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Monday, May 20, 2013

'Turkey' sandwich slices

May 11-16, 2013

This installment of my sporadic adventures in home-made seitan is inspired by a newly purchased cookbook - Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day by Celine Steen & Tamasin Noyes. This book is cute, with a friendly tone, fresh veges and home-made mock meats and few difficult-to-source ingredients, wholesome wraps and veganised classics, sweet stuff and charming colour photos.  

The Gobbler Slices are a DIY seitan clearly intended to imitate turkey meat. The dough works white beans, white wine and some green herbs into the gluten. I'm still battling a disconnect between U.S. recipes' 'vital wheat gluten' and Aussie groceries' 'gluten flour' and this time I took Mel's advice, dramatically reducing the liquid involved. The seitan was very dense and tasted pleasantly of poultry herbs; it reminded me of Sanitarium's Vegie Roast, though it was far less salty. (I might try kneading it more, aiming to develop the gluten strands, if I made it again.)

Having doubled the recipe, we've spun the seitan out over many sandwiches. We started by making 'razz-elnut spinach' sandwiches (pictured above). These layer the mock slices with spinach, hazelnuts and a silken-tofu based dressing that's flavoured with white miso and raspberries. It's tart, toasty and savoury, unexpectedly brilliant.

We also took inspiration from the Double-Decker Deluxe (picture above), originally intended for the book's beef-style seitan. Here the seitan is marinated in stock, coffee and garlic, fried, and then smothered in a dressing that consists primarily of blended cashews and vinegar, plus a little chilli and parsley.

Since this seitan is dense and subtly flavoured, I'm not inclined to take it beyond the realm of sandwiches.  But sliced thinly and lavished with condiments, it's a delight and potential packed-lunch staple.

'Turkey' sandwich slices
(slightly adapted from the Gobbler Slices in
Celine Steen & Tamasin Noyes' Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day)

1 x 400g can white beans, drained
1 cup white wine
juice of 1 lemon (about 5 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
2 1/2 cups gluten flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
4 tablespoons besan/chickpea flour
4 tablespoons arrowroot
1/2 cup water

In a food processor, blend together the beans, wine, lemon juice, oil and spices (onion powder through to celery seed) until smooth.

In a medium bowl, stir together the gluten flour, yeast flakes, besan and arrowroot. Pour in the wet ingredients from the food processor and stir everything together into a dough. Dig your fingers in to mix it well and develop the gluten strands! Gradually add water as needed to incorporate all the flour into the dough.

Roll out two large pieces of foil. Divide the dough in half and roll each piece into a thick cylinder about 15cm long. Roll each dough-log in foil, completely covering it and twisting around the ends.

Steam the rolls for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow them to cool completely before you use them. Slice the rolls as thinly as you can for sandwiches.


  1. I'm a bit behind the vegetarian times with seitan - never made it before and really only discovered what it even was just a few weeks ago! This particular recipe looks pretty damned interesting though, especially with white beans in the mix.

    Love the thick slice thin slice combo on the sandwich!

    1. Hi Lisa! Seitan is fun to play with, though it can be stodgy and bland when it goes wrong. You might like to try eating it at a restaurant before diving in and DIYing. :-)

  2. Sadly not a sandwich fan myself, as a rule, but coffee-marinated beany herb seitan? I'll take that yep.

    1. Hey Hannah - I completely understand, 12 years of school lunches did not endear me to sandwiches. But I'm finally ready to reclaim them! It doesn't hurt that this book includes icecream sandwiches and waffle sandwiches. ;-)

  3. I love sandwiches, I might try this for my son's school lunches. He loves veggie sausages which I'm very unsure as to how healthy they are. At least this way I know what's going into his fake meat.

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Yep, this version definitely has that advantage and stores nicely in the fridge all week.

  4. They are some great looking sangas! Good to hear you had better success with this batch of seitan. A denser loaf of seitan certainly makes slicing it thinly much easier.

    1. Thanks, Mel! You're right, I could never have achieved millimetre-thin slices with some of our previous seitan batches. :-P

  5. Oh that reminds me that I have another book by them that I discovered hidden away recently - this sandwich book sounds great - esp if it is not all seitan. Though I am tempted by the turkey slices - wonder how they would go in recipes that use leftover turkey in them which are everywhere each christmas. And I love the sound of the razzelnut sandwich - both sandwiches look enough to convert any sandwich hater (except sylvia)

    1. Johanna - this loaf might do nicely, chopped up as 'leftover turkey'. Which other book by these authors did you unearth?