Friday, June 11, 2010

Smoked Seitan and Quinoa Sausage Seasoned with Quatre Epices

I made these seitan sausages last night to be used today with the remainder to go into the freezer. Dan loves my seitan so I try to keep it on hand in the freezer. If you are new to seitan you should know one of the best things about it is that freezing and thawing doesn’t hurt the texture. Recently I have been making mostly seitan sausages as we have cut back on our overall consumption of seitan. I like to use it occasionally but it is definitely a sometimes food at our house.

Last week when I made the quatre epices the idea I had in mind was seitan sausages. I have been so busy enjoying the weather that I didn’t make time for the sausages until yesterday. Since not everyone has a pressure cooker I decided to make these without it so I could share the instructions. Because I was in an experimenting mood I used whole quinoa in the sausages to see what that does to the interior texture of the sausage. Here is what I did:

Smoked Seitan and Quinoa Sausage Seasoned with Quatre Epices
Makes 8 seitan sausages


2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups water
3 cloves smoked garlic (from the smoked tomato dressing recipe)
1 ½ teaspoons quatre epices (next time start with 2 teaspoons of the spice mix)
Approximately 3 cups vital wheat gluten
salt to taste, if you choose (in the past I would have probably added 1 tablespoon of salt to this much seitan)
½ cup’ish wood chips (I don’t actually measure these I am estimated it is ½ cup could be more)
2 cups water


Place the quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Combine the water, garlic and spice mix in your blender and process until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients over the quinoa. Add the vital gluten ½ cup at a time until it is mostly combined. There will be some grains of quinoa (maybe a tablespoon) that will not be absorbed into the dough. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it is firm. Next move the dough to a cutting board and cut into 8 roughly equal portions. Tear off 8 sheets of aluminum foil to wrap the seitan into a sausage shape. Place 1/8th of the seitan dough on a sheet of the aluminum foil and form it into a rough sausage shape. It is will look lumpy and wrong but don’t worry the uneven texture will be corrected in the rolling and steaming. Now roll the seitan up like a large tootsie roll as tightly as you can. Now twist the ends to form the sausage shape.

If you have a steamer insert place that in the bottom of a pan with a lid and fill the pot with water to the bottom of the steam, add the sausages and put the heat on high and cover the pot with a lid. Check the pan every 15 minutes to make certain you don’t need to add more water. After 30 minutes move the sausages so the bottom ones come to the top. Steam for one hour.

If you don’t a stem insert you can use a wadded up aluminum foil to keep the seitan links from sitting in the water. The rest of the method is the same. This is the method I used today to test my theory and it worked fine.

If you have a pressure cooker add a steamer basket and cook the sausages for 30 minutes on high. Everything else is the same.

While the sausages are cooking soak the wood chips in plenty of water.

Now cool the sausages until you can remove the aluminum foil without burning your fingers.

Set up your smoker as I did for the smoked tomatoes here. Place the unwrapped sausages on a piece of aluminum foil (so they don’t stick to the rack). Heat the pan on high for 5 minutes then reduce to low for 40 minutes. These smoke longer than the tomatoes since they are more dense and will take longer to absorb the smoke flavor. Allow the sausages to cool in the pan until you can handle them. Wrap each sausage in aluminum or plastic cling film and freeze until needed.

Nutritional Information per link (1/8th of the recipe):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 231.9
Calories From Fat (7%) - 15.86

Total Fat - 1.77g
Saturated Fat-  0.13g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 18.82mg
Potassium - 131.85mg
Total Carbohydrates-  16.99g
Fiber - 1.72g
Sugar - 0.01g
Protein - 37.38g


This recipe was an experiment all the way around. I always make my sausages in the pressure cooker but it worked fine in a regular pan, I just doubled the time. Additionally I had not used whole quinoa is seitan before and that also worked. The whole quinoa gave the seitan a little bit of texture that was reminiscent of the nubby bits in real sausage. At least in these I know exactly what those bits are. *shivers* My only complaint about this sausage is that I would like it to have a little more flavor. Next time I am going to add another ½ teaspoon of the quatre epices to start. I will probably also make a tester next time to confirm the seasonings. That is something that I used to do but have been neglecting recently. I should definitely go back to that.

These sausages are huge. I gave the nutrition per sausage but ½ of one is more than enough for either Dan or me. Tonight’s dinner is going to be a bean stew using slices of these sausages. I have been simmering them for 30 minutes in the stew to make certain the texture would hold up and it has. The remaining sausages are going into my freezer for later. I tend to use seitan sausages sliced and incorporated as an enhancement to dishes. We don’t eat seitan sausage whole on a roll. That seems like too much gluten to me now. I prefer to keep our intake of gluten on the moderate side since it is a processed food. However I do like the “meaty” texture it adds to dishes.

Unrelated notes:

Last night I watched an interesting DVD on Netflix. I was called “Killer at Large” and was about the problems obesity causes for both individuals and society. I learned a few interesting bits of information from the documentary. The one thing that struck me was about the calorie content of a happy meal versus a quarter pounder meal at McDonalds. According to the documentary the happy meal contains 700 calories, and the quarter pounder meal 1,700. What child needs a 700 calorie meal from McDonalds? There are many meals where I don’t eat 700 calories as an adult. I found this information very sad and a little depressing. No wonder so many of our children are overweight and obese.

I will be back later with the white bean and seitan sausage stew I made for us for the weekend. I have not had a chance to photograph it yet for the post but it tastes and smells really good.

I am off to run my errands now. I will be back later with the stew recipe.


  1. Oooh, I'm going to have to try these! Thanks for posting the recipe.

  2. sgcorrie,

    If you are looking for other seitan sausage recipes there are quite a few on the blog. Use the search window to find them. Dan liked the beer brats quite a bit. You can use those seasonings with the quinoa in place of the bread crumbs if you desire. Seitan sausage is easy to make. After you have made them a couple of times you will be experimenting with other seasonings.


  3. I really think you are the queen of seitan! Your sausages always come out perfectly. I'm not sure I'd like the knobbly bits too much either...but as long as I know they're just quinoa...could be fine.

  4. Rose,

    The chewy bits weirded me out a little at first. It was almost too sausage like. But as you said it was just quinoa so ...... I got over it. ;-)

    I wish I knew the secret to nicely shaped seitan sausages so I could share. I wrap the raw dough very tightly in at least 3 layers of foil (from rolling it up in one sheet). I also twist the ends very tightly. I don't really think there is anything else that I might be doing differently. But I have made many of these so that could be it too, there may be a learning curve. *scratches head*

    I hope you are having a wonderful Friday. It is almost the weekend, Yay!

    talk to you soon,

  5. nubby bits, yes what ARE those?lol i dont ever want to know either! i think these look great. a def winner.

  6. Michelle,

    I do know what the tough bits are in regular sausage, and trust me you are better off not knowing. If I could unlearn that I would. ;-)

    talk to you soon,

  7. Yes, I think you are more diligent than I am in the wrapping department...I think that's were I fall...I must try to take the time to do it properly in future.

    Happy Friday to you too! I'm ever so unproductive today...but I guess I'm making up for all that pesky productivity over the last week or so! :)

  8. Rose,

    The wrapping does make a difference, I think. My sausages are fairly firm before they are cooked. If you try that please let me know if that makes a difference.

    I am happy to hear you are having a relaxing Friday. :-)


  9. These look delish, Ali! Now I need a smoker too! ;)


  10. LJ,

    Try making a smoker out of one of your old pans. It actually works very well. I gave instrucutions for that in the smoked tomato dressing.

    talk to you soon,

  11. Love this idea. Can't wait to see the stew recipe. Hope you've had a great week and hope to catch up with you Sunday!!!!

  12. Heather,

    Thanks! :-) Have a safe trip home from the beach. I will be around on Sunday if you have time to catch up.


  13. I think that tomorrow morning I will try making these with Italian seasoning, to go with our pasta dinner. Do you think that steaming them for an hour will be enough cooking time if I don't use a smoker afterward?

  14. Laura,

    They were fully cooked before I smoked them. Yes I think an hour is fine. The smoker was only used to add flavor. If you haven't made seitan sausages before it is important to wrap them tightly and the foil should go around the sausages at least three times when you are rolling. Any less and they could blow out of the foil and get misshapen.

    I recommend that you use them sliced in the sauce, I never eat the sausage whole like meat. Go heavier on the Italian seasoning than you think you need. It is a much milder seasoning than I used here.


  15. YUM! Thanks for sharing this recipe! I saw you received a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition through eCornell in May. I received mine April 10th. Best thing I ever did for myself and my family.
    In Health,


  16. Susan,

    Sorry it took a while to post this, blogger was acting up. *shakes head* Seitan sausage is very easy to make. There are many recipes on my blog if you are interested.

    Learning about health and specifically as it pertains to cancer is high on my list of priorities. The e-Cornell program was another part of the process for me to make certain I knew things as well as I thought I did. I wished it had been more technical.



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