As promised, here is the easier version of the last recipe for Spinach-Stuffed Seitan Roast. This version involves making the seitan into cutlets and does not need the oven (which is good for the summer).
This version also has a smoother, softer, less chewy “meaty” texture (which I happen to prefer) so no knives are necessary.
The funny thing about this recipe is that when I made it, I thought I messed it all up. I intended to make it “rollatini-style” with the stuffing rolled up in a seitan cutlet like I did with eggplant (see previous recipe for eggplant rollatini). However, seitan that’s already cooked isn’t that cooperative (don’t attempt origami with cooked seitan) and it fell apart. In the end, I had this delicious, beautiful mess. That’s what I should call it: Rhea’s Beautiful Mess (if you don’t get the reference, listen to Ellis Paul sometime 🙂
For the broth:
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce
For the seitan:
1 cup vital wheat gluten flour
1/2 cup cold vegetable broth
3 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. red chile powder
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. black pepper
For the stuffing:
1 (10-ounce) package chopped frozen spinach
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped
Sea or Kosher salt
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup vegan cheese, mozzarella flavor
1 Tbs. olive or canola oil
First, prepare the seitan. Bring broth and soy sauce to a boil in a large covered pot.
In a large bowl mix together the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast and spices. Add the olive oil and mix in with a wooden spoon or fork. Add broth, soy sauce, and garlic. Mix with the spoon or fork until it forms a dough. Then use your hands and knead for a few minutes, until it stretches. Knead and separate it into 5 or 6 pieces, depending how big you want your cutlets. Knead the pieces and form them into cutlets. Add the cutlets to the boiling broth, bring the broth down to a low simmer and half-cover the pot. Let simmer for 50 minutes to an hour. When done, remove cutlets from the broth and let drain. Note: I still think it tastes better to make the seitan a day or more in advance so it can sit in the broth, refrigerated, but it isn’t necessary.
Defrost spinach in microwave. Drain liquid and wring chopped spinach dry.
Place a large skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil-to hot skillet. Add garlic to oil. Add onion and red pepper, cook 1 minute. Lower heat to medium. Add the spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Add bread crumbs and nutritional yeast to spinach. Turn off heat. Let stuffing cool.
Place a layer of vegan cheese on each seitan cutlet, then add the spinach stuffing in a thin layer. Roll the seitan cutlets (or at least try to), trying to keep all the stuffing inside, as tightly as you can. Lay the rolled seitan seam side down in a pre-heated frying pan with just enough oil to coat the pan. Cook on medium high heat until the pieces are as brown as you like them. Note: the “ beautiful mess” will happen when the vegan cheese melts and if the cutlets unroll, especially when you turn them over to get them brown on both sides. Or maybe, you can keep it together better than I can. After all, it is MY beautiful mess 🙂