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)

  • cali says:

    when i first tried daiya at a pizza place, i wasn’t blown away.. it was fine, but not all of what people were saying.. but then i bought some.. and made grilled cheese sandwiches.. and mac n’cheese. and i was hooked. i still think there’s room for improvement.. anyone else have issues with the weird snoty sort of texture? i’ve totally gotten used to it.. but it’s still a little wierd.. yet it does melt well and gets gooey so i’m happy to have it!

    • Celine says:

      I think the snotty texture you’re mentioning happens when you’re too generous with it. apply a thinner layer, and it should (s)not be a problem anymore.

  • Afsoon says:

    daiya hasn’t won me over yet. i think i just had a bed experience with it at whole foods. but huzzah for seitan crumbles!

  • This pizza dough looks fabulous! Need to try out those seitan crumbles for sure!
    You know, I haven’t tried Daiya just yet(I tried Teese once and couldn’t do it again) so I think that’s why I haven’t tried it yet. I’ve just became adjusted to not eating cheese. I think your comment about Daiya being so close to tasting like the dairy version, it will happen one day. In the mean time I enjoy my cheese less pizza with pesto sauce. yum!

  • Melisser says:

    I’m more of a seitan gal as well. That pizza looks delish!

    • Celine says:

      seitan gals, unite. I’m mostly anti-TVP because we get enough soy elsewhere. dog knows I wouldn’t want to grow boobies. or something.

  • Hey! I am not into tvp nor seitan, but I do prefer the latter. I tried your recipe today with boyfriend, but I got confused with the directions. I mixed the water with the dry ingredients and mixed them then I crumbled it over the pan that I put the oil and liquid smoke. Is this how you do it? Because it was the gluten was stiff and it wasnt easy to make the crumbles! But still, it came out good, I have to say it’s on my top 3 favorite gluten recipes!!!
    Thank you for the amazingness of your recipes!
    much love

    • Celine says:

      you have to mix the dry ingredients separately, add them to the oil and liquid smoke in the pan, then add 1/4 cup water and more if needed, mixing with your fingers to create crumbles. if it was hard to mix, you probably need to add more water than 1/4 cup. I usually go for 1/3 cup myself.
      I’m glad you liked the recipe and thank you for trying it so promptly even though you’re not even into seitan in the first place. :)