Szechuan-Style Green Beans with Glazed Seitan

We are just back from vacation and while I always enjoy the break from grocery shopping, cooking and doing dishes, I also miss it a little too. Well, okay, I miss the shopping and cooking. The dishes not so much.

After unpacking our bags and taking a mental note of what we needed from the store (pretty much everything!), I headed out to stock up on food for our family of five. You should’ve seen my grocery cart today. It was brimming with veggies sticking out here and there, a carton of tofu teetering atop the mound, a bottle of almond milk balanced on top like a steeple. When I pushed my cart up to the cashier, she and two other customers had to laugh out loud at my heap of food. I made a joke that gave them all a giggle: “No glue was used in the making of this art installation.”

Boy was I ready to be back in my kitchen. Our post-vacation bodies were in serious need of a detox from all the restaurant food and convenient snacks we’d ingested over the past two weeks. I was in the mood to cook something hearty and packed with nutritional value. I settled on mashed yukon potatoes, roasted exotic mushrooms and as the main star of the evening… Szechuan-Style Green Beans with Glazed Seitan.

Dinner was a hit and my little guy even devoured the green beans. It was great to see him and my other kiddos back on track.

Here’s what you’ll need for this vibrant, flavorful dish that’s Chinese comfort food at its best.

  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed and washed
  • one 8-oz package seitan
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp tamari
  • 4 tbsp agave
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1-2 tsp hot chili oil (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • orange slices for garnish (optional)

After trimming and washing your beans, cook them in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

After being boiled for 3 minutes, the beans are perfectly tender and ready to be added to the stir-fry later.

After being boiled for 3 minutes, the beans are perfectly tender and ready to be added to the stir-fry later.

Remove the seitan from the packaging and slice into strips. I use the Sweet Earth brand.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, agave, water and optional chili oil. If you prefer a milder dish, simply omit the chili oil and offer it as a condiment for anyone who enjoys their dish spicy.

In a large skillet, heat your sesame oil over medium-high heat, and then add the garlic, ginger and shallot. Cook until they’re tender and beginning to caramelize.

Nothing smells better than sautéed garlic, ginger and shallots!

Nothing smells better than sautéed garlic, ginger and shallots!

Next, add the sliced seitan to the skillet and cook until the seitan is lightly browned. Add half of the tamari sauce mixture, toss to coat, and continue cooking until the seitan also begins to caramelize. Reduce the heat to low, add the green beans and the other half of the sauce, toss to coat and continue cooking until the bite of the green beans is just right. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Plate with a couple of slices of orange and serve!

These delicious green beans and seitan will taste great with steamed rice, noodles, or as I did, homemade mashed potatoes with a side of roasted mushrooms.

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Happy eating!