Hearty Seitan and Winter Wheat Berry Chili

I’m going through a phase with whole grains.  Maybe it’s because Bob’s Red Mill is right down the street?  Maybe it’s because I feel burnt out on brown rice?  Maybe it’s because the texture of whole grains are more interesting to eat?  It is probably all of these things.  And fall is the perfect time to experiment with and experience whole grains.

Plan to make the wheat berries for the recipe ahead of time.  They need about 60 minutes to boil.  If you soak the grains overnight, they cook up in 30 minutes and are a bit softer.  I like to make extra wheat berries, so I can throw them on spinach salads, into bread recipes, or to eat them for breakfast with fruit, non-dairy milk and maple syrup.  Wheat berries are loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals, and have a fairly mild flavor.  They are a great addition to a well-rounded vegan diet.  

Whether you top your chili with avocado, nutritional yeast, vegan sour cream or nothing at all, it is sure to delight!

Hearty Seitan and Winter Wheat Berry Chili

1 small onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp smoked paprika

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 bay leaves

2 tsp hot sauce

½ cup chopped red pepper

½ cup frozen sweet corn

1 8 ounce package of seitan, chopped into bite size pieces

2 cups (or 1 15 ounce can) of pinquito beans OR pinto beans

1 cup winter wheat berries, boiled and prepared in advance

1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce

1 14 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes

1 ½ cups of water

½ cube of bouillon (fake beef or vegetable)

Sliced fresh avocado, optional

1. In a large, heavy pot or dutch oven, add onions, garlic, olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Sauté for ~7 minutes over medium-low heat, then add cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, and bay leaves.  Sauté for another minute or 2, and then, add hot sauce, red pepper, sweet corn and seitan.  Move it around in the bottom of the pot for about 3-5 minutes over medium-low heat.

2. Add the beans, cooked wheat berries, tomato sauce, fire roasted tomatoes, water and bouillon.  Bring to a boil, and then, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve with sliced fresh avocado on top or your favorite chili toppings.

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