With every dish I make from Julie Hasson’s Vegan Diner, it just gets better and better. Lately, I’ve been enthralled with her chicken-style roast. Like her pastrami-style seitan, this one is made with vital wheat gluten, chickpea flour, and nutritional yeast, wrapped in a double layer of cheesecloth and then placed in a steamer basket, where it steams for 45-50 minutes.
After its cook time, what comes out is a juicy roast that’s ready to be browned and used in sandwiches, breaded and fried, cubed and added to salads and burritos, or added to a plate of mashed potatoes and cranberries. The recipe calls for poultry seasoning, but since I didn’t have that on hand I used ½ teaspoon each of dried marjoram, sage, thyme, and herbs de Provence. The flavor of the seitan reminds me of stuffing. The comforting and homey spices are quintessentially fall.
Speaking of mashed potatoes, what are creamy spuds without gravy? I point you in the direction of Creamy Sage and Pepper Gravy also from Vegan Diner. The gravy is an incredibly simple combination of flour, nutritional yeast, sage, granulated onion, pepper, and soy milk, and yet the taste is so much more than the sum of its parts. It would be a perfect Thanksgiving gravy, as it’s easy to make ahead of time, and it doesn’t have any chunks of mushrooms or onions, for people who are averse to those things. The only oil that’s called for in the recipe is a tablespoon of non-dairy margarine, but I omitted it and I thought it was plenty full-bodied and savory without it. I’m just amazed at how good and yet how easy this recipe is to make.
Just add my favorite cranberry sauce from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan, and I could be confused that I’ve suddenly ended up on the fourth Thursday in November. As I start planning what will be on my menu for next month, these dishes are definitely on the short list of possibilities.