Notes from a reader who made famous no-packaging vegan stew from my video

October 23, 2021 by Joshua
in Nature

I can’t help sharing feedback from someone I’ve never met, who wrote me after cooking a famous no-packaging vegan stew based on my video to make seitan and stew in a few minutes:

That person wrote:

I just used your recipe and made a soup lunch for my family. Turned out fantastic and was extremely quick to make. Thank you for sharing!

I’ve tried to make seitan before but never had much success with it. I would let the dough come together in the food process with many ingredients and spices. I would then form a large seitan roast which I tried pressure cooking, boiling, and baking. I think the combination of cutting the seitan into small chunks and pressure cooking it as you suggest is why it cooked so well. I also appreciate how by forming it with my hands in the way you show I only dirtied a single bowl rather than the entire food processor. I think it’s smart how you add only soy sauce because it adds the two most important flavors being salt and umami.

For the soup ingredients I kept it similar to your and went with the seitan you demo, split peas, brown rice, vegetable broth, carrots, chard, ginger, and olive oil.

I know your primary intention was to teach how to quickly make seitan but I also learned I could cook and serve ginger without pealing it. I’ve been cooking Indian curries (from vegan Richa’s cookbook) for many years now which so this knowledge will save me prep time in the future. I might still peel it depending on the recipe but it’s nice to know I can serve ginger “rustic style.”

I think the only thing I would add to your recipe is a tablespoon of oil to prevent foaming and keep the pressure cooker safe. I also might do a dash of garlic but that’s because I’m a garlic addict.

Thanks again and I hope you keep making videos and sharing with the community.

I know that YouTube stars get millions of views and hundreds of thousands of people trying their things. Still, I enjoy the thrill and I responded:

Thank you for sharing back. Reading it warms my heart. After all, other people enjoying nature’s bounty is why I posted. I after my first week challenging myself to avoid packaged food, I spent three months getting past steamed vegetables over legumes with salt, pepper, vinegar, and spices. But constraints breed creativity, and sticking with it led to that formula.

I noticed you didn’t include nutritional yeast. I recommend it. In a few quarts of stew I put a quarter to half a cup and it adds tons of flavor. Then you don’t need vegetable broth, if you buy it packaged.

I recently simplified the seitan process even more. I put the whole blob in to cook, then pull it out first after cooking and dice it then. It saves time because it’s easier to cut when more firm.

I kept putting less and less oil in until I put in zero. For a while I worried about foaming, but no problems after at least a few hundred times. I prefer nuts for the feel of fat. Avocados are unbelievable in these stews, but I only buy local so only do it when someone who doesn’t know brings them over.

Garlic I put in after cooking since cooking it dilutes the flavor too much. Onions too. I can put them in right when I open so the stew’s heat cooks them or just raw on top of the stew, which I do more.

Besides videos, for another view of mine on food, you may like this podcast episode:

Oh yeah, I did a workshop in the Bronx last weekend to teach in person my stews. I feel a calling to help end food deserts. Here are pictures:


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