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Cooking with Seitan and Quorn

January 31, 2011

You’d be amazed at what’s available these days for folks who, for whatever reason, want to limit or avoid meat. Long gone are the days of mushy tofu as the go to non-meat protein source. I have nothing against meat, meat eaters or non-meat eaters. My motto is “to each his or her own”, be happy with whatever choice you’ve made for yourself. Ya’ll might have figured out that I love learning and I enjoy sharing ideas so I’d like to pass these recent “finds” along to you. I tried them out on my 16-year-old daughter who is not the most adventuresome eater and she didn’t notice a thing. The “big reveal” came after dinner, which she inhaled. She agreed that using Quorn or seitan is a great way to limit animal fats and try to get on the bandwagon of the “green” movement by eating less animal proteins. We’ll still choose meat when we want a good burger or steak.

Quorn “grounds” and Italian Sausage Style Seitan Roll up (with spinach, tomatoes and mozzarella)

This meat-substitute experiment started with a shopping trip at Woodman’s market in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It’s a huge market, a destination for people in the know. No taxes being the #1 draw for those of us from the Land of Lincoln,who’s on a fiver btw. I think we need to change our state’s motto as the tax rates go up, say to become the Land of Hamilton who’s on a 10 spot or Land of Jackson who’s on a $20 and hoping we never get to Land of Grant, whos’ mug’s on a $50. (Back to Woodman’s) I spotted packages of Chorizo-Style Seitan, Italian Sausage-Style Seitan and a couple of others in the regular produce section, next to the tofu. They are from a Chicago company called Uptown Naturals. I snatched up one of each thinking $2.39 wasn’t going to break the bank. What a discovery, I’m hooked and not feeling the least bit of guilt as besides being delicious they are 100% vegan/vegetarian, contain to GMOs, are cholesterol free, low in fat and carbs, are a good source of protein and are certified Kosher by the CRC . Their website says “seitan is a traditional Japanese product made from the protein in wheat (aka gluten). With an impressively meat-like texture and robust flavor, seitan is both high in protein and low in fat without the cholesterol associated with meat.” So true. It’s been eaten for centuries and the only question I have is this. Why don’t more people know about it?

Quorn, on the other hand, is a relatively new food source. According to the Quorn website, mycoprotein is the main ingredient in all Quorn products. It’s made from a member of the fungi family, which includes mushrooms and truffles, and is a high-quality meat-free protein that’s naturally low in fat with very few calories. Mycoprotein also is high in dietary fibre, which is important for your digestive system, and has the essential amino acids your body needs, with no cholesterol or trans fats. (Notice the ‘re’ vs. ‘er’ in the word fiber.. that’s because it is from the UK.) I read a little more about Quorn and according to some it’s vat produced and may cause allergic reactions in people who suffer from mold allergies. That must be the fungus reference, so buyer beware is what I’m saying.

Chorizo Style Seitan with onions

Add sharp cheddar cheese, avocado, tomatoes on a grilled tortilla


Seitan and Quorn are both fully cooked so only need to be heated and are best prepared by cooking in a little oil. I sautéed onion and garlic before adding the seitan and or Quorn, then melted cheese on top. Basically, you can use these two meat substitutes just as you’d use ground turkey, beef or chicken. Oh, and did I say they don’t contain soy?  I hope I’ve piqued your interest in trying one or both of these tasty, good-for-you, foods. Try them in chili, stuffed peppers, pizza … the possibilities are endless and the Quorn product line includes roasts, nuggets, burgers to name a few.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. brc permalink
    January 31, 2011 9:57 pm

    So how did it taste????

    The fajita/soft taco looks great. Did it taste as good as it looked?

    • February 1, 2011 7:37 am

      Tastes and feels like ground beef. Really good, so good that Sarah didn’t have a clue. The seitan comes in packages that are 4 servings, perfect for your family. Sadly, they cost more at Whole Foods. We should plan a trip to Woodman’s. SO worth it my coupon loving friend. 🙂

  2. Elizabeth permalink
    January 31, 2011 10:51 pm

    ahhh, reminds me of my vegan days when I couldn’t get enough of blind faith cafe in evanston! I might just have to try this one! I actually think seitan is pretty satisfying in terms of its “meatiness” (if I can say that about a meat substitute:))

    • February 1, 2011 7:38 am

      I agree. No reason to not “save” your heart for a good burger or steak. I’m hooked. The Quorn grounds are equally beef like in texture and taste.

  3. Dreiske permalink
    February 1, 2011 11:10 am

    Amy, I’m so glad you’re spreading the word about Quorn and seitan! I’ve cooked with both for years; we’re not vegetarian but I love adding variety to my cooking and like saving my cholesterol comsumption for dessert! I often reach for these ingredients when brining dishes to potlucks because I like knowing all the guests (meat-eaters and vegetarians alike) can enjoy. I make tasty “Sloppy Janes” with plain seitan, and also make a potluck-favorite cornbread-topped tamale pie with crumbled Quorn.

    Quorn is also sold as chicken-like “cutlets” that are wonderful when sauteed in a little browned butter and used in place of cut-up chicken in all sorts of recipes.

    On a side note, I’m very allergic to mold but never had a problem with Quorn, nor have I met anyone who’s allergic to it. About once every six weeks Whole Foods will put all their Quorn products on sale, and that’s when I always stock up.

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