(Ballarat, Victoria, Australia)
I've recently given up honey, dairy and excess sugar (added sugar, sugar alternatives -molasses, maple syrup, etc- and foods where sugar is in the first 3 ingredients). I'm also gluten intolerant.
What can I use to make my own seitan and "fake meats" that is not glutenous? I use a lot of legumes and nuts but would love to make nuggets and things as occasional treats, for kids parties, etc.
My other question is about cheeses. What is a good recipe for "vegan cheese"? Is there such a thing as a nice soy cheese? Can I use tofutti the way I would use a cheese sauce for mac'n'cheese or cauliflower au gratin? What's best for risottos and pizzas?
Thank you. *hugs*
Congratulations on making your way all the way to a vegan diet, and on cutting out some of the less healthy sugary snacks!
I really hadn't heard of anyone making seitan without vital wheat gluten, so I was excited to do a little research when I saw your question. Vital wheat gluten is super high in protein, which is what makes it develop so well into a texture similar to meat, so a gluten-free seitan would definitely need a high-protein flour. It turns out there are some really good alternatives that are gluten-free, and evidently they come out with very good texture and flavor as well, so you're in luck!
What I would do is run an internet search for "gluten-free seitan," and then pick your favorite recipe to try. It looks like most of the recipes use some combination of rice flour, chickpea flour, pea flour, mung bean powder, and tapioca starch. If you have a high powered blender like a Vitamix, you can actually make those flours really inexpensively by just tossing the beans into the blender and letting it whirl.
After getting those high-protein beans and flours together, you basically make seitan just like any other, by adding in spices and wet ingredients and then kneading it into submission. I'm so happy to report that you should have no trouble putting this recipe together at home. What's great about homemade seitan is you can make extra and freeze it for later, saving cooking time in the future.
Your vegan cheese question is easy to answer. There are some amazing vegan cheese recipes on the internet, and I even wrote an entire ebook on quitting dairy cheese, complete with recipes for dairy free cheese, reviews on my favorite vegan cheese, and tips on how to cut it out of your life.
I'd highly recommend picking up some Daiya cheese. It is soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free, and it melts and stretches almost exactly like cow's milk cheese. You can substitute it into most of your old cheese recipes that call for stretchy, melty cheese, like mac-n-cheese, pizza, au gratins, etc. Check out my review of the best vegan cheeses on the market as well as these great recipes for vegan nut cheese and another nut cheese.