After pairing up with Isa Chandra Moskowitz for several best-selling cookbooks, Terry Hope Romero decided to fly solo with Viva Vegan! It’s a collection of 200 Authentic and Fabulous Recipes for Latin Food Lovers, including this sample recipe for vegan arroz con pollo (aka Arroz con Seitan). We originally shared this recipe and review when her book launched in 2010, but we’ve given this post an update in honor of Cinco de Mayo, which is coming up!
Vegan Arroz con Pollo that will make you shout Viva Vegan!
Getting the best of this cookbook may require a trip to a Latin market (or at the very least, a good once over in the Latin section of your local grocer), but Terry has you covered with a thorough discussion of the “Vegan Latin Pantry” and a detailed shopping list.
Coming to the aid of free-from dieters, Terry provides and references numerous soy-free and/or gluten-free recipes (of course all of the recipes are dairy-free and egg-free). She also combines nutritious plant-based eats with pure indulgences for special cravings. Some of the satisfying recipes include Buttery Cookies with Dulce de Unleche (Alfajores!) and Crispy Fried Green Plantains.
The recipe chapters of Viva Vegan! are as follows:
- Salsas and Condiementos
- Bocadillos, Snacks, and Appetizers
- Los Dos Amigos: Rice and Beans
- The Vegan Asado: Seitan, Tofu, and Tempeh
- Complete Your Plate: Vegetables, Plantains, and Grains
- One-Pot Stews: Casseroles and Cazuelas
- Super Fantastico Latin Soups!
- For the Love of Corn: Arepas, Papusas, Tortillas, Tacos, and More
- You, Too, Can Tamale
- Desserts and Sweets
This sample recipe hails from a few of those chapters as it blends a trio of recipes into one.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Arroz con Pollo
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- 12 ounces seitan, sliced into thick strips about 3 or 4 inches long
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Big pinch dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons Annatto-Infused Oil (see below)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 pound yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 pound green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 2⁄3 cup plain tomato sauce
- 1 cup light-colored Mexican beer or vegetable broth
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, or more as desired
- 1 1⁄2 cups long-grain white rice
- 1 1⁄4 cups water or vegetable broth or a combination of the two
- 1 cup fresh or frozen small green peas (petit pois, small sweet peas are best)
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced small
- 1⁄2 cup sliced pimiento stuffed green olives
- 1⁄4 cup capers (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl whisk together olive oil, lime juice, and dried oregano. Add the seitan strips, using tongs to toss and coat them with the marinade. Marinate for ten minutes, tossing occasionally.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat and generously coat with cooking spray or brush with peanut oil. Add a layer of marinated seitan strips, taking care not to crowd the pan.
- Fry seitan on each side for one to two minutes, flipping once (metal tongs work nicely here). Seitan should be crisp and dark on the edges but still look juicy. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven or enamel-glazed cast-iron pot with a tight-fitting lid, combine Annatto-Infused Oil, olive oil, and garlic over medium heat. Fry until the garlic is fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the onion and bell pepper and fry uncovered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very soft and juicy, about 12 to 14 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, beer (or vegetable broth), dried oregano, cumin, and bay leaf and simmer for 4 minutes. Stir in the salt, rice, water or vegetable broth, peas, and carrots; cover the pot, and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the lid, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and push seared seitan strips down into the rice mixture. Sprinkle sliced olives and capers, if using, over everything, cover the pot, and cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until rice is tender, fluffy, and all of the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from heat, keeping the pot covered, and set it aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Add chopped cilantro and gently fluff the rice. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and serve right away.
Annatto oil can be stored at room temperature and lasts almost forever.
This recipe is reprinted with permissions from Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero.