The Spiciest Jambalaya with Seared Artichokes and Seitan

I've seen jambalaya, watched Bobby Flay make it on throwdown, seen commercials about it, and know of it's cajun origins. I never ha...

I've seen jambalaya, watched Bobby Flay make it on throwdown, seen commercials about it, and know of it's cajun origins. I never have eaten it. It usually contains meaty stuff and so I figured it wasn't my style. So unless my vegan fairy godmother were to show up after a long shift at work and whip one up for me while I sat with my feet up watching the food network, I knew if I were ever to taste jambalaya, it would need to have been made by yours truly.

I used all meaty, hearty ingredients in my rice-spice stew, like a homemade cajun-spiced seitan, some large quartered mushrooms and seared artichoke hearts. Brown rice makes this a dish that you can make with a break in the middle. It takes its time soaking up the juices, so you can clean up your kitchen and rest a while before you eat. When you're done, cool the stew a smidge and then stick the whole pot in the fridge. Dinner for the rest of the week-- done.

Jambalaya with seitan and seared artichokes:

1 cup brown rice
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
4 cups veggie stock
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 bell peppers, diced
2 jalapeños, diced, seeded if desired
1 lb cremini mushrooms, quartered
4 ribs celery, diced
1 cutlet seitan, diced
6 artichoke hearts, halved
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered or 1 tomato diced
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoning salt of choosing
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon pasilla chile powder
2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, freshly ground if you do that
1 teaspoon sea salt
fresh cilantro

Heat a soup pot over medium high heat with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil.
Add onion, carrot, and celery to the pot. Cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly brown and soft.
 Add bell peppers, garlic, and jalapeños. 
Cook another 4 minutes, until peppers are soft and garlic is fragrant and toasty. Add tomatoes and mushrooms. 
Stir them into the other veggies and cover. 
Let cook for 3 minutes. 
Uncover the pot and add all the spices, herbs, salt and pepper. 
Stir uncovered for 1-2 minutes until spices have clung to all the veggies and the moisture from the veggies has mixed with the spices and created a sort of broth or sauce. 
Now add the tomato sauce, veggie broth, liquid smoke, and brown rice. 
Stir to submerge all the rice grains and mix together. 
Reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer for about an hour, stirring no more than twice. 
Meanwhile, Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium high heat with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. 
Once the pan is hot, add the diced seitan and sauté for 3 minutes, until nicely browned. 
Remove from pan.
Add the last teaspoon of olive oil to the pan and then add the artichokes cut-side down and let sear for 1-2 minutes. 
Flip and brown the other side.
Remove from pan and add them to the bowl with the seitan.
Set aside until stew is done.
Uncover pot and stir the stew-- it should be reduced by at least a third.
If the stew towards the bottom is browned or blackened a little, don't worry, it will add to the desired smokey flavor of the stew. 
Taste a spoonful with rice to make sure it is cooked and not crunchy.
Stir in the fresh cilantro.
Add the seitan and artichokes on top of the stew without stirring.
Cover the pot for 2-3 minutes. 
Remove lid  and ladle stew into bowls, making sure to get some seitan and artichokes in each serving.

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