Make your own plant based meats with Plant Based Meats, Hearty, High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians, and Curious Carnivores

Plant Based Meats, Hearty, High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians, and Curious Carnivores

Plant Based Meats, Hearty, High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians, and Curious Carnivores is Out

I don’t have children. I guess that the closest thing to giving birth that I will ever experience will be the gestation of a cookbook. At first it’s a twinkle in your eye, then comes several months of intense work and creation, and then just when you can’t stand it anymore, it’s done.

Less blood, but plenty of sweat and tears.

Once that book is completed and in your hands, all the work and difficulty fades from memory. It’s all worth it.

So, meet my new baby, Plant Based Meats, Hearty, High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians, and Curious Carnivores. After a year of testing and tweaking all my plant-based meat recipes, then making them for photo shoots with talented photographer David Schmit, I’m so proud to see them enter the world.

Beefy Seitan Burger from Plant-Based Meats: Hearty, High-Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians, and Curious Carnivores

The Beefy Seitan Burger!

Plant Based Meats are a Hot Trend

I’ve been out here, spreading the word about plant based, vegetarian food since the 80’s, and it’s been a journey. For many of those years, it seemed like the needle wasn’t moving. The Standard American Diet had people in its grip, and only a few brave souls questioned it. But in recent years, we are seeing the needle move.

10 years ago, non-dairy milks made the move to the dairy case, and suddenly, their market share exploded. Now it’s time for Plant-based meats to take a growing space in the market. In 2018 alone, plant-based meat sales are up 23%, with the top brands, like Beyond Meat up 70%, Field Roast up 68%.

Praise to the Butchers and “Meat” Makers

The movement owes much to the urgency we all feel about global climate change. We’ve also got some great artisans taking plant-based meats to new places, including my friends at the Herbivorous Butcher, and “meat” makers around the globe.

Empower Yourself, Make Your Own “Meat”

Like bread, the showy mock meats (like stuffed turkeys, or layered streaky bacon) take a little time to make, and there will always be people who prefer to buy it, not make their own. But for anyone who wants to know what’s in her food, and even customize it a bit, the home kitchen is the place to create “meats.”

There’s More Than One Way to Make a “MEAT”

Most of the meats in the book include some gluten. But there are also jackfruit, bean, nut, and seed based meats in there, too. The chapters cover Basic Meats, Lunch Meats and Spreads, Sausages, Meatballs, Burgers and Meatloaves,Tacos and Pulled Meats, Roasts and Filets, Ribs and Wings, Bacon and Jerky, and a Section on Using the “meats” in main courses like Boeuf Bourguignon, Pepperoni Pizza, and more. There are several gluten free options.

Walnut Cauliflower Ground Beef Tacos, a GF Option from Plant Based Meats by Robin Asbell

Walnut Cauliflower Ground Beef Tacos, a GF Option

If You Crave Meat, This Works

Mock meats may never knock animal meats off the menu. But these really do deliver a satisfying texture and flavor. Your umami receptors will sense the combinations of amino acids and other umami chemicals that signal “meatiness” to your brain, and the experience will feel more satisfying than eating a handful of nuts. You’ll be full and have the protein you crave. Add the satisfaction of eating a meal that isn’t adding to your carbon footprint or taking the lives of animals, and you’ve got a pretty satisfying dish.

I hope you’ll give my book a try, and make your own plant based meats at home. You’ll be saving money, the planet, and your health, with one small but powerful act.

Charcuterie from Plant Based Meats, Hearty High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians and Curious Carnivores

Charcuterie to Tempt the Curious Carnivore

Basic Beef Seitan

This versatile recipe can be made as one big roast, or chunks of stewed beef. It can be simmered on the stovetop, cooked in a slow cooker, or pressure cooked in an instant pot. Once it’s done, you can cut it in chunks for stir fry, and stews, or you can grind it to make a pretty great ground beef.

Copyrighted and reprinted with permission from Plant Based Meats, Hearty, High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians and Curious Carnivores (Countryman Press)

Yield: 2 1/2 pounds

Mixing time 15 minutes, cooking times vary by method

2 cups vital wheat gluten

1/4 cup tapioca

1/4 cup chickpea flour

1/4 cup mock beef broth powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 1/2 cups water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste


In a large bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten, tapioca, chickpea flour, and onion powder. In a medium bowl, combine the water, broth powder, oil, tamari, and tomato paste. Whisk until smooth. Stir into the gluten mixture, and knead when it becomes stiff. Form into a log about 9 inches long.

Stovetop: Pour the broth ingredients into a 4 quart pot or dutch oven with a lid. Add the seitan log, and if needed, more water to cover the log, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer, just bubbling but not boiling. Cover the pot and cook for about 2 hours, turning the seitan midway. The internal temp should reach 180 F.

Instant Pot: Place 2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet and a dried mushroom in the Instant Pot. For chunks: Mix the seitan and tear or cut the dough into bite-sized pieces, dropping them into the pot as you go. Secure the lid and made sure the steam vent is on Sealing. Set to pressure cook on high pressure, and use Manual to set the timer for 20 minutes. When 20 minutes is up, let the cooker release pressure naturally for 10 minutes.

Let the seitan cool, then separate the pieces.

For the roast, pressure cook for 40 minutes.

Slow cooker: Use 2 cups broth and cook on low for 6 hours.

Take off the heat, drain the seitan and let cool. Save the broth to use in other applications. Use for making ground seitan by cutting in chunks and grinding in the food processor, pulsing on and off until a ground beefy texture is achieved. For stir-fry beef, rip the seitan in pieces, pulling it to find a grain and make pieces that resemble meat.


Seitan Ground Beef Tacos

If you thought taco night was a thing of the past, rejoice. These tacos put your ground seitan to good use, so you can cook these up just the way you used to with a pound of ground beef and a packet of mystery additives and spices.

Copyrighted and reprinted with permission from Plant Based Meats, Hearty, High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians and Curious Carnivores (Countryman Press)

Yield: 1 pound, 1 3/4 cups

20 minutes

1 1/2 cups ground seitan

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 tablespoons sherry

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons oregano

1/2 teaspoon smoked salt

2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce

8 hard or soft taco shells

Lettuce, tomatoes, sliced jalapenos


Prepare or thaw seitan. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat for a few seconds, then add the onions and stir. Saute, stirring, until softened. Add the tomato paste and sherry and stir to mix well. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, smoked salt and tamari and mix. Add the seitan and stir to mix and coat the crumbles thoroughly. Keep stirring until thick and browned, and heated through.

Serve in wraps or tacos.