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Mississippi Mud Cookies

You know that family member who makes that one dish that’s always perfect? The thing everybody requests, season after season?

In my family, it was my grandmother, with her ooey-gooey Mississippi Mud cake. She’d make it for only very special occasions, and how did my family crow for it! A layer of thick chocolate cake covered with marshmallows, chocolate chips, walnuts, drenched in a divinity-sweet cocoa topping? Why, you’d’a crowed, too.

My grandmother, who we called Mawmaw, passed away last fall. To my knowledge she didn’t leave a recipe behind, but I think I came pretty close with these cookies.

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Mawmaw’s Wide-as-the-Mississippi Mud Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup best-quality, fair-trade cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 generous tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vanilla or plain almondmilk (can use soy if you have nut allergies)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon chocolate extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Dandies mini marshmallows, plus extra for decorating
  • Baking sheets with parchment paper
    • I used a greased Silpat, here, but that’s unnecessary unless you have one. I was simply out of parchment paper.

Directions

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine almond milk, flax seeds, canola oil, apple sauce, sugar, vanilla, and chocolate extract. Mix thoroughly until smooth.

In another bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Use a dry whisk to aerate the mixture after sifting.

Pour dry into wet and combine well.

Add chocolate chips, walnuts, and mini marshmallows. Stir well.

Drop big spoonfuls of cookies on the sheet, leaving an inch or two of space between them. They will spread! You’ll be able to get about six cookies on an 18″ x 13″ half sheet. Dot with additional marshmallows.

Bake a sheet at a time for 10 minutes at 350. Let cool on baking sheet, on rack, for a few minutes before removing to rack to complete cooling.

Kitchen notes

If you love to bake, I recommend leveling up in the following ways:

  • Equipment. Head on over to a Restaurant Supply Store (or Webstaurant Store, if you don’t have one local) and buy:
    • 2 stainless steel 18″ x 13″ half sheet pans
    • 2 16″ x 24″ full size footed cooling racks
      • I’ve had mine for over a decade, used commercially as well as at home, and they still cook like I just got them.
  • Ingredients.
    • The best-quality, fair-trade, organic cocoa powder you can find. One, because you don’t want to use chocolate produced by slave labor. And two, you can truly taste a difference. Real cocoa is deeper, cleaner, more purely chocolate. I’ll say more on this in another post, but yes, home bakers, I can always tell when you used Hershey’s.
    • Chocolate extract. My little secret for brownies, chocolate frosting, and the like is a half a teaspoon of chocolate extract, added along with the vanilla. You’ll be surprised at the flavor boost.
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Summer greens

Do you associate greens like collards, mustard, and kale with cooler weather? For a long time, I did. I leave my collards simmering on the stove for hours, steam cozying up the kitchen and doubling as a heating bill hero. I like to serve them alongside hearty casseroles and cornbread. And for as long as I can remember, I’ve heard brassicas taste best after bitten by a frost.

Just as Cookie Monster remains unconvinced that cookies are a sometimes food, so do I that we should confine greens to the bookends of the year. Let’s have greens in the summertime, too!

Here’s a light, colorful recipe that incorporates familiar summer flavors and gets us out of that hot kitchen fast.

Savory mustard greens with peppers and pintos

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 16oz bag washed and chopped of Mustard Greens* (I used Nature’s Greens)
  • 1 large red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, or a combination, chopped
  • 2 cups double-strength vegetable broth (this stuff is amazing!)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup cooked pinto beans, drained, and rinsed (canned is fine!)
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • juice of half a lemon

Instructions

  • Heat a large soup pot on medium/medium-high and add oil
  • Add onions and sauté 5-7 minutes, til soft, stirring often
  • Add garlic, sauté 30 seconds
  • Add peppers, sauté 1 minute
  • Pour in broth and bring to a strong simmer (just short of boiling)
  • Pour bag of mustard greens on top.
    • Note: Pot will be very full. It’s okay. Just put the lid on and leave at medium heat for 5-6 minutes. The greens will cook down to less than half their original volume.
  • Toss pintos on top. Stir thoroughly.
  • Let cook, covered, 10 minutes.
  • Season with pepper and sugar. Stir thoroughly.
  • Let cook two more minutes, simmering.
  • Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir well again. Serve!

Cool story: A serving of mustard greens has 180% of your daily vitamin A, 100% of your vitamin C, and 530% of your vitamin K. 😎

*You could also use collards, but I would recommend chopping them up a bit more finely before adding them to the pot, and simmering longer. Kale would work fine, too.

 

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A soup for October

Friends, I have a pumpkin soup recipe for you that’s so good, it might make you forget the bread. It happened to me!

A picture of pumpkin soup with two small pumpkins, a spoon and a napkin.

Let me explain: I love bread. I especially love the carefully-made, artisan bread from the bakery around the corner. I like to toast it and slather it with spreads and enjoy it with coffee and tea.

And doesn’t it also go so well with soup? The firmness and crunch makes toast perfect for dipping; a crispy edge becomes meltingly tender when it kisses a creamy soup.

I popped a slice in my toaster, fully intending to enjoy it alongside. But then I made the mistake of sitting down and having a spoonful… and then another… and another… andanotherandanotherandanother until the bowl was nearly empty! My lonely slice languished in the toaster.

I guess the short version is: this perfect friend for fall is so good, you won’t miss the bread! Curried pumpkin and sweet potato join real maple syrup and peanut butter with just the right amount of spice from fresh jalapeño. It’s everything you want in a bowl of creamy comfort. I hope you love it!

Curried pumpkin and sweet potato soup
Serves 4 – 8, depending on appetite!

pumpkin-soup2

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut, vegetable, or canola oil
  • One extra-large (or two medium) yellow or sweet onion, diced small (2 cups)
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 6 cups sweet potatoes, chopped (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tbsp minced jalapeño (from one good-sized fresh jalapeño)
  • 1 tbsp freshly-minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp good-quality curry powder
  • 6 cups of flavorful, salted vegetable stock
    • (if unsalted, add 1 tsp salt to recipe, and more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin (no seasonings/holiday spices added! ingredients should be “pumpkin”)
  • 1 14 ounce can coconut milk, full-fat
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (recipe can be made gluten-free if you use gluten-free tamari)
  • 2 tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice, from one medium lemon
  • optional: toppings: I used minced fresh chives and chopped peanuts in the picture above

Summary of some of the tools needed

A sharp knife; cutting board; gloves to wear while chopping jalapeño (trust me…); measuring cups and spoons; bowls for your mise en place (remember exercise zero?); a large pot; cooking spoon; a hand/immersion blender OR a blender

Instructions

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add onions and allow to cook over medium for about 5 minutes.
Add carrots and cook 5 more minutes.
Add sweet potatoes, mix well, cover, and cook 6 minutes.
Add jalapeño, ginger, and curry powder to the vegetables. Toss well to coat. Cook, covered, 1 minute.
Add six cups of stock to this mixture. Stir to make sure anything that might have stuck to the pan is scraped into the soup.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and simmer 10 minutes.
In a measuring cup or bowl, combine the 1/2 cup of peanut butter with about a cup of hot broth from the soup. Mix vigorously with a fork or whisk. At first, the mixture may seem to separate – this is normal! But after thirty seconds or so, it should become creamy. Whisk or mix with a fork until the mixture is creamy.
Add peanut butter mixture, maple syrup, pumpkin, coconut milk, and soy sauce to the pot. Mix well.
Use an immersion (hand) blender* to carefully purée the soup until it is silky.
Add fresh lemon juice and stir to combine.
Allow soup to sit for about 10 minutes so flavors can combine. Serve!

*If you don’t have an immersion blender, wait until the soup has cooled and then carefully transfer, in batches, to a blender to be pureed. You’ll have to be careful and you’ll have to do several batches, but it is totally doable. Once everything is pureed, return to a pot and add the lemon juice. Return soup to warm serving temperature and serve!

It’s great served fresh, but if you can believe it, it tastes even better the next day!

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Saturday mornings are for homemade waffles

So yesterday I made what feels like the weightiest career decision of my adult life. I’ll be ready to share the specifics on Tuesday afternoon, but for now, please know that your kind thoughts are very appreciated. I’m not intentionally trying to keep you in the dark, either – just waiting on things to be finalized. ❤️


To prepare for the big things to come, I got up early and set up my laptop, journal, and to-do list book. Right now I’m more anxious and scared than excited. When I feel this way, it’s helpful to remember all the many good things I have in my life: friends who care, a safe and comfortable home, food to eat, and so on. Writing it out makes it real.

Also, I just looked out to my porch to see two teensy black-capped chickadees enjoying some of the sunflower seeds I put out. They sang a little song and fluttered off. Nothing like a happy birdsong to make you feel like things are gonna be okay.

Or waffles, right?

A decent breakfast can go a long way with nerves.

Yesterday I was in a hurry and relied on some tasty boxed waffles, but Saturday mornings are for the real thing. Here’s a recipe. It feeds one extremely hungry person (even then, they’ll have leftovers) or two people happily. Since I’m flying solo this morning, I ate well.

Note: this recipe requires the use of a waffle maker. If you don’t already have one, I highly recommend it. An investment of $25 will feed you many, many, many brunches. And since waffles only take about a half hour to make, you’ll be inclined to make them more often than not. Just think about how many times you’ve gone out and spent $25 on a single brunch – once you count the mimosa, the sides, the fancy coffee. Treat yourself to a gift that will keep giving!

I have a cheapo Proctor Silex “My Morning Baker” that I bought off Amazon. The name makes me giggle.

Dry:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Wet:
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp neutral oil (canola, veg)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional but recommended, if you have it: 2 drops maple extract

Instructions:

Preheat waffle iron.

In a small bowl, combine soymilk and apple cider vinegar. Whisk with a fork.

Place a sifter atop a mixing bowl and add dry ingredients. Sift well. If all ingredients do not totally sift, dump remnants into bowl from sifter. Use a wire whisk to aerate mixture.

Return to soymilk mixture. Add oil and extracts. Mix vigorously with fork.

Pour wet into dry and whisk to combine.

Cook according to your waffle maker’s instructions. I just spray canola oil on mine, pour in batter, close, and wait till the light clicks off.

Top per your preference, noting that it has a sweet and, if you use the maple extract, a gentle maple flavor as is. You may find it needs less than you expect! This one is also good for sandwiching things – a little veggie sausage, some tofu scramble… you get the idea.

Go forth and waffle!

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Super quick creamy coconut chickpea curry

Recently I had some friends over for the first time for dinner and board games.

andy

Ticket to Ride, in fact. Have you played? It’s one of the best!

I was pretty short on time, having worked that day, so I put together one of my favorite quick recipes: creamy coconut chickpea curry. I felt super guilty as they heaped praise upon me, because this is one of the quickest and easiest things I make! So quick and easy, in fact, that I threw it together on my lunch break today when I ran home to grab a few things I’d forgotten and needed at the office.

pretty

It’s also quite pretty!

I think it’s about time that I share this magic with you. You need only a handful of ingredients to eat well:

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (you can also use vegetable or canola)
  • 2 medium to large onions, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small knob ginger, minced (optional but great)
  • 1.5 tablespoons spices – curry powder, chana/chhole mix, or your own blend (see below)
  • 3 cups of chickpeas
  • 1 28 oz can organic chopped tomatoes, partially drained
  • 1 14oz can organic full-fat coconut milk
  • salt to taste
  • juice of one lemon, or chaat masala (per instructions)
  • optional: squeeze of agave nectar or teaspoon of sugar for sweetness
  • optional: fresh methi (fenugreek) or cilantro, chopped
  • optional: a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes, for extra spice

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You have three choices for the spice mix. If you have a standard curry powder on hand, feel free to use it. If you have an Indian market nearby, you can search the spice aisle for a packaged chana/chhole mix and use that, making sure to follow package instructions. Or you could make your own blend – I previously shared a nice spice mix from PPK in this post.

I usually make my own blend, but recently I picked up my first box of packaged spice mix and wanted to give it a try. Regardless of your choice, the instructions that follow will be the same. It’ll taste slightly different, of course, but still great!

To start, soften the onion in a large skillet, with a pinch of salt. Be sure to warm your pan first, then add the oil, then add the onions.

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Next, Add the garlic and ginger (if using) and mix well, cooking over medium about a minute.

Now add the spices and toss well to coat:

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Add the can of tomatoes, partially drained, and increase heat:

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Add the chickpeas:

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I used chickpeas that I’d prepared from dry. If you’re using canned, you’ll want two cans, drained and rinsed. If from a can, expect your chickpeas to be a little softer.

Add the can of coconut milk and mix well to thoroughly incorporate.

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Let simmer on medium-high for about 10 minutes to reduce and thicken.

Add salt to taste. Start with a half of a teaspoon and go up in quarter-teaspoon increments til you get to a place you like. Taste, taste, taste!!

Add the juice of a whole lemon or, if you have it on hand, the chaat masala. It’s a blend of salts and spices that will give your dish a tangy taste. Ingredients are listed below to the right:

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If you find you need a little sweetness, add in a bit of agave nectar. You could also use a teaspoon of organic sugar or coconut palm sugar. Again, very flexible!

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For a little something extra, add chopped fenugreek (fresh methi leaves) or chopped cilantro.

Play around with the finished dish adding this or that to your taste: a little more salt, sweet, spicy, sour. This is a great way to learn more about your taste and the way flavors play together. Don’t be afraid to be a little adventurous.

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This dish keeps very well in the fridge for about a week. Some say it even tastes better the next day!

Instructions re-cap (so easy!!):

  • Warm the pan
  • Warm the oil
  • Add onions and a pinch of salt
  • Soften/brown the onions (about 10 minutes)
  • Add the garlic and ginger
  • Add the spices, stir to coat onions
  • Add the tomatoes
  • Add the chickpeas
  • Add the can of coconut milk
  • Simmer 10mins to thicken
  • Add salt, taste for salt
  • Add the lemon or chaat masala
  • Taste of salty, sweet, spicy, sour and adjust as needed by adding more salt, sugar or agave, cayenne or red pepper flakes, lemon, etc.
  • Optional: add fresh fenugreek leaves or cilantro

Serve on rice! Play a board game! Be happy.

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Learning Python: charmed by Coursera

There are two exciting Python Coursera classes coming up and I have signed up for both of them! What, you say? It’s a bad idea to do two so close together, especially when there’s some overlap? Perhaps… but I hope you’ll read on and let me know what you think. There’s a delicious soup recipe hiding at the bottom of this post, if that’s any incentive!

University of Michigan’s “Programming for Everybody (Python)” is a beginner-oriented course that starts on Monday, February 2 and lasts 11 weeks, with an expected 2-4 hours of work per week. We’ll be starting with variables and expressions and finishing with tuples and regular expressions. I don’t even know what tuples are! But I’m excited to learn.

The cool thing about this class is that all of the material is freely available here. Check it out if you’re curious to see what we’ll be covering!

I signed up for this course because it came highly recommended by Anna and because I resonate with the professor’s big goal of making programming truly for everybody. Since I’m interested in bringing other women into the fold as part of my learning journey, I hope to pick up some pedagogical skills and open-source resources in addition to a better understanding of Python.

Yet, because the course seems so low-impact, I decided I needed to pick up another Coursera:

Rice’s “An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python (Part 1)” is all about learning Python while making games. Though they champion it, I’m a little dubious about the browser-based programming environment that they use. They said it makes developing interactive applications in Python simple, but I’m nervous because I’ve never used anything other than a text editor and a terminal to write and run code. We’ll see how it goes!

This course is much shorter: just five weeks. The weekly workload is considerably more, however: 7 – 10 hours. That translates, on the upper end, to two hours a day, five days a week! Add in another half an hour or so per day for the other class, and I’m in for a busy few weeks. It may not work at all, but why not try? What’s the worst that could happen – I have to un-enroll from one and take it later? That’s a risk worth taking.

I’ve got a lot of other stuff going on right now, but I hope to use Coursera to help me stay focused. Strangely, sometimes when I have the most stuff going on, it helps to throw more onto the pile so I can clarify my desires. The “Survey of Music Technology” class I took in the fall brought order and accomplishment to some of my busiest months of 2014 (October & November). It gave me something to look forward to, concrete goals to meet, and interesting projects to make and have evaluated by my peers. Plus, I learned how to use a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW*) and got some experience with the EarSketch Python API!

My hope with each of these is that I will make more of an effort to involve myself in the Coursera learning community that builds up around these classes by participating in the message boards. I was kind of a lone wolf in my music tech class and perhaps didn’t get as much out of it as I could have in that regard.

Looking forward to getting started soon!

For today’s cooking lesson, I’d like to share a very simple soup recipe that I wrote last week when it was cold for a couple of days. Since a lot of my friends are snowed in, perhaps with some root vegetables hanging around on their shelves, I thought a creamy, warming soup would be just the ticket! This soup takes about a half an hour, making it a great way to get dinner on the table fast.

Coconut Curried Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup with Caramelized Shallots**

Haha, just kidding. I write recipes as I cook, they’re always incomplete, and would never expect you to decipher my hasty handwriting!

Ingredients

  • 1 – 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups shallots, finely chopped
  • Several cloves garlic, minced, or about 1 generous tablespoon
  • Large knob of ginger, minced, or about 1 generous tablespoon
  • 1 generous tablespoon fragrant, good-quality curry powder
  • 6 cups of prepared stock, vegetarian chicken-style if you can get it, or just vegetable
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped. About four cups.
  • 5 – 6 medium-sized carrots, peeled and chopped. About 1 1/2 cups.
  • 1 giant sweet potato or two medium-sized, peeled and chopped. About 3 – 3 1/2 cups.
  • One 15 oz can of coconut milk
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Optional: if you like it spicy, finely mince one small chipotle (from canned/packed in adobo)

Special tools

Immersion blender or regular blender

Directions

Saute shallots in coconut oil until soft and caramelized, over medium heat, minimum six minutes.

Add garlic and ginger and cook til fragrant, about one minute. Add curry powder and stir to coat shallots, garlic, and ginger, about thirty seconds.

Pour in prepared broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to incorporate all that good toasted curry powder and caramelized shallots. Add butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes. Bring heat to high in order to bring to a boil, then reduce and allow vegetables to simmer, partially covered, about twenty minutes or until tender.

Once vegetables are tender, carefully use an immersion blender to puree. If using a regular blender, allow soup to cool til you’re able to handle it safely, then pour it into blender and puree in batches if necessary.

Once soup is fully pureed, add can of coconut milk and stir to incorporate. You may also choose to use a small can of pure coconut cream if you don’t want to add as much liquid. Allow to cook about two minutes over medium-low heat.

Add lemon and taste for salt. If you didn’t use a salty broth, you may need to add it. If using optional minced chipotle, add now. Allow to sit about ten minutes before serving so that the flavors can meld somewhat. Tastes even better the next day, and keeps a week in the fridge!

Some images from the process:

The inspiration: a butternut squash, some giant sweet potatoes, and shallots. The potatoes and celery got used for another soup.

The inspiration: a butternut squash, some giant sweet potatoes, and shallots. The potatoes and celery got used for another soup.

Mise en place

Mise en place

Adding the vegetables

Adding the vegetables

Puttin' it up!

Puttin’ it up!

*The class uses Reaper, but since DAWs are pretty similar, I was able to apply what I learned to my DAW-of-choice LMMS!

**long title! feel free to call it something else!

2

Learning Python: on encouragement and seitan

Thanks so much for the tremendous show of support in response to my last post! I took a risk and shared something tender, and you demonstrated that I really ought to be doing that more often. I feel humbled by the response and grateful for my community.

This weekend I reflected on the role of encouragement in the learning process, especially as I consider what will be helpful to share with my mixed audience of absolute novices and experienced developers at PyTN. For the latter group, I cannot overstate the importance of reaching out to learners in whatever way you feel comfortable: whether that’s a RT, a blog comment, an invitation to coffee, or just letting them know you’re there if you need anything. It’s certainly made a world of difference to me.

And yet, when you reach a certain level of expertise, it can be easy to take your skill for granted, and hard to see the utility in reaching out. You lose sight of the awesomeness of your work because it’s just what you do every day. I reckoned with this Thursday when I taught a cooking class on something very basic and easy to me, but exciting and even intimidating to others: seitan. It was gratifying to consider the learner’s perspective as I prepared my curriculum. While teaching, I was reminded that I have a pretty special skill, one worth sharing, and from that recognition grew a sense of responsibility.

From last Thursday’s cooking class

And so, as I receive encouragement from a community of developers to share my learning journey, I hope folks with more experience will feel empowered to reach out to those of us getting started. Don’t let your years of grinding it out cloud your belief in your own awesomeness and power to make a difference. That tweet or comment may be exactly what we need!

Quality time with tea and Jessica McKellar’s PyCon talk

Encouragement has taken many forms in my learning journey, from receiving support to speak at PyTN, to an email that changed the course of my project, to my brilliant friend Kyle always being there to answer questions, and more. I feel both supported and held accountable, and capable of much more than I thought.

For today’s cooking lesson, I want you to head over to my friend Sarah’s blog and read about the cooking class I taught on Thursday on seitan. Seitan is a versatile, centuries-old protein developed in China and is used in all manner of savory dishes as a vegetarian powerhouse where beef, chicken, or pork might otherwise be used. Sarah does a terrific job covering the material and is adorable and hilarious. Recipes are below, after a few images of how you might use it. Enjoy!

spicy ethiopian-style seitan with peppers

spicy ethiopian-style seitan with peppers

Battered & fried and ready for a variety of uses

Battered & fried and ready for a variety of uses

Pot-roast style

Pot-roast style

Seitan medallions in shiitake and portobello mushroom gravy

Seitan and red beans bourguinonne

Chicken-style seitan, boiled method

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • a couple of big pinches of sage
  • 1 cup flavorful broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sace
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, pressed or Microplaned

Thoroughly whisk together the dry ingredients: vital wheat gluten through sage. In a measuring cup, whisk the wet ingredients: broth through garlic. Add the wet to the dry and combine thoroughly until a dough is formed. On a floured surface, knead the dough to develop the gluten, about 3 minutes. Tear into three equal pieces and drop into a highly-seasoned broth of your choice (about six cups of whatever vegetable broth you have on hand). Bring broth to a boil and reduce to a simmer, simmering about 45 minutes.

Allow to cool. Chop into small pieces and pan-fry, add to recipes, etc. Store in cooking broth in the fridge, up to a few days. Freezes well.

Italian sausage style seitan, steamed method

  • Two cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, chopped
  • several dashes of freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes (or fewer), depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups cold flavorful broth
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil (canola, vegetable, or olive)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or Microplaned

Thoroughly whisk together the dry ingredients, vital wheat gluten through salt. In a measuring cup, whisk the wet ingredients: broth through garlic. Add the wet to the dry and combine thorough until a dough is formed. Knead it a bit to make sure everything is incorporated, and then grab a small handful. Place in the center of a square of tin foil and fold like a tootsie roll. (Thanks to Julie Hasson for this method!) Fold gently, leaving room for the seitan to expand (think tamales, if you’ve had practice with those). Place in a steamer basket and steam for 45 minutes.

Once cool enough to handle, chop and pan-fry, add to recipes, etc. Remove all from foil wrappings and store in the fridge up to a few days. Freezes well.

Seriously though, check Sarah’s blog: she explains the process very nicely.