Photo by: Joey DeLeo
Caravan of Dreams is one of the restaurants where my family likes to eat when we’re in New York City. It’s a funky, comfortable place in the East Village, with food that’s hearty and innovative (and all vegan). Once, my younger son ordered the Green Garden Platter, described as “seasonal mixed greens sautéed with grilled marinated seitan, garlic, and olive oil, topped with grilled carrot polenta in mushroom gravy.”
I was intrigued by the combination of seitan and polenta, so when I got home, I made my own version, which bears little resemblance to the restaurant’s. There’s something enticing about the seitan/polenta synergy, and with the addition of greens, the result is a great looking, hearty dish.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- One 18-ounce tube polenta
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- Cooking oil spray, optional
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 pound seitan, cut into bite-size pieces or strips
- 4 large or 6 medium stalks bok choy, with leaves, sliced crosswise
- 5 to 6 ounces baby spinach
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
- ¼ cup oil-packed sliced sun-dried tomatoes, optional
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Cut the puckered ends off the polenta, then slice ½ inch thick. Cut each slice into 4 little wedges.
2 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 heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes on each side.
3 Transfer 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 bok choy, spinach, and scallions, then cover and cook until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
4 Sprinkle in vinegar to taste. Gently fold in the polenta wedges and sun-dried tomatoes, if using. Season with salt and pepper and serve at once.
© 2008 Nava Atlas
Microwaved sweet potatoes make an easy (and nourishing) accompaniment. Complete the meal with a simple green salad or a platter of raw veggies.
Nutritional information is provided by the author.
Total fat: 9 g
Protein: 34 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sodium: 1170 mg