Since I ended up with quite a few shredded carrots and spring onions on hand following my Thai-Infused Peanut Surprise, it seemed fitting to put them to good use, and pull together something I’ve had a craving for lately—mock chicken salad.
But wait a second, how can it be chicken salad without the chicken? I thought you might ask.
The answer? A protein-packed wheat meat known as seitan. Seitan’s meaty texture makes it a favored option for those who aren’t sold on the consistency of more pliable substitutes, such as tofu. However, it’s basically the antithesis of a gluten-free food, a deterrent for some. Although I’ve primarily cut wheat out of my diet, I must say I enjoy a seitan treat from time to time.
While you certainly can make seitan yourself, you don’t have to. If you are opting not to start from scratch using vital wheat gluten or whole wheat flour, prepared seitan is readily available at many health food stores. For this mock chicken salad test run, I went the prepared packaged route, since I had some hanging out in the fridge waiting for a debut.
- 1 package chicken style seitan (1 lb.)
- 1/3 cup Vegenaise with grapeseed oil
- 3 spring onions chopped
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 1 handful of green grapes (or half of an apple), chopped
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
Note: I personally elect to pronounce seitan more like sigh-tan, than say-TAHN, to avoid it sounding like I am saying Satan.
Drain excess water/broth from chicken style seitan and chop into smaller pieces. Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. In less than 10 minutes, your “chicken” salad is ready to be spread on crackers, enjoyed between two slices of bread, or made into an entire meal.
As for the bowl pictured, if you’re confused by the black grain-like substance in the bottom, it’s black quinoa. This particular variety is a bit earthier and sweeter than the quinoa you may be used to. As with other varieties of quinoa, to prepare, simply boil your quinoa with twice as much water (i.e. 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups water), and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Once water is cooked out and desired consistency of quinoa is reached (meaning just chewy enough to not be overdone), you have yourself a meal.