Sage Seitan Sausage

Sage seitan was my first answer to the challenge of Gloria’s soy intolerance.

While Sage Seitan was my first recipe, my first response was to initiate a search through our pantry – tossing all products with anything soy in it. Soy sauce. Soy oil. Soy lecithin. Soy flour. Soy protein. Soy milk. Tofu. Tempeh.

Ah! The Tofu and Tempeh – how I hated to see them go.

Years ago Gloria made our tofu from scratch. Was it ever good! From there she has taken us on tofu culinary journeys from savory to sweet and back again. Then we discovered tempeh. It opened a whole new world of protein dishes to aid us in our choice to move toward eating vegan. Unlike tofu, which is time consuming to make, tempeh takes little time and is very inexpensive, so we made our own.

We soon learned there are few products that don’t contain soy in some form or another. Gloria reacts to them all. All had to go.

“You would do this for me?” Gloria asked.

“You did it for our girls,” I said. “I believe that we still are a one-menu family.”

What a warm smile and hug I got in return. Niiiiice!

For the curious, any food with soy causes Gloria pain. Serious pain. In fact, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia – a nasty condition with severe, even debilitating pain. Part of that pain was from her reaction to soy products. The consequences of removing the soy from our diet? By the end of the first week, Gloria experienced significant pain reduction! In the first three months, I lost over 20 pounds!

We had developed a diet rich in soy proteins. Removing soy left a huge gap. We searched for replacement foods. What did we discover? (1) Soy-free products are hard to find and, when you do find them, they are very expensive. (2) Many soy-free products are taste free or worse.

Sage Seitan
Finished Sage Seitan

Gloria makes a seitan product of wheat gluten mixed with soy sauce, other flavorings, and water, then sliced into cutlets, and cooked in a broth of water, soy sauce and chopped onions. We found some good substitutes for soy sauce, so her seitan stayed on the menu. BUT, I missed the soy containing foods we had used.

Gloria is a creative cook. I watched for what she might do to fill the gap. I waited. Somehow she didn’t step up to the plate and I realized that I needed to get going. I looked at many seitan recipes. I adapted. I adjusted. I did lots of tinkering, until I came up with this sage flavored “sausage” recipe.

Sage Seitan
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Dry ingredients
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • ¼ cup powdered dry shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal or flour
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 1½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Liquid ingredients
  • ⅔ cups water
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce substitute
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • Cooking broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1 tablespoon rubbed sage
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce substitute
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place the ingredients for the cooking broth in a four quart cooking pot and begin heating.
  2. While the broth is heating, combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the liquid ingredients.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix together. When a ball of dough forms, knead for about 1 minute. Shape into a loaf.
  5. Place sage seitan loaf into the pot of hot broth.
  6. Adjust the heat so the broth simmers. Cook at a low simmer, covered, for 40 minutes.
  7. Check occasionally to see if there's enough broth to keep the sage seitan floating. Otherwise, it may stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Add water, if needed.
  8. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the broth for at least 15 minutes. Longer is OK.
  9. Remove the sage seitan loaf from the broth and gently squeeze out excess liquid.
  10. Slice or cube. Serve as it is or lightly brown in grapeseed oil. I think the flavor is much better when browned.
Notes
I grind whole almonds, dried sliced (or whole) shiitake mushrooms, sea salt, red pepper flakes and any other whole spices I use together in a blender to get a fine powder. I then sift this powder into the vital gluten. Return any larger chunks to the blender and grind again.

This recipe scales up nicely. If you do make a larger batch, note that you should not make your seitan loaf larger than that from a single recipe. For example, doubling the recipe means that you make two equal size loaves–and cook in a larger pot. We slice and freeze any seitan that we don't use immediately. It will keep frozen for about a month before it begins to lose flavor.
 

Browned sage seitan, lightly drizzled with our jalapeno ketchup makes a wonderful wake-up food at breakfast with our coated seasoned hash brown potatoes.

Also great with sautéed onions and bell pepper served on fresh hot biscuits with a dollop of apple ketchup.

Let us know how you serve your sage seitan.

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