fat or cholesterol, and has just as much protein and chicken or beef and more protein than tofu.   Just be careful and look at the amount of sodium on the package.  Some can have over 400 mg per package!

    It is also cheaper than buying meat, especially grass-fed beef or cage-free, organic chicken.  One box of seitan goes for about $4.

    Vegans and Buddhist monks replace what would be the protein or meat portion of their meals, with seitan.  It is high in protein and the texture is very similar to that of chicken.

    You can find seitan in health food stores and Asian supermarkets.  You can eat it straight from the box but I like to mix it into a stir-fry and replace what would have been chicken or beef.

    So if you don’t have any allergies to wheat gluten and are trying to cut down on your red meat and poultry, seitan is a great option to try.  My suggestion is to go to a restaurant like Souen, Zen Palate, or Candle Cafe and the sister restaurant, Candle 79 here in NYC to try seitan cooked by a professional chef before you try cooking it on your own.   You will like it more I guarantee!  =)

    Here is Candle 79′s seitan piccata:

     

    You can find the recipe for Candle 79′s seitan piccata here.  Enjoy!

     

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