Soy-free Seitan


The basis of this came from an old post from a now-defunct vegan recipe site, and we updated it a bit and changed up some of the ingredients. If you don’t have garlic powder, use onion powder, granules, or, whatever. It’s pretty flexible, and doesn’t have to be specifically this. I’ve seen variations that call for 3/4 cup of the vital wheat gluten and 1/4-1/2 cup of various kinds of non-wheat flours (garbanzo, rice, etc), but this is what we use. It’s dead simple to make, and only really requires babysitting the pot for an hour while you’re doing other stuff.


Soy-free Seitan
  • Seitan:
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup water
  • Broth:
  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp salt (if needed - some broths or bouillons are really salty)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • ½ tsp dried dill (or oregano, or thyme, or whatever)
  1. Mix the broth ingredients together and bring to a boil.
  2. While the broth is coming to a boil, mix vital wheat gluten and garlic powder.
  3. Add the 1 cup of water and mix into a dough. Knead dough for a minute or two. Don't skip this - the seitan will be mushy and vile if you do. The longer you knead it, the firmer it will be.
  4. Cut the dough into whatever size/shape chunks you need or want: chunks, cubes, strips, blobs, etc. Drop them into boiling broth a couple at a time. We discovered that if you dump them all in at once, they'll clump together and stick and make a mess.
  5. Lower the heat a little bit (to medium-highish), and let them cook in the broth for about an hour. Keep an eye on the pot and make sure the broth doesn't boil completely away.
  6. Pull the pieces of seitan out with a strainer, and discard any leftover broth.
  7. Poof! Done! You can do almost anything with this stuff now. It will keep for a week or so on the fridge, and ages in the freezer. It benefits from being fried a bit before use, and can be seasoned as needed for whatever you want to use it for.


Waffles. It’s what’s for dinner.

Lemon ricotta waffles with orange flower water whipped cream and lingon berry preserves. Inspired by some incredibly tasty lemon ricotta pancakes from the little cafe in the Third Place Books in Ravenna.

Lemon Ricotta Waffles
Serves: 4
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • zest of two lemons
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • ⅓ cup ricotta
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  1. Heat up your waffle iron.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter and set it aside for a moment.
  4. In a large measuring cup or another bowl, beat together the lemon zest, egg yolks, milk, ricotta, lemon extract, and butter.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients gently into the dry ingredients until just blended.
  6. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold them into the batter.
  7. My waffle iron seems to be happiest with about ⅓ cup of batter, and I found that with these I needed to turn the heat down a bit or they got really hard and crunchy. YMMV.
*I always keep a giant Ball jar full of sugar with 3-4 vanilla beans in it. I’m thoroughly addicted to vanilla sugar, so when the jar is about half empty, I refill it, and then roll the jar around for a few minutes to mix the new sugar in with the old. Plain sugar works juuuuuust fine in this recipe too, but if you use plain sugar, you might want to add ½ tsp or so of vanilla with the wet ingredients.

Variations on the Theme
Almond – you could skip the lemon zest and the lemon extract, and use a tsp of almond extract instead. Or go all out and add a tablespoon or two of almond paste, too.

Plain – skip the lemon extract and zest, use 1 tsp of vanilla instead.

Orange – substitute orange zest and extract for the lemon.

Matcha and/or wasabi – I’m really only sort of kidding on this one. A bit of both (or either), powdered, in with the dry ingredients could be really interesting. Definitely not to be served with whipped cream and/or syrup, but the right savory topping?

Cocoa – substitute up to ⅓ cup of the flour with cocoa powder or sweet ground chocolate. If you use unsweetened cocoa, add more sugar (1/3 cup? ¼?), the sweet ground chocolate wouldn’t need any additional sugar.


mmmmm, waffles

mmmmm, waffles

semi-clean plate

they were tasty


Further adventures in weird pickles

Happy mother’s day, y’all!

A trip to the U-district farmers market yesterday netted me some local artisan cheese (duh), some AMAZING carrots*, two Autumn Gold raspberry plants (I’ve only been looking for those for a month now), some farro, some farro/rye/flax hot cereal mix, some crazy Japanese cabbagey thing the name of which escapes me, but which was like baby bok-choy crossed with spinach, and which was damn tasty last night, and some fiddlehead ferns.

Some friends and I had gone to Sutra on Friday night, and one of the courses featured pickled fiddleheads. SO. GOOD. (everything, really, but especially the pickled fiddleheads) When I saw them at the foraged stuff booth at the farmers market, I had to get some and try pickling them. Had to.

They had them both cleaned and uncleaned. I should have popped for the cleaned ones – cleaning them is a pain in the arse. Seriously. That extra few bucks per pound for cleaning? Worth it. Trust me.

First rinse of the fiddleheads

fiddleheads, rinse round 1

Second rinse of the fiddleheads, with water drop

fiddleheads, rinse round 2

After much tedious cleaning, and three rinses, this is what I was left with:


fiddleheads, mostly cleanish

Trimmed, and packed in the jars:


fiddleheads, packed and ready

And, of course, I don’t have a picture of the finished product. Not, mind you, out of sheer laziness, but because I couldn’t get a decent picture of them. The lighting in here failed me. They’ve got to sit for a week or two, and if they’re tasty, I’ll post the recipe. Probably. I am lazy, dontchaknow.

In other weekend pictures, there was a spectacular sundog visible from the deck this afternoon (and yes, speaking of lazy, I was too lazy to get up and get a shot of the whole thing. You only get half.):


sundog, as seen from my deck chair

*Remember what fresh carrots tasted like when you were a kid? That deep, complex, sweet, earthy flavor that hasn’t been found in store-bought carrots in decades? Yeah, these carrots had that and then some. I should have gotten more of them.

Pickled WHAT?!

Grapes, people. Pickled GRAPES. Seriously! Also? The internets are proven, once again, to be a very small place.


There’s this (really quite lovely) food blog that I read regularly called Smitten Kitchen. (the rhubarb crumb cake and polenta pizza recipes are staples around here now) The woman who writes it occasionally refers to a friend of hers named Molly, who just had a book published. I assumed from the way she talked about her friend that they lived close to each other, and I know that the SK author lives in New York. Silly me.

SK posted about pickled grapes a week or so ago, mentioning that the recipe she based hers off of was out of her friend Molly’s new book. The recipe looked interesting and easy, and, as I am prone to doing, I googled to see what other variations might be out there.

The first hit google returned was to an NPR interview with Molly about the book, and the origin of the pickled grapes recipe turned out to be…. a restaurant next door to my office.

So small, those internets!