Monday, October 08, 2007

Mmm, mmm...

Several of you asked about my aloo matar recipe from my recent post. It's a recipe that I came up with after reading about Indian cooking and glancing over a few different aloo matar recipes. I've posted my recipe on this blog before; here's the link to it!

In the past week or so I have found a new vigor for cooking and baking, and this post is the product of firing up the gas range with the windows open, the scent of autumn wafting in to energize me, and a freshly stocked pantry after a massive shopping trip.

Salad with marinated grilled tempeh, chunks of avocado, and a freshly made vinaigrette... one of my favorite light meals, especially if the tempeh is still warm from the pan.

This is something I have wanted to do for quite some time now--vegan beef stew. My mom is an excellent cook, and has always been one who rarely follows a recipe; she just has a knack for tossing things together to make a meal that's amazingly simple and flavorful and comforting. I used to love my mom's beef stew, and finally I got up the nerve to try and veganize it. I'm so glad I did--it's just so good!

I'll post the recipe at the end. I made it with TVP, and I would also like to try it with seitan sometime (especially since seitan doesn't have the "taint" that TVP carries when it comes to health--though I'm not too concerned about it, since I only use TVP once in a blue moon anyway). We enjoyed it on top of corn bread--Kris's corn bread, from DTV, as a matter of fact. I can be picky about my corn bread, being from the South and all that, but this recipe left me happy. I will admit that I made a couple of modifications, such as reducing the sugar and replacing the applesauce with plain soy yogurt. You see, I'm not used to sweet corn bread. I'm not opposed to making it that way sometime, but I wanted my stew to taste as much like my mom's as possible.

Next, a fabulous new recipe from Dreena--her Tamari-Roasted Chickpeas from her new cookbook, Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan! No, I have not gotten her cookbook yet. I decided to wait until it hits our local vegan shop(pe) because I would just feel a little better buying it from them. But when I saw that Dreena had posted this freebie, I was all over it.

They came out of the oven looking golden and delicious, and Bob and I finished them off in no time. We did set some aside for salads:

They're so flavorful, and delightfully firm, almost crunchy. And a snap to make. Roasted chickpeas are destined to become a household staple, at least around here.

And of course, I did a little baking. I love pumpkin in every form that it can take, so I was really excited to make Kris's Pumpkin Zig Zag Loaf from DTV.

You can see the ribbon of cinnamon-sugar that runs through this loaf, giving it a special touch. Yet another wonderful baked treat from Kris's book--though it did take quite a bit longer in my oven than the recipe suggested. I have to tell you that in making this treat, I used the last of my cinnamon! This marks a first for me--never in my life have I run out of cinnamon. What is the world coming to?

Ah, well. Have a lovely week, my friends!

Beef Stew Like My Momma Used to Make (Sort Of)

This makes enough for 6-8 servings--leftovers! Woo-hoo!

2 cups TVP chunks (stew-beef style)
2 cups veggie broth
2 tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Aminos or tamari
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1-2 tablespoons oil
1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper
Several tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
3 1/2 cups water (or more, as needed)
1/2 cup Bragg's or tamari
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Several dashes liquid smoke
5 large carrots, chopped
4 medium red potatoes, chopped
2 cups frozen green peas
3 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water
Salt and pepper, to taste

Bring the veggie broth to a boil, then pour it over the TVP chunks. Add the 2 tablespoons Bragg's and stir through. Let sit for 10 minutes, stirring around occasionally to ensure that it can all absorb the liquid. Strain the reconstituted TVP chunks, reserving any extra liquid.

Place the garlic and the oil in a large stock pot, and heat gently. Sauté the garlic for several minutes, then add the TVP. Sprinkle with the pepper and whole wheat pastry flour, adding just enough flour to coat the TVP well. Cook for about two minutes, then add the reserved liquid to the pot to deglaze. Let simmer a moment more, then add the water, Bragg's, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, carrots, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the veggies are soft but not mushy.

Add the frozen peas, and return to a boil. Whisk the flour and water together, and once the stew is simmering again, add the flour mixture. Cook for a minute or two until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over corn bread.


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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipes.

the food looks awesome as always!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Mmm mmmm is right!! Thanks for posting that it just needs to get chilly outside!

I agree, I love all things pumpkin and that zig zag bread looks so yummy! I really need to get more creative like that in my baking, I've just been sticking to muffins and cookies lately...

bazu said...

Thanks so much for this post- I think I've been energized to do some cooking as well!

Caty said...

Everything looks delicious, I especially like the look of the pumpkin loaf!

theONLYtania said...

That beef stew looks sooo good. Oddly enough.. I just ran out of tamari yesterday, AND vanilla.. ahh! Thanks for the recipe :-)
And the pumpkin loaf..I need to get DTV...

urban vegan said...

I just got ED&BV in the mail and the chickpeas are one fo the first recipes I want to try.

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Oh my goodness, what a yummy post, Laura! The Zig Zag loaf is on my list, and your photo seals the deal. You always manage to make my kind of salad - wish this one was with me now! :)

VeggieGirl said...

ooh, thanks for linking your aloo matar recipe!! yum!!

wow, you certainly HAVE found a new vigor for cooking and baking!! the tempeh-avocado salad, vegan "beef" stew (I love trying to veganize old family recipes - so fun!), the tamari-roasted chickpeas (I HAVE to make those soon!!), and the pumpkin zig-zag loaf look so tantalizing!!

aTxVegn said...

The stew looks wonderful, Laura! It's still not stew weather here, but I don't mind waiting. I love roasted chickpeas. They are such a great snack.

vko said...

Stew looks so good & hearty and that tempeh salad- so tasty!

I want to try to roast chickpeas!

The Little Vegan said...

When I saw that picture, I scrolled right down to the recipe! Thanks for posting, as it looks super-yummy!

Lynn / vigilant20 said...

I just wanted to know that I sent a blogging award your way, if you care to participate.

Village Vegan said...

Salad! Roasted chickpeas!! Your food always looks SO good and healthy. Mmmmm.