Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Creamy Spicy Seitan Sauté with Chickpeas and Swiss Chard

Recipe by Georgianne Kamberos Simons

picture of Creamy Spicy Seitan Sauté with Chickpeas and Swiss ChardOne of my favorite things to do with seitan is simply sauté it with some garlic, onion, and greens to make a quick meal.  That combination was the inspiration for this slightly more elaborate version.  I made a sauce with cashews, but feel free to leave it out to keep this recipe lower in fat.  I love the play of spicy and creamy together, which is why I chose to include it.  If you decide to make the cashew sauce, (which is well worth it), you will want to soak your cashews for at least 2 hours.  I sometimes use a quick method of adding boiling water to soak the cashews, if I'm in a time crunch.  This allows them to soften and puree into a beautifully smooth sauce.  The cream can also be made in advance, and kept refrigerated.

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: less than 30 minutes


  • 1 Package Upton's Naturals Ground Seitan
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2-3/4 C water
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2-1 tsp red chili flakes
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 bunch swiss chard (rinsed), leaves torn from stems and cut into ribbons (this is approximately 12 leaves)
  • 1 can chickpeas, strained and rinsed, or ~2 C cooked chickpeas
  • 3-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • fresh lemon wedges, to serve

Cashew Cream:
  • 1 C cashews (soaked for at least two hours in enough water to cover)
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tbs nutritional yeast (optional)


  1. Heat a large, heavy bottomed pan with a lid to medium.  Add a drop of water to hear the sizzle of a heated pan.  
  2. When ready, add oil, onions, chili flakes and a pinch of salt.  If you like things spicy, use the full teaspoon of chili flakes.  Keep a close eye on the pan so that the oil doesn't start smoking.  Utilize the water as a tool to keep onions from sticking to the pan.  This is helpful in preventing the burning of ingredients, while using less oil.  
  3. Sauté onion for 8-10 minutes, until it becomes translucent.  Add the package of Ground Seitan to the pan, breaking up with a wooden spoon.  Stir with onions for a minute or two.  
  4. Add the rest of the water, chopped swiss chard, garlic, and chickpeas; stir to incorporate all ingredients.  
  5. Cover with lid, and reduce heat to steam the greens for approximately 5 minutes.  Remove lid, add a bit more water.  When everything is heated through, it is optional to add the nutritional yeast.  This adds a "cheesy" depth of flavor.
  6. To make Cashew Cream, drain and rinse cashews that have been soaking. Place them in a blender with 1/2 cup water, salt, and nutritional yeast. This will yield 1 1/2 cups of Cream. You will not need all of this for this recipe, so feel free to reduce recipe. I love it on everything, so I think it's worth making extra.

Serve the Sauté on your plate with a drizzle of the Cashew Cream, and squeeze fresh lemon juice to taste. 
You can also stretch this recipe by serving it over a cooked grain, such as quinoa or brown rice.