Remember the Latin American feast miniseries I did a few weeks ago? If you liked that, you’ll love this. Arroz con pollo (“rice with chicken”) is a popular dish all over Latin America and the Caribbean, and this vegan version is beyond marvelous! I adapted it from Terry Hope Romero’s Viva Vegan to simplify and streamline preparation, and I use brown rice instead of white to add fiber and whole grains. The recipe calls for sofrito, a slow-cooked combo of onions, bell peppers, and garlic, so remember to make that ahead of time if you can (though I’ll give a substitution below). Although I used storebought seitan, I bet this would be even better with homemade!
Per serving: 428 calories, 15.9g fat (2g sat), 51.1g carbs, 6g fiber, 21.9g protein
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/8 tsp dried oregano
- 12-16 oz. seitan, sliced into strips
- 1 Tbsp chile oil (or olive oil)
- 1 cup onion-pepper sofrito
- 1 cup vegetable broth (or Mexican beer)
- 2/3 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1¾ cups water
- 1½ cups long-grain brown rice
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Hot sauce, to serve (optional)
- First, prepare the seared seitan strips. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, and oregano. Add the seitan, toss to coat, and let marinate for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large pan (stockpot, skillet, or grill pan) over medium-high heat and coat generously with cooking spray. Add half the marinated seitan in a single layer and cook 1-2 minutes on each side (use tongs to turn), until the edges are crisp but the seitan is still moist. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Repeat with remaining seitan.
- Next (or meanwhile), get the rice started. Heat the chile oil in a large stockpot over medium heat, add the sofrito, and cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. (_Substitution:_ At this point, if you don’t have the prepared sofrito, you can add 5 minced cloves of garlic, ½ lb chopped yellow onion, and ½ lb chopped green pepper, then cook and stir for 12-14 minutes.)
- Add the tomato sauce, vegetable broth (or beer, or 1 cup water + 2 tsp vegan bouillon), cumin, oregano, and bay leaf.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for 4 minutes, then stir in the water, rice, peas, carrots, and salt.
- Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Uncover and add the prepared seitan strips, pushing them down into the rice mixture.
- Cover again and cook over low heat for about 45 minutes, or until rice is fluffy and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit, still covered, for 10 minutes before uncovering, removing the bay leaf, and adding the cilantro.
- Fluff to combine and serve with your favorite hot sauce. (A squirt of fresh lime juice might be nice, too.)
Everything about this dish is fantastic, from the meaty seitan strips to the perfectly-seasoned rice. It also got two big omni-thumbs up from Matt, who requested I make it again just a week after the first time. Take it from me—you might want to make a double batch!
The Hail Merry giveaway is still going strong, so don’t forget to enter that before Friday!