meatless meatless monday seitan unchicken vegan vegan protein May 11, 2020

With Coronavirus in full swing, food prices are going up, meat shortages are a real thing and further food shortages are rumored to be on the horizon.

Choosing to eat more plant foods is not only good for you, but it's urgent for our planet; she won't be able to meet the world's meat demands in thirty years.

Fear not: Did you know you can whip up your very own meat at home?

Okay, so it's not really meat, but it's meat-like.

Awhile ago on Instagram, I posted a photo of one of my delicious homemade meals: SEITAN.

The "how do you make it" inquiries rolled in like a tsunami.

I also received quite a few "what the heck is it?" inquiries.

So, what IS seitan?

Seitan is "a food made from gluten, the main protein of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving the sticky insoluble gluten as an elastic mass, which is then cooked before being eaten." (from Wikipedia)

Here are some of the benefits of seitan:

  1. One four ounce serving has has zero fat, 21grams of protein, only 4 carbs
  2. Seitan has a decent mineral profile, containing iron, copper, calcium and selenium. Selenium is especially important as it helps fuel your brain and nerves and it's difficult to get from a regular diet
  3. It costs pennies to make
  4. It can be flavored to taste like anything: Chicken, steak, curry, italian
  5. It's consistency can be adapted so that it can be chewy and thick or fluffy and light
  6. You can shape it however you want: As kebabs, nuggets, patties, filets, shreds, steaks, etc.
  7. No animals are harmed in the making of seitan and it's a win-win for the environment

Some of you may not know this, but long before I got in to Yoga Tune Up or retraining back pain, I was practicing as a "plant-strong" Certified Nutrition Counselor and a Certified Holistic Health Coach (since 2005).

Believe or not, I've been vegetarian since 1983.

We raised our son vegan until just a few years ago. These days although we do eat butter, eggs and seafood, we still consider ourselves plant-based or "plant strong".

The Retrain Back Pain program is made up of three main elements: What you THINK, what you EAT and how you MOVE.

So today's post is a bit of motivation for the EAT portion of the program.

If you can follow a recipe and steam water, you can make seitan!


Although I've bought seitan for years at the store, it's bafflingly expensive to buy so naturally, I set out to make my own and guess what? It's pretty easy to make. I've experimented with lots of recipes. There's a vast difference of opinion in how to cook seitan and what to mix in to it. This particular recipe is one of my faves. I hope you enjoy it too.


  • 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten, plus more for dusting
  • 1 block of silken tofu
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Vegetable stock
  • Cooking spray (or olive oil and basting brush)


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice & wedges
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Add all ingredients to food processor (I use the plastic blade) and pulse to combine until your dough forms a ball. Do not over mix, as this will make your seitan too chewy
  2. Dust your counter with more vital wheat gluten, remove the dough ball from your processor and sprinkle some more on top so that you can handle the dough without getting stuck to it
  3. Cut the dough in to six pieces
  4. Press the pieces down into oval-ish cutlet shapes, about 5 or 6 inches
  5. Add water to a large pasta pot so that it comes up to the bottom of the steamer basket insert.
  6. Spray or brush both your steamer basket and the seitan cutlets with oil. This will prevent the seitan from sticking together.
  7. The seitan will expand as it steams so leave room between cutlets. If they are well-oiled it's okay to stack them.
  8. Set to stove to medium-high until it starts to simmer. Do not let your water boil, as this cooks the seitan too fast, they fare better on a gentle simmer for 25 minutes.
  9. Once tenders are done, if you'd like to make piccata, butter a pan


  • Did I mention how CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP it is to make seitan???
  • If you're watching your salt intake, feel free to reduce the salt or vegetable broth powder
  • You must use silken tofu instead of the regular tofu block
  • If you have the time and inclination, you can flip the cutlets midway This creates similar texture for top and bottom of seitan, but I've skipped this step and it's no biggie
  • You can eat the seitan right away, as-is, you can marinate them and then sauté, or you can bread and fry them if you like
  • To freeze your seitan, let it cool completely and then store in freezer bag, either plain or in marinade of choice
  • Although you can buy a small bag of gluten at the grocery store, it's bets to buy a 5lb bag from amazon
  • Shhhh...Sometimes I pull one of these plain seitans out of the fridge with a fork, drizzle some Plochman's yellow mustard on it and off I go. Yes, it's good enough to eat cold!
  • If you're avoiding gluten, are gluten-sensitive or gluten intolerant, then seitan is not for you. Sorry!

Show me yours by tagging me.

Yours in health,