Vegan Seitan Souvlaki, (Greek Kebabs) with Cucumber Garlic Tzatziki Sauce
Flavorsome cubes of seitan, marinated in a rosemary-garlic sauce and charred in the broiler or over a grill. Dip these herbaceous kebabs into my cooling cucumber tzadziki for a short trip to the greek isles. Serve as an appetizer or as part of a main course.
There were years that I couldn’t listen to Leonard Cohen’s songs without crying. Years. His voice brought me back to the shatteringly bright days, the carefree days, the lemon scented days, the lazy golden days of childhood and my mother’s youth on Hydra where all was possible for her and us.
I still ache when his voice comes on the radio. And now this anthology has come out with all the voices singing in harmony and dissonance a song of the early years on Hydra.
Perhaps you know of Hydra through Leonard Cohen’s songs, or as the place where the artist Ghika lived, or through Charmain Clift or Henry MIller’s writing. For me, for so many of us, the rocky, pine scented, car-less island is an old friend. My mother referred to Hydra as a lover, at times a cheating lover, a lover who snared your heart with sharp hooks. There is no shaking Hydra off.
When We Were Almost Young: Remembering Hydra through War and Bohemians
“Marianne and Leonard’s relationship would last the better part of a decade, much of it spent on Hydra, where Marianne would inspire Leonard to write the songs “Bird on a Wire” and “So Long, Marianne,” … When she lay dying in the summer of 2016, Leonard wrote to her: “Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine […] Endless love, see you down the road.” She died two days later. He followed a little over three months later.”
-Helle Goldman, When We Were Almost young
“The very real magic of Hydra floated about us – the insistent buzzing of cicadas, drifts of pale almond petals, the anise of ouzo licked off our fingertips after a quick dip in our parents’ glasses, the sting as you brushed against nettle plants, the not so gentle pinch on the cheek by black-clad widows. Lemon blossom winds invaded our dreams and we woke to goat bell mornings.”
-Johanne Rosenthal, When We Were Almost Young
“the melancholy I felt at being unable to join in their escapades, the smell of fishing nets drying in the sun and of basil plants in the surrounding courtyards…Goats’ bells and the clatter of hooves as mules approached, making us step aside. The taste of the aubergines in tomato sauce, fried potatoes and meatballs that Mother used to make for us to eat after bathing.”
-Panagiotis Rappas, When We Were Almost Young
“Out in the water, Father paused from his hunt to see how I was doing back on land. Seconds later he was on the beach, ripping the octopus off me. Its suckers left round marks all over my arm. In spite of experiences like this, when asked at around this age what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered that I was going to be a diver by day and a writer by night, like Father.”
-Helle Goldman, When We Were Almost young
Tomorrow I will post part two and show you how to take these Vegan Seitan Souvlaki, (Greek Kebabs) with Cucumber Garlic Tzatziki Sauce and make your very own Greek Vegan Seitan Gyros.
If you are a sucker for food on a stick then take a look at my Seitan Satay.
Or if it is greek food you love then you’ll love my almond based, herb marinate Vegan Feta recipe.
A perfect appetizer that can be dressed up or down. Feel free to grill these in summer or broil then in the oven in winter. Served with a refreshing garlic cucumber yogurt sauce.
You will need 6-8 bamboo skewers or thin chop sticks for this recipe. Soak them in water for 30 minutes before you make and grill your kebabs.
- 2 Eight ounce packages prepared Seitan or make my seitan satay recipe below
- 1 lemon cut into quarters
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed
- 1/4 cup red or white wine, they will give different but equally delicious results.
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cup plain non-dairy yoghurt
- 1/2 cup peeled cucumber diced to 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed to a paste
- 2 chilles in adobo
- 4 tbsp nut-butter or tahini
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 cups vital wheat gluten (I use Bob's red mill brand)
- 1 1/2 cups veggie broth
Mix all of the marinade ingredients together. Cook over medium heat in a small sauce pan for 8 minutes.
If making home made seitan allow it to cool and cut it into one inch strips and the into cubes. if using store bought cut into 1" chunks.
Place you seitan (store bought or home made) into the marinade and allow to sit at least 20 minutes. Stick your seitan onto soaked bamboo skewers thin chop sticks. I used six or seven chunks per kebab. Feel free to alternate veggies into your kebabs like red pepper or zucchini for a more colorful effect.
Heat your oven to broil. Or fire up your grill.
Meanwhile make your tzatziki. Pat your diced cucumber dry with a towel. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl, stir and set aside.
Stick your seitan cubes onto bamboo sticks or use chopsticks like I did. Broil on top rack of the oven until charred. 10 to 16 minutes, turning frequently and brushing with remaining marinade. Remove from oven, squeeze lemon over the top and serve with Tzatziki for dipping.
Roll up your sleeves and knead the dough with your hands for 5-6 minutes to activate the gluten.
Lightly flour a cutting board
Cut the dough into 2 pieces. Roll each into a ball and with a rolling pin flatten them into rectangles that are about3/4 of an inch tall.
Lightly grease a baking pan and place the rolled out seitan pieces on it. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes and remove from oven.