How & Why: Seitan

Seitan is one of the most over-looked types of food that a vegan or vegetarian can have in their arsenal.

With the huge boom in plant-based meat alternatives (and especially veggie burgers) over the last five years, we continually see headlines such as Why meatless burgers may not be the healthiest choice, Impossible and Beyond: How healthy are these?, and The Great Veggie Burger Debate: Are They Actually Good for you?

And the answer is no, they’re not really that good for you.

I think they’re certainly better for us than most burgers and the cows would certainly appreciate it. However, it’s probably safe to put burgers into the same category is… well…burgers! Eat and enjoy them once in a while, but try not to eat them every other day. Also, plant-based meat is expensive!

In comes seitan 🙂

Maybe you’ve purchased some of the vegan beef jerky? Chances are that it was seitan!

You can make it at home with just a few ingredients, it’s easy to make, customizable, inexpensive, and tastes great.

Let’s get into the ingredients:

2c vital wheat gluten

1c nutritional yeast (affiliate links)

1.5c vegetable broth, warm

.25c tomato paste

2tbsp soy sauce

1tbsp black pepper, smoked paprika, or garlic powder.

If you want to simplify the recipe even further, you could just use 2c of water instead of the vegetable broth and skip the seasoning. If you do this, it’s not super tasty on its own but if you’re putting it into a taco, on sandwiches, or in chili, that’s fine.

The instructions are also super simple.

Preheat your oven to 325*FMix the dry ingredientsMix in the wet ingredientsI mix it with my hands/fingers for 30-60 secondsPlace into a bread pan lined with tin foil sprayed with oil.Fold the foil over to cover it (not let it sit on top of the loaf)Bake for 90 minutes

Often what I’ll do is cut the loaf into eight individual slices. These are about 20 grams of protein each and if you use the recipe with the vegetable broth, tomato paste, and spices it’s tasty just on its own.

You can put some of this into a food processor and make some great ground beef alternative, or add some taco seasoning and put it into tacos. Slice them up into thin pieces and you can use it as deli meat for some sandwiches, there’s so many options!

Shout-out to Karina Inkster for giving me the main bulk of this recipe, I usually make it just how she does!