Vegan Chick’n Parmesan

IMG_9031.JPGBefore I went vegan, chicken parm was one of my favorite things. I mean it was a crispy chicken cutlet topped with tomato sauce and cheese, what was not to love? Well this vegan version definitely lives up to my memory of it and satisfied all my cravings. Made using seitan this dish is sure to impress any vegan or non-vegan.

RECIPE VIDEO

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After finally getting over my fear and learning how to make seitan, I have become obsessed. It is actually very easy to make and so much better when it is homemade. If you haven’t made it before and need some help I would highly suggest to watch the YouTube video for this recipe.

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The main ingredient in seitan is vital wheat gluten. Another item that initially intimidated me. However, after working with it a few times it’s not scary at all! It is the protein that is in flour and results in a stretchy, meat-like dough. Kind of crazy but pretty cool! You can find it at most health food stores or online. I use the one from Bob’s Red Mill but there are plenty of brands!

INGREDIENTS

Seitan Cutlets
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup mashed chickpeas (measured out before mashing)
1/2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1/2 to 3/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp salt

Breading
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried parsley

Batter
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup water

Cheese Sauce
5 oz vegan mozzarella (I love Follow Your Heart)
2-3 tbsp unsweetened plant milk

2-3 tbsp olive oil for frying
2-3 cups of tomato sauce of choice (I love Vincent’s and Rao’s)
6-8 oz pasta of choice for serving (optional)

METHOD

  1. Prepare seitan by adding mashed chickpeas, soy sauce and tomato sauce into a bowl. Mix to combine. Then add in the rest of the ingredients the vital wheat gluten and seasonings. Mix to combine.
  2. Add in the vegetable broth at 1/4 cup portions at a time and mix to combine. I used 1/2 cup and a tablespoon of vegetable broth. You may need more or less. Eventually you will need to knead the dough with your hands. The dough should be sticky and stay together. Form it into a rounded loaf shape.
  3. Cut the loaf into 4 pieces and then roll the dough out into a chicken cutlet shape. I prefer to make mine very very thin but you can make it to your desired thickness. As they steam they will plump up a bit as well.
  4. Once they are rolled out steam them for 20 minutes. I do this by placing a strainer over a large pot with about an inch of water. Place it on a low heat and cover. You may need to add more water as it cooks.
  5. While the seitan steams preheat oven to 375F.
  6. Prepare breadcrumbs by adding all ingredients to a large shallow bowl or big dish and mixing. Prepare batter by adding the ingredients into a large shallow bowl and mixing.
  7. Once seitan is steamed allow to cool for a minute as it will be very hot. Place it into the batter and allow the excess to drip off then coat in breadcrumbs. Repeat with all the cutlets.
  8. In a large frying pan add 1 and 1/2 tbsp of oil. Cook the cutlets on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side. They should be golden brown.
  9. To prepare cheese sauce add the ingredients into a pot and melt both together until a sauce has formed. I like to do this hack to help the cheese melt better but you can also just use shredded vegan cheese if you like.
  10. In a baking dish (9 x 13) add about 1 cup of tomato sauce or enough to cover the bottom of the dish. Place the cutlets into the pan. Add another cup of sauce on top. Coat the cutlets and then top with the vegan cheese sauce.
  11. Bake this in the oven for 25 minutes. I like to bake it on the middle rack for 15 minutes. Then move it to the top for the last 10 minutes. Just be sure to keep an eye on it and make sure nothing burns. You can also broil it for a minute or two if you like. The cheese should be bubbly and the sauce should be somewhat cooked onto the seitan.
  12. If you want to pair it with pasta cook the pasta while it is in the oven.
  13. Once the seitan is done. Pair it with the pasta and feel free to top it with parsley and vegan parmesan.

Serves 2-4 depending on how many cutlets per person.
1 cutlet and 2 oz pasta was a perfect size for me.

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