There’s something enticing about the synergy between seitan and polenta. With the addition of greens, the result is a great-looking, hearty dish. You’ll be using two different types greens — the hardier varieties (collard greens, kale, or chard) plus tender greens (spinach, arugula leaves, or bok choy). Sun-dried tomatoes or black olives give the dish bursts of briny flavor.
The inspiration for this recipe came from a now-defunct eatery in the East Village, years and years ago when my family went from vegetarian to vegan. A couple of us ordered a dish combining seitan and polenta and ever since, I’ve really enjoyed this combination of equally hearty but very different flavors.
Finally, tubes of cooked, firm polenta (usually 18 ounces) can be found in natural foods stores or supermarkets. Ask for it if you haven’t yet tried it.
Complete the meal: A colorful salad or slaw is all that’s needed to complement this high-protein dish. For a bigger meal, add baked or microwaved sweet potatoes.
Swap in tofu for a change: If you’d like to make this a gluten-free dish, or simply prefer it, substitute tofu (well drained, blotted, and diced) for the seitan.
If you’re a DIY kind of person, try this site’s Easy Homemade Seitan recipe. See our Guide to Seitan featuring lots more hearty seitan recipes.
Recipe is adapted from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. Photos by Susan Voisin, FatFreeVegan.com.
- 18-ounce tube polenta
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 16 ounces seitan, cut into bite-sized pieces or strips (see Note)
- 4 to 6 ounces fresh leafy hardy greens (kale, chard, or collard greens), rinsed, stemmed and chopped
- 5 to 6 ounces fresh tender greens (whole baby spinach or arugula leaves, or sliced bok choy), rinsed
- 4 scallions, green and white parts, sliced
- 1/4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes (oil-cured or not) or 1/3 cup pitted and sliced black olives
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cut the polenta into 1/2 inch thick slices. Cut each slice into 4 little wedges.
- Heat a wide nonstick skillet. Add a drop of the oil and spread it around with a paper towel to create a very light coat, or use cooking oil spray. Add the polenta wedges; cook in a single layer over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove the polenta to a plate.
- Heat the oil and soy sauce slowly in the same skillet. Before they get too hot, add the seitan and stir well. Raise the heat to medium-high and sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the hardy greens, then cover and cook until just wilted and bright green, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in the tender greens, cover, and cook for another minute or so, just until wilted.
- Gently fold in the polenta wedges and dried tomatoes or olives. Season with salt and pepper and serve at once.
If you'd like to make this a gluten-free dish, substitute tofu (well drained, blotted, and diced) for the seitan.
If you'd like to make your own seitan, link to the recipe for Easy Homemade Seitan.
If you like this dish using prepared polenta and greens, you might also enjoy …
Here are more delicious vegan recipes featuring collard greens