Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Seitan and Broccoli Bowls

I received The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions for Christmas--a book that I recommend you all check out!  More than just a cookbook, it's a how-to guide for working without dairy, eggs, meat, and animal by-products. Plus, it labels recipes as gluten-free, soy-free, etc.

We decided to try out the book's recipe for "Beef" and Broccoli Bowls, or, as my version is called, Seitan and Broccoli Bowls.  I made a few adjustments to the original recipe, as detailed below.

Seitan and Broccoli Bowl topped with Sesame Seeds and Scallions
Recipe:
Seitan and Broccoli Bowls
  • brown rice (enough for 6 servings)
  • 6 cups frozen (or fresh) broccoli florets 
  • a heaping 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or vegetable broth)
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1.5 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 24 ounces chopped seitan
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

First, begin preparing the rice according to the package instructions.  When about 15-20 minutes remain in the cooking time, set the broccoli to steam.  As the broccoli and rice are cooking, move on to prepare the sauce.

To make the sauce, whisk together the agave, soy sauce, wine, oil, corn starch, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  When the sauce begins to boil, turn down the heat and simmer, stirring often, until the sauce thickens a bit.  Then, add the seitan to the sauce and continue cooking until heated through.

Finally, layer the rice, broccoli, and saucy seitan in a bowl, top with scallions and sesame seeds, and serve.

Yields 6 servings. 

Comments:

Taste:            
This flavorful, umami-filled dish is sweet, spicy, and satisfying.  The seitan, broccoli, and rice come together into a nice, substantive, healthy bite.  
Accessibility:            
While you can make seitan from scratch, we ventured to Whole Foods to buy prepared seitan (sold in the refrigerated section, often near the produce); it's not sold at other nearby grocery stores.  Don't let the agave nectar scare you--we had no trouble finding it at our regular grocery store, in the syrup/honey aisle.  Also, we found a small (single/double serving?) box of wine at the grocery store, meaning we didn't need to buy a whole bottle just for this recipe.
 Ease of Preparation:       
While there are several things going on at once in this recipe, they are all pretty low-maintenance and easy to do.  Using "instant" brown rice can speed things up.
Non-vegan friendliness:            
I'm intentionally calling this recipe Seitan and Broccoli Bowls, rather than "Beef" and Broccoli Bowls: seitan isn't the same as beef, so there's no need to force a comparison between them.  This healthy, tasty dish is satisfying on its own. 

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