Have you ever cooked something that required an intermediate step?
On Saturday I made buffalo chick'n seitan for dinner. That recipe has quickly become one of my favorite dishes.
If you are unfamiliar, seitan is a gluten meat replacement. It can be seasoned and sliced in different ways depending on how you cook it. In this instance reference it is a meatless take on boneless chicken wings.
Seitan is something I used to buy quite frequently in pre-packaged containers. I'm talking part of my weekly staple from the grocery store. Either frozen or refrigerated. It was one of our easy meals of the week.
In my journey to sustainable living, I take occasionally take inventory on ways to reduce plastic coming into our house. More specifically... the plastic is not recyclable.
Back to our Saturday night buffalo chick'n festivities!
The seitan I made for dinner was cooked in veggie broth. The veggie broth by no fault of its own became an intermediate ingredient in my recipe.
Once the seitan was cooked, I really didn't need the broth anymore. It could be really easy to just toss the rest of the broth away.
But... come on. This is about sustainability right!?
Reduce, then reuse and then recycle!
Bonus point is that there is a beautiful creative space in creating something from leftovers.
We've got you covered with some creative ideas below. Before we get to that, let's get to the making of our nuggets!
Part 1: The Starter
This is the plain base seitan you need to create before you begin frying and saucing.
Part 2: The Fry
This is everything you need to know about getting that golden crust on your chick'n nuggets. We included both a vegan and vegetarian option here depending on your dietary needs.
Part 3: Sauced!
Obviously the best part of the entire recipe! There are two variations here that both my husband and I love.
And there you have it! You have finally made it and succeeded in making your own chick'n seitan.
Now the sustainable part.
Let's try to reuse all of the intermediate portions of this recipe!
Drained broth from the seitan.
This is GOLD if you remember to save it.
- Rice: We are lucky to have a rice cooker, I've used it in place for water when cooking rice a number of times. Follow the same quantity you would for normal rice recipe.
- Soup: We do crock pot soups! So far I have gotten to use the broth in a potato kale soup. There are plenty of other soups out there to use as well! It adds a more full bodied taste than a regular veggie broth.
- Biscuits, Cornbread or any other Savory Baked Good: This can be used in place of or water in any baked goods or grits. It gives a different flavor profile and can take your dishes to a newer savory level.
The flour left over from the batter.
I had roughly one cup of flour left over from our final recipe. If you have jumped ahead to the recipe the 1 cup is because I doubled my original recipe.
I subbed the 1 cup of flour with bits of seitan and egg left in it for a direct 1 cup of flour from my favorite biscuit recipe. My biscuit recipe needed two cups total of flour. So I ended up using the left overs for one cup and using a new one cup for the other.
The biscuits ended up turning out even more savory and had a couple of surprise bites of seitan. I highly recommend!!! Recipe at the bottom... :)
The "egg" wash left over from the batter.
This was a total fail.
I had no idea the vegan egg mixture I made should really only be used as a binder. I tried everything at the time to make a "scramble" out of the egg. It was terrible.
The texture was stringy, clumpy and looked like it would sit like a brick in my belly.
Unfortunately it made its way only into my composter... Not the way I was hoping my reduce then reuse then recycle adventure was going to go. But it still fit into the cycle somewhere.
I'm not writing the egg off yet though! Back to the drawing board and more updates soon I hope!
A few other sustainable tips and tricks I want to highlight.
During our lock-in we have really been knocking out house projects! One that had been open for a while was a "keezer". This is a kegerator made from an old chest freezer.
We're going to have a DIY keezer post at a later time! Follow us if you are interested.
If you are familiar, kegs are able to be returned and reused. Hello sustainability!
If you are not a beer drinker. No worries. There are still beverages out there that you can line up to increase your sustainability. We are working on getting a keg of kombucha and cold brew coffee in our unit!
If you do not have a kegerator or keezer but still want beer, kombucha and even sometimes cold brew... a sustainable way is to get a growler (reusable glass container) refilled at your local spot! This is a great way to reduce waste and support local at the same time.
This brings us to the end of our buffalo seitan chick'n nuggets with sustainable tips!
Thank you for sharing your time and brain space with me today! If you have comments, I'd love to hear them below.
Stay healthy, sustainable and zen!
For those that like to scroll.... here is another snap of the recipes!