For those of you unfamiliar with seitan (pictured to the left, on the right hand side of that stir-fry dish), it is a popular meat substitute made of wheat gluten. Its consistency is chewy without being gummy and very much akin to a chicken breast.
From a nutritional standpoint, it is a great lean protein — very low in fat (2 to 3 grams for a 3 ounce serving), high in protein (18 to 20 grams per serving), and high in iron (25 – 30 % of the daily recommended intake per serving).
Seitan also offers 3 to 4 grams of fiber and approximately 8% of the calcium recommended daily amount in a three ounce serving.
Supermarkets like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s sell it, as do many conventional supermarkets in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Seattle, and Chicago. It is often located near produce, alongside tofu.
The following recipe is not only healthy, I can also say I have served it — with much success! — to people who would scoff at eating meat substitutes.
My only condition was that they had to taste the dish without knowing the ingredients, and tell me their honest opinion.
I’m happy to say that a few minutes later I had a handful of carnivores asking me where they could get “this stuff”!
Yield: 2 Servings
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 container White Wave seitan (cut the seitan into bite-size chunks)
1 small orange pepper, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
Paprika powder, to taste
Salt, to taste (I did not include any, and no one asked for a salt shaker)
Pepper, to taste
2 cups cooked quinoa (follow instructions on package; use 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water)
1 medium avocado
Heat the olive oil at medium-high temperature in medium sized pot.
Once oil is sufficiently heated (you should see “waves” in the oil when you move it around the pot), throw in the diced garlic. Be sure to move it around often to prevent it from burning.
Once the garlic reaches a golden color, throw in the diced peppers and increase the heat to high.
Continue to heat for five minutes. Stir frequently.
Add in seitan chunks.
While stirring, add pepper and paprika powder, to taste.
Stir for two minutes and then lower heat back to medium for five more minutes, stirring frequently.
In a separate pot, make quinoa, following package directions.
Once the seitan-vegetable medley and quinoa are done, cut a ripe medium-sized avocado into thin slices.
Place a scoopful of quinoa in serving bowl. Top wih seitan-pepper chunks and avocado slices.
NUTRITION FACTS (per serving)
27 grams fat
3.1 grams saturated fat
15 grams fiber
36 grams protein
This meal is extremely heart-healthy — three quarters of its fats are of the monounsaturated kind, the absolute best for cardiovascular health!
That being said, if you are interested in a lower-fat variety containing less calories, only include half an avocado, rather than a whole one. This results in 80 less calories and takes away seven grams of fat (as well as three grams of fiber, so be sure to throw in an extra vegetable like broccoli or shredded carrots to make up for that!)