Seitan. Pronounced say-tan. Not Satan. It’s important before I get into this explanation, that we don’t get the two mixed up. Seitan is a popular meat substitute for vegans. Satan… needs no explanation. Before I delved into veganism, I had never heard of seitan, and I think that’s true for a lot of people. While it’s name sounds slightly demonic, it’s practically a gift from Heaven for the plant proud. But what really is it?
Seitan is made from vital wheat gluten. (Sorry my celiac and gluten intolerant friends😢.) A bag of vital wheat gluten looks like a bag of flour, but instead of being merely flour, it has been washed so only the protein gluten component remains. When mixed with liquid, it becomes a very elastic dough. Seitan is great for vegans because it is pure protein. Here’s another food to add to your growing list to shut down the protein police! Like a lot of plant-based alternatives, seitan is low in calories, but high in protein, meaning it keeps you fuller for a longer period of time.
In my opinion, seitan is the most meat-like meat substitute. In fact, it has been too meaty for me, in some instances. Seitan can be used in various recipes to make wings, chikn’ tenders, and one of my favorite recipes: pot roast.
I was never really a fan of pot roast as a kid; I usually just ate the yummy veggies that were cooked along with it. But when I stumbled across the idea looking through recipes, I thought I’d give it a shot. The results were amazing! Not only had I successfully made homemade seitan, but I could make it, forget about it, go about my day, and have a delicious meal waiting later. (The beauty of a slow cooker!) The roast expands quite a bit when fully cooked, so don’t worry that it isn’t enough. I like to have leftovers, so I usually double this recipe. In addition to the veggies, it just fits into my slow cooker. This dish is great for your weekly meatless meal as a family. I even served it to my very omnivorous father who really enjoyed it.
It might sound strange, but being plant-based has actually opened my eyes to a lot of new foods I otherwise would never have tried. This recipe is truly one of my favorites and I encourage everyone to give seitan a try! I think you’ll be really surprised at how easy it is to live a life without meat.
I say onion is optional here because my husband and I aren’t big onion fans, but it actually does work well in this recipe.
Recipe as is, serves 4-6, depending on portion size. Pictures seen are recipe doubled and serves 8-10.
*adapted from http://onegreenplanet.org one of my favorite sites to get plant-based recipes 😁*
1 and 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup chickpea flour aka garbanzo flour (Also made by Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of black pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
For vegetable mixture and broth:
4 carrots, sliced
3 medium russet potatoes, cubed
1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly (optional)
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Whisk together all the ingredients from garlic to black pepper to make the broth base for your veggies. I do this directly in the crock pot.
Place vegetables you are using in broth and give them a stir.
Place all ingredients for seitan in a large mixing bowl.
Mix well. There should be no dusting of flour, but the dough should not be too wet either. You can adjust accordingly by adding a bit more vegetable broth or a little more flour, if needed. You should be able to pick up the ball of dough without it falling apart completely. Knead the seitan for about 3 minutes.
Form into as much of a ball as you can, and place seitan on top of vegetables.
Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over roast and sprinkle with paprika.
Cover crock pot and cook on high for 5 to 5 and a half hours. You will know it is done when the seitan has expanded and your vegetables are tender. Serve with your favorite barbeque or other type of sauce and enjoy. 😊