Orange Seitan with Green Beans and Peppers ~

My friend Erica came over to dinner a few weeks ago and I cooked up this meal. It was SUPER easy and she liked it so much that she made it for dinner later that week too!

That was also the day I made the fluffy pb frosted brownies, which she got to sample. Lucky girl ;)

She brought one home to her bf and he apparently gave it a thumbs up!

Orange Seitan with Green Beans and Peppers ~

Since Nate doesn’t like the taste of beef, and I hate touching raw chicken, I’m always experimenting with new protein forms. We both love seitan so I picked some up at Whole Foods assuming we’d find a use for it. I went to use it, thinking it was sliced in pieces, but it was actually ground.

I had never had ground seitan before but it was actually a really perfect substitute for ground beef! I love the texture it added to this dish and I’ll definitely be making it again. Be sure to serve it over a big bowl of white (my fave) or brown rice. Mmmm mmm!

Orange Seitan with Green Beans and Peppers ~

Also, I finished another pet portrait! This one was a present for my parents of their long-haired mini dachsund, Sparky. I think it’s my best one yet!

Mini Dachsund Pet Portrait ~

Orange Seitan with Peppers and String Beans
Serves 4
A healthy, vegetarian version of chinese take-out!
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  1. zest from one orange
  2. 1/2 cup orange juice (juice the orange you zested and add water to get to 1/2 cup)
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  5. 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  6. 2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  7. 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  8. 2 tsp cornstarch
  9. 2 tsp vegetable oil
  10. 3/4 lb fresh green beans, ends cut and trimmed into 2-inch pieces
  11. 2 red peppers, sliced thin and cut into 2-inch strips
  12. 1 lb ground seitan
  13. 2 scallions, chopped
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the orange zest, juice, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, ginger and cornstarch.
  2. In a large nonstick pan, heat oil over med-hi heat. Add green beans and peppers and cook for about 3 min. Add seitan and cook til beans are crisp tender.
  3. With a slotted spoon, transfer everything to a large bowl.
  4. Give the orange juice mixture a stir and add it to the pan. Cook, scraping up any brown bits until thickened, about 2 min.
  5. Add veggies and seitan back to pan, along with any juices. Warm through.
  6. Serve over white or brown rice to soak up all that yummy sauce!
Adapted from Very Culinary
Adapted from Very Culinary


  1. This looks so good!!! I wish I could eat Seitan! Do you think tofu or tempeh would work instead??

    • Aw, I didn’t even think about the fact that wheat-sensitive people can’t eat it :( Hmmm. I think tofu would be too soft (although I’m sure it would still taste delicious), so if I was going to go for a protein sub, I guess I’d use tempeh, but shred it with like a box grater to get the right size. Or, you could also add maybe some fresh and reconstituted dried mushrooms to get that chewiness that seitan and meat have! If you try any substitutions, let me know how it works out!

  2. I’d never heard of seitan before but I want to try it now because this dish looks delicious. I love all the colors and flavors in it. And seriously, Amy, that dog portrait is so good!

  3. Your bean dish looks delicious and I love the great colors too! Your painting of Sparky is great! We had a red short-haired standard Dachshund for many years and this brings back good memories of him! Thanks!!!

  4. Love the pet portrait! I’ve never had seitan, how is the texture of it??? I wonder if I could sneak it into Aaron’s dinner without him noticing too much ;)

    Looks delish! (and I still have to make those pb brownies!)

    • Thanks, Natalie! Seitan has the texture of like a soft beef…it’s a little chewy but you can bite right through it. The ground one (which i had never had before) is literally undetectable. He would have no idea what was in there. Try it and let me know…you know how much I love when you trick him into eating things ;)

  5. consuelohoneyandfigs

    This looks so delicious! I wish I had been your tester that day awwh.
    And that portrait looks lovely! You’re a really talented girl c:

  6. I cannot get over the light in Sparky’s eyes… how on earth do you do that? It may well be your best pet portrait yet though they all seem special to me for different reasons. I have not experimented with ground seitan so I’m happy to get the report that it was a big hit all around. Love easy meals… especially weeknights when everyone is running on different schedules and in different directions. This looks perfect!

    • You’re my biggest pet portrait fan, Kelly :) I can always count on you for an amazing complement! I really just looked at the light on the photo i was working from…it’s funny because I analyze it for the shapes/colors without actually realizing what i’m painting, so it’s not til i step back that I can tell “oh, it’s an eye with reflections!” It’s pretty cool. Definitely give ground seitan a try! Thank you, Kelly!!!

  7. This sounds delicious, Amy. I love the orange flavor in it. I don’t know if I’ve had seitan but I used to eat at Asian vegetarian restaurants with my family so I think it’s very possible that I have. I need to check it out next time I’m in Whole Foods (which is probably tomorrow or the next day!). And great job on the portrait!

    • I usually don’t love when savory dishes are sweet, but this was good…it had enough tang that I could handly it. I’m not sure if seitan is used in asian cuisine or not, I just happened to give it an asian flair :) It’s mainly just a vegetarian thing. Def give it a try tho! Thanks, Monica!

  8. Beautiful painting! Looks so much like my little dog Margot! And I love this recipe. We have a handful of vegetarian friends, and I’m always wanting recipes to make for them. Thank you for sharing. You are talented in so many ways, my friend!

    • Aw, thanks, Monet :) This would be great for when you have your vegetarian friends over to dinner! I have a bunch of vegetarian recipes on my blog because I don’t eat a lot of meat and have a lot of veggie friends…so check out my recipe list (tho it needs to be updated). My fave is the butternut squash and mushroom wellington. Oh my, it’s SO good,and so fancy-looking!

  9. SPARKY? Best name ever.

    I’m thinking you could throw any number of proteins into that lovely recipe up there. Brilliant!

    • Haha, if you only knew WHY his name is Sparky. My dad heard some story (i assume a made-up one) about a dachsund that, since he was so low to the ground, had his you-know-what dangling along the ground…so the owner put a thimble on it to protect it, but then the thimble dragged on the ground creating sparks. Don’t even ask…i don’t know where my dad comes up with these things. But of course after hearing that story, he had to use the name. Thanks, Movita!

  10. You are incredibly talented Amy! That painting is amazing!! I’ve never had seitan and now very interested in trying this out, and I will make sure to use this recipe!!

  11. I am protein substitute-suspicious, but this looks so good I think I could get over my phobia and enjoy the heck out of this!! I guess I mostly have beef (aha) with protein substitutes that are shaped SO CAREFULLY to look like real meat – fake bacon, and chicken nuggets, etc. I thought the point was to not eat meat?! :)

    Man this looks good, I think lunch is coming early for me today.

    Pet portrait pet portrait pet portrait.

    • No no, don’t be suspicious, Emma! Trust me, Nate is a super-picky guy when it comes to food in general, and he loved this! This doesn’t have any unnatural stuff in it and it doesn’t look like any meat…i’m not sure what it looks like. I SO hope we can make this pet portrait work for you!!! :)

  12. What a gorgeous dish! And your portrait of Sparky is fantastic!!!

  13. I’ve never cooked seitan before, but I really need to cook this recipe for my daughter. She’s been vegetarian for about 6 months but won’t eat tofu. I bet she’d love this with the Chinese flavors!

    • It’s a great protein form for vegetarians, Christin! It’s so hard for vegetarians to get good forms of protein in their diet (especially if they don’t eat tofu). Nate and I arent’ vegetarian but we don’t eat much meat so we love seitan and also end up eating a lot of lentils and beans. Let me know how you and your daughter like it if you cook this for her! :)

  14. I’m REALLY trying to get myself to learn to like seitan but apparently anything with a meaty texture is a no-go lately. I do love the flavors though! Have to try this with tofu, perhaps.

    • The ground seitan isn’t very “meaty” at all…you kind of don’t even notice it’s there since the pieces are so small and soft. Give it a try, Joanne! It could work with tofu too, or some ground up tempeh would be even better i think!

  15. I ate this from the chef’s table and it was delicious! So delicious in fact that as Amy mentioned, I replicated the dish soon after for my boyfriend. I added shrimp for him since he was skeptical about the seitan, and the combination was great. The peanut butter brownie was also a hit… Thank you Amy ;-)

  16. Looks so good, I didn’t originally know what seitan was, but once I read up, I realized it can be mock duck which I order at Thai restaurants. So good!!! Love this recipe. very unique.

  17. Mmm sounds delicious! I made something very similar for dinner the other night. and holy moly, you are so dang talented, Amy!! That painting is wonderful!

  18. Sparky is adorable! You are pretty good at the pet portrait thing. I’ve been meaning to try to do one at this place that gives classes, but given that I am, shall we say, “not particularly gifted” when it comes to painting AND you can drink wine during the class, my dog will probably turn out to look like an owl. Or a paleasaurus. The possibilities are endless, really.

    I’ve never cooked with seitan, but given that tofu and tempeh goes over well in this house (in large part because we make your tempeh enchilada thing all the time), I’ll try it!

    • Thanks, Katherine! You should totally take one of those classes. I feel like “not gifted” in art translates to impressionistic or abstract ;) Haha, I love that you love my tempeh recipe so much…it’s funny because I haven’t made it again since then. I always forget to remake my good recipes…so silly. Try seitan, I do think you’ll like it!

  19. YUM!! And great pet portrait!! So nice :)

  20. i would love a plate of this please. My boyfriend however wasnt too pleased with seitan but I like it.

  21. I got to find ground seitan and give it a try. What does it taste like? Also you are so talented with the portrait – amazing!

    • It kind of doesn’t have much of a taste…I wish I had a better description :( It tastes like wheat more than anything else. You should def try it, just cuz it’s good to switch it up now and then with protein in meals.Thank you, Pamela!

  22. Elizabeth @

    This looks fantastic–pinned to my healthy eats board! (It’s where I keep the dishes I wish I ate every night…) I used to be vegetarian, but sadly since I’ve reintroduced chicken, I’ve sort of forgotten some of of my old veg staples like seitan. Thanks for the reminder to bring it back into the kitchen!

    • Haha. That’s a good board to have. I have one dinner Pinterest board that mixes healthy and unhealthy and obviously when I’m looking for dinner ideas I gravitate towards the unhealthy ;)

  23. I just love the portrait of your parent’s long-haired dachshund. I have two myself, both long-haired. They are a gorgeous breed of dog. You have captured the look of a dachshund beautifully xx

  24. I need to scour for seitan and make this delicious stir-fry!

  25. How sweet of you – I love sweet n savory stir-fry! My partner is a huge fan of seitan and I had a Grilled Seitan at Vedge in Philly last night which was pretty tasty. One of my favorite Chinese takeouts is definitely orange “chicken”, and I like the vegan frozen ones at Trader Joe’s (so tasty with rice). Mmmm I want to make some orange “seitan” right now since it’s getting chilly in Oregon now! Btw, have you tried Upton’s Naturals seitan before?

    • hehe. You should def make this then, Rika! There’s only one brand of seitan I can ever find…it’s one at Whole Foods. I’m not sure of the brand so i’ll check next time. Where can you buy Upton’s?

  26. you know, i’ve never had seitan, ever, and now i feel like i’m missing out. I don’t suppose i ever remember it even exists: when i think of “alternative proteins” i just normally think of tofu, which i suppose isn’t that creative of me. This looks wonderful, and it’s going on my “to make” list. i love things like this because i tend to make dishes like this only for myself (mr. table says no to peppers) to just have on hand for a few days for lunch/dinner.

    • Haha, I wouldn’t say you’re missing out but it’s definitely something you should try at least once! It’s much “meatier” and easier to work with than tofu. I hope you make it :)

  27. Looking at the photos, I could have sworn that was some sort of ground meat. I can’t believe it isn’t! It looks just like meat! Looks delicious Amy. I love a good veggie stir-fry meal. Double YUM! :)

  28. You know what, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten seitan before… I have an idea of what it tastes like, but maybe I’m just making things up. I guess I’ll have to go buy some and make this to find out! I love simple stir-fries like this, too… T-Hubs and I will make a big batch of something like this over the weekend and have it for lunches all week long. Yum!

    Oh, and that painting is incredible! You have so much skill. I used to do some drawing (and still do every now and then), but for some reason when I pick up a paintbrush all my artistic ability goes out the window. Ah, well… :P

    • It really doesn’t have much of a taste, and I think you should give it a try! Thank you, Willow :) Painting takes practice and I find I have to start over again if I take too much time away. I think if you’re great at drawing, you’d probably be a wonderful painter too!

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