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But where do you get your protein?

mark chapman
mark chapman
Mark Chapman PNBA Pro.

As a pro vegan bodybuilder, I hear this question so often it has actually become like a punch line. I have been vegan for over 10 years and was vegetarian for 10 years prior to going vegan. Like most people on a plant-based diet we often get asked this question so in this article I am going to tell you about a great source of plant-based protein that is very versatile and inexpensive. It’s called Seitan and is made from Vital Wheat Gluten. It can be baked, boiled, air fried or steamed and seasoned to any taste you desire.

Seitan is packed with protein, has no fat or cholesterol and very few carbs. It is not filled with fiber like beans so you can avoid any potential bloating while still getting high amounts of protein.

Basic baked Seitan recipe:
650 grams of Vital Wheat Gluten
40 grams Nutritional Yeast
4 TBSP seasoning of your choice
3oz Liquid Aminos

First you start off by putting some wheat gluten in a mixing bowl. I usually make a large batch and use 650 grams of wheat gluten. I then add some nutritional yeast for flavor, about 40 grams. Next I add in some seasoning. Again, you can use whatever you like but I usually use taco seasoning and put in 4 or 5 tablespoons depending on how spicy you want the finished product. Mix the dry ingredients together.

Next you add water to bind it together and transform it into a loaf.  I usually use some liquid aminos in with the water for flavor. I put about 3 oz in a measuring cup and fill the rest with water. Add this to the dry ingredients. It will take approx. 5 cups of water if you make a batch this big. Mix with a wooden spoon at first to stir the liquid into the dry ingredients. Keep adding water slowly until all the dry ingredients are wet. The mixture will be sticky, and you will need to knead it with your hands to ensure all the dry ingredients are soaked.

Once you have finished kneading the dough it will be like bread dough only wetter. At this point you need to get one or two (depending on their size) oven safe containers with lids. Put the Seitan dough in the oven safe container(s) and add water until it is halfway covered. At this point I usually add some seasoning to the top prior to baking. I like using mesquite flavor with the taco seasoning. Put on the lid and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes remove from oven and flip the loaf over. It usually sticks a bit to the bottom so scrape under it with a spatula to free it up then flip it over. If it is in a large container sometimes it is easier to cut in half prior to flipping and do one section at a time. After you have flipped the loaf add more water until it is halfway covered again. Add more seasoning to the top and put the lid back on. Continue baking at 350 degrees for another 45 minutes.

After it is done baking remove from oven. It should have a pretty firm texture. Let cool and it will shrink a bit and stiffen. Remove from the container and cut up into any form you wish. Slices for sandwiches, shred for taco meat, chunks like cut up chicken, or just a larger slab like a piece of steak.  Enjoy!

Macros: (per 150 grams)
Calories – 150
Protein – 28.5 grams
Carbs – 4.5 grams
Fat – 0

Article by Mark Chapman PNBA Pro.