Comforting seitan “beef” and barley stew

Anyone else make big old batches of seitan and use it in every damn thing?!  I used to love me a peppery beef stew when I wasn’t vegan (I can’t believe I used to eat that stuff, ewwwww), so a substitute that’s earth-and-animal friendly was very much needed for when I moved over to the “green” side.

This recipe is brilliant to make on the weekend and take to work for lunches during the week (if it lasts that long), and also freezes really well.  Another recipe where the flavours seem to get better when you leave it stewing in its own juices for a couple of days.  You can also team this stew with a variety of carbs, as it would go well alongside mashed potatoes (potato overload!), quinoa, rice or just a thickly cut slice of fresh bread with vegan margarine.


Of course, you will need to make the seitan pieces ahead of time, but just pop them in the fridge and let them sit for a day or so.  This will ensure they remain flavoursome and delicious when you add them to your stew.

Do play around with the recipe as well – no need to put both spuds and carrots in it if you don’t want to.  Add some beans for a super protein kick, pop in some courgettes, peppers or aubergine, or you could even make some dumplings to add to the stew while it’s still cooking (excuse me while I drool a little…).  The options for this recipe are endless, and it’s a good opportunity to add whatever is in the fridge that you need to use up.

Get onto this recipe when you can, and make sure you tag me on Instagram if you make it so I can see how awesome it is!  Enjoy.


2 TBsp oil

2 seitan steaks (see my recipe from previous blog here)

1/2 onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 small carrots (or one big one), sliced 1.5 cms thick

1 TBp dried mixed herbs (or a mix of thyme, rosemary, oregano)

salt and cracked pepper to taste

1/2 cup red wine (substitute for extra broth if you would prefer without)

1/2 tsp paprika

2 cups vegetable broth

1 TBsp tomato paste

400 grams potatoes, peeled and diced (about two large spuds, or 4-6 smaller spuds)

1 cup cooked pearl barley, per packet instructions (approx 1/2 cup uncooked – this should be made ahead of time, or while your stew is cooking)

2 TBsp plain flour


Cut the seitan steaks into bite sized pieces.  Heat a non-stick frying pan and add one of the tablespoons of oil to the pan.  Once heated, add the seitan pieces and fry until sufficiently browned.  Remove from the pan and set aside

Add the remainder of the oil to a large, lidded saucepan.  Add the onions and fry on medium heat until translucent.  Add the minced garlic and stir.

After a minute or so, add the carrots, wine, herbs and paprika, and stir to combine.  Bring to the boil, then simmer for a couple of minutes, or until the wine has reduced by half.

Add the broth and potatoes and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are just tender (10 – 12 minutes, depending on the size of your diced potato).

Add the pearl barley, tomato paste and seitan, and stir to combine.

Mix the 2 tablespoons of flour with 1/4 cup of water to a smooth paste.  Add to the stew, while stirring continuously.

Leave to simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes, or until the stew has thickened to your desired consistency.

Serve with crusty bread or alongside some rice and tenderstem broccoli.

This stew also freezes well – ensure the stew has fully cooled before transferring to a container and freezing.

Time to make: 5 minutes to prep the ingredients, 5 minutes to sear the seitan steaks, 40 minutes on the hob = 1 hour

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2, an easy one if you have all the ingredients and some pre-made seitan!

#nowplaying : Thom Yorke – Suspirium






Seitan steaks

So this is a recipe that I really HAVE to share with you all.  I make seitan once every couple weeks on the weekend, because it lasts ages, you can freeze it, it’s a brilliant source of protein and you can do so much with it.


There are loads of seitan recipes knocking around the internet, and I’ve tried making plenty of them.  I prefer making this one as it’s one of the easiest and I always have the ingredients ready to go.  Vital Wheat Gluten can be hard to find, but check your local Whole Foods, Holland & Barrett or health food store and you should be able to pick up a pack.  Make sure you get vital wheat gluten – if that’s not what it says, it’s not what you want!  You can also order online in bulk if you plan on making a shedload of the stuff.


This recipe is for seitan “steaks”, so whatever you would use a steak for (if you were a meat eater…), you can substitute this for it.  Steak burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, gyros, kebabs or stew – whatever your gorgeous vegan heart desires.

Steak, cheese and fried onion baguette. SEXXY.

It’s not a quick recipe, but it’s well worth the effort!

Enjoy 🙂


1 cup Vital Wheat Gluten (I used Suma for this recipe)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tablespoon smoked paprika

1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder or granules

pinch of salt

3/4 cup of water (more if needed)

2 Tablespoons soy sauce or tamari, plus extra for marinating

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

5 cups of water

2-3 bay leaves


Add the five cups of water and bay leaves to a large pot and bring to the boil.  Turn down the heat until the water is only just simmering.  If the water is boiling too fast this will make the seitan expand more and become more sponge-like.  We don’t want that…

While waiting for the water to boil, add the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, garlic powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Add the 3/4 cup water, soy sauce and tomato paste to the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms.  Add a little bit more water here if needed (if all the wheat gluten hasn’t mixed in properly).

Knead the dough for about a minute and then let it rest for five minutes or so.

After five minutes, return to the dough and knead again for another minute.

Split the mixture into four or five steaks.  The seitan will expand a bit, so make sure your steaks aren’t too big to start with!  Try to flatten them as much as possible – use a floured rolling pin if that helps.

Add your steaks to the simmering pot of water and bay leaves, cover, and allow to simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.

While your steaks are simmering, add about a tablespoon of soy sauce or tamari to a bowl.

When the steaks are ready, allow to cool for 10 minutes or so.

Once cooled, dip the steaks into the soy sauce and press to allow the sauce to penetrate the steaks.  You can leave them in the fridge at this point, or cook straight away.

Heat a fry pan or grill pan on medium high heat and carefully place the steaks in the pan.  Cook for a few minutes on each side, until crispy edges start to form, or if using a grill pan, until you get those black lines along the steaks.

Use as you wish… try not to eat a whole one right after they come out of the pan 😉

Time to make: 5 minutes to mix the ingredients, 5 minutes to knead and let the dough breathe, 40 minutes simmering, 5 minutes dipping in soy sauce, 5 minutes in the frying pan = 1 hour

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2.5, relatively easy to mix and assemble but there are a few different steps… and plenty of dishes!

#nowplaying : Hookworms – Static Resistance



Spicy vegan “chicken” nuggets

You’ve gotta love seitan – making meat dishes out of plant based products for decades 🙂  I had seen recipes for seitan “chicken” nuggets all over the interwebs for months, and sampled them in various vegan restaurants (they were delicious), so thought I’d give it a crack myself.

These ones are spicy, moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside.  Finger lickin’ good guys.

Not a recipe for those trying to avoid gluten (sorry GF peeps!) but definitely one to try when you have time.  They reheat brilliantly and taste incredible as leftovers in a fresh white bap with vegan coleslaw and bbq sauce.

Finger lickin’ GOOD.

If you’ve not tried to make seitan before then this recipe is a good one to get you started.  Seitan can be a little tricky to make due to the hefty list of ingredients needed and the time it takes to cook/coat/cook etc., but in the end it’s worth it.  Not a recipe to whip up after work – leave it for a day off when you have plenty of time!

Word of warning here – these nuggets are SPICY.  If you want to turn down the heat then sub all instances of hot sauce with veggie broth and you’ll have a much less spicy nugget.  I do love a bit of spice though 🙂




1 cup vital wheat gluten

3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp chicken seasoning (ensure vegan!)

1/3 cup hot sauce (I used Franks hot sauce – can sub for Sriracha)

2/3 cup vegetable broth

2.5 Tbsp tahini

6 cups vegetable broth


3/4 cup plain flour

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic granules

1/4 tsp sugar

sprinkle of salt and pepper

2 Tbsp hot sauce

1/2 Tbsp mustard

2 flax eggs (or other egg substitute)

Oil for frying



Makes 15 – 16 decent sized nuggets


In a small bowl add the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, onion powder and chicken seasoning and stir to combine.

In a large bowl, add the hot sauce, tahini and 2/3 cup vegetable broth and whisk to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully combined.

Knead the dough for five minutes until it is elastic – ensure the dough is not too dry and not too sticky.  Adjust vital wheat gluten/water to ensure the right balance.

Split the dough into bite sized nugget pieces.  They will expand while cooking though, so don’t make them too big!

Heat the six cups of vegetable broth in a large pot and once boiling, carefully add the nuggets.  Reduce to a simmer and boil for one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes or so.

Keep an eye on the broth – you may need to add more water if it evaporates too much and the nuggets aren’t entirely covered.

Once done, remove the nuggets from the broth and allow to dry on a wire baking rack for about half an hour.



Add the hot sauce, water and flax egg into a small bowl and stir to combine.

Add the remaining ingredients to a separate shallow bowl and stir to combine.

Take one piece of chicken nugget at a time and coat with the flour mix, then coat in the hot sauce mix, then coat again in the flour mix.

You will get very messy hands at this stage of the process!

Continue with each nugget, setting aside until all the nuggets have been coated.


Heat up enough oil in a fry pan to almost cover the nuggets.  You can use a deep fryer here if you have one (I unfortunately do not!).

Check to see if your oil is hot enough by carefully dropping a small piece of coating into the oil – if it bubbles to the surface quickly it is ready to go.  If it doesn’t bubble quickly and sticks to the bottom for a few seconds then it needs more heat.  Ensure you don’t overheat the oil however – if the oil is producing a smoke then take it off the heat and let it cool down.  No fires as a result of this recipe please!

Carefully place as many nuggets as you can fit into the pan, allowing plenty of space between them.  Cook on each side for around 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.


Once browned, place the seitan on paper towels to remove excess oil.  Serve immediately or allow to cool before placing in the fridge.

Time to make: 10 minutes prep/kneading, 1 hour boiling, 30 minutes to dry, 10 minutes coating, 10 minutes cooking = 2 hours

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  4.5, takes a lot of time and there are a fair amount of ingredients needed.  The time it takes is well worth it though – make a double batch and freeze so you don’t have to do it so often!

#nowplaying The Wombats – Kill the Director