Monday, April 23, 2007

General Tao's Seitan

It feels kinda' strange being back at work with my lunchbox after a week of searching for vegan food on the road. But here I am. For my lunch today, I tried a new twist on one of my all-time favorite vegan recipes. I only had to make it once, to know that the recipe for General Tao's Tofu over at vegweb was a winner. I've made it several times, and a variety of different ways. I've breaded the tofu with cornstarch and fried it, like the recipe says. I've made it with just plain old steamed tofu as well. Heck, I've even left the tofu out completely and just made it with vegetables. The sauce is my favorite part anyway. This time though, I thought I would try making it using a different meat substitute.

I whipped up some Seitan last night using the recipe from La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer. I was hooked on the baked seitan thing there for a while, but anymore, this method seems to be my favorite because it's just so dang easy. It's just equal parts of Vital Wheat Gluten and water mixed together. I usually add 1/4 cup of Chickpea Flour also though, just to help the texture be a little less rubbery. Then you just simmer that glob of gluten in a broth that you flavor up depending on whether you are trying to imitate beef, chicken, pork or fish. And you only need to simmer it for an hour. Then you can use the broth to simmer another batch of gluten, or use it as the liquid part to make some tasty rice or stuffing, or something like that.

Anyway, last night I made the Chicken style seitan and then cubed it up and fried it in a skillet. Then I just followed the vegweb recipe down to the letter. I did add a bag of frozen vegetables near the end. There's broccoli, a few green beans and carrots in there. The color of the veggies got kinda' icky with me cooking them like that. Perhaps I should have just steamed them separately in the the microwave in their own container to help them keep their color. Oh well. They may not be that pretty to look at, but they sure do taste good.

To go along with the main dish, I brought some Brown Rice that I just cooked up using some rice from the bulk bins at the health food store. And then, in the small containers I've got a few Raw Almonds and some Wasabi Peas. The General Tao's Seitan & Rice are really for my lunch, and I packed the Almonds & Peas with the intention of using them to snack on throughout the day. I only recently discovered the hot Wasabi Peas at the Asian Market and I am on my 3rd or 4th large container of them now. They are so HOT. I love snacking on them because I have to eat them pretty slowly since they're so spicy. They're even semi-healthy, for a snack food.

And speaking of healthy, just like I predicted, I am afraid that I am going to have to report that I did not lose any additional weight last week. I'm not upset about it though because the good news is, I DIDN'T GAIN ANY WEIGHT EITHER! I couldn't believe it when I weighed myself this weekend, because I really blew my diet all to pieces last week while I was in Savannah. Looking back, I guess most of my food was semi-healthy, but just the amount of food that I ate was so much more than I normally eat here at home. I thought for sure that I would be back up to 205 lbs. or more, but nope, I'm still 201 lbs. I knew that I probably wouldn't lose any weight with all of the eating out that I did, but not gaining any is actually a pleasant surprise. I'm happy with that.

It's time to get back in the groove of eating better now though, and I've got a new secret weapon to help me eat healthier. I'll reveal it in an upcoming post. Hopefully, getting back to fixing my own food, controlling my portion sizes, getting my daily walks in again, and using my secret weapon will allow me to get this weight loss show back on the road and get rid of these last 16 pounds that I want to lose.

So thanks for checking in on my first day getting back in the groove of things.

See you on Tuesday!


veggiegirl said...

I've just recently discovered your blog - I love how you share not only which meals you prepare for yourself, but meals that you are able to enjoy in restaurants. As a fellow vegan, I know it can definitely be a challenge finding "vegan-friendly" dishes when dining out. I look forward to reading more Vegan Lunchcast posts!

kennyboy said...


(and welcome!)