Vegan Chicken Salad

Summer is all about salad. Fruit salad, potato salad, cole slaw, you get the picture. It's all delicious in my book. The only problem is that meat free salads are often missing protein. This vegan chicken salad is one solution with more than 22 grams of protein per serving. Eat it on a bed of crispy lettuce, wrapped up in a tortilla, or even by itself (that's what I do). I make a batch at the start of the week and eat it for lunch at work with a side a fruit salad. 

Vegan Chicken Salad
Serves 4

For the seitan..
2 Tbsp Poultry Seasoning
½ tsp Ground Pepper
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 cup Warm Water + Additional water for cooking

For the salad...
4 Tbsp Vegan Mayo
1 Tbsp Brown Mustard
3 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Parsley, chopped finely (do as I say not as I do)
1 cup Celery, diced

Start by bringing roughly four to six cups of water to boil over medium high heat. Meanwhile, to make the seitan, begin by whisking together the dry ingredients* (vital wheat gluten, poultry seasoning, nutritional yeast, and pepper) until evenly mixed. Add in the soy sauce and warm water. Knead the mixture until a smooth dough ball forms. Knead a second time if lumps appear. Allow to rest until the water has come to a boil. Put the dough ball into the water and bring to a boil once more. As soon as a rolling boil starts **(!), put a lid on the pot and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer the seitan for 35 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Seitan is like a sponge and absorbs a lot of the cooking liquid. Once it is cool enough to touch, squeeze the excess liquid out over a bowl or sink.

For this recipe, I chopped the seitan into small pieces. A food process would also work here. In a large storage container, combine the diced seitan and salad ingredients. Refrigerate for at least a half hour to allow the flavors to meld.

The Whys
*The mixture becomes gelatinous as soon as liquid is added, so be sure to combine the dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients. Otherwise you’ll end of with pockets of flavor where the spoonfuls of spices landed and the rest will be bland.

**Don’t over boil. This makes seitan that is way too chewy. As soon as the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat for simmering. Trust me. 

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