Vegan Donair

Since going vegetarian about 14 years ago I haven’t wanted for much. I understand that a lot of non-vegetarians may view my chosen diet as limiting but for me it was the exact opposite. When I became vegetarian, I still wanted to eat great meals that were filling and full of satisfying flavours and textures . In order to do that, I was forced to branch out  from how I was taught to cook (no more meat and potato dinners), into a different culinary world. 

You learn quickly how to appreciate each ingredient because generally, any produce can be the highlight of your meal. You learn tricks to how to prepare foods to mimic childhood favorites and that leads me to this recipe. I’ve been trying for the better part of my adult life to re-create a vegan facsimile of the donair I remember from 14 years ago. I’ve learned a few tricks since then and after many trials I think I have perfected it. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Vegan Donair (Seitan)

adapted from the Vegan Dad’s recipe for Veggie Lunch Meat

  • 1 cup of canned white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 small onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbs Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbs dehydrated chopped onion
  • 1 tbs garlic salt
  • 1 tbs smoked paprika
  • 2 tbs of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbs miso paste
  • 2 cups of cool water
  • 2 + 3/4 cup of vital wheat gluten
  • tin foil
  • non-stick spray
  • something the steam in

Method

Get water boiling in your steamer.

Add garlic, onion and spices to a food processor and process until you form a paste. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth, but cannot have any visible chunks. Empty the spice paste into bowl.

To the same food processor, add beans, olive and sesame oil, miso paste and liquid smoke and process until completely smooth. Add to the bowl with the spice paste and stir with a spoon until all is combined.

Stir in the cool water and once everything is consistent, add the vital wheat gluten. The mixture will almost instantly becomes hard to stir, the gluten forms fast and while you don’t want to over mix it, make sure there is no sign of raw flour in the dough.

Spray a large piece of tin foil with non-stick spray. Place the dough in the centre of the tine foil and shape into a fat log about 10″ in length and about 4″-6″ tall/wide. Wrap well in foil making sure that water cannot get into the seitan and steam for an hour.

At the 45 minute mark, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Once the seitan is finished steaming, remove all the foil and place on a prepared baking dish and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature.

I let mine rest over night to make it easy for slicing. Slice with a serrated knife, enjoy!

 How to assemble a Donair

  • 1 recipe donair seitan
  • 1 recipe of donair sauce
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 6 small whole wheat pitas
  • mozzarella flavoured daiya (optional)

Method

Prepare the donair seitan and sauce. Dice tomatoes and onions and set aside. In a non-stick frying pan heat over medium heat. I added oil but non-stick spray also works well. Thinly slice donair seitan and lightly fry on each side to crisp up the edges and heat through. Heat each pita, until warm, top with seitain, onions, tomatoes and sauce and daiya. Shove in your pie hole as, soon as possible!

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Leap Day

Well this is a first…Happy Leap Day!

I would be lying if I said I have ever said that phrase, in fact I am sure I have no clue the last time I even realized it was Leap Day. While I do not have a normal recipe or wine post on the go at the moment I felt I still needed to post something. This only happens every 4 years you know and it’s the first Leap Day for my blog.

So let’s start with the things I know about Leap Day:

It happens every 4 years because we loose 6 hours per year on our 365 day calendar.

  • This I imagine sucks for kids who are born on this day however it’s probably a nice joke as they get older

There is a fun tradition about surrounding Leap Day, wherein women can propose to men on that day.

  • I may have watched a really bad but cute movie about this tradition.
  • I also may feel like this tradition is a bit dated and women should be able to propose to whomever and whichever day they seem fit if that is something they want to do.

The sitcom 30 Rock may have just made me think of Leap Day in a totally different way. If you don’t know what 30 Rock is click here.

  • I may have thought of hyper-linking a horrible site above, just now. I didn’t, I assure you it is a wiki link.

AND this is what I think should happen on Leap Day:

  • People born on this day should get quadruple the celebration on the year they can actual celebrate their Birthday on the actual day they were born, it’s only right.
  • If you are not currently a vegetarian you should try something vegetarian, you may be surprised.
  • If you are a vegetarian you should be able to eat whatever you want this day as it really is questionable to whether eating things on Leap Day count towards your calorie allowance as they really only are observed every 4 years.
  • Take a leap of faith, whether it’s food, friends, family, relationships. Just try something new.

Finally, because this really is a food blog (and it’s not April Fools) I need to say something about food. Lee and I both had a pretty amazing lunch at The Wooden Monkey yesterday.

I ordered the Seitan Donair.

Now if you have never been to the Maritime’s you probably don’t even know what a donair is if you are curious it’s a meat-based food similar to a gyros but with a sweet garlic sauce and usually served with mozzarella on top. My mother has made some pretty amazing veggie donairs for me in the past but is the first time I have seen it listed on the menu.

If you are in Halifax check it out! Also their Apple salad, also pictured in the photo, is the bomb-diggity!