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Blog by: Angela Tucker
Photo by: itdoesnttastelikechicken.com

Photo credit: itdoesnttastelikechicken.ca

It is BBQ season, which is pretty well known for heavy, meaty dishes. And with so many people making room for more plant-based foods in their lives, why not make more room for plant-based foods on the BBQ grill?

When I came across the idea of making vegan steaks I felt a little intimidated, and I thought that this would be a difficult thing to replicate in the kitchen using plant-based ingredients. However, once I saw how easy it was in this video by the one and only Happy Pear guys I decided to give it a shot and make my own version of them.

As always, I taste-tested the vegan steaks on my family and they were all in agreement that this recipe was a hit. The wheat gluten (aka “wheat meat”) gives them a chewy, meaty texture, as well as plenty of protein – 26 grams to be exact! What I love about this recipe is that it can be prepped a couple days before you need it (or even frozen for weeks in the marinade), so you can plan ahead.

Miso paste helps to enhance the umami, or savoury flavour, in this recipe. Did you know that umami is our often overlooked fifth taste – right there beside sour, salty, bitter and sweet? It is one of the tastes that we get from meat, so finding ways to include more of it in vegetarian and vegan cooking can really help people who are just starting out with trying new meat alternatives.

I kept it simple and enjoyed the vegan steak along with baked potato and a salad. They would also go well in a bun with all your favourite toppings, crumbled into a wrap, or even sliced up in a stir-fry. Get creative and give this new recipe a try on Meatless Monday, or any day of the week!

*Please note this photo is by Sam Turnbull, vegan recipe blogger at This Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. Her Vegan Steak recipe is one that inspired my own recipe. See more of her awesome recipes here.

Vegan Steaks

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Marinade: 30 minutes
Total time: 75 minutes

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients:

For the steaks:
1 cup of cooked or canned chickpeas
1.5 cups of vital wheat gluten
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp of nutritional yeast
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp of miso paste (if you have on hand)
6 tbsp water
Dash of pepper

For the marinade:
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp cumin

Instructions:

1. Measure and add all the ingredients for the steaks into a food processor and pulse to combine. Stop to scrape down the sides as needed. Process until everything is combined well.
2. Take the mixture out of the food processor and place onto a clean work surface or cutting board. Use your hands to knead it well for a few minutes. It should be like a ball of dough.
3. Cut the ball of dough into 6 equal pieces and flatten them out to 1/2 inch thick with the palms of your hands or a rolling pin. As you are flattening them, form them into the desired shape.
4. Prep a pot of water with a steaming basket on top, and bring to a boil. Place the steaks in the steaming basket, place the lid on top and steam for 25 minutes. Halfway through, flip them to make sure they cook evenly.
5. Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
6. Once the steaks are done in the steamer, place them in a large shallow container or large sealable bag. Pour the marinade on top, making sure that it covers all of the steaks. Allow them to marinate for at least 30 minutes. They can be left in the marinade for a few days.
7. When it comes time to eat the steaks, they can be cooked in a frying pan, barbecue or grill. They only need to cook for a couple of minutes on both sides to be ready.

Nutrition Info
(Per 1/6th of the recipe)

Calories 200
Fat 1.5g
Protein 26g
Carbohydrate 22g
Fibre 1.5g
Sugar 9g
Iron 2.7mg
Folate 48 DFE
Sodium 340mg

Recipe inspired by:
https://www.bosh.tv/recipes/vegan-steak-with-the-happy-pear
https://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/vegan-seitan-steak/


Angela Tucker is a Registered Dietitian from rural Manitoba. Angela first became vegan for compassionate reasons but soon realized other ways a vegan lifestyle and plant-based diet positively impacts the planet and health. To learn more about her philosophy on food, visit her blog PrairieSprout. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.