Thanksgiving is a time when many people come together to express gratitude and enjoy a delicious feast. However, it is important to remember that some of the traditional practices surrounding this holiday can lead to unnecessary suffering for animals, particularly turkeys.
Seitan turkey, also known as “seitan roast” or “mock turkey,” is a plant-based alternative to traditional turkey made from seitan, a protein-rich food derived from wheat gluten. It is created by mixing vital wheat gluten with seasonings, vegetable broth, and other ingredients to form a dough-like consistency – very similar to making bread. The dough is then shaped and baked, steamed, or cooked in an Instant Pot. The seitan turkey roast can also be seasoned, coated in a dry rub, or glazed to mimic the flavors of turkey. Once cooked, its texture is firm and chewy, and meaty.
There are loads of ways to make a tasty seitan roast, but we’re going to go the Instant Pot route for this recipe. Steaming is the secret to achieving the perfect seitan texture – firm and chewy, without a hint of dryness. Plus, using an Instant Pot, means your seitan will be ready to devour in just about an hour.
One of the advantages of seitan turkey is its versatility. Once cooked the seitan roast is ready to eat. However, it can also be cooked further into whatever recipe you wish. It can be sliced for sandwiches, breaded and made into cutlets, grilled, shredded…and of course, it can be sliced and served as the centerpiece for Thanksgiving along with all the traditional side dishes, sauces, and gravies.
When cooking seitan, there are a few common problems that people may encounter. These include:
Soft & spongy texture: One of the most common issues is that the seitan may turn out to be too soft or spongy, rather than having a meaty and firm texture. There are two common reasons for this. The first possibility is that the dough was not kneaded sufficiently to develop gluten and create a firmer texture.
The second reason the texture may not be meaty, is because the seitan expanded too much during cooking which will result in a light and spongy roast. To get that firm and meaty texture you’re looking for, the seitan dough must be wrapped tightly before cooking to prevent it from expanding.
Gummy texture: A gummy, unappetizing texture, similar to the texture of gummy bears, is the result of undercooking the seitan. Be sure to follow the recipe you are using, and cook the roast thoroughly.
Flavor: Another common problem is that the seitan may lack flavor or taste bland. Since seitan itself does not have a strong flavor, it heavily relies on proper seasoning to enhance its taste. So be sure to season it adequately with seasonings that mimic the flavors the flavors you are looking for.
Dryness: Seitan can sometimes turn out dry and tough if it is overcooked or not prepared properly. I have found that steaming is the best option for avoiding a dry seitan roast.
Learn more about seitan!
where to buy vital wheat gluten
- Grocery stores: Many well-stocked grocery stores carry vital wheat gluten in the baking or health food sections. Look for it in larger supermarkets or specialty stores that cater to vegetarian or vegan diets.
- Health food stores: Health food stores usually have a variety of plant-based ingredients, including vital wheat gluten. Check your local health food store and inquire about their selection.
- Online retailers: There are various online retailers that specialize in selling natural and vegan products. Websites like Amazon, Thrive Market, and Vitacost often offer a wide range of vital wheat gluten brands and package sizes.
- Bulk food stores: If you have a bulk food store in your area, they may carry vital wheat gluten in their bulk bins. This can be a cost-effective way to purchase the exact amount you need.
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By choosing compassion on Thanksgiving, we can send a powerful message that animals deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. Let’s remember that the Thanksgiving spirit is about gratitude, empathy, and togetherness, extending these virtues not only to our fellow humans but also to the creatures we share this planet with!
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Instant Pot Seitan Turkey Roast
- Instant Pot
- 2 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour
- 1 tablespoon mushroom powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons celery salt
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 cup tofu
- 1 1/2 cup broth
- 3 tbsp white miso
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
- In a the bowl of a food processor, or blender, whisk together the vegetable broth, tofu and white miso. Process until smooth.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. The mixture will be sticky and elastic.
- Knead the seitan dough in the bowl for about 5-8 minutes to develop the gluten. This will help create a firm texture.
- Shape the dough into a loaf shape and tightly wrap it in cheesecloth, or aluminum foil.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot and place the trivet that came with the pot inside. Gently place the wrapped seitan on top of the trivet.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to the "Sealing" position. Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes.
- Once the cooking time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Then, carefully perform a quick pressure release by turning the valve to the "Venting" position.
- Open the Instant Pot and carefully remove the seitan roast using tongs. Let it cool for a few minutes before unwrapping.At this point, your seitan turkey roast is ready to eat. However, you can also cook it further for any recipe that you want.
- Optional – If you want your roast to have a golden brown and crispy "skin".Heat a lightly greased skillet over high heat. Place the seitan roast in the skillet and sear until golden and crisp. Make sure that you rotate the roast so that all sides are well browned.
- You can serve the seitan turkey roast as the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving meal, along with traditional side dishes, sauces, and gravies. It can also be sliced for sandwiches, breaded and made into cutlets, grilled, or shredded for other recipes.