Cranberry-mushroom sietan roast.

Just last week, my good friend Miranda / @irresistiblyvegan mailed me a full-size FIELD ROAST. From the american west coast, to smack dab in the centre of Canada. It was packed with ice packs and and bubble wrap and everything. I was floored and her kindness. I feel something to do with me texting her in complete devastation about Field Roast not being shipped into Canada anymore had something to do with it {read Field Roasts commentary here}.

I know it won't take me long to polish off that 10" mound of nirvana. So I sorted out a recipe for a cranberry and mushroom seitan roast, to help tide me over after the gluttonous consumption. This reminds me VERY much of Field Roast's apple and sage breakfast links, except I added in pulsed mushrooms, onions and cranberries. 

The base of this recipe is vital wheat gluten. It's also referred to as wheat gluten, gluten flour, or vital wheat flour. Bob's Red Mill explains it best, "[...]Vital Wheat Gluten is made from the protein found in the endosperm of the wheat berry, containing 75% to 80% protein. When combined with water it becomes highly elastic and has a taffy-like texture". This is the base of a HEAP of your favourite vegan chinese dishes that contain vegan friendly meat alternatives.

..What are we looking at cost-wise, though?

  • Bob's Red Mill - 632g at Sobey's = $8.99CDN / $1.44CDN per 100g 
  • In Bulk - per 100g at Bulk Barn = $1.20CDN per 100g (being extremely mindful of their $3 of a $10 purchase coupon quite often in full effect.. student and senior's day too) 

Because this recipe calls for about 1 1/2 cups, you're looking at about $2. Plus the cost of spices, which isn't heaps. Besides, aren't we paying $3.50 for 8 thin slices of this stuff?

I found this roast, straight out of the oven, to be really spongy and chewy (in a good, sausage-y way), but once I let it set in the fridge overnight, it firmed up and shaved wonderfully. I have MORE than enough to sauté for breakfast sandwiches, or dice up for pizza and kolaches.

Ingredients I
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp mustard powder

Ingredients II
3/4 cup cold vegetable stock or 3/4 cup cold water + 2 tsp powdered vegetable broth
4 tsp tomato paste
2 tsp oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp chopped basil

Ingredients III - Pulse into very small bits and set aside
5 mushrooms
1/2 an onion, equaling about 1/3 cup
5 tbsp fresh cranberries

Heat your oven to 325F. Get a cookie sheet ready with two pieces of tin foil, stacked on top of each other, that are about the size of your cookie sheet (which ought to be at least 9x9")

In a large bowl, whisk together Ingredients I. In a small bowl, whisk together Ingredients II then immediately stir in Ingredients III. Incorporate your wet mixture, into your dry mixture. Begin by mixing in with a fork, then work with your hands until a moist, slightly sticky dough forms. If you need a bit more VWG at this point, add a teaspoon over top your dough ball. Knead for at least 3 minutes to activate the gluten.

Transfer your dough to your tin foil. Shape into a log that's about 8 inches/20cm long. Roll up like a Tootsie Roll and twist the edges, being mindful not to wrap too tightly, as the roast will expand a little upon baking.

Bake for a total of 90 minutes, flipping the roast to a new side after each 30 minute interval.

I sliced my roast up the following morning and immediately made the saddest sandwich of everyone's youth: meat, earth balance, nayo and mustard. I can't fake sick and watch Price is Right this morning, but that's only because it's Sunday.

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