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How to Make Spicy Seitan and Peppers

Apologies for the picture-less post, but as part of my series “Husband Alone with the CSA“, I decided to post every meal that I cooked, even those that I didn’t take pictures of.

Towards the end of the week it dawned on me how much of a surplus of peppers I had accumulated over the prior few weeks. I’d get five or six each week and use two or three, with a bias towards the sweeter red or orange peppers. In the end I had a mountain of peppers left, mostly green.

It’s hard enough to plan meals to use the variety and volume of things that we get in our CSA. When we wind up unbalanced, with a lot of one single vegetable that doesn’t typically stand on its own, that presents a different issue entirely. Over Skype, Lindsay suggested that I make this recipe (which we’ve made before), since peppers are the only veggie required.

I did have to go buy four packets of plain seitan. What is seitan? Soem call it “wheat meat”. It has a very meaty texture and is used as a meat substitute. From the wikipedia entry: “[seitan] is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch dissolves, leaving insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before being eaten. We once tried to make it ourselves from scratch from wheat flower. It was an utter mess. It worked, but it was far from worth the time and effort (even we have our limits). Now when we want it, we just buy it. These days it’s available at stores like Whole Foods.

You’d probably do just fine to substitue real meat for the seitan. If I had to guess, I’d say that this recipe started as a beef recipe. We like it just fine with the seitan, though. It reduces our meat consumption, and we don’t have to worry about undercooking it. If you use seitan, just be sure to say it like this:

Spicy Seitan and Peppers

Makes 4+ servings

Amount Ingredient Preparation Notes
32 oz Plain seitan Cut into bite-sized pieces It’s usually sold in 8 oz portions, so that’s 4 packages
2-4 Bell peppers Sliced into 1-2 inch strips
6 Hot peppers Chopped; remove the seeds If you want to lessen the heat level, also scrape down the interior flesh with a spoon
2 cloves Garlic Peeled and crushed Just give it a good whack with the side of a chef’s knife
0.5 cups Red wine
3 TBsp Olive oil
1 tsp Cumin Ground
0.25 tsp Cardamom Ground
0.25 tsp Turmeric Ground
0.25 tsp Cloves Ground
0.25 tsp Cinnamon Ground


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place all the ingredients other than the chopped seitan and bell peppers into a blender and puree until almost smooth.
  • Put the seitan and bell peppers in a 9×13 Pyrex baking dish (or other similar vessel, preferably glass. Pour the puree over the dish. Cover the dish with foil.
  • Bake with the foil on for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil, stir, and cook for another 20 minutes.

Serve with rice, if desired, but we’re usually good as-is :) .

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