You may know Matthew as the Senior Food Policy Director for the Humane Society of the United States. His talents extend beyond that, however. He is also a great chef (and photographer!) who is, for the very first time, sharing a full collection of his favorite sustainable plant-powered recipes with the world.
This gorgeous hardback book is filled with inspiring quotes, mind-expanding infographics, and artful food photos, and is worthy of prime placement on your coffee table. It takes you through the environmental challenges we’re facing in our world today and how food can be a central force to overcome them.
The first half of this book will empower you with knowledge and resolve to take action on issues that could make or break our world. The second half will empower you with recipes so that you can put that resolve into action by cooking up delicious planet-friendly vegan meals right in your kitchen.
Matthew has kindly offered to share one of his favorite recipes from the book—his beloved smoky seitan kebabs—with our World of Vegan readers. Enjoy!Print
Did you know that beef and lamb come with a high eco-footprint (especially when the animals eat grass, resulting in higher methane emissions)? This smoky plant-based kebab recipe uses simple homemade seitan instead, drastically lowering its footprint. These deliciously meat-like skewers are served with a DIY peanut sauce that will most certainly have you coming back for more.
- 1 cup of vital wheat gluten
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (aka “nooch”)
- ½ teaspoon of liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- ½ cup of water
- fresh cilantro, for garnish
- lime wedges, for serving
- 2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of Sriracha (if you like a little spicy kick)
- Preheat your oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the vital wheat gluten, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, and nutritional yeast in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- In another bowl, place the liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, tomato paste, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and ½ cup of water. Stir to combine.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Stir gently as you pour, until it vaguely resembles ground beef. Knead the dough in the bowl for 2 minutes. It shouldn’t stick to your hands at all.
- Once you have a loose ball, break it into 18 small chunks. Press 3 chunks together to form one larger piece, then flatten it out. That’ll be one kebab. Repeat this until you have 6 kebabs.
- Place the kebabs on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten them out and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly. Turn the oven to broil.
- Wet your skewers with water, and skewer each kebab. Place them back on the baking sheet and return to the oven, broiling each side for 2 minutes. Remove and serve topped with fresh herbs, with the peanut sauce and lime wedges alongside.
- Combine the peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, maple syrup, and Sriracha (optional), in a small bowl. Stir until well-combined.
Keywords: appetizer, dinner, kebabs, meat-free, peanut sauce, seitan, skewers
A Short History of Seitan
Seitan actually dates back over 1,500 years to ancient China, where Buddhist monks discovered the wheat meat after soaking wheat dough in water. They were left with a high-protein wheat gluten and found it made the perfect meat substitute! In 1961, the term “seitan” was coined by George Oshawa, a Japanese advocate of the macrobiotic diet. Seitan has long been a staple in diets across various Asian cultures and has taken countless forms—from mock duck to baked spongy gluten. Asian cuisine has long been one of the most vegan-friendly and it is quite common to find seitan on the menu at an Asian restaurant that also serves meat! Seitan is now a meat-free staple around the world and can easily be found at standard supermarkets and on the menu at many eating establishments.
Salt and Spice and Everything Nice
Seitan is incredibly versatile—you can make it as spicy or salty as you’d like! While this recipe provides specific spices to include for the seitan kebabs, here are some ideas of what you could use to flavor your wheat meat:
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Mushroom Powder
- Maple Syrup
Storing Your Seitan
Seitan stores well in both the fridge and the freezer. In the fridge, it will keep for up to about 4-5 days when stored in an air-tight container. In the freezer, it will last for about three months when stored properly in a tight container. If freezing, it’s also advised to wrap it in cling wrap and/or foil to keep some of the moisture in. Feel free to go wild with your favorite marinade, too!
More Must-Have Meat-Free Recipes:
- Vegan Pepperoni
- Barbecue Seitan Wings
- Meat Lover’s Beefy Vegan Tacos
- Italian Soup With Quinoa Meatballs
This Smokey Seitan Kebabs With Peanut Sauce recipe is excerpted from FOOD IS THE SOLUTION: What to Eat to Save the World by Matthew Prescott. Copyright © 2018 by Matthew Prescott. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. Article written by Michelle Cehn and edited by Amanda Meth. All rights reserved. Photography by Matthew Prescott.