Monday, August 8, 2011

Kabocha Broccoli Rice Casserole with Chicken-Style Seitan

I was trying to make some seitan with a tropical/Latin twist, but it didn't quite turn out as flavorful as I had hoped. Rather, it turned out to be a wonderful, basic chicken-style substitute that is not too chewy, so Sawyer loves it. Sometimes he has issues with seitan being a bit too tough for him to chew, but this one was a hit. I incorporated it into a rice casserole with kabocha squash and broccoli and sprinkled some crushed plantain chips on top. I did not expect this, but the plantain chips ended up having a sort of egg-y flavor, in that they looked like and had some of the chewiness of the scrambled eggs that Chinese restaurants put in their fried rice dishes.

When I make a casserole like this where the veggies are diced large, I just scoop out some of the dish and pulse it in the food processor so that the bites are easier to handle for the kids. This time I also fried the kids' portion into little rice-veggie pancakes so that they could more easily pick up the pieces with their fingers.

Easy Chicken-Style Seitan

1/2 c. coconut milk
1/2 c. pineapple chunks with juice
1/2 c. white beans
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 c. chickpea flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chile powder (Up this amount if you want to really taste it as more than an accent)

1. Preheat the oven to 350. In a food processor, blend the coconut milk, pineapple, and beans until smooth.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten, chickpea flour, salt, and chile powder. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together until combined, and you see the glutinous strands forming.
3. Divide the dough in two and form each one into a log shape. Tear off two pieces of aluminum foil big enough to wrap up each log and twist the ends like a Tootsie Roll. Place the foil-encased seitan seam-side down on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm.

Kabocha and Broccoli Seitan Rice Casserole

For Rice:
1 1/2 c. brown rice (I used brown Basmati)
3 c. water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste

For Veggies:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small sweet onion, in small dice
1 bell pepper, in small diced (I used purple, but whatever color you have on hand will do.)

1/2 medium kabocha squash cut in 1/2 in. chunks (You could sub butternut, but kabocha is so much better.)
1 Tbsp. soy-free Earth Balance
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

2 c. broccoli florets, steamed until just tender and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 seitan recipe above, diced into bite-sized pieces
1/3 c. barbecue sauce
1 c. plantain chips, crushed

1. Boil the water, add the rice, turn the heat to low, and cook until the rice is done, which usually takes about 40 mins. for me.
2. While the rice is cooking, pre-heat the oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine squash chunks, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, Earth Balance, salt, and pepper. Pour all onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30-40 mins, until squash is tender when poked with a fork.
3. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a small saucepan and saute the onion and bell pepper until softened and starting to brown, 7-10 mins.
4. When the rice is done, let it cool a bit, and then add it to the large mixing bowl, along with the olive oil and herbs. and stir to combine. Then add the cooked squash, sauteed onions and peppers, broccoli, seitan, and barbecue sauce. Stir to combine all evenly and then pour into an oiled 9x13 baking dish.
5. Sprinkle the plantain chips on top and bake for 20 mins in the 400 degree oven.


  1. These recipes look brilliant! I can't wait to try some. It was great meeting you today! I felt like I was staring into a mirror in the Dayia section!

  2. I am so glad you looked up my blog, Melodie! I was trying to figure out how to email you, but I couldn't, so I hope you see this. I hope that we can meet again; our kids seem close in age, so it may be fun to do a play date sometime.

  3. Well, so glad I checked back here! I would love to have a play date. We are currently in the middle of a remodel and should be in our house by the end of September. Hopefully we can plan something after that? I can't figure out how to email you either. I'm hoping you get some sort of notification when someone leaves a comment here. My email is I'm on FB too, but my privacy settings are pretty high. I'll see if I can search for you there.

  4. Ok...I don't know why it posted my name as "unknown", but it's really from Melodie (the whole foods allergy mom) Ha! ;)