It may be true that they are bringing beautifully photographed and presented vegan food substitutes to the attention of the those who do not necessarily cook from printed vegan or vegetarian cookbooks or food blogs and their main source of inspiration seems to be social media and Instagram. I applaud that, but to pretend that these innovative vegan recipes are their own invention by a simple adaptation or a little tweak does not bode well with me. They do not get my praise or admiration.
One recent example of this is the vegan 'bacun'. The last decade saw an eruption of innovative interpretations of vegan 'bacon' recipes being made with beans and grains, tofu, tempeh, coconut flakes, but the first time I ever saw a near perfect imitation for seitan 'bacon' was by The Gentle Chef - Skye Michael Conray.
Chef Conroy's seitan based vegan 'bacun' was one of the most raved about recipes by former meat loving people. I made his original seitan bacun recipe about three years ago. I loved it and ordered some of his cookbooks for Christmas a few years back, since then Skye Michael Conray has has also published: Non Dairy Evolution Cookbook; Vegan Eggz Cookbook; and The Gentle Sea Cookbook. His influence is definitely found in the UK, but I have not once seen or read anything from these new vegan cookbook writers and food bloggers acknowledge him or any other vegan or vegetarian chef. It appears that because someone has made a minor adjustment or change to an original recipe, some new vegan food writers and food bloggers think they can fully claim credit for the recipe. I quickly click through these PR blogs and flick through the pages of these flashy cookbooks and there is never ever any acknowledgement of inspiration source or credit to an original recipe in the bibliography, as once was found in published cookbooks. Its seems people are so desperate for recognition, awards, accolades and self-promotion that they will mislead their readers. It seems discourteous to me and wrong, but it appears to me that this form of recipe plagiarism has become socially acceptable. Soon they will be claiming credit for the watermelon 'ham'!
So unlike those individuals, I put my hand up and say this recipe for vegan Seitan 'Ham' Come Streaky Bacun 'Bacon' does not come from me, it comes from the Gentle Chef.
Is it not magnificent?!
|Score this with a knife, then glaze with some apricot and treat it like vegan Seitan Ham!|
To the original recipe, I add a tin of cooked chickpeas or white beans. I divide the tin between the dough mixes. This makes for a more softer and pliable slice.
I also steam the seitan, rather than bake it. As you can see from the photograph below (made a few years back), the oven baked version is dark, whereas the one above is not. I have also noticed a difference in how long it is good for. With the chickpeas its good for a week in the fridge; and without the chickpeas its good for ten days. The recipes makes a huge amount, hence the reason I am holding it (above in one of the photographs) to demonstrate scale of size. So if you do decide to make the recipe from the Gentle Chef, then please do share it or freeze it, just don't waste it!
|Oven Baked Seitan Bacun 'Bacon'|
By the way, one of the most popular recipes on my blog from 2011 (see sidebar) is also made with vital wheat gluten for vegan seitan chorizo, but again - the recipe is not mine. It comes Viva Vegan and at the time Terry Hope Romero was gracious to grant me permission to share the recipe on my blog. I have always been courteous and acknowledge source or inspiration of my recipes and will continue to do so. I ain't no fake!