Emphatically *not* gluten free.
June 27, 2012 11:52 AM   Subscribe

Vegetarian recipes filter: I have a box of "vital wheat gluten" sitting around my pantry. What can I do with it that is vegetarian (lacto-ovo; no other food restrictions) and tastes delicious? I am pretty decent at both cooking and baking, so complicated recipes are welcome alongside simpler ones.
posted by shamash to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Oh my goodness, THESE: chickpea cutlets. I made them all the time when I was a vegetarian, and now that I am not a vegetarian I still make them from time to time, they're so tasty.
posted by adiabat at 11:55 AM on June 27, 2012 [10 favorites]

Best answer: According to this, you could use it to make seitan from scratch. Here's a recipe for that, which takes 2 cups.

Other than that, this site suggests just using it as an additive to baking recipes that call for high-protein flour and all you have is regular, or for if you are using rye flour or have a lot of chocolate chips or stuff in the bread or something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:59 AM on June 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

As an omnivore, I consider few things tastier than General Tso's Tofu. (Only sampled from restaurants & delis, but the Vegan Ronin supplies a recipe.)
posted by feral_goldfish at 12:03 PM on June 27, 2012

Dammit -- that recipe does indeed use tofu. But here's a more promising recipe (in calling for seitan, which if typed into Wikipedia redirects to wheat gluten.
posted by feral_goldfish at 12:10 PM on June 27, 2012

I can't favorite those chickpea cutlets hard enough.
posted by something something at 12:24 PM on June 27, 2012

Make seitan "chicken," "pork," etc., and freeze it in quantities of a pound or so. Then thaw it and use it whenever you feel like vegetarianising a traditional meat dish. I highly recommend the seitan recipes in Terry Hope Romero's book Viva Vegan -- it's a Latin American cookbook, but it is easy enough to modify the seitan for other cuisines by changing the spices, and she offers several different recipes to replace different kinds of meat.

Alternatively, send the stuff to me, because it's ridiculously difficult to get in London.
posted by Perodicticus potto at 12:24 PM on June 27, 2012

I came here to suggest an almost identical recipe to Adiabat's--mixing the gluten with the same amount of fava/chickpea flour (rather than mashed chickpeas), but spiced and formed the same way...but also cooked in the oven, which makes them a little more biscuity (for some reason, gluten + frying always makes a gigantic spattered mess of my kitchen).
posted by mittens at 12:25 PM on June 27, 2012

Making seitan from scratch is easy-ish. Mix ~6-7 cups of wheat gluten with sage, nutritional yeast, and whatever other spices you want, then add 6-7 cups of water mixed with 1/2 cup of soy sauce. Stir it around; it will solidify into a log. Add a bit more water if there is dry, floury gluten left. Knead the log a bit, let it rest, then cut it up and drop the fragments into cold water. Boil them for an hour or so and voilá, seitan.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:26 PM on June 27, 2012

Best answer: Vital wheat gluten is a key component of bagel dough, since low gluten bagels suck. Unfortunately it doesn't take much gluten added to the regular flour, but you'll have delicious bagels.
posted by OmieWise at 12:34 PM on June 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Definitely those chickpea cutlets. I also love Pad Thai made with wheat gluten rather than tofu (it replicates pork so well when it's fried!). We also sometimes make homemade veggie beef jerky with wheat gluten (basically just mix it with water until it makes a stretchy dough, season with stuff that smells yummy together and liquid smoke, and then cut into hunks and dehydrate).
posted by scarykarrey at 12:46 PM on June 27, 2012

Other than baking, the best use for vital wheat gluten is to make seitan. I don't have a preferred recipe to recommend, but I will suggest that you bake it rather than boil it. Boiling tends to create a fairly spongy texture that holds on to the moisture, rather than a nice meaty texture.
posted by asnider at 2:40 PM on June 27, 2012

Best answer: I made stuffed seitan roast the other day, definitely recommend it.

For the 'boiled' seitan method, the trick is to keep the water at a low simmer. Boiling tends to leave you with spongy brain like lumps.

Perodicticus potto - Vx/Vegan Cross or whatever you're meant to call them sell it. It's worth giving them a call first (or checking their blog) just to be sure they have some in stock. The shop;s good though - small, but defiantly not a health food shop. Plenty of vegan treats.
posted by spectrevsrector at 3:09 PM on June 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have been meaning to make these veggie sausages for ages, they look delicious!
posted by Cheese Monster at 3:14 PM on June 27, 2012

Best answer: Add 1 tsp per cup to whole wheat bread.
posted by cmoj at 3:48 PM on June 27, 2012

Best answer: I use vital wheat gluten in my pizza dough; add 1 tsp per cup of flour. It makes the crust fluffier in it's final outcome.
posted by godshomemovies at 5:18 PM on June 27, 2012

Best answer: Mini lentil meatballs.
posted by primer_dimer at 2:05 AM on June 28, 2012

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