In one of my first posts, I talked about the pain of being a veggie in Spain, and explain you my situation concerning my choice. It’s been more than one year and a half since I wrote this, and even though the situation is more or less the same, I reckon there’s been some improvements.
To start with, it’s been exactly two years already since I decided to change my eating habits and become vegetarian . Why? There were many reasons I could list, I’ll only mention that despite being a cold meat lover, this is ham, chorizo (Spanish paprika sausage) or black sausage, once I realized, thanks to having an upset stomach after a brunch, that I could live without chorizo, I decided to quit. I’m glad I did, my digestions have improved, and I feel quite fine.
In these two years I’ve learned some tips, discovered nice veggie and vegan restaurants in the city, recovered certain ingredients I didn’t use to like, and cooked new meals. I’m not an expert but I’m improving, and wow! It’s impressive to discover awesome combinations of vegetables and other ingredients you never thought of, such as the lentils stewed with cabbage, carrot, mushrooms and cayenne.
Not everything is positive. As vegetarianism is still seen as something fashionable practiced by a minority, some not very common products found in herbalists’ such as tofu, seitan, different type of cereals, and special kinds of flour, and other elaborated food, are extremely expensive. It’s a shame!
I’ve been participating many years in music forums, and there’s one in particular which started this topic of discussion related to vegetarianism and veganism, as seems that there are some people in the same condition. We usually exchange recipes, advise tips of any kind, share addresses of restaurants and post pictures of our cooking achievements. There’s a guy who’s starting a vegan catering business, and he’s sort of our veggie spiritual leader. We were chatting once and suggested I should prepare my own seitan, because its process of cooking was real easy.
Weeks ago I started buying all the stuff required, but I had the idea it’d be long and frustrating, according to some comments telling the taste wasn’t good or texture was crap, and felt a bit lazy about it, plus I’m avoiding cooking much lately because the heat is quite discouraging and uncomfortable, to be honest. Till last night.
I had the need of doing something productive and different, thus I recovered the recipe this guy, Manolo, had sent me back in the day. Preparing and kneading the dough and then make the balls took me about 20minutes, and then it had to be cooked with stock for 45 minutes. It was too easy I was positive something was going wrong and I had forgotten some step.
Nevertheless I was gladly surprised by the good results. The balls were very tasty and juicy, which was the most important issue to deal with, because I want to eat something I really like. Having achieved that, my next concern is to get the balls a little bit more compact in the future, but guess perfectioning is just a matter of time and practise, same as when I started cooking risotto.
Some of you probably haven’t the slightest idea about what seitan is , nor what it is made of. Seitan is the substitute for meat, in the veggie/vegan world. It’s very tasty and not only the color but also the texture, have resemblance. It’s made of wheat gluten (protein), garlic powder, breadcrumbs, with spices, soy sauce and vegetable soup. It’s very nutritious, and depending on the origin it’s made, there are different varieties. Check the Wiki and you’ll see.
The conclusion of this experiment is positive, positive in the mood for a continuity. Considering the whole process took about an hour (70min I’d say), and analyzing efforts and costs, it’s worth cooking it myself at home, quantities are large enough for several days, and you can divide the balls so they can be frozen. So… Yeah, thumbs up! There are not many cons if you move yourself fine in the kitchen. You should see mine, it’s very small, but I’ve learned to manage, and it’s enough for me.
We’ve got used to half and fully processed food, because it’s a fact modern times require saving time on behalf of certain activities, however, and especially concerning food, there are a bunch of stuff we could elaborate ourselves, away from industrial procedures, using better quality ingredients, improving our healthy habits and finally saving lots of money.
C’mon people, let’s put on the apron and start some mayhem in the kitchen! At the end of the day you’ll feel proud of yourself, I promise.