Comfort Food: Vegan Gyros

September 17, 2013

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I’ve already mentioned that this weekend, we had a lovely fall day of exploring vegan food options in Brooklyn. At Vegan Shop-up in Bushwick, we picked up a package of Taft all natural Seitan in Gyro flavor. I’m a seitan recipes expert at this point but what I really appreciated about Taft was how the ingredients list is really all natural, with nothing that you can’t pronounce or reasonably comprehend. After all, seitan–like tofu–is a food that dates back to more than 1,000 years ago. My rule of thumb when I feel like I’m relying too much on packaged foods is to see if it’s a traditional food product like seitan or tofu, or something that didn’t exist until last half century–and this one passes the mark.

This vegan gyro recipe is so simple once you have all the ingredients, but makes for a really impressive presentation, as you can see from this super sexy photo below. With the heartiness of the seitan (which provides 25g of protein per serving), freshness of the fattoush and crunch of the cabbage, the crispiness of chips and the creaminess of the tahini, this is one crowd-pleasing dinner–or a post-party snack (you know this will be the best thing ever at 3 a.m.).

vegan gyro

Vegan Gyros

Makes 2 sandwiches

2 pita pockets

5-6 slices Taft Seitan Gyro

1 small cucumber, seeded and chopped

1 small tomato, seeded and chopped

1/4 medium onion, chopped fine

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp chopped mint or parsley (optional)

1 cup red cabbage, shredded or finely chopped

4 tbsp hummus

4 tbsp tahini

1 small clove garlic, finely minced

4 tbsp water

1/2 cup your favorite veggie or potato chips (optional, but highly recommended)

Salt and pepper

1. In a medium bowl, combine chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, mint or parsley (if using), 1/2 tsp olive oil, and the lemon juice of 1/4 lemon. Salt and pepper generously.

2. In another bowl, combine the cabbage, another 1/4 of the lemon juice and olive oil, and salt and pepper generously. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the tahini and water using a fork until it turns white and creamy. Mix in the minced garlic and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Salt and pepper generously. You can sprinkle a dash of cumin, if desired.

4. Heat a medium skillet, and add the seitan slices. Flip after about 30 seconds, until heated thoroughly on both sides.

5. At the same time, toast the pita pockets in a toaster oven until hot and crispy. Once that’s done, assemble the sandwich. Cut away the top of the pita to open the pocket, and spread 2-3 tbsp of hummus on the inside. Stuff it with a few tbsp of the fattoush and cabbage, then layer with seitan slices and potato chips (if using), then top with more vegetable toppings. Drizzle on top with the tahini sauce.

More comfort food ideas: Chef Angela’s No Chicken Pot Pie

Barbecue Tempeh with Rainbow Jojos

Photo: Peaceful Dumpling

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Originally from Portland, Oregon, Juhea now lives in NYC with her Oreo cookie cat, Zeus. When she is not writing, she enjoys running in Central Park, yoga, and teaching Barre classes. Follow Juhea on Instagram @peacefuldumpling, Google+ and Pinterest.

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