Roasted Seitan with Root Vegetables

 Looks almost good enough to eat.

Looks almost good enough to eat.

This is my first real Fall since 2001. California is great, but it can be hard to really cook seasonally. "Oh, you want to make a nice hearty stew and enjoy it on this cold November night? Surprise! It's 80 degrees today." So as the days continually get shorter and the temperature continues to drop, I've become quite excited again to be able to roast, stew, and braise.

With Thanksgiving just a week and a half away, I figured this seitan roast with root vegetables would be a great recipe to share. It's a dish that you can proudly share with your omnivorous friends and family that should satisfy their desire to slice up a big slab of protein. And did I mention that it's pretty easy to make too?

Some people may not be aware of what seitan is, but if you've ever eaten mock duck, chicken, beef, pork etc. in a Chinese restaurant, it was likely seitan. It's a low-fat no-cholesterol protein, derived from wheat gluten and it's been a dietary staple in many cultures for over a thousand years. You can buy it pre-made or follow the recipe below to make a dense, meaty version of it.

 This is how we make meat, it's not quite as disturbing as the 'normal' way.

This is how we make meat, it's not quite as disturbing as the 'normal' way.

Start by measuring out your dried ingredients in a bowl and whisk to incorporate them. In a large measuring cup, whisk the broth, vegan Worcestershire sauce, and salt together. Dump the wet into the dry and use a spatula to mix together. As the ingredients come together, kneed in the bowl for a minute and then dump the dough ball out onto the counter and kneed for two more minutes until it's very rubbery and elastic. Roll and form it into a loaf.

 The seitan loaf before it gets its steam bath.

The seitan loaf before it gets its steam bath.

Set up a steamer and steam your seitan for 30 minutes, flipping over after 15 minutes. I steam the seitan here to keep it denser and give it a more 'meaty' texture. Your loaf will expand while steaming, but it's nothing like when you simmer seitan. Preheat your oven to 375 when you flip your seitan over.

When your seitan's steam bath is over, get a saute pan going over medium high heat with a tablespoon of oil and brown the seitan on all sides. While your seitan is browning, chop up your root vegetables. For this version I used carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, turnips, and celery. You can add garlic cloves, regular potatoes, mushrooms, squashes, etc. Toss your vegetables with salt, pepper, and what every herbs and spices you want. This dish just got rosemary, but anything you like will work.

 No, the bananas did not make their way into the final dish.

No, the bananas did not make their way into the final dish.

Place the vegetables in a baking dish, snuggle your browned seitan into your bed of vegetables, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour. You can serve when all the vegetables are cooked through. If you want the vegetable to truly roast and brown, I'd try and keep the vegetables to a single layer, so you may want to use more than one roasting pan.

 So cute, our little seitan baby is nestled in with all the vegetables. 

So cute, our little seitan baby is nestled in with all the vegetables. 

The gravy  you see on this dish is nothing more than the liquid that the vegetables gave up while cooking blended together with 1/2 cup of the cooked vegetables and then thinned with water a bit to get the right consistency and seasoned with salt and pepper.

 I don't know about you, but I'm hungry.

I don't know about you, but I'm hungry.

We paired this beer with the Trappist Single I brewed the other month, but any light, crisp beer would do well. The earthy clove notes from the beer went really well with the vegetables.

-Craig

Recipe:

For one loaf of seitan

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

A random melange of root vegetables, salt, pepper, what ever herbs/spices you like.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, all-purpose seasoning, and sage. In a large measuring cup, whisk together remaining ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a spatula to incorporate. Kneed in the bowl for 1 minute to ensure proper mixing and then kneed for 2  more minutes on your counter top. Shape and form into one loaf and steam for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Preheat your oven to 375F when you flip your seitan. When your seitan finishes steaming, brown it in a saute pan over medium high heat and 1 tablespoon of oil. While browning, peel and dice your vegetables, toss with salt, pepper, and herbs/spices and place into a baking dish. When the seitan is browned, put in the center of your vegetables and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

You can make an easy gravy by taking the liquid from the vegetables, blending together with 1/2 of cooked vegetables, and then adding water to get the proper consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

/