If you can’t or don’t eat gluten, read no further! Seitan is made from the protein of wheat, or pure gluten. It’s high in iron, protein and other vitamins and is made by washing wheat flour down until no starches are left. The resulting “flour” is sort of thicker and stickier than your average bread-making flour. You can find it in the bulk food section at health food stores. It makes a great vegan “meat” but to purchase this stuff ready-made can be pricey. Especially where we live, these kinds of speciality foods are very expensive, like $6-10 for a 2 serving package. Yikes.
So I set out to make my own. I’ve tried a couple different recipes with varying success. One was a bit too salty for me and had way too much wasted broth at the end. The other didn’t have much flavor at all and ended kind of dry and too chewy. But this recipe, using the slow cooker, worked great! And I like that I didn’t have to leave my electric stove on for several hours like the others. This recipe makes a big batch, enough for 2-3 meals for a family of four.
One modification I made: I used liquid smoke in lieu of hoisin sauce and worcestershire sauce.
From the Vegan Slow Cooker “Beefy Seitan”:
For the broth:
7 cups water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
For the seitan:
1.5 cups water
2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
Make the broth and get it warming up in the slow cooker on high. Combine all the seitan ingredients together, mix then knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. It comes together really quickly and easily. After kneading is done, let it set for 5 minutes, then cut and shape into whatever you need. I did a combination of small “steak” shaped pieces and medallion sized for kids snacks. Drop the pieces into the slow cooker and let it cook for about 3 hours on high. The chunks will double in size and float to the top when they are done.
For this meal, we just ate it plain, as I wanted to know what the actual flavor was. But this stuff is so versatile- put it on the grill, cook again in the crockpot with veggies for a stew, slice it up for sandwiches, etc. Everyone liked this recipe! It’s not something we will eat every week as it is a ton of gluten, but I’m low in iron right now so it hit the spot!