After a blissfully mild late fall and winter, yesterday brought us this
There’s only way way to respond to such an onslaught: STEW!
I don’t remember the last time I made stew. It was certainly long before children, back when meat took a starring role in such a dish. I was up for the challenge, though.
It turned out so good that I am counting down the minutes until lunch time today for the left-overs.
This recipe is somewhat labor intensive, but it makes a TON of stew (enough for our family of five to eat it for three meals).
Gluten-free Vegan Stew
2 c. falafel mix (you can find this at a European Market — they are all over the place here in Chicago; you can substitute a pound of extra firm tofu, cubed, or 2-3 c. cooked kidney beans if you’d prefer)
1 3/4 c. water
6 T. olive oil
2-3 T. brown rice flour
Water or broth for roux
1 large onion, chopped or sliced
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 medium carrots, sliced thick
10-12 small red potatoes (or the equivalent in bigger red potatoes), cut to the same size chunks as the carrots
3 c. chopped green beans
3 c. mushrooms, cut in half
2 c. frozen corn
2 c. frozen peas
2 gluten-free, vegan bouillon cubes (I love Edward & Sons Vegan Bouillon Cubes) whisked into 4 cups hot water or 4 cups gluten-free, vegan broth
1 T. dried basil
2 t. dried oregano
2 t. dried parsley
1 t. dried sage
1 t. dried thyme
2 T. gluten-free Tamari sauce
Whisk the falafel mix and water together in a bowl and set aside to firm up. Heat at medium 2 T. olive oil. Add onions and celery and saute until onions are translucent. Add broth, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, green beans, and dried herbs. Bring to a boil and then simmer until potatoes are ready (a fork should easily pierce them), about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, get about 2 c. water ready near the stove. In a small sauce pan, heat 2 T. oil. Add the flour and whisk. It will get thick, maybe even crumbly. Slowly add the water, whisking all the while and continuing on the heat, until you have a thick sauce. Pour the sauce into the stew and stir well. Add more water to stew if it gets dry. Add mushrooms and simmer another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile (again), heat the final 2 T. olive oil in a fry pan. Drop spoon-fulls of the Falafel Mixture into the pan. As it browns, break it up (like ground meat) with a metal spatula or spoon. It should look like ground turkey. When it is browned, add it to the stew, along with peas, corn, and Tamari Sauce. Heat just until nice and warm and serve.