Meatless Monday: Barbecued Seitan Ribs

Fireworks, BBQ spare ribs, and 90 degree heat—Happy Birthday, America! Yes, it’s officially almost time to celebrate Independence Day, vegan style.

20140630-105835-39515241.jpgThis week’s Meatless Monday recipe uses seitan as the meat substitute.

What is Seitan?
Seitan is a high-protein product, usually made of wheat flour, spelt flour or vital wheat gluten. Because seitan is high in protein, it is a popular protein source for vegetarians. For this recipe, I used a Gluten-Free substitute to make the seitan.

20140630-111720-40640016.jpg
The seitan ribs are initially dry baked (rather than boiled) in the kitchen, but, they are finished up on the grill, giving it the smoky taste that only grilling can impart.

The dry baking process results in the seitan having a texture that is perfect for absorbing the flavor of the barbecue sauce. You’ll be amazed at how easy this recipe comes together using your favorite bottled sauce.

Here’s the recipe…

Barbecued Seitan Ribs
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 35 min
Servings: 4 (4 ribs per serving)

Ingredients:
1 cup OrgraN Gluten Substitute
2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon McCormick Grill Mates® Mesquite Seasoning
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or coconut aminos)*
1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly spray an 8×8 baking dish with canola oil. Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the water with the tahini, Liquid Smoke, and soy sauce and add it to the dry ingredients. Stir to mix well and then knead lightly in the bowl for a couple of minutes.

Put the dough into the baking dish and flatten it so that it evenly fills the pan. Take a sharp knife and cut it into 8 strips; then turn the pan and cut those strips in half to form 16 pieces.

20140630-112904-41344666.jpgPut it in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. While it’s cooking prepare your grill.

Remove it from the oven and carefully re-cut each strip, going over each cut to make sure that the “ribs” will pull apart easily later. Generously brush the top with barbecue sauce. Take it to the grill and invert the whole baking dish onto the grill (or use a large spatula to lift the seitan out, placing it sauce-side down on the grill). Brush the top of the seitan with more sauce.

20140630-113038-41438552.jpgWatch it closely to make sure that it doesn’t burn. When sufficiently brown on one side, turn over and cook the other side, adding more sauce, if necessary. Continue grilling the “ribs” (turning and basting with the BBQ sauce) until all of the BBQ sauce is used up and the ribs are glossy and a little blackened around the edges. When done, remove from the grill and transfer onto a platter. Cut or pull apart the individual ribs to serve.

20140630-113221-41541298.jpg**Note: To make this without a grill, bake it for 25 minutes without barbecue sauce. Then brush the top with a generous coating of sauce, turn the whole thing over carefully in the pan, and brush the other side with sauce. Bake for another 10-20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and caramelized slightly but not burned. Remove from oven, cut apart, and serve.

*Gluten-Free and Soy-Free Variation:
If you are allergic, intolerant, or just avoiding gluten and/or soy, use coconut amino acids instead of soy sauce.

Ingredient Spotlight: Coconut Amino Acids

20140630-113740-41860507.jpgCoconut Aminos are derived from coconut sap that comes from tapped coconut trees. It comes in a liquid form that tastes really similar to soy sauce, and each serving contains 17 different amino acids. Coconut sap is much more natural than soy sauce, as it doesn’t undergo the fermentation processes or contain any GMO ingredients. And, it’s naturally gluten-free, as opposed to soy sauce that’s usually thickened with flour.

Recipe adapted from The Fat-Free Vegan.

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