Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vegan BLT

Now, I haven't had bacon in almost 20 years, so of course I don't really know what it tastes like anymore, but this substitute is definitely delicious, and works really well in a sandwich. It has a salty, smokey flavor, with a bit of sweetness added in the form of maple syrup. So good! I used to make it with tofu, which is totally fine, but then one day I decided to try it with some seitan I had made and had sitting in the fridge. Even better!

So first I made a batch of seitan from scratch. The recipe makes quite a bit, so you can keep the extra in the fridge or freezer for other recipes.

Basic Seitan

You will need:
2 cups vital wheat gluten
1.5 to 2 cups water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce or 1 teaspoon salt
Large pot filled with water. (The seitan doubles in size as it boils, so make sure you have lots of room! You can add vegetable stock or some salt to the water to enhance/maintain the flavour of the seitan.)

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Mix the soy sauce or tamari with the water if that's what you are using. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stay out by adding only 1.5 cups of water, and gradually add more, until you get a doughy consistency. It will be a little more "spongy" and wet than regular dough, but you don't want it saturated with water. Squeeze it to remove any excess water. Cut into pieces that are about 2 inches square. They won't all be the same, and they won't be uniform, but that's okay.
Drop pieces in the pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Drain, and allow pieces to sit in colander over pot for a few minutes to let the excess water drain.

Seitan "Bacon"

You will need:
Approximately 5 pieces of the seitan that you made. About 1 pound or so.
1.5 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon tamari
2-3 teaspoons pure maple syrup (depending on the sweetness you like)
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/8 cup nutritional yeast

                                                                  Above: 5 pieces of seitan

Next, slice into pieces about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch thick, and toss with 1.5 tablespoons of canola oil. Place on baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment, as I have yet to buy silicone baking mat!). See picture below.

 Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from oven and flip pieces over with tongs. The pieces will be starting to brown nicely, but will still be quite soft.

Bake for another 15 minutes. The pieces will now be a little more brown, and somewhat crispy, but not hard. See below picture:

Combine the tamari, liquid smoke and maple syrup in a medium size bowl, and toss the pieces of seitan until the liquid is absorbed and all of the pieces are coated. Sprinkle on the nutritional yeast and toss until the yeast has been dissolved and is evenly distributed amongst the seitan.

To make a BLT, simply toast 2 pieces of your favorite bread, spread on your favorite vegan mayo (mine is vegenaise.) Add lettuce, tomato, and the seitan bacon. Enjoy!!


  1. I've never ever eaten bacon in my life, but i have to admit you vegan versions are appealing to me big time. Thank you for the recipe. Now I have to locate some vitla wheat gluten - not an easy ingredient to find in the uk.

  2. Thanks:) The "bacon" encompasses that realm of sweet, salty and smokey flavours, so it really hits the spot for me some days! You can actually make seitan by using regular flour. I haven't done it myself, but basically you make a dough, and then rinse it under water until you are left with the gluten. There are a few videos on youtube that explain the process. Here is one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9vHa66Bm5E
    She adds a lot of tamari to her recipe. Personally, I would just use a little veg stock in the boiling water, or just salt it. Hope this helps:)