Friday, April 15, 2011

Much ado about stew

Hey ho! 
Yesterday I started construction on my arc. We are seriously going to float away up here in Portland, and all I can say is that we better float somewhere warm and sunny.

It's a bit silly, this supposed Spring we're having. people who never talk about the weather can't stop talking about the weather (it sucks!) and wondering when Spring will start (never!). Personally, I am lamenting that my little seedlings that were coming up in my raised garden beds are going to DROWN, but I am re-visiting the arc design to include window planters. Maybe we'll save kale as a species. Or chard, cabbage, fancy lettuce and bok choy. Those are planted, too. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, all I want to eat is soup, stew and bread. Full of vegetables, of course! This persistent cold doesn't make me think about salad rolls or getting the grill fired up. I'm still firmly in the land of hearty and warming foods and hey, that's all right. So I made a creamy seitan stew and cornbread, which brightened up everyone's night.

Cornbread with extra corn and peas!

 I love cornbread. It's so versatile; can be spicy, sweet, plain, yellow, white, blue! Here I went for a little sweet and corny, and then threw in the end of a bag of peas so we had a few little green flecks. I really wanted to put in a bunch of jalapenos but opted to leave them out - the child also likes cornbread but not super spicy. Then I whipped up some stew.

Seitan stew, veggies, creamy, warm.
I almost always have home made vegan sausages in the fridge or freezer, so I used some beer brat ones I experimented with earlier in the week. A use for flat beer, if you've got it laying around. Add tons of vegetables, a little flour and spices and water, and BAM. Creamy seitan stew.

You can make this stew with just about any combo of vegetables you have in your fridge. Broccoli stalks, broccoli, brussels, chard, arugula, cauliflower, peppers, you name it. Just aim for about 4-6 cups of raw vegetables, since they’ll cook down. It is super flexible. The whole point is to warm up and fill up on lots of yummy vegetables.

Serves 4

olive oil spray
1 medium red onion, chopped fine
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium potatoes, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2.5 cups water
1 bouillon cube
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed & leaves chopped
1/4 head of cabbage, chopped (but not too small)
1 cup bite sized green beans
1 cup cubed seitan / or about two vegan sausages
¼ cup flour
1 cup water, plus more to achieve desired thickness
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice or balsamic vinegar

Spray a large soup pot with olive oil and warm over medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic for couple minutes, then add in the potatoes, carrots, water, bouillion and spices, stir it well and let it simmer for 15 minutes, covered. Add in the kale, cabbage, and green beans, stirring well. Simmer for another 10 minutes, covered. The greens should be collapsed and cooked, just test a little bit of everything to see if it’s done to your liking. Add in the seitan now, as it just needs to warm up.
Add the flour to a measuring cup, then the water. Stir to remove any lumps, then pour the slurry into the stew. It will thicken as it heats, and you’ll need to add more water if you want the stew thinner. Salt and pepper to taste, then add the lemon juice or balsamic right before serving. 

1 comment:

  1. Seitan stew is one of the greatest dinners of all times. Looks delicious!