Food, Recipes

Crispy Seitan Salad with Chia Seed Dressing

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Crispy Seitan Salad with Sweet Chia Seed Dressing - Peaceful Dumpling

As a kid growing up in the suburbs of Portland in the 90s, I had a pretty limited exposure to fancy food. (Portland, Oregon was not such a fancy place back then, Portlandia aside). Dining out at Olive Garden was almost a special occasion. I don’t think I even had a single vegetarian friend, all through high school.

How I eat now is a world away from what I grew up eating, because of both my veganism and the sheer number of interesting food options available. I don’t eat any packaged food regularly beyond non-dairy milk, tofu, or pasta; my menu is planned around fresh organic produce; and both dining out and cooking at home are now much more sophisticated. Still, I have a soft spot for 90s retro dishes that seemed like such special treats when growing up. I love making my vegan penne alfredo (still the ultimate comfort food for me). Another favorite of mine was crispy chicken salad with poppy seed dressing. I updated this classic with crispy golden seitan, and swapped out poppy seeds for chia seeds, adding more Omega-3. With tender butter lettuce instead of iceberg or romaine, and sunflower seed butter instead of mayo, this is definitely a more contemporary version–but it’s just as comforting as the one you loved as a kid. 🙂

Crispy Seitan Salad with Chia Seed Dressing

Serves 2 for entree, 4 for appetizer

1 package seitan, rinsed, drained, and patted dry

1 head small butter lettuce (about 5″ diameter; if larger, use only a portion of lettuce)

1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped

1 yellow or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/3 small red onion, chopped fine

1 ear fresh corn, shucked and cleaned

1 avocado, chopped

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

2 tsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tbsp olive oil

Coarse salt to taste

Dressing

4 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp sunflower seed butter

4 tbsp water

1 1/2 tbsp brown rice syrup

1 tsp chia seeds

1. Separate the lettuce leaves carefully, tearing them with your hand into smaller pieces. Rinse in a colander, pat dry with a paper towel, and leave balanced over a bowl to continue drying.

2. In a large bowl, combine corn, bell pepper, tomato, onion, and avocado. Add “good” salt (like coarse sea salt or pink Himalayan salt) to taste.

3. In a large, shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast. Rinse and drain the seitan, and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss the seitan in breadcrumb mixture to coat.

4. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. When oil seems to bubble a bit, add the seitan and fry, tossing occasionally, until the sides are golden brown and crispy (about 5-6 minutes).

5. In the meantime, whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. To serve, toss the lettuce, vegetable mixture, and dressing in the large bowl; plate the salad, then add the seitan at the end to preserve crispness. Bon appetit!

Crispy Seitan Salad with Sweet Chia Seed Dressing - Peaceful Dumpling

 

Related: Detoxifying Nori Salad

Steamed Asparagus Spring Salad

Almost Spring Grapefruit Fennel Salad

 

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Photo: Peaceful Dumpling

 

 

Juhea Kim
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Juhea now lives in NYC with her Oreo cookie cat, Zeus. When she is not writing, she enjoys running in Central Park, yoga, and teaching Barre classes. Follow Juhea on Instagram @peacefuldumpling, Google+ and Pinterest.
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