Throughout the years since then the level of our vegetarianism has varied, but in recent years we have begun to avoid meat pretty much all the time, mostly for health and budget reasons, but also to lessen our impact on the planet. (It takes much more land to feed an animal to then feed a person than it does to feed a person directly.)
But we both like meat. In the past I have used soy tempeh as a meat substitute in some meals, but it costs much more than I typically pay for a pound of meat, so that kind of defeats the purpose of saving money.
I’ve known about seitan, the so-called “wheat meat”, which is made from wheat gluten, for a while, but only recently decided to explore it a little more closely.
However, when I checked it out at the store, it was even more expensive than the tempeh. That was disappointing, but I didn’t give up and proceeded to do a little research into making my own. I figured that since it’s essentially made with a component of flour, it couldn’t be harder to make than bread.
And I was absolutely right about how simple it is to make. In fact, it really could not be easier to make your own seitan - even easier than bread, actually.
All it takes is about 10 minutes of prep time, an additional 45 minutes of cook time, and voila, you have about 2 pounds of seitan to work with. It has a nice chewy consistency that to my mind is a darned close facsimile of what you get with meat. It’s good.