Sunday, August 3, 2014

Recipe: Seitan (No It's Not the Devil, Just A Vegan Protein)

Seitan is a high-protein vegetarian food made from cooked wheat gluten and can be found in the refrigerator section of your local health food store.   Although it is made from wheat, seitan has little in common with flour or bread.  Seitan becomes surprisingly similar to the look and texture of meat when cooked, making it a popular meat substitute, and it happens to be a great source of vegetarian protein. 

I use the Westsoy brand and like the strip style.  One serving has 21 grams of protein and only 5 grams of carbohydrates.  My husband and older kids go crazy for it, but my younger fussier eaters aren't huge fans.  The 8 ounce box says it has 2 1/2 servings, but this would only be as a side dish.  If you have big eaters, allow for only 1 1/2 to 2 servings per box.

Seitan may sound scary but it is an easy weeknight meal with some veggies and a starch.  The basic preparation I use is simple and the variety comes with the sauces used.

Ingredients:
  • 3 boxes Westsoy seitan strips
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • extra virgin olive oil cooking spray
Preparation:
  1. Empty seitan from the package and drain well
  2. Toss with cornstarch in a large bowl
  3. Line a cookie sheet with heavy duty foil and spray with cooking spray
  4. Spread out seitan onto cookie sheet and spray with more cooking spray
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until they look dry and a little brown on the edges
  6. Toss with desired sauce and cook for an additional ten minutes
Sauce Options
  • Sweet Barbecue- mix 1/4 cup each of agave syrup and barbecue sauce with 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • Italian- use 1/3 cup of favorite Italian dressing
To a newbie the thought of seitan may be a little radical but it is used in many commercial products and is a superb low calorie, low fat vegetarian source of protein.

Stay healthy & well,
Lisa

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