Recipe – Vegetarian “Beef” Stew

U1269797INPIt’s currently the perfect storm of dismay that leads to so much comfort food being made in our home.  Whether it’s watching the world’s economy crumble, or whether it’s battling the below-freezing temperatures, there’s never been a greater yearning for dishes involving home-cooked memories, cheese or bread.  That probably explains my constant craving for pizza.

But, this past week I had a craving for something I haven’t had since I went vegetarian over 10 years ago, my mother’s beef stew.  I knew that I wouldn’t get a straight recipe from her.  The last time I tried, I got the usual, “I just throw things together” response that you usually get asking your mom for a recipe.  But, I took the basics of what she gave me along with some online research to create my own “beef” stew that I actually take pride in for being my first attempt.

The seitan recipe comes from Chicago Diner’s cookbook.  I recommend halving the actual recipe, because a full batch produced over 5 pounds of seitan the one time I cooked it.

Vegetarian “Beef” Stew
makes 7 – 16 oz. bowls


  • 1 pound cubed seitan (see recipe below)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2-2 cups chopped potatoes
  • 2 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed tomato soup
  • 2 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes with juice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cup noodles
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas

Brown the seitan in a large stew pot in hot oil over medium heat until heated through.  Add all ingredients except cheese and peas.  Cover and cook until potatoes and carrots are tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring often. Stir the grated cheese into the stew until cheese is melted.  Add the peas cooking until tender.  Serve.

Basic Gluten Recipe (from The Chicago Diner Cookbook)
about 5 1/2 pounds of cooked gluten

  • 4 cups vital wheat gluten flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp Italian spices
  • 2 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup tamari
For the seitan, mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then add the water and tamari, kneading well to combine.  The mixture should look like dough.  Knead about 10 minutes more, or until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.  Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.  Cut into 4 pieces.
Fill a large pot with 5 quarts of water.  Add 3-4 bay leaves, several pieces of carrot and celery, and 3 cloves of garlic to the water.  Add the gluten pieces to the pot and boil about 1 1/2 hours.  The gluten will triple in size.
When done, the dough will be firm, not sticky.  Drain the liquid, discarding the vegetables, and store the seitan covered with cold water and a splash of tamair in a large container in the refrigerator.  After the seitan cools, it is ready to be cubed for the recipe.
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6 Responses to Recipe – Vegetarian “Beef” Stew

  1. Sybil Greene says:


    My name Sybil Greene, and I would like to suggest a resource for your website. The resource is an informational website providing a range of information that may be useful to your readers ~ especially the “vegetarian” meatloaf recipe. It would be wonderful if you could review the site to determine if it may be relevant for your users. Thanks so much for your time!

    Please contact me if you have any questions about the site.

    Sybil Greene

  2. susan says:

    so its ok to cook the seitan for that long? did you always put cheese in your stew at home? i find that an odd addition. is it just because its veg? i would love to try this but am wondering if i can omit it…not that im not a big fan of cheese…

  3. Pingback: Oven-Fried “Chicken” w/ Cornbread « Two Bites in Suburbia

  4. Andrea says:

    I loved it.

  5. Katie says:

    I would like to invite you to a Food Bloggers Dinner on behalf of a client. If you could please email me your contact info. so that I can send you their invitation?

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