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Cuban ‘ropa vieja’ shredded seitan

August 4, 2010

So, to review: you’ve seen a multipurpose onion-pepper sofrito employed in a batch of sweet Venezuelan black beans, with garlic-cilantro rice alongside. You could very easily stop there, and have a classic (and absolutely delicious) meal of beans and rice. But if you want to up the ante even further, bump up the protein content even higher, and add even more color and flavor to the dish, then add this Latin shredded seitan to the equation. It’s a Cuban-style preparation (though the origin of the name ropa vieja, which means “old clothing,” is not known for certain), contributing to the already-diverse cultural influences of this meal. It’s a pan-Latin extraVEGANza, ¡y es completamente sabrosa!

2 8-oz. pkgs seitan, cut into thin strips
3/4 cup onion-pepper sofrito
1 cup crushed tomatoes
2 tsp vegan bouillon
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp sea salt
Hot sauce to taste (optional)

Coat a large pot or skillet with cooking spray. Over medium-high heat, add the seitan strips. Let cook undisturbed for 1-2 minutes, then stir, and again let cook for 1-2 minutes. Repeat the stirring and cooking until the edges of the strips are lightly browned.

Lower the heat to medium, add the sofrito, and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Add all remaining ingredients.

Stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and reduced slightly. (Remove the bay leaf before serving.)

Yield: 6 servings.
Per serving (about 1/2 cup): 185 calories, 6.4g fat (1g sat), 13.1g carbs, 2g fiber, 21.1g protein.

Y ahora, ¡está terminado! Now that all components are finished, it’s time to assemble the meal. First, plate the rice.

Next, add a scoop of beans.

Top it all off with a helping of seitan, garnish with chopped fresh cilantro if you have it, and you’re done!

To even attempt to describe how much I enjoyed this meal would be silly. Suffice it to say, I LOVED IT!! All parts of this dish will keep well, stored separately, for several days in the fridge, providing scrumptious lunches all week long. Viva Vegan indeed!

Per meal (1/2 cup each rice, beans, and seitan):
481 calories, 14.1g fat (2g sat), 60.2g carbs, 10g fiber, 31.8g protein.

If you like this, you might also like…
Rainbow Mexi-quinoa medley
Black bean-avocado enchiladas
Chilaquiles casserole

24 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2010 1:12 pm

    Girlfriend, this looks so delicious. I need to make time to work on her recipes. I have the book. Goal for me this week!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 6, 2010 9:46 am

      You already have the book? You’re a step ahead, then! 😛

  2. August 4, 2010 3:13 pm

    I loved this mini series–fun to follow and, of course, brimming with drool-inducing food pornography. 😉 And thanks for the helpful step-by-step photos!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 6, 2010 9:47 am

      Yay, I’m so glad you enjoyed the series! And the photos—I always hope that my step-by-step approach helps people out, so I’m happy to hear that :]

  3. August 4, 2010 3:53 pm

    Seriously, that looks so good!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 6, 2010 9:48 am

      Thanks! 😀

  4. fitandfortysomething permalink
    August 4, 2010 4:25 pm

    so delicious!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 6, 2010 9:48 am

      Very! I kept eating bites as I was cooking it…

  5. August 4, 2010 7:38 pm

    That looks amazing! I almost *never* eat seitan, as it’s quite hard to find here in Canberra, but all those flavour profiles and varying levels of spice and heat… can you say party in my mouth? (Imaginarily-speaking, of course.)

    My bet is those dishes will only get better then next day, too 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 6, 2010 9:51 am

      I never used to mess with seitan, but trying excellently-prepared restaurant seitan in L.A. in January changed that. And you’re quite right, it’s all just as good, if not better, leftover! Even cold, straight from the fridge ;]

  6. August 5, 2010 8:14 am

    i’ve never used seitan– im going to have to try this!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 6, 2010 9:53 am

      Like I told Hannah above, one experience with restaurant seitan made me a believer. Hail seitan! =X Hehe.

  7. August 5, 2010 8:17 am

    This look soooo good! But it also looks like it may take a while to cook (unless you pre-cook the rice and heat it up).

    (So I accidentally went to and I thought “Oh! She changed her page!” Then I realized I was at the wrong page, haha.)

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 6, 2010 9:55 am

      Oh, it’s definitely a time commitment, but so very worth it. Try making it in stages, on a couple different days, like I described.

      Argh, don’t get me started on that…I’d give anything for that domain name, and it’s particularly vexing to me that the person who owns it hasn’t even blogged in like 2 years =/

  8. August 5, 2010 3:06 pm

    I’ve been eating so simply lately, and I’ve noticed that I’m craving a dish with lots of flavor. This just might be the one! That rice looks fantastic!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 6, 2010 10:00 am

      This will definitely break you out of any possible flavor rut! It’s packed with assertive, lively tastes and textures.

  9. August 6, 2010 7:13 am

    hmm latin food is something i know nothing about but these few dishes look so enticing. really want to try them out.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 6, 2010 10:01 am

      I think Viva Vegan is a book you’ll want to look at :] What I love about Latin food is the way so many ostensibly simple ingredients can coalesce into something mindblowingly awesome.

  10. August 6, 2010 9:13 am

    I love all your recipes, and that they all have some international flair. Yum!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 6, 2010 10:01 am

      Thank you! I definitely prefer my food to have an ethnic edge. Even one exotic flavor addition can transform an otherwise homely dish into a taste sensation.

  11. Mom permalink
    August 6, 2010 10:59 am

    Spicy & flavorful…mouthwateringly attractive too!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 6, 2010 12:21 pm

      Thanks…I think you would really like it, seitan and all. It’s like the vegan version of Mexican/Latin pulled pork.

  12. Lalin permalink
    February 17, 2011 11:14 pm

    First time seitan user and this recipe was incredible. Made it for my wonderful friends and they could not believe how amazing it was. Next challenge will be to make it for my very cuban parents! Thanks so much for the great recipe! Gracias!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 2, 2011 5:49 pm

      That is fantastic, Lalin! So happy to hear that, and glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

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