Gluten-free Vegan Stew

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.

4 Responses to Gluten-free Vegan Stew

  1. Mmmmm. That looks delicious. Please tell us how you’re feeling on your new diet? How’s your energy? How’s your skin/hair? How’s your weight? Are you finding this lifestyle easy? Are your grocery bills higher or lower?

  2. Hi Leigh, I am actually amazed at the differences. I had terrible heartburn, which disappeared within a few days. My weight is down about 10 lbs. in 3 weeks.

    I do find it easy to do this because I have switched my mindset. For example, instead of trying to decide what to pack for lunch (for me) when we are out and about, I just grab 2 oranges, a banana, some snap peas, and nuts. I eat pretty much the same things all day, except for the cooked meal.

    Our grocery bill is about the same, probably because we are no longer buying treats — HA! Actually, we all ate pretty healthily before, but we are eating less big meals this way. The kids all enjoy a smoothie for breakfast and find they aren’t hungry for much more until later. Also, because it is winter, we bought a lot of organic frozen veggies and fruits for the smoothies.

    I think the biggest thing for me is that I no longer crave sweets.

    The keys for me are that I am not being militant about it (during time of month, for example, I wanted more hot foods and one or two treats — so I had them) and that I am not trying to replicate foods that are meant to be hot. No raw pizza for me. No raw crackers. I stick to fruits and vegetables, a few nuts, a bit of lite coconut milk, lots of smoothies and salads and then my hot meal.

    Are you trying to do this, Leigh? I’d love to hear how it is going for you too.

  3. I feel the need to do something different with my diet, I just don’t know what that is yet. The pictures you take of your creations always look so good I thought I’d ask your thoughts. I need more energy to keep up with my little one, and I need to lose weight. My diets fail because I too crave sweets (especially at night) and I feel like I’m always hungry when I’m watching what I eat. My husband bought me an immersion blender for Christmas and I’ve been making a lot of smoothies with fresh fruit, greek yogurt, spinach, and flax seed but 2 hours later I’m hungry again. I find that eating protein helps me go the longest between meals–maybe I can add some protein powder to my smoothies.

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