TVP or not TVP? That is the que-seitan.

Luciana sent me two packages of Daiya, because I swooned my butt off after getting a chance to try some while at Joni‘s earlier this month. I shall never swoon again: I feel guilty when friends spend their hard-earned cash on me, but…Daiya is rather swoon-worthy. And that’s coming from someone who used to be hooked on cheese (Switzerland, anyone?), but who found herself not even missing cheese anymore after a few years of eating vegan feasts.

I think it smells and tastes like Tofutti slices, except without the hydrogenated crap. It’s good vegan cheese, but the husband claims it’s not true to form just yet. Wherein you find out he is just as annoying as I am…
In my opinion, it needs just a bit more oomph to be truly exceptional. Maybe a pinch more salt? Some maca powder? Something! But it’s almost there, and I would bathe in it if I could.

Pizza was of course number one on the to-do list, so I made these crumbles using a trimmed down list of the spices Joni came up with for the TVP version, and simply followed the seitan chorizo crumbles method. I’m not a fan of TVP personally, that’s why I decided to give it a go with seitan instead. Update: Made these with TVP (with trimmed down list of spices like here) and am now a convert.

A note on heat: cayenne pepper heat levels depend on the brand, so start small and build up from there, to make sure the pepperoni isn’t too spicy for your tastebuds.

Seitan Pepperoni Crumbles:

1 cup (144 g) vital wheat gluten
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon (7 g) paprika
1 tablespoon (8 g) garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Sucanat
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I usually use 1 teaspoon, but mine appears to be milder than most)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) liquid smoke
1/4 cup (60 ml) water, a touch more if needed, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) at a time

Combine gluten and spices in a medium bowl.
Place oil and liquid smoke in a frying pan. Combine with dry ingredients, using a spatula. Add water and start mixing it all in, using your fingertips, crumbling the mixture between your fingers until no dry spots are left. Add a touch more water if the mixture is too dry.
Start frying the crumbles on medium heat, breaking apart the eventual larger crumbles, and stirring constantly for 8 minutes, or until just browned up.

Yield: About 2 1/2 cups (312 g)