Ultimate vegan sandwich

This deliciously satisfying sandwich is filled with seitan pastrami, cashew cream cheese, vegan coleslaw, and of course a big handful of watercress.

Ingredients

For the seitan pastrami:

  • 250g vital wheat gluten (available online or from most good health food shops)

  • 125g plain flour

  • 25g dark brown soft sugar

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 250ml veg stock

  • 1 tsp marmite

  • 2 tbsp veg oil

  • Seitan Dry Rub

  • 50g dark brown soft sugar

  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tbsp dried coriander

  • Seitan Broth

  • 500ml veg stock

  • 2 tsp marmite

  • 2 tbsp English mustard

  • ¼ cup dark brown soft sugar

  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 bay leaf

For the cashew cream cheese:

  • 125g cashews, soaked overnight in cold water or in just-boiled water for 15 minutes

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • Pinch salt

  • Pinch nutritional yeast (optional)

For the coleslaw:

  • 1 carrot, grated

  • ¼ red cabbage, finely sliced

  • ½ red onion, finely sliced

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander

  • Good pinch salt

  • Pinch black pepper

  • Juice of half a lemon

To serve:

  • 4 thick slices of seeded granary bread

  • Large handful watercress


Method

In a large bowl, mix together the dry seitan ingredients (wheat gluten, plain flour, sugar, garlic, pepper and salt). Create a well in the centre then slowly add the stock, marmite and oil.

Start mixing the dough together with a wooden spoon, then use your hands once it starts to come together. Mix thoroughly so that all ingredients are evenly distributed then knead the dough on a floured work top for five minutes.

Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and rest for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

While the dough rests mix together the dry rub ingredients in a separate bowl. After fifteen minutes of resting time, take the seitan dough and use your hands to form it into a rough rectangle shape. Place on a large piece of foil on a baking tray and cover all over with the spice rub mix.

Use the foil to tightly wrap the dough, using another piece of foil if necessary to make sure that it is really tight. It’s important that the dough is not allowed to expand during cooking as otherwise it will take on more of a bready texture. You should be aiming to keep the structure of the seitan as dense as possible.

Place the tray into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes before unwrapping the foil completely. Turn up the heat to 220 degrees Celsius and place the seitan back into the oven for a further 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes remove the seitan from the oven. The outside should be blackened and hard to touch. Allow to cool. At this stage the seitan can be tightly wrapped and kept in the fridge for up to three days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Just before serving, bring the broth ingredients to the boil in a large saucepan. Slice the seitan pastrami and reheat in the broth before serving.

To make the cashew cream cheese, simply place all ingredients into a high powered blender such as a Nutribullet, add 1 tbsp of water, and blend until smooth. You may need to add more water depending on how powerful your blender is. Taste and add more lemon and salt if necessary.

For the coleslaw, mix together all ingredients and season to taste. If you like a really crunchy slaw then make sure you mix just before serving, or alternatively mix it up ahead of time to soften the carrot and cabbage slightly.

Finally, build your sandwich. Spread all four slices of bread thickly with cashew cream cheese, fill with coleslaw and top off with a generous amount of seitan pastrami. Serve with a cold beer or drink of your choice and enjoy!


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