Red beans and rice with Denver Seitan Company wheat meat for Meatless Monday

Categories: Vegetarian

No one's saying you have to go meatless just because it's Monday -- but as incentive to join the growing movement, every week we're offering an animal-free recipe.

If you're looking for a little Southern flavor, this take on red beans and rice (adapted from Bryant Terry's Vegan Soul Kitchen) is just what the chef ordered. The seitan is an excellent pork substitute -- and if you pick yours up from the Denver Seitan Company (we used the SmokySpicy seitan), you'll enjoy all the convenience of store-bought seitan that has an astonishingly meat-like texture and flavor we haven't been able to achieve with our homemade efforts. It's the closest thing to andouille you can get without killing a pig.

You will need:

1 cup dry red kidney beans
1 3-inch piece kombu
4 cloves garlic
4 teaspoons dry thyme
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
10 whole black peppercorns
2-3 cups red wine
1 package Denver Seitan Company SmokySpicy (or one pound homemade seitan), cut into bite-sized chunks
1/2 cup dry short-grain brown rice (or two cups cooked)
2 jalapeno peppers
1/2 red onion
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste

You will need to soak the beans in plenty of water for at least four hours, and preferably overnight. If you don't want to cook the beans yourself, you can substitute one 20-ounce can of kidney beans, drained, and skip the first two steps -- but reserve 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup of the liquid.

1. Place the kidney beans in a large pot with the kombu (optional -- it does make the beans easier to digest, though!) and cover with at least two inches of water.

2. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and let the beans cook, partially covered, for about an hour and a half, until tender. Check them occasionally and add more water as needed.

3. Put the rice on to cook about half an hour before the beans are ready.

4. In a large, deep pan, place the seitan, half the thyme, the tamari or soy sauce, and two cloves of the garlic (pressed).

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