Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hearty Mexican Stew with Seitan Sausage

This past weekend brought my second attempt at homemade seitan. This time I chose a recipe by the famous Vegan cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The recipe is called Simple Italian Sausages and my results were, well, just okay. Nothing to write home about, or really blog about for that matter. The texture was fine, but I think I was expecting to be "wowed" by incredible sausagey flavors. It didn't happen for me.

But on Sunday afternoon I felt like making a stew. And I knew that almost any seitan, even this one, would be great in a stew. Cut into chunks, it gives a vegetable/bean stew that meaty texture that is so rare in Vegan cooking.

I had just gotten some huge sweet potatoes in my vegetable share that I was itching to use, and along with black beans and some Mexican seasonings, I prepared a quick Mexican Stew that was totally delicious. This recipe makes quite a lot, so it's great for a crowd or sharing with your friends.

Coincidentally, Debby over at happyhealthylonglife.com was just talking about a fabulous new faux sausage product that she discovered when travelling. It's made by Upton's Naturals and it's called Chorizo Seitan.

photo courtesy uptonsnaturals.com

If you have access to this product, I highly recommend making this stew and using Upton's Chorizo. You can find out if it is sold near you by visiting their website. Unfortunately, it's not sold in Cleveland yet. Yet. I'll have to work on that!

Hearty Mexican Stew with Seitan Sausage
serves 10

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3 cups diced yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 1/2 cups vegetable broth, divided
8 cups peeled and diced sweet potato (3 large sweet potatoes)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
up to 1 Tbsp ground chipotle chili power
3 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can fat free refried black beans
1 recipe Seitan Sausage, cubed OR 2 packages Uptons Naturals Chorizo-style Seitan
1 large bunch kale, sliced into ribbons about 1/2" thick
juice of 1 large lime
1 Tbsp salt (or not)
optional: cilantro to garnish

Prepare seitan sausages according to recipe if you do not have packages of Upton's Seitan Chorizo.

Coat to base of a large soup pot with 1/4 cup of vegetable broth. Turn heat to medium high. When vegetable broth begins to bubble, add onion. Cook onion, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Turn heat to medium low and add garlic. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.

Add sweet potato and 1/4 cup of vegetable broth. Stir. Add cumin and chipotle chili powder. Add less chili powder if you like your food less spicy (the full 1 Tbsp of chipotle chili powder will make this quite spicy). Stir to coat onions and potatoes. Cover, turn heat to medium high, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occassionally.

Add 8 cups of vegetable broth, all of the black beans, and the refried black beans. Bring to a boil, stirring gently until the refried beans have dissolved.

Add kale and stir. Lower heat to low and cook for about 2 minutes, until kale softens.

Add lime juice and season to taste with salt. Serve immediately or keep over very low heat until ready to serve. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Have you tried any of the Upton's Naturals Seitan products?

Have you ever made a homemade Chorizo Seitan? If you know of a kick a$# recipe for that, please let me know!
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