|ALL-AMERICAN "BEEFY" VEGETABLE STEW
Serves: 6 to 8
This delicious vegetarian version of a classic heartland dish, calls for seitan, a product made of high-protein wheat gluten. It's available ready made in natural food stores, or make it yourself with Arrowhead Mills' Seitan Quick Mix.
2 tablespoons light olive or olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash or other salt-free herb-and-spice seasoning mix
1 to 1 1/2 cups trimmed fresh or thawed frozen green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 1/2 pounds fresh seitan, cut into bite-sized pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat half of the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until the onion is golden. Add the potatoes, carrots, water, bouillon cube, and seasoning mix. Bring to a simmer, then simmer gently, covered, for 10 minutes.
Add the green beans and continue to simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the vegetables are tender. If the potato has not begun to break up on its own, use the back of a wooden spoon to mash enough of the potatoes to thicken the base of the stew.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a wide skillet. Add the seitan pieces and sauté over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until most sides are nicely browned and crisp. Add the sauted seitan to the stew. Add a bit more water if necessary. The consistency should be thick and moist, but not soupy. Season to taste with salt and pepper (use salt sparingly, if at all, since the bouillon cube and seitan add a salty flavor). Serve in shallow bowls.