When we first transitioned to plant-based eating, my husband struggled with giving up meat. So, I tried buying seitan protein at the store. Although I wasn't initially a fan, since all the store-bought seitan was full of oil, I tried to make my own seitan recipe.
However, my oil-free seitan protein is delicious, easy to make, and one recipe makes multiple meals. It's basically soy-free, nut-free, vegan wheat meat.
But, seitan is NOT GLUTEN FREE, so if you have gluten issues, stay clear of this recipe. Personally, I prefer Bob's Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten. In fact, I like all Bob's products; I think Bob is "the bomb."
Even though my husband welcomed a new, healthy lifestyle, I think he misses his meat deep down. He says he is "plant-based," not vegan, which is his way of saying it's all about "health and not about politics." Did I mention he likes my cooking?
Initially, I think he changed his diet because he likes to eat and loves my cooking. Regardless of his reasoning, I can't complain. He eats everything I make, and I'm grateful he adapted his eating, so he lives as long as I plan to.
WHAT IS SEITAN PROTEIN?
Similar to meat, seitan protein packs a lot of protein as well as amino acids. For instance, in a 3 ounce serving of seitan, a serving contains 20 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of fat, and only 130 calories. So, for all those vegan skeptics out there who question where we get our protein, seitan provides 20 grams of protein.
I make "Reuben meat," "roast beef," Vegan Turkey, and the list goes on.
ISN'T SEITAN FAKE MEAT?
Personally, I'm not a "fake meat" fan in terms of purchasing frozen, processed, prepared "fake meat." I do, though, enjoy seitan from time to time if I make it homemade.
Since most seitan recipes contain oil, I replace the oil with aquafaba, the fluid in the chickpea can. It acts as a binding agent, similar to oil, without the fat. Adding quinoa also provides texture and additional protein.
Although seitan takes a while to make, it is mostly due to waiting time rather than a complicated process. I use my Ninja Food Processor with the bread blade, all in one bowl.
HOW TO MAKE SEITAN PROTEIN
Since I add quinoa to my recipe, it adds additional protein as well as a secondary binder. And, it's all made in the food processor with one blade.
- Vital Wheat Gluten
- Cooked Quinoa (I used red quinoa, but any color works)
- Nutritional Yeast
- Aquafaba Fluid
- Pure Maple Syrup
- Garlic Powder
- Liquid Smoke (I like Hickory flavor, but Mesquite works as well)
Making the seitan protein, however, is a process.
First, using the food processor's bread blade is essential since seitan is flour, and technically we are making bread.
Once mixed, the ingredients form a dough, which is then shaped into a long loaf shape. Next, the loaf is wrapped in aluminum foil and steamed for 1 hour.
The next step is to cook the seitan a second time in the oven.
Now, it's time to slice the seitan into thin slices and marinate for your favorite recipes.
- Setian can be frozen in a marinade or sliced for later marinating.
- Slice and serve as is on a sandwich
- Marinate in pickle juice and beet juice to use as a Reuben sandwich meat (grill or reheat on the stove)
- The possibilities are endless.
So, if you miss a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, a meaty Reuben, or a BBQ seitan sandwich, given Setian protein a try!
IF YOU ENJOY HEALTHIER VEGAN MEAT OPTIONS, CHECK OUT THESE RECIPES
- Vegan Turkey
- Tofu Burger
- Lentil Burgers
- Meatloaf Meatless
- Beet Burger
- Tempeh Reuben
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Chicken Salad
Kathy's Oil-Free Mega Protein Seitan
- 2 ¾ cups Vital Wheat Gluten
- 2 cups Water
- 1 cup cooked Quinoa
- ½ cup Nutritional Yeast
- ¼ cup Aquafaba
- 1 Tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- Add ½ cup quinoa and 1 cup water to a small saucepan.
- Cover, and reduce heat to simmer.
- Cook 25 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Uncover, and fluff with a fork
- Set aside.
Prepare Seitan Dough:
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Use a food processor with a BREAD BLADE.
- Add one cup of water first; this will ensure the ingredients mix well together.
- Next, add the vital wheat gluten.
- Add quinoa and all other ingredients.
- Top with the second cup of water.
- Using the "dough" setting, start the food processor.
- When mixed thoroughly, the dough will gather in the middle in a large ball-like shape.
- Remove dough and place it on a flat surface.
- Shape into a long log.
- Wrap the dough log in aluminum foil and tent at the top and on the sides.
- Place aluminum foil-covered log into a vegetable steamer.
- Steam for 1 hour.
- When done steaming, carefully remove the seitan, cover in aluminum foil, and place on to a baking sheet.
- Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven.
- Place on a cooling rack until cool enough to touch the foil.
- Remove foil.
- Let cool.
- When cooled, slice thin and store in a sealed container.
- Now, you can marinate it as you wish. I will share my favorite marinades and recipes.
- Wait until cool before slicing or store whole until you are ready to slice.
- It will stay fresh in a refrigerator for one week, or you can freeze until you plan to use it.
WHAT IS SEITAN PROTEIN?Similar to meat, seitan protein packs a lot of protein as well as amino acids. For instance, in a 3 ounce serving of seitan, a serving contains 20 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of fat, and only 130 calories. So, for all those vegan skeptics out there who question where we get our protein, seitan provides 20 grams of protein.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂
Black bean aqua faba is great to use. It works exactly like chickpea aquafaba. Most any bean can be used.
Be careful with the plant based thing. Plant based = vegetarian to most people. If you go into a restaurant and ask for a plant based meal, you will normally get something with milk and/or egg. Plant based has become real popular, especially since doctors are telling their patients to go plant based, which means no meat but eggs, milk, cheese, and honey are okay. Look at many of the plant based foods in the grocery store. Also being plant based does not rule out gelatin, collagen, and natural flavorings that include meat. Plant based is not at all vegan.
My food processor doesn't have a bread blade. Can I use the regular blade?
Hi Shellie. Yes, but I would suggest pulsing on low so as not to over-process.
I just found your Plant Based site and very interested in your recipes. Can you be a little more specific when describing wrapping seitan in foil. I can’t figure out how you vent the foil on top AND on the sides.
Hi Martha, you don't need to vent it at all. Just wrap it in the foil and steam it, and then do the same when you bake it. Just seal it up. I hope this helps.
Hi, I just tried your seitan recipe. It was very, very sticky "dough" for me to work with, and I didn't have aluminum foil, so I tried steaming it in a vegetable steamer (sans aluminum foil) and then baked it for the indicated time. It still came out really well though! The taste is very subtly flavored, and I can really imagine a ton of different marinades I could make for it. This is definitely the best seitan recipe I have tried - thank you!
Just found your blog on “no oil” plant based. Thankyou so much! In a seitan recipe calling for oil, do you do an even exchange of oil to aquafaba?
I agree with your husband. Plant based not vegan!
I used aquafaba as a binder for the seitan. I have never made it with oil, so I don't know if it is a replacement, or simply I tried the aquafaba to make sure it would bind, and it worked well. I hope that answers your question. And, I am glad you are enjoying the recipes.
I used a steamer on the stovetop- it worked! This step really gives the edges of the seitan a great texture.
Hi Kathy. I make black beans a lot. Could I use black bean aquafaba or does it need to be chickpea aquafaba?
I have never used black bean aquafaba. I guess you could try? Let me know; I'm curious.
This was incredible. Just nade it today and used the big KitchenAid mixer that you use to make cakes, using the dough blade. It came out amazing. I'm wondering if you have any good ideas for a sauce that you can either cook it in or reheat it in.
I use beet juice and pickle juice for a Rueben type marinade; I also use vegetable broth, onions, thyme, and rosemary for a "beef" type broth. I slice the seitan thin, and soak it at least overnight in the marinade.
Rosemary L Hatton
Do you think I could do this if I do NOT have a regular food processor? I have just a small one.
Its a large recipe, so I don't think so, but you can do it by hand. I just find the large food processor easier.
Can i use water instead of the aquafaba?
I am sure you could. Aquafaba is a binding agent like an egg. Let me know if it works 🙂