Thursday, February 21 Seitan Beef Stew (Cookin’ Crunk) Rating: 4.5

Stew in the pot - KALE!
Stew in the pot - KALE!

So this week is Keep On Crunkin’ week. We love the Cookin’ Crunk book, and honestly, I already had planned to make this before I found out that it was a special week over at Vegan Crunk. Happy accident! I’m a sucker for a good stew, which is weird, because way back a million (ok, 17) years ago when I still ate animals, I never liked stew. Not at all. But, times change and now I love a cozy bowl of stew on a chilly winter’s night. I have a go to seitan recipe that I almost always have some of in the freezer, but this time I was out, so I decided to go all in with Bianca’s recipe and make her beef-style seitan. I had a challenge (known as math) while making it because, I had a whole lot less gluten flour on hand than I thought. The stew recipe calls for 2 cups of seitan and the seitan recipe makes 3 cups. I had 2/3 cup of gluten. So. I could make the exact amount needed for the stew, but had to divide fractions and translate them to measurements of kitchen implements. Yes. This made my brain hurt. But, I think I got them all right, or close enough to right because the seitan came out great. It was a little spongy on the outside, which was totally my fault because when making seitan at home, you really really really need to keep a close eye on it, and not let it boil for too long or simmer too vigorously. Otherwise, well, the outside gets spongy. I may just be hyper-critical of my own seitan though, because Seth thought it was perfect. I made the seitan Wednesday night after dinner so it was ready to go for Thursday (one of the advantages of meal planning in advance). 

When stew making time came, all I had to do was chop the veggies and I was good to go. The recipe has you coat the seitan in flour before browning it in the pot, which is genius and makes a huge difference. I also loved the addition of kale (and a lot of it!) to the stew. I’m, all for any reason to eat kale and this makes it basically a one-pot meal. And it makes a lot – like a whole bunch a lot. The book says 5-6 servings, but those are pretty big servings. We each had a healthy sized bowl, and there were at least 3 large (probably more like 4) servings leftover, which means we’ll have awesome lunches all weekend. This really is the best vegan stew I’ve ever made – thick, delicious, hearty - and will replace the other recipe I normally make when I get a hankerin’ for stew from now on.  We served it with a little bit of sourdough bread for dipping (and mopping up the sauce!), but if you really want to get Southern about it, y’all make some biscuits, ok?


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