Healthy Vegan Seitan Kebab

Let me start by addressing the elephant in the room. It has been incredibly long since I posted anything. I definitely didn’t stop cooking, though I have to say at one point food delivery drivers had plenty of opportunity to not find my house (for people not living in Malta: this can be a challenge). It’s just that sometimes… other parts in life just take over. And then the first thing you drop, is the one thing that is the most fulfilling to you. Does that make sense? Of course not, but that’s what happened. On the plus side, my phone now has about a million recipes and ideas on it just waiting to be posted 🙂

So I am picking up where I left off with one recipe that made me particularly happy: Healthy Vegan Seitan Kebab. From now on, I will be posting vegan recipes only because I personally am going more in that direction. The more I read about the dairy industry, the more appalled I am so it just makes sense to me. A few weeks ago I was craving some kebab so I veganised it after reading up on how kebab is traditionally made. The result is what you can see in the pictures 🙂 I made my own ‘beefy’ stock too but I didn’t take pictures of that. Next time I make it, I will take a picture and update this post. I served this kebab over rice, a simple salad and a cashew cream-based garlic sauce but you can obviously put it in lavash or pita bread too.

What is your favorite way to eat kebab?

Ingredients (2-3 portions):

‘Beefy’ stock (or use store-bought, but I promise this stock is worth making it from scratch!)

  • A glug of sunflower seed oil (or another neutral vegetable oil)
  • 1 big onion, sliced (you can also use shallots)
  • 1 cup of frozen sliced mushrooms, defrosted – keep the liquid (or 1 cup of fresh mushrooms)
  • 1/2 cup of red wine (don’t omit!)
  • 1.5 cup of filtered water
  • 1/2 vegetable stock cube
  • 1.5 teaspoon of marmite (don’t omit! This, together with the red wine, mushroom and onion gives it that ‘meaty’ taste)
  • Black pepper, to taste

Kebab

  • 1/2 cup of the strained ‘beefy’ stock (it’s ok if there are little bits of veggie in there, it actually helps with the texture of the kebab!)
  • 1/8 medium sized onion, finely grated (don’t omit!)
  • 1 small clove of garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower seed oil (or any other neutral vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup of vital wheat gluten
  • 1.5 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon of paprika powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of a fish herb blend (I just needed parsley and mint but this blend also included a small amount of rosemary, thyme, pepper and garlic)
  • Black pepper and salt, to taste

Method:

‘Beefy’ stock

  • Caramelise the onion in the oil over medium heat in a medium sized non-stick pot and a second non-stick pan or pot to make sure the onion doesn’t steam instead of caramelise. This will take a while. The darker it gets without burning, the better. Add the other batch of onion to the pot when finished.
  • Add the mushrooms and brown them a little.
  • Add the defrosting liquid and the wine. Simmer for a few minutes so that some of the alcohol evaporates.
  • Add the water, the stock cube and the marmite. Let simmer for about 20 minutes without a lid. Add pepper to taste. Let cool before using for the kebab.

Kebab

  • Preheat the oven. I have a very crappy oven so it is difficult for me to know the exact temperature, I would say it gets to about 180°C.
  • Mix the stock, onion, garlic and oil in one bowl and let sit for a few minutes so that the flavours can combine.
  • Mix the vital wheat gluten, cumin powder, paprika powder, herb blend, black pepper and salt together in another bowl.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and knead the dough together. Don’t over-knead, just knead until it’s properly combined.
  • Form a thick, square log and put it on a well-greased or non-stick baking sheet in the middle rack in the oven for about 30 minutes. It should feel springy but shouldn’t be dry when you take it out. Slice, serve and enjoy 🙂

Storage and tip of the day:

I can’t find anything about how long you can store baked seitan, but it should keep for at least 3 days in the fridge and a few months in the freezer. I haven’t tried reheating this the day after but if you do, I’m sure panfrying the slices would make it even yummier!

Often, you need some herbs or spices that you don’t think you have… until you look at the blends you’ve already got! These blends will often work just fine and it means you don’t have to buy more 🙂

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