Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Marci DiVerde likes Upton's Naturals Seitan

Today the Vegan Person I Like is aspiring vegan, Marci DiVerde! Marci is a high school teacher, Spanish language expert, and a most dedicated student of yoga! I love to see Marci in yoga classes every week and she is always cheerful and willing to try any pose once (at least!). She is an inspiration to fellow students and to me! In May she attended the weekend Yoga and Vegan Cooking retreat that I hosted with Chef Kim Gracen and has been aspiring to a vegan diet ever since. Any encouragement or tips that you can leave for Marci are totally welcome and I will have to remember to refer to her to the grand Vegan MoFo RSS feed. So much vegan inspiration in one place!

The Vegan Thing Marci Likes is Upton's Naturals Italian-style Seitan (eep!). She even included a quick-fix recipe that she likes!

I need to preface this with the disclaimer that I don’t think that I can be considered a real vegan because I just started in August(!) and since then I have more than once met my match with a baked good or really tasty cheese. So I guess I should be called a wannabe vegan, vegan in training, veganish, leaning toward vegan tendencies? I’ll let you decide. 

Becoming vegetarian was very easy for me since I’ve never been a huge meat eater, but eliminating dairy and eggs completely has been challenging. I have had to re-learn to cook since I turned to vegan ways and making dinner that also appeals to my non-veg husband is difficult. He couldn’t be more supportive but the bottom line is he doesn’t always like what I’ve been making and as a result has been eating a lot of frozen pizza. Not. Good. 

Nicole didn’t pay me to say this but one of the products that has been very helpful is Upton’s Naturals Italian flavored seitan. It allows me to make a riff on one of favorite pre-veg meals. The bonus is that it takes longer to boil the water than to make dinner. Here’s what you need:

1 lb. pasta (I like whole wheat farfalle, bowties, but I used rotini this time since that’s what I had)
½ bag of frozen peas
1 package Upton’s Italian flavored seitan
1 package sliced crimini or baby portobello mushrooms
Extra virgin olive oil
Vegan parmesan ‘cheese’
reserved pasta water (optional)

Put the water on to boil and heat a large non-stick pan with a little oil (I usually do two swirls in the pan)
Put the mushrooms in the heated oil.
Break up the seitan to look like crumbled sausage and add to the pan.
The mushrooms and seitan are done when most of the liquid has cooked off the mushrooms.
Cook the pasta in according to package instructions and put the frozen peas in about half-way through.
When the pasta and peas are done, drain, and put back in the pot.
Add the seitan and mushrooms to the pot and toss together.
If it seems a little a little on the dry side, add some olive oil or reserved pasta water.
Add a generous amount of the parmesan and serve immediately.
Serves 4

Disclaimer #3: I know I’m sitting on a leather couch. Wasn’t a vegan when I bought it. 


  1. how appropriate to use bowties for a meal made with upton's. :-)