Don’t Recreate the Turkey for Vegetarians and Vegans: Thanksgiving Tips from Our Pros

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This post is part of our series on Thanksgiving Tips from Our Pros. To see more tips, click here: Thanksgiving Tips from the Pros.

Have a question of your own? Ask our experts in our live chat at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6. We might feature your question (and its answer) in print.

I’m Jodie, the I Eat Plants columnist.  I went vegetarian nearly 11 years ago, and vegan over 7 years ago.  I love to cook, I love to eat, and I love to share delicious vegan foods with people!

Thanksgiving and other food-centered holidays can be a challenge for both vegans and the people who invite them for dinner.  I can’t promise that every vegan wants to go to a dinner with a turkey on the table, but most of us want to be gracious guests when we are invited to a Thanksgiving dinner.  I’m here to help you figure out what to serve, whether you are the omnivorous host inviting  a vegan or hosting your own vegan Thanksgiving dinner!

My Tip:  You don’t have to recreate the turkey for your vegan and vegetarian guests.

Here’s a holiday main dish meal that I’ve shared in the past!

Rosemary-Hazelnut Encrusted Seitan

Rosemary-Hazelnut Encrusted Seitan

Ingredients

  • 10 oz seitan slices or chunks
  • 3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, skinned
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbs minced rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup almond or soy milk
  • 2 tbs stone ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup water (as needed)
  • oil for frying
  • For the Seitan:
  • 3/4 cup vital wheat gluten (or "gluten flour")
  • 1 tbs nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • For the seitan broth:
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce, optional
  • water as needed

Instructions

    Make the seitan:
  1. Add the gluten flour, nutritional yeast (if using) and garlic to a medium sized bowl and whisk together.
  2. Add the vegetable broth, and mix with your hands until it comes together in a ball.
  3. Kneed the ball for 3-5 minutes, let it rest for 10, and kneed again for another 3-5 minutes. Shape into a small loaf.
  4. Mix the seitan broth ingredients together either in a small slow cooker (2 quart), or a medium pan on the stove.
  5. If using a slow cooker, add the kneeded seitan loaf to the slow cooker, and cook on low for 6-8 hours (perfect to do over night!). If using the stovetop, bring the broth to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Add the loaf, and simmer for 1 hour, turning occasionally. The broth should completely cover the loaf; if it does not in your pan/slow cooker, add water or additional broth as needed.
  6. Allow to sit at least 15 minutes before slicing.
  7. For the coating:
  8. Grind the hazelnuts, flour, rosemary, salt and pepper together in a food processor and add to a shallow dish.
  9. Mix the mustard, water and agave together in another shallow dish (the water should just thin the mustard out to a thin yogurt consistency).
  10. Add the almond or soy milk to a third small dish.
  11. Take a slice of the seitan, dip it into the mustard mixture, coating on both sides.
  12. Dunk the slice into the hazelnut/flour mixture, turning to coat.
  13. Dunk it into the almond/soy milk, and then back into the hazelnut/flour mixture. This all works best if you can use one hand for the wet, and one for the dry!
  14. Repeat with remaining seitan slices.
  15. Heat about a 1/2" of oil to about 325F to 350F (medium, of you're not using a thermometer. This all works fine in a cast iron skillet), and add the seitan gently. Fry until golden on both sides, being careful not to burn it.
  16. Serve with your favorite holiday side dishes!
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Rosemary-Hazelnut Encrusted Seitan

10 oz seitan slices or chunks
3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, skinned
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbs minced rosemary
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup almond or soy milk
2 tbs stone ground mustard
1/2 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)
1/4 – 1/2 cup water (as needed)
oil for frying

For the Seitan:
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten (or “gluten flour”)
1 tbs nutritional yeast (optional)
1 tsp granulated garlic
3/4 cup vegetable broth
!For the seitan broth:
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce, optional
water as needed

Make the seitan:
1. Add the gluten flour, nutritional yeast (if using) and garlic to a medium sized bowl and whisk together.
2. Add the vegetable broth, and mix with your hands until it comes together in a ball.
3. Kneed the ball for 3-5 minutes, let it rest for 10, and kneed again for another 3-5 minutes. Shape into a small loaf.
4. Mix the seitan broth ingredients together either in a small slow cooker (2 quart), or a medium pan on the stove.
5. If using a slow cooker, add the kneeded seitan loaf to the slow cooker, and cook on low for 6-8 hours (perfect to do over night!). If using the stovetop, bring the broth to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Add the loaf, and simmer for 1 hour, turning occasionally. The broth should completely cover the loaf; if it does not in your pan/slow cooker, add water or additional broth as needed.
6. Allow to sit at least 15 minutes before slicing.

For the coating:
1. Grind the hazelnuts, flour, rosemary, salt and pepper together in a food processor and add to a shallow dish.
Mix the mustard, water and agave together in another shallow dish (the water should just thin the mustard out to a thin yogurt consistency).
2. Add the almond or soy milk to a third small dish.
3. Take a slice of the seitan, dip it into the mustard mixture, coating on both sides.
4. Dunk the slice into the hazelnut/flour mixture, turning to coat.
5. Dunk it into the almond/soy milk, and then back into the hazelnut/flour mixture. This all works best if you can use one hand for the wet, and one for the dry!
6. Repeat with remaining seitan slices.
7. Heat about a 1/2″ of oil to about 325F to 350F (medium, of you’re not using a thermometer. This all works fine in a cast iron skillet), and add the seitan gently. Fry until golden on both sides, being careful not to burn it.
8. Serve with your favorite holiday side dishes!

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About Author

I Eat Plants columnist Jodie Deignan went vegetarian in 2004 and fully committed to veganism in 2007. By day she’s a psychiatric nurse practitioner and by night she spends a lot of time cooking delicious vegan food for herself and her friends. She’s a bit of a picky eater, with a special distaste for mushrooms, seaweed, raw tomatoes, and eggplant, though she’s discovered along the way she’s a little more open-minded than she once thought. She blogs at The Picky Vegan.

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