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I’m going to have my steak and eat it, too!

March 10, 2009

People often ask me if, as a vegetarian, I miss steak.  I really don’t.  Maybe it is because I was never really a big steak-eater or because I became a vegetarian as I was just beginning to cook for myself, but I just don’t get the hankerin’ for a hunka-hunka-flamin’-meat.

What I do miss is having the emphasis and focus that a nice steak, or any cut of protein, really, brings to a meal.  And when I’m serving meat to others, it is nice to have a simple substitute that can be grilled right along side the meat and dished out without batting an eye.

imgp1406

And then there’s those omnivores who say things like “Well being a vegetarian is easy these days!  They have fake-meat in the freezer section at the grocery store [insert haughty taught voice here] When I was a vegetarian back in 1974 people treated me like I was a leper and it wasn’t nearly as easy.”

Hmph.  Well it may be easy if you actually ATE Morningstar Grillers and the like.  But I [insert my haughty taughty voice here] happen to avoid processed foods.

Before I introduce my ingredient list for vegan steak, let me show you the ingredients of a Morningstar Griller, with certain items highlighted for your enjoyment:

TEXTURED VEGETABLE PROTEIN (WHEAT GLUTEN, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, WATER FOR HYDRATION), EGG WHITES, CORN OIL, CALCIUM CASEINATE, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF MODIFIED TAPIOCA STARCH, ONION POWDER, CANOLA OIL, TRIGLYCERIDES (FAT!!!) FROM COCONUT OIL, HYDROLYZED VEGETABLE PROTEIN (CORN GLUTEN, WHEAT GLUTEN, SOY PROTEIN), DEXTROSE, SALT, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT, SUGAR, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS FROM NON-MEAT SOURCES, CARAMEL COLOR, CULTURED WHEY, MALTODEXTRIN, GARLIC POWDER, SPICE, CELLULOSE GUM, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, DISODIUM INOSINATE, SOY SAUCE (WATER, SOYBEANS, SALT, WHEAT), VITAMINS AND MINERALS (NIACINAMIDE, IRON [FERROUS SULFATE], THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE [VITAMIN B6], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], VITAMIN B12), SESAME SEED OIL, CELERY EXTRACT, SOY LECITHIN.

Do I need to explain any further why I prefer to make my own meat substitute?

Vegan steak (7-10 patties)

1 cup red beans
8 oz tomato sauce (next time I would reduce to 4 oz and increase water/broth to 12 oz)
8 oz water/broth
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (probably the same as all the B vitamins listed above)
2 cups vital wheat gluten
2 t marjoram
2 t dried basil

Mash beans until no whole ones are left.  Add liquid ingredients and spices.  Stir.  Sprinkle in nutritional yeast and then begin to add vital wheat gluten in increments to form a dough.  Mold into patties and wrap in tin foil.  Steam 30-40 minutes.

imgp1426No need to send this steak back to the kitchen, that baby is cooked right to temperature.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2009 1:44 pm

    Their ingredient list = scary.

    Your ingredient list = very cool!

  2. March 10, 2009 2:03 pm

    I’m a steak lover, but yours looks like a tasty alternative. I would have sworn the picture was a steak until I read further. I agree with you on the Morning Star products. That stuff is not as “natural” as people think.

  3. March 10, 2009 6:22 pm

    Branny – you rock! Thanks for posting this and it looks delicious!! After my move, I’m on the hunt for the vital wheat gluten!

  4. March 13, 2009 10:55 pm

    Very informative post!

  5. March 16, 2009 10:11 am

    I’m totally going to try this! I’m always looking for good main dish protein, and I’d much rather have it come from beans and gluten than meat, even though we’re both omnivores.

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