Arroz con Seitan

  • Yield 4 to 6 servings

A veggie tribute to the enduring Hispanic dish (arroz con pollo) that lets the chicken cross the road for yet another day.



12 ounces commercially prepared seitan, sliced into thick strips about 3 or 4 inches long
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Big pinch of dried oregano
Sofrito and Arroz:
2 tablespoons Annatto-Infused Oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 pound green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2/3 cup plain tomato sauce
1 cup light-colored Mexican beer or vegetable broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon salt, or more as desired
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1 1/4 cups water or vegetable broth or a combination of the two
1 cup fresh or frozen small green peas (small sweet peas are best)
1 carrot, peeled and diced small
1/2 cup sliced pimiento stuffed green olives
1/4 cup capers (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the seared seitan: In a large bowl whisk together lime juice, olive oil, and dried oregano. Add the seitan strips, using tongs to toss and coat them with the marinade. Marinate for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally. Heat a cast-iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat and generously coat with cooking spray or brush with peanut oil. Add a layer of marinated seitan strips, taking care not to crowd the pan. Fry seitan on each side for 1 to 2 minutes, flipping once (metal tongs work nicely here). Seitan should be crisp and dark on the edges but still look juicy. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. While preparing the seitan, prepare the sofrito: In a large Dutch oven or enamel-glazed cast-iron pot with a tight-fitting lid, combine Annatto-Infused Oil, olive oil, and garlic over medium heat. Fry until the garlic is fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the onion and bell pepper and fry uncovered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very soft and juicy, about 12 to 14 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato sauce, beer (or vegetable broth), dried oregano, cumin, and bay leaf and simmer for 4 minutes. Stir in the salt, rice, water or vegetable broth, peas, and carrots; cover the pot, and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the lid, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and push seared seitan strips down into the rice mixture. Sprinkle sliced olives and capers, if using, over everything, cover the pot, and cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until rice is tender, fluffy, and all of the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Remove from heat, keeping the pot covered, and set it aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Add chopped cilantro and gently fluff the rice. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and serve right away.

–From Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.



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