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March 11, 2012


Carole Hwang

Thank you SO MUCH Debby! We love both the HL and the LR for this one!!!!

Lynn Long

Thanks so much for posting this! You read my mind. This is just what I was thinking of for St. Patrick's Day--your sandwich.

Pat DeFrain

I've never heard the expression "pitchkey patchkey" - apparently it means time consuming or requiring a lot of attention. Googling it just brought up mostly your post. Just curious as to the derivation.

The Healthy Librarian

@Pat, that's so funny that googling "Pitchkey Patchkey" brought up my posts. My mom always used this expression--which I assumed was a Yiddish expression--and it does mean, a lot of fuss & attention needed to do something. I just love the sound of it-and it reminds me of my mom--who wasn't much of a pitchkey patchkier!

Jen Wit

I'm a little confused by the recipe. The recipe says to pour the second batch of liquid into a deep roasting pan. Does this mean that we pour the liquid over the seitan loaf or do we pour the liquid into a separate pan? Please clarify. It looks delicious and I can't wait to try it.

Healthy Librarian

@Jen: The second batch of liquid is the braising liquid that gets poured over the seitan--and what you use to periodically baste the loaf. As you can see from the finished "brisket"--it seeps in & it forms a nice coating, as the liquid thickens & evaporates. Hope that helps. Good luck!


You posted the recipe, thanks!

Sue in Denver

Yay! Thank you!


Thank you SO much! I have been waiting for this one!


Yay, I made it! We just finished lunch with our reuben sandwiches, baked chips and dill pickles. Yay, they were very good! The only trouble I had was turning the seitan. I just couldn't do it using 2 large spatulas so I left it on one side. I cut it into 4 peices and flipped them the very last 20 minutes . The sauce is yummy! I will dream about them tonight at a restaurant while I am eating a side salad and baked potato:(


Thanks for setting up your site. I just found your site and it is helpful. I started the Esselstyn dietary program January 2012 and I am still learning the fine points (like getting away from dried fruit due to their effect on triglycerides and blood flow as mentioned in one of your posts). I am looking forward to reading more. Motivation - You asked about peoples motivation? My duty in the past few years was to help with my Mom. During the 5+ years of infusion room drugs and 6 months of hospice there was quite a bit of exposure to how people physically decline. One of the big take aways is that the choices we make do matter in terms of the quality of our existing moment and our decline. With the possibility of several decades ahead of me, my motivation is to be one of those people who are still active and enjoying life when their life ends

wendy (healthy girl's kitchen)

Okay Deb! I just wanted to report back that I made the brisket last night. Tonight I will construct the Reubens, but I wanted to tell you about my experiences.
I can't cook with any alcohol, so I substituted 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp white grape juice plus 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar for every cup of marsala wine. It probably won't be as good, but I don't have a choice. Hopefully, it will do.
I could not, for the life of me, flip the "brisket" during baking. It was so spongy! So I just kept it in the oven at 375 for the full hour, then lowered the oven to 325 for an additional 20 minutes. I let it cool for a while and then refrigerated it overnight. In the morning I sliced off a big hunk so that I could freeze it for use tonight (you said slicing it frozen is the best) and I could tell that it was a really great consistency already (even without the flipping). It looks exactly like a real brisket. What a RIOT!!!!!!!!!!! I will cut the remaining huge piece into 3 and freeze them all seperately for use in the future. All in all, this was super easy to make (except for the stress of not being able to flip it) and it yields a TON of wheat meat. Can't wait for dinner tonight! thanks Deb for being a pioneer.

The Healthy Librarian

@Wendy: So glad it worked out for you--and hope you like the taste. It's not exactly the "corned beef taste", more like barbecue brisket, but it works well as a Reuben or a Philadelphian, or on a bun, shredded with extra barbecue sauce & maybe some cole slaw on top, too.

My friend Mary also made it without marsala wine, mixing part balsamic vinegar, part water, & some no-sugar blackberry jam to cut the acidity of the vinegar. It tasted just great. Your combo sounds even better. About the freezing to make it more easy to slice--it works when it's not too solidly frozen--if it's been in the freezer for more than a day, I found out, you can't even get a knife into it. So either partially freeze it, or if it's solidly frozen, just let it thaw until you can slice it. IMPORTANT: warm the "meat", topped with the Daiya either in the oven, toaster oven, or microwave before "grilling" the sandwich. Otherwise, the bread will be done long before the cheese is melted & the "meat" is hot. Just saying...

wendy (healthy girls kitchen)

Okay, more notes on my experiences . . . the sandwich was . . . amazing. A totally winner. Not difficult at all to make and everyone who had a sandwich (me, Randy, Quinn, Scott and Sophia) was going wild for it!

I did mess up on the seitan though. I did not use enough vital wheat gluten to achieve a firm dough. I used all 4 cups and then I stopped, even though my dough was still really spongy. When I make it again, I will not make that mistake. The spongy dough resulted in seitan with the wrong consistency, but the flavor of the other ingredients more than compensated for the texture. It was simply outstanding!

With the Russian Dressing, I did need a full 1/4 cup of ketchup (I used one that I got at Whole Foods that is sugar and corn syrup free) and 1/4 cup of relish (also a healthier version I got at Trader Joe's) to get it where I liked it. I also substituted 10 drops of NuStevia Liquid Stevia for the sugar and the dressing was AMAZING.

Thank you again Debby!!!!!!!!!!! I will be making this again and again.


I just made this, let the sauce sit for an hour, and it is still very runny. Any suggestions?


I haven't thought about brisket in years, wow. Recently made Corned "beef" though, just flavored the seitan and cooked it like you would to make corned beef, with the pickling spices and all. Definitely gave it a good flavor. It was even better the next day when we sliced it super thin with a mandolin and made Reubens. They were amazing.

I knew I was with my peeps when I saw the word "potchke." When we were little we thought it was potchker, because my mother's Brooklyn accent always added an R at the end of words that ended in vowels. LOL.

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