The Perfect Vegan Alternative to the Traditional Holiday Roast
Are you looking for a delicious and easy vegan roast recipe that will impress even the meat-eaters in your life? Look no further! This vegan roast recipe is guaranteed to be a hit at any dinner party or family gathering.
I first discovered this recipe while searching for vegan alternatives to the traditional holiday roast. As a vegan, I often feel left out when it comes to the main course at holiday dinners, so I was determined to find a recipe that would be just as flavorful and satisfying as the traditional roast. It also had to look the part to be worthy of a centrepiece meal, so I crosshatched it and studded it with cloves for that familiar baked ham look.
What is Vegan Roast made of?
Traditionally, a roast is made of meat, usually beef or pork. Store bought vegan roasts will often use wheat or soy proteins to replicate a dense, meaty loaf. This vegan roast is made with a combination of vital wheat gluten and other ingredients to give it a chewy, meat-like texture. Vital wheat gluten, also known as gluten flour, is the main ingredient in seitan, which is a popular protein source for vegans and vegetarians. By using vital wheat gluten as the main ingredient in this recipe, we’re able to create a vegan roast that is just as flavorful and satisfying as a traditional roast.
What is seitan?
Seitan, is a plant-based protein source and meat analogue that is made from wheat flour. It is made using vital wheat gluten, which is wheat flour which has had the starch removed and retains the protein-rich gluten. Seitan has a chewy, meat-like texture and is often used as a meat substitute in vegan and vegetarian dishes. One serving of seitan (3 ounces) contains approximately 20 grams of protein, making it a good source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. In comparison, one serving of tofu (3 ounces) contains approximately 8 grams of protein, while one serving of lentils (3 ounces) contains approximately 9 grams of protein. As you can see, seitan has a higher protein content than both tofu and lentils.
In addition to its high protein content, seitan is also a good source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. It is low in fat and cholesterol-free, making it a healthy option for those looking to reduce their intake of animal proteins. Seitan is a versatile ingredient that can be flavored and cooked in a variety of ways. It can be used in dishes such as vegan roast, stir-fries, sandwiches, and more. Whether you’re a vegan or just looking to incorporate more plant-based proteins into your diet, seitan is a delicious and nutritious option to consider.
What you need to make Vegan Roast Seitan
To make this recipe, you’ll need a few key ingredients. For the marinade, you’ll need some vegan broth, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast. For the roast itself, you’ll need vital wheat gluten, which is also known as gluten flour. This is the main ingredient in seitan and gives the roast its chewy, meat-like texture. Here is your shopping list:
- Vital wheat gluten
- Vegan broth
- Soy sauce
- Nutritional yeast
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Dried thyme
- Dried rosemary
- Ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- Maple syrup
Vital wheat gluten
Vital wheat gluten is a protein-rich food made from wheat flour that is often used as a meat substitute in vegan and vegetarian dishes. When you knead vital wheat gluten, it takes on a stringy, fleshy, and meat-like texture. This is due to the elastic nature of the gluten proteins, which allows the dough to stretch and take on a chewy consistency. The process of kneading the dough helps to develop the gluten proteins, which results in a texture that is similar to that of cooked meat. This is why vital wheat gluten is often used to make vegan meats such as seitan, as it has a texture that is very similar to that of cooked meat. Vital wheat gluten is a good source of protein and is low in fat and cholesterol-free. It is also a good source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.
Vegan stock adds savoury and meaty flavours to the roast. You can use store-bought vegan broth in liquid or powdered form. Vegetable stock will also work well in place of beef stock if you can’t find a plant-based version.
Soy sauce adds a savory, umami flavor to the roast. You can use low-sodium soy sauce to reduce the sodium content of the recipe.
Nutritional yeast is a type of deactivated yeast flake that is often used in vegan cooking for its savoury, cheese-like flavor. It adds a delicious depth of flavor. Nutritional yeast is a good source of B-vitamins, which are important for maintaining energy levels and supporting the immune system. It is also a good source of protein and can help to support muscle growth and repair.
- Chickpeas: If you don’t have chickpeas or don’t want to use them, you can try substituting with tofu, tempeh, or butter beans. These alternatives will provide a similar protein content and texture to the roast.
- Maple syrup: this can be swapped out for brown rice syrup, light agave syrup or even golden syrup in a pinch. Keep in mind the flavour of the syrup will affect the end result of the dish.
- Vegan beef stock: this can be replaced with vegan chicken stock, or veggie stock.
- Beetroot: canned beetroot is affordable and adds a nice earthy depth of flavour to the roast but it can be omitted if you don’t have any on hand. Compensate for the moisture by adding in some extra chickpeas or a dash of extra stock.
This vegan roast recipe is a delicious and easy alternative to the traditional holiday roast. With its flavorful marinade and chewy, meat-like texture, it’s sure to be a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as Steve and I do! Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Vegan Roast (Seitan)
- Aluminium foil
- Large mixing bowl
- Large sauce pot
- Steaming tray for sauce pot
- Roasting tray
Roast - dry ingredients
- 1 + 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
- 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Roast - wet ingredients
- 1 cup vegan beef stock
- 400 g canned chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup canned beetroot drained
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp golden syrup or sub brown rice syrup
- 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp vegan beef stock
- whole cloves to stud
- Add all dry seitan ingredients to a large mixing bowl, whisk until combined.
- Add all wet seitan ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until a dough forms. Transer to a lightly floured benchtop and knead for about 6 minutes (meaty looking gluten strands will begin to form).
- Shape the seitan into a loaf and then wrap tightly in aluminimum foil, twisting the ends to seal. It's important the twists on the ends are tight as the seitan will expand while cooking.
- Add water to a large pot with a steamer basket attachment. Bring to the boil on high heat, making sure the water level is high but not touching the basket.
- Place the wrapped seitan into the steamer and cover for 30 minutes before flipping and steaming for a further 30 minutes (1 hour total).
- Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Combine all glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until dissolved/combined.
- Once the seitan has steamed, remove it from the foil and score the top in a cross hatch pattern. Stud the intersections with whole cloves and place it into a lined roasting tray.
- Generously brush the seitan with the glaze and roast for 30 minutes, adding extra glaze after 10 minutes, then again at 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush again with extra glaze for a final time.
- Slice and serve as you would regular roast meat.