"Meat", Quarantine Comfort Food, Recipes

Vegan Seitan Steak – A Classic

Hi Vegetarian Carnivores! You asked, and I delivered! As you know, this quarantine has encouraged me to really reevaluate the meaning of my brand name. And so I took a trip back to 2016 when I first started this blog as a way to share creative plant based recipes, many of which were meant to be vegan recreations of traditionally non vegan comfort food dishes. Since it is obvious that Covid-19 isn’t going away for a while, I’ve decided to bring you one hell of a bomb dish! After watching tons of videos and reading loads of recipes for traditional steak, I decided to finally create a recipe for a vegan seitan steak. So let’s get started!

Seitan

I know I’ve talked about seitan before, but for those of you who are new here (welcome!!), I’m going to spend a bit of time talking about it.

Seitan is the fancy name given to vital wheat gluten powder, when it has been kneaded into a dough-y consistency with the addition of water or some broth. Let’s take a brief look at the nutritional content of it.

Seitan is one of the most protein dense foods, comparable to animal foods. It is actually almost exactly on par with steak and chicken, and is a source of several macro and trace minerals like selenium, copper, iron, and calcium. There’s something you don’t see with animal products 😉

It is almost a complete protein (meaning it has all 9 essential amino acids), lacking just enough of one, which is lysine. Not to worry though, because most seitan recipes (this one included) also call for some kind of legume, like beans, which are a rich source of lysine. So there you have your complete amino acid profile.

And while you can definitely look to eat complete protein in a single meal, let it be on the record that you don’t need to! I talk more about the biology of why this is the case in my new course (releasing soon!). So that is a conversation for a different day.

Steak

While steak was never a comfort food for me (I grew up vegetarian), a lot of my joy comes from veganizing recipes for my fellow meat eating friends who are trying to go more plant based. So for this reason, when I looked up recipes to make this, I made sure I used traditional spices that are used in traditional steaks. I’ve got brown sugar, steak rub, and pepper, to create that hint of sweet, but also has a kick from the pepper, type of taste.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with what you look for in a steak! For example, my savory tastebuds are a lot more dominant than my sweet side. So I used about half of the brown sugar that I saw most recipes call for, and a little more soy sauce and paprika. You can create your marinade with more brown sugar if that is what you like! Or you can add more steak rub (contains brown sugar or maple usually) to the pinto bean pureed mixture.

Pairing

This recipe pairs well with roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables, or just by itself with leftover thickened marinade.

As you can see I made a simple mashed potato base to create that difference in texture. It is chewy from the steak and creamy and smooth from the mashed potatoes. But you can create texture differences from crunchy vegetables, roasted potatoes, etc! 

I hope you all love it! So let’s get started!

Ingredients (2 large steaks)

Steak

  1. 1 3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
  2. 3/4 cup pinto beans
  3. 1/2 cup tomato paste
  4. 1 tsp smoked paprika
  5. 1/2 tsp Better than Boullion base
  6. 1/2 cup water
  7. 2 tbsp soy sauce
  8. 1 tsp coarse ground mustard
  9. 1 tsp steak rub (mixture of spices)
  10. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Marinade

  1. 2 tbsp soy sauce
  2. 1 tsp paprika
  3. 1 tsp brown sugar
  4. Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients, except vital wheat gluten, together to form a smooth paste.
  2. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl with the vital wheat gluten.
  3. Knead with hands until even. This takes a couple of minutes. There should be no pockets of vital wheat gluten powder left. Make sure you rip apart the dough consistently to check for this.
  4. Press into 2 large or 3 medium sized patties. I shaped them like steaks, but the shape really doesn’t matter here.
  5. Cover tightly with tin foil.
  6. Boil the covered steaks for 15 minutes.
  7. Take the steaks out and unwrap them.
  8. While the steaks are resting, prepare the marinade by combining the soy sauce, paprika, and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  9. In a skillet on medium-low heat, fry the steaks in the marinade, turning every couple of minutes, and making sure the marinade is soaking into the steaks. This took me 5-7 minutes. 
  10. Once your steaks have turned dark brown, they are ready.
  11. Slice and serve over mashed potatoes, with grilled vegetables, or the leftover marinade as a sauce!

Results

Would you look at that beauty! I poured my heart and soul into this one to bring you a nutritious, cruelty free version of an old American classic. You can eat it with no guilt, towards animals, the environment, or your body! And I can tell you that it is chewy, beautifully textured, moist, and stores really well for up to 5 days in the fridge.

So tell me: do you love steak? Are you excited for this VEGAN version? Leave me a comment below and I’d love to hear from you!

See you soon!

Janani <3 <3

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