With the weather cooling down here in the California desert (well, it’s only about 70 outside right now, downright chilly compared to the 85 of a few days ago), my mind tends to turn to comfort food. Soups and stews are among my favorite winter meals. And, because we are in the midst of the holiday season, the word “easy” becomes one of my favorites too. Not a whole lot of time to spare these days.
The “beef” in this vegan stew is seitan, which is made from wheat gluten. It has a wonderful meaty flavor and texture. You can either make it yourself (here’s a good recipe), or buy it pre-made. I added a little spice to the stew by chopping up a Serrano chile, but feel free to skip it for a more traditional meal.
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 Jalapeno or Serrano chile (optional), seeded and chopped
2 cups seitan, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup red wine (optional, you can use more broth if you’d like)
1 teaspoon sea salt pepper to taste
1 cup kale, chopped or broken into bite size pieces
Preheat the oil in your skillet over med-high heat. Add the garlic and onion. Cook and stir for two minutes.
Add the yellow pepper and serrano. Continue to cook for several more minutes until the veggies are soft.
Add the seitan and potatoes, and cook until both are slightly brown (about five minutes).
Add the broth, wine, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium. Add the kale and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by about 3/4 and the kale is tender.
Makes four servings.
Serve alone or with some warm crusty bread, seated by a roaring fire…well you get the picture. Perfect for a winter’s meal.
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