[Sca-cooks] Looking for a "gluten-free, plant-based (no animal protein or fat) and low/no fat" recipe ideas

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 19 00:54:04 PST 2011

Stefan wrote:
> We got a request from my sister-in-law for an early Christmas  
> gathering and she asked for:
> "please make something that is gluten-free, plant-based (no animal  
> protein or fat) and low/no fat to share"


> My wife is thinking of some kind of tofu turkey. Shudder. Comments on  
> this list centered on if you are going to have fake food, why make it  
> look like real food, and I'm agreeing.

A number of years ago i posted a scathing review of Tofurkey to this list, when i was trapped at a friend's house (friend was out of town) when my car broke down so i couldn't join the family for Thxgiving. I revisited Tofurkey not too long ago, 2010 or 2009, and it has been improved so much that i actually look forward to having one with my daughter over Xmas.

However, it is definitely not gluten free. IIRC it includes a wheat stuffing and some part are made of seitan which is pretty much nothing but wheat gluten.

As an ex-vegetarian, i rarely eat meat at home, mostly when i got out to eat, which is less than once a week. I have even, amazingly, eaten good vegan food at a local vegan restaurant, but all too often vegan food, while being all cosmically groovy and super ethical, loses something in the culinary deliciousness department, in my personal experience.

Also, there is no reason to have fake anything. There is only that fakeness when people want to eat meat-a-like foods even when they are vegetarian, so they get packets of fake balogna when they could use perfectly good non-fake vegetarian sources of protein.

I suppose that in a few decades there will be plenty of reliably delicious vegan food. I say this because i recall my experiences with vegetarian food in the US in the late 1960s and early 1970s - much lumpen heaviness when it wasn't all salad. So there is hope. There is now an abundance of lovely recipes for real vegetarian food.

As far as tofu goes, I am a big fan. On the rare occasions it's actually hot here (most folks around here consider it hot when it is over 72 F.), i eat it drained and cold out with soy sauce, wasabi, and katsuoboshi, a very Japanese summer style. But i suspect that many listees will not find this appealing. (and you have to have good quality tofu, too.)

Tofu comes in several degrees of denseness - extra firm, firm, medium, and silken which is custardy. My preference is for the medium - i think it is already firm enough, but it can be firmed up a bit more if it is cut in nice sized rectangular pieces and fried or simmered in a flavorful sauce.

Pan frying/stir frying tofu is also good, so the outside gets browned a bit, and firms it up a bit - tofu loves to soak up sauces and flavorings, which can be added after it is golden. And the outside can even be made a little crispy if it is deep fried, or an least fried in about an inch of hot *good quality* oil.

When frying things in oil, bear in mind that real vegetable oils have flavors, and use something good, that augments the taste of the food you're cooking, and not just genetically-modified chemically-denatured canola or corn that has had all its character and personality removed.

Someone sometimes called Urtatim

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