Sweet Apple Seitan

by Sarah on March 13, 2012 · 11 comments

Last night I conducted my very first official Health Starts Here-sponsored cooking class at Whole Foods.

See? I am one of Whole Foods “favorite bloggers.”*:)

*At least according to this (very small) sign that I only saw hanging up in the bathroom. But really, how visible it was is not the point, people.
I wasn’t nervous at all–even though Kath and Matt were there! ;)–until just before serving up samples of what I had made to everyone in the audience. Only then did I think, “Wait. What if they don’t like it?”
Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about that.
Yes, people even came back for seconds. (And thirds…and fourths…)


I guess my Sweet Apple Seitan really is pretty good.
For this dish, I made a twist on my basic seitan recipe, adding a bunch of dried herbs directly to the dry ingredients. I also upped the nutritional yeast just a smidge.  Otherwise everything else remained the same, including the miracle of glutinous dought formation……and the joys of pulling it apart to make nuggets. [Don’t think the moment of my cooking demo where I had everyone “touch the seitan” was not a highlight for all parties involved.]The ‘saute’ is based on the flavors of sweet apple chicken sausage–
–for which I took advantage of my new favorite apple
—and the opportunity to use fresh basil and (on sale!) sweet onions to round out the flavors. [Along with a whole lot of ‘pinch of this’ and ‘pinch of that’ with the bulk bin spices.] The rest is just a matter of tossing in the pan and letting everything cook down (and up?).
The first time I made this for Mama Smart, I just served it over spinach. She liked it–and the Seitan Pot Pie–enough to go out and buy some Vital Wheat Gluten so she could make her own. Upon further tasting, I have determined this deserves to be plopped on (or mixed in) a big bowl of rice or quinoa. [Sadly, my long-winded verbosity resulted in a class that went an hour instead of 45 minutes already…so we just didn’t have time for quinoa, too. ;)]
Sweet Apple Seitan

[Serves 4-6]

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium green or golden apples, chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 recipe Herbed Seitan [recipe below]
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp. dried marjoram
  • ½ tsp. dried sage
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup fresh basil chiffonade
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa, for serving (optional)
  1. Saute onion and garlic in a bit of vegetable broth over medium heat until onion begins to soften.
  2. Add apple and herbs to the pan, cooking until apples begin to break down, pouring in more broth if necessary.
  3. Add seitan and basil to the pan, stir well.
  4. Cook 3-5 minutes, until seitan is heated through.
  5. Serve over quinoa, if desired.


Herbed Seitan
[Makes 16 nuggets or 4 patties]
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp. dried marjoram
  • ¼ tsp. rubbed sage [or ½ tsp. dried sage leaves]
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, separated
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, salt, and dried herbs.
  3. In a measuring cup,  whisk together 1 cup vegetable broth and soy sauce or tamari. Pour broth mixture into dry ingredients.
  4. Use a wooden spoon to combine wet and dry ingredients, stirring until an elastic dough forms.
  5. Pull apart dough into 16 nuggets or 4-8 patties.
  6. Place seitan nuggets or patties into a glass baking dish (or two). Pour ½ cup broth into pan with seitan.
  7. Bake 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven, flip seitan, and add remaining broth.
  8. Bake 15 more minutes.
  9. Use in stir-fries, sautés, and stews!

Note: To maintain elasticity, store seitan in fridge, covered with remaining cooking broth, or additional broth/water.

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Gabby @ the veggie nook March 13, 2012 at 5:18 am

Oh this looks delicious! Love apples in savory food!

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 13, 2012 at 9:18 am

I’m so glad the class went well!!! I’d love to have been there… I would have heckled you. :)

This reminds me of the apple-sage chicken sausage stuffing I made at Christmas. That stuff was amazing, but I thought I couldn’t have it anymore due to the whole meat component. Thanks to your genius, I can!!! I can’t wait to try it out. :)

Liz @ IHeartVegetables March 13, 2012 at 9:24 am

Oh my gosh, Sarah that looks DELICIOUS!!! I wish I could have headed up to C-ville to see the demo!!! :) I’m sure it was fantastic (delicious & entertaining) and you’re one of MY favorite bloggers, so Whole Foods and I are on the same page 😉 hehe

Melissa @ HerGreenLife March 13, 2012 at 9:57 am

While certainly edible, and sometimes even good, my homemade attempts at seitan have been a little disappointing due to texture issues. Often chewy in a not good, slightly rubbery kind of way. Have you had this issue, and do you have any tips to avoid it?

I’ve always cooked mine by simmering it in broth on the stove top instead of using the oven — does that make a difference? I know some people talk about using a pressure cooker . . . .

Sarah March 13, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I kind of think that since baked chicken tastes better than boiled chicken, baked seitan MUST be better than boiled. :) If you eat it right after it has been baked, it’s not very gummy at all…and if you soak it in the fridge (in water/broth) it will get a bit more ‘wet’ (obviously), but cooks up nicely in a pan after that.

I’m wondering if your texture issue has to do with the amount of liquid you are putting into the mixture. I would see if a little less makes it more solid and less rubbery for you. [Or perhaps more liquid for a more ‘loose’ texture?]

Kristina March 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm

oh how I love seitan… it just does not love me. I still eat it on occasion though, the distress is sometimes worth it.

congrats on the gig, and being a WF Fave 😉

Healthiful Balance March 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I dont think I’ve ever had seitan before but would loovee to try it! 😀

Maria March 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm

That looks delicious! It kind of reminds me of apple stuffing, which is one of my favorite foods ever, so I am pretty sure I’d eat this all up. I wish I could have been there to see your demonstration!

Baking Serendipity March 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Congrats on the class! So cool! I don’t think I’ve ever tried seitan before, but I’m fairly certain that this is definitely the way to start :)

Katie@Real Food Katie's Way March 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Hey congrats! I saw you over on KERF yesterday…You looked absolutely confident and cute to boot!

It looks delicious!

PS anytime I cook for someone I am always scared they won’t like it…It could be a guaranteed home run and I will STILL get nervous!

Jill @ Vegan in the Kitchen March 14, 2012 at 10:01 pm

This looks delicious! Congrats on your first WF cooking class. :)

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