Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vegan Spanish Seitan and Rice and Bonus Vegan Vocabulary Lesson

People regularly ask me what we vegan folks eat. I think most people presume that we eat freaky stuff with weird names. Names like seitan*** (see below for a vegan pronunciation key). Have you ever tried seitan?

For those of you who are not in the loop seitan (also known as wheat meat) is a vegan "meat" made from wheat. Now before you start imagining crazy bespectacled vegan scientists electrocuting wheat and adding strange chemicals on stormy nights I should tell you that seitan is actually an ancient food. The Chinese first developed it in ancient times (I don't have an exact date I am not a food historian folks) and it was a delicacy reserved for the royals. So, if you want to feel like an ancient Chinese empress or maybe you just want something new to eat I highly recommend seitan.

If you are wondering about the taste it is a bit like chicken in texture and it picks up the flavors of whatever you are cooking. I really do love this vegan alternative to meat, also great for people who have soy allergies.

So, without further ado I give you a recipe that puts seitan to use.

Spanish Seitan and Rice


  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 package of seitan, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. white cooking wine
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (liquid and all)
  • 1 c. white rice (cook according to instructions)
  • 1 c. frozen peas
  • 1/4 c. fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 c. pimento stuffed Spanish olives
Heat the oil in a LARGE pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the seitan and bell pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the wine, tomatoes (with liquid), rice and season with salt and pepper.


Bring to a boil (add a bit of water if the liquid cooks off too fast), reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 15 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 2-5 more minutes. Spoon onto individual plates and garnish with parsley and olives.





Vegan Vocab. (Just a few words that people often ask about)

***Eating vegan is one thing, pronouncing it is another thing altogether. Here are a few words that many have difficulty pronouncing (so you won't be scared to ask for it at the store). Not necessarily related to the recipe above.

seitan-(pronounced say-tan)vegan meat alternative, often used in place of chicken. Protein rich
vegan- (pronounced vee-gun) one who eats/wears/uses only products that are free of animal products and testing
tempeh- (pronounced temp-ay) an Indonesian soy based meat analogue. Has a somewhat nutty flavor, used in everything from stirfry to sandwiches. High in complete protein.
quinoa-(pronounced keen-wah) a grain like crop that is known for it's edible seeds. Often used in dishes that call for a grain or a grain accompaniment. High in protein.

Any vegan vocab questions? I'd be happy to answer them


Emily said...

Two statements and a question:
1. This looks really yummy!
2. You're so pretty!
3. Where did you end up finding seitan in your area?

Maria Rose said...

1. Thank you!
2. Thank you!
3. Got a Natural Grocers and now we can get vegan everything. WOOOO

Anonymous said...

I never even knew seitan existed, very cool! While we are not vegan, I still like to try new foods. (We however are very must against animal testing and cruelty here)

Kate said...

I can't often find seitan here. Alas.

sophie said...

yummy Maria!

elizabeth said...

i, like nicole, love trying new things - and especially proteins that aren't meat or soy. we do eat meat, but not a lot of it. i may have to look for seitan and try it in a rice or salad or something.

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