Awhile back, someone asked if I could come up with a recipe for vegan gyros with tzatziki sauce, because she missed having them. To be honest, I had never made them before switching to this way of life. I had eaten them occasionally in restaurants, but not often.
Two options for gyros
These gyros have two filling options –seasoned baked seitan or grilled Portobello mushrooms.
With the Portobello gyros, I found that lower heat and longer grilling time make for better for flavor. I didn’t cook these slow or long enough, and the flavor was lacking, compared to the seitan.
However, they were still quite good. I am a mushroom lover, so mushrooms are always a good option for me!
The seasoned baked seitan was by far the best, in mine and my husband’s opinions. They take longer because you have to mix and bake the seitan, but the flavor and texture is wonderful and well worth the effort.
Seitan is used for this dish, and many people have never even heard of it before.
What is Seitan?
Seitan, also known as wheat meat, is a vegetarian meat substitute made from wheat gluten, soy sauce or tamari, ginger, garlic and seaweed. This nonmeat alternative is high in protein, low in fat and a good source of iron.
Whether you make it yourself or buy it ready-made, seitan is a low-calorie choice with 100 to 120 calories per 3-ounce serving. Seitan is also considered a low-energy-dense food, which means it has few calories compared to its serving size.
Although seitan is made from wheat, it is low in carbs and high in protein. A 3-ounce portion of seitan contains 2.5 to 4 grams of carbs, 1 to 2 grams of fiber, 0 to 2 grams of fat and 21 grams of protein. —LiveStrong
Another article that offers a great deal of information on seitan is What is Seitan: How to Cook & Recipes. It is loaded with lots of useful information.
I think these Vegan Gyros with Seitan or Mushrooms and Tzatziki Sauce turned out terrific. Either way you decide to go, I think you’re going to be impressed.
Whether mushrooms or seitan–these gyros make for a delicious hearty meal bursting with flavor! So glad I gave the challenge a try!
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- 1-1/4 cups vital wheat gluten available in baking section of many grocery stores
- 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp tahini
- 2 Tbsp ketchup
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 3/4 cup water more if needed
- 4 large Portobello mushrooms
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 1 package silken tofu
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp fresh mint or dry
- 1 tsp dry onion flakes
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper to taste
- 1 cucumber peeled and seeded
- sliced onion
- slice tomatoes
- chopped lettuce
- seitan or grilled Portobellos
- tzatziti sauce
- pita or naan wraps
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a blender, blend onion, garlic, tahini, ketchup, soy sauce, and water.
In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
Pour the wet blender ingredients into the dry ingredients, and start to stir.
This will thicken quickly. Use hands and begin to knead together for approximately 3 minutes. If it's too wet, add more vital wheat gluten. If it's too dry, add a little water.
Line a baking dish with parchment paper and press seitan into it. Bake for 30 minutes.
Once cooked it will look like this.
Slice into strips.
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
Coat each mushroom with the mixture.
Grill on low heat until moist and tender. My opinion is that the lower heat and longer grill, the better for flavor. I didn't cook these slow or long enough, and the flavor was lacking, compared to the seitan.
Remove from heat and slice.
In blender, blend all ingredients, except cucumber, until smooth.
Peel and deseed cucumbers. Scraping the center with a spoon helps a lot with this.
Dice them into tiny pieces.
Place on paper towel to drain excess water. Squeeze slightly, if necessary.
Combine ingredients from blender with diced cucumber, and whisk together.
Spread a spoonful of tzatziki sauce down the center of one pita or naan wrap. Add a lettuce, diced tomato, onion, and either grilled mushroom slices or seitan. Then top it with another spoonful of tzatziki sauce. Fold the wrap and hold in place with a toothpick or wrap it in parchment/foil.
The grilled Portobello mushroom gyro was good but, as mentioned above, grill lower and longer to enhance flavor. The advantage of using mushrooms over seitan is time and effort. The mushrooms are quicker and require less involvement.
The seasoned baked seitan was by far the best, in mine and my husband's opinions. They take longer because you have to mix and bake the seitan, but the flavor and texture is wonderful and worth the effort.
Both are good, but seitan is the best!
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