Plant based meats are all the rage right now. While it's great for your diet to cut out meat even a few times during the week (or more) you're also helping our planet! In order to produce meat, it requires a ton of water, land, crops, gas, etc. Try swapping out animal meat for seitan, a plant based "meat" that will truly will satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
Seitan also goes by the names wheat gluten, wheat protein, wheat meat, or mock meat. You make this wheat protein from the main protein in wheat, which is gluten. When you wash the starch from wheat flour, it will leave strands of gluten behind. This meat-free option has the same texture of chicken and tastes just as good!
The name seitan has Japanese origins ‘sei’ meaning ‘made of’ and ‘tan’ from ‘tanpaku’ meaning ‘protein’. Zen Buddhists have been eating this dating back to the 6th century! Seitan is completely vegan and available for purchase at almost any grocery store.
Plain seitan is made from a combination of water and wheat gluten. It will absorb whatever spices and sauces you cook it with. For example, it will make a great buffalo "chicken" or use any again marinade, BBQ sauce, peanut sauce, chipotle marinade, you really have no limits to how you prepare it. Seitan doesn't take long to cook on the stovetop or microwave and is low carb with high protein. Usually, this mock meat will contain 15 - 22 grams of protein, which is pretty similar to protein levels found in chicken or beef.
Seitan is a heart healthy option with no saturated fats and low in calories. You can find it prepared in slices, ground up, as a satay, or strips. This wheat protein contains Iron, Calcium, Vitamin B, and Potassium. It tastes great and is good for you whether you have it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You might even fool your partner or children into thinking it's chicken depending what sauce you use!
This product contains no soy, so it's great for men and women, or anyone who is allergic to soy products. You will notice a ton of plant based meat actually contains soy, like tofu, tempeh and pvarious meat substitutes. Seitan is made from wheat, so if you are sensitive or allergic to gluten or wheat, this might not be for you. Make sure to also check for added sodium levels if you purchase a pre-marinated option.
Seitan is made by creating a dough with whole wheat flour and water. This dough is washed under a running tap or soaked in water and kneaded until the water becomes clear. Clear water indicates all the water-soluble wheat starch, bran and wheat proteins have been removed, leaving insoluble gluten. Alternatively, dough can be prepared using vital wheat gluten flour and water.
Change your life and swap out least three meals a week with plant based options. You might actually be surprised how much you like it and how much easier it is to prepare your meals! You can get the same amount of protein, if not more, when you eat plant based meals along with fiber, vitamins, and nutrients to elevate your wellness. We need to continue to be more mindful of sustainable food options for our health and our planet's health.