Hearty Vegan Beef & Vegetable Stew for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I have posted a beef stew before – my Easy Vegetarian (Vegan) Irish Stew for a Slow Cooker – from almost exactly three years ago but this current one is superior.  It is superior due to my just getting better at vegan stews & a higher quality vegan meat.  I am all about Beyond Meat – and I think it is the best on the market – but they don’t offer certain things.  In this case – I wanted cubes of beef – and Beyond Meat only offers a ground beef.  So – I decided to use both Beyond Meat’s Beefy Crumbles and Gardein’s Beefless Tips – which were wonderful in my Vegan Spicy Ginger-Garlic Red Pepper Beef Steak with Vegetable Fried Cauliflower Rice – seen just below.  I used one bag of each in this stew.  If you really want to ratchet up the presence of the beef – double up on one or both of these – or use your own favorite faux beef.

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There are about an infinity of ingredients in this stew – most of which can be eliminated without a negative impact on this dish.  I happened to have all but mushrooms, an onion & carrots on hand.  If you are missing an ingredient or two (or three) – I think you will still like the results.

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I used those vegetarian bouillon cubes above but I am going to stop buying them.  They contain palm oil & an obscene sodium content so – I will be moving on to Better Than Bouillon, when my supply of these runs out.

I served my stew over mashed cauliflower.   When I was done eating – I mixed the leftover mashed cauliflower directly into the stew.  This had the effect of making it seem thicker & denser – but it is just cauliflower – so it actually lightens the dish up.

**NOTE – I made this in a slow cooker (on high) while I hiked.  It was pretty much done when I returned 2 1/2 hours later.  You could make this just as easily stove top – maybe in less time.  Just bring to a boil & simmer until the veggies are cooked.  To thicken it – return it to a boil.  Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Add water if it gets too thick.

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Hearty Vegan Beef & Vegetable Stew for the Slow Cooker

Serves 6 or more

INGREDIENTS (VERY flexible – both in what you use & quantity)

Olive oil (or the cooking oil of your choice)

1 (9 oz) vegan ground beef (or more) – I recommend Beyond Meat

1 package (or more) of Gardein Beefless Tips (or your favorite vegan cubed steak)

1 onion – diced

2 Portobello mushroom – cut up (or whatever mushrooms you prefer)

4 carrots – sliced

2 jalapenos – diced (optional)

1-2 cups cubed white-fleshed potato of any variety (I don’t peel my potatoes)

1 small sweet potato – cubed (I don’t peel my potatoes)

2 celery stalks – chopped

4 radishes – cubed (I only used them because I had them so they are very optional)

2 tomatoes – diced (or a cup of canned diced tomatoes)

2-6 garlic cloves – minced

5 cups vegetable stock

1 cup dry red wine (optional) – or another cup of stock

6 oz lima beans (I used frozen)

1-2 cups peas (I used frozen)

1 cup corn (I used frozen)

1/4 cup pasta sauce (I used Rao’s but you can use your favorite or omit it)

1 TBS Bragg’s liquid aminos OR soy sauce OR tamari

1 TBS dry mustard

1 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 TBS Kitchen Bouquet (seasoning available in the spice aisle or near gravy ingredients)

Few squirts Maggi  (seasoning available in the spice aisle or near gravy ingredients)

1 tsp smoked (or regular) paprika

2 bay leaves

6 whole coves

1 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)

1/4 cup corn starch (or more)

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

I really prefer slow cooker recipes that require ZERO prep.  Recipes where you just dump the shit into the cooker & go away.  But – I really wanted a stew-like flavor here so – I thought cooking the onions & bringing their flavor – & the flavor of the sauteed mushrooms were important.  Also – browning the steak cubes assists in the visual presentation.  You could certainly just dump it all in & would probably be just as happy with the result.  Your call.

So – heat 2 TBS or so of oil & saute the onions & the beef cubes.  When the onions start to brown.  Add the garlic & saute one minute.  Add the wine (or stock) and quickly deglaze the pan.  Put this into the slow cooker.

In the same pan, add another TBS or so of oil & saute the mushrooms until they begin to sear.  Deglaze the pan with a tiny bit of water & add the mushrooms to the slow cooker.

If you are going stove top – do the steps above & then put those things & the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH) into a huge stock pot, bring to a boil & simmer until the vegetables are tender – not more than 1/2 hour.  To thicken it – return it to a boil.  Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Add water if it gets too thick.  Season with S&P.

If you are slow cooking it – dump the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH) into the slow cooker & leave it covered & on high for 3 hours or so.   To thicken it – remove the lid. Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Leave the top off until it thickens.  Add water if it gets too thick.  Season with S&P.

Serve over rice or mashed potatoes or – as I did – over mashed cauliflower.   When I was done eating – I mixed the leftover mashed cauliflower directly into the stew.  This had the effect of making it seem thicker & denser – but it is just cauliflower – so it actually lightens the dish up.

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Vegan Moroccan Chicken, Chickpeas & Butternut Squash with Preserved Lemons for the Slow Cooker (or Not)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – in order to make this recipe – you really will need two important ingredients – seen above – preserved lemons & ras el hanout.  The preserved lemons will give the dish its distinctive Moroccan flair and the ras el hanout will keep this stew from tasting like a curry.   You can make the ras el hanout – as it is just a blend of other spices – but buying it will be so much cheaper & easier.  See the package below – list the spices involved in that particular brand.

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I used saffron – because I had it – but saffron can be very expensive so – if you don’t have any & don’t want to shell out the funds – blow the saffron off.  Same with the harissa (a hot sauce).  The two things I really suggest you not blow off are the preserved lemons & the ras el hanout – both of which can be purchased on Amazon.

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Preserved lemons come in a jar (see above) & are simply lemons pickled in brine.  They maintain all their sharp lemon flavor but are quite salty & very soft.   The flavor they give this dish is critical – so – be patient – and get some before making this.

Other than that – this is a straight-forward slow cooker dish (which could be made by simmering on the stove, too) with ingredients that are easy to come by.  I served mine with this Trader Joe’s blend of grains but couscous is more traditional.  I like this stuff from Trader Joe’s because it is pretty & offers lots of textures.  You can serve yours with whatever grain you prefer.

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I used Beyond Meat chicken because I think it is the best on the market.  I thawed & shredded it because it breaks down in stews better that way & because – visually – it really looks like shredded chicken.   I am convinced you could slip this by meat-eaters with no complaints.

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Vegan Moroccan Chicken, Chickpeas & Butternut Squash with Preserved Lemons for the Slow Cooker (or Not)

Serves 4-6 with couscous or rice

INGREDIENTS

9-12 oz vegan chicken

1 onion – diced

2-4 garlic cloves – chopped

2 (15 oz) cans of chickpeas – drained

4 cups vegetable stock

1 TBS ras el hanout

1/4 – 1 preserved lemon (depending on hpw large it is) – diced small (start with less & add more as you go – just so that this flavor doesn’t get to overpowering for you) – I used the entire 1/2 lemon using all parts

Saffron (a large pinch or more) – optional

Green and/or black olives – I used half Kalamata & half large martini olives – in a quantity to suit your taste for olives – optional

1 TBS harissa (or other hot sauce) – optional

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes

3 carrots – chopped

1 butternut squash – peeled, seeded & cubed

1/2 – 1 red bell pepper – diced

1 lemon – peeled & sliced

1 handful cilantro

GARNISH – chopped cilantro or parsley, lemon wedges/slices

Cooked couscous or other grain

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DIRECTIONS

Put everything into a slow cooker & cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8.  If you started light with the preserved lemon – taste occasionally & add more – if you like the flavor.  Overall – it should have a strong lemon flavor.  It should not need salt – because the preserved lemons, olives & stock should have that covered.

Stove top – just bring to a boil & simmer everything until the vegetables are soft – likely less than an hour.  If you started light with the preserved lemon – taste occasionally & add more – if you like the flavor.  Overall – it should have a strong lemon flavor.  It should not need salt – because the preserved lemons, olives & stock should have that covered.

In both cases – add water if it gets too thick.

Serve with whatever grain you chose & garnish with cilantro or parsley & lemon wedges.

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Vegan Coconut and Turmeric Lentil Stew with Kale for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Group of turmeric roots isolated on white background

I stole this image from Google.

I found fresh turmeric at the supermarket & just had to try it out.  It looks like that photo above – but that photo does not really get the grub-like visual it sometimes has.  I used 1 2-inch piece of it chopped into the stew but I can’t say what flavor it added so – if you can’t find it – skip it.  Powdered turmeric will do.  Google turmeric & learn of its many health benefits.  It is very good for you & has that gorgeous color – so I love using it.

This stew was born because I re-upped my membership to Farm Fresh to You & I had lots of fresh veggies to use.    This makes a shitload of stew but it is delicious & freezes well.  I have been eating it for lunch at work all week and I am never disappointed by the flavors.   I used this 6-quart Crock Pot and it was filled to the brim – so – get ready to either feed a lotta folks or to freeze some for future use.

I have to remark here how much better the local organic carrots I got from Farm Fresh to You tasted than supermarket carrots.  They were bursting with sweetness!  If you have a local produce delivery service near you – I recommend trying it out.  Support local farmers & get fresher produce.  It is a win-win.

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Vegan Coconut and Turmeric Lentil Stew with Kale for the Slow Cooker

Feeds a party

INGREDIENTS

1 lb lentils (I used pink  ones- despite the fact that they look yellow because of the turmeric)

7 cups vegetable stock

1 can coconut milk (I used lite)

4 tomatoes – diced

1 onion – diced

2 jalapenos – seeded & minced (I left the seeds in for extra kick)

1 head Kale – chopped

4 carrots – sliced

4 cloves garlic – chopped

3 TBS fresh ginger – minced

2 inches turmeric root – peeled & minced (optional)

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt

2 pinches cayenne

1 TBS ground coriander

1 TBS mustard powder

1 TBS turmeric

GARNISH – cilantro, chopped tomatoes, chopped jalapenos

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DIRECTIONS

Put everything in the slow cooker & leave on high for 5 hours.

Shit don’t get easier than that.

If it is too thick – add water.  If it is too thin – take the lid off & leave on high.  It should thicken up in an hour or so.

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Spicy Vegan Pakistani Chicken & White Bean Stew — for the Slow Cooker or Stove Top

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is as easy as putting everything into a slow cooker & leaving for 5 hours.  The only prep I engaged in was soaking the beans overnight but that is not really necessary.  I think even dry beans would be tender after 5 hours.  Or – you could use canned beans & be absolutely sure they will be tender when you are ready to eat.

I love, love, LOVE lemongrass & I used tons in this – both fresh stalks & a pre-made paste in a tube – and I tasted none of it in this finished product so – if you can’t find lemongrass of any kind – just blow it off.  I used a tube of lemongrass paste (made by Gourmet Garden & found in the produce section.  They also make parsley & garlic etc in tubes) and 2 stalks of fresh lemongrass – though they were – admittedly – on their last legs.  But, again, lemongrass was not a noticeable flavor in the finished product.  Despite the lack of lemongrass flavors – this stew was hearty & delicious!

I used Beyond Meat vegan chicken because it is my favorite – but you can use any meat (faux or not) that you prefer.

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Spicy Vegan Pakistani Chicken & White Bean Stew — for the Slow Cooker or Stove Top

Serves 6 easily with rice

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken

2 cups white beans (dry or canned for slow cooker – but use canned for stove top)

3 cups water or stock

1 10 oz can Rotel or roasted tomatoes

1 13 oz can lite coconut milk

2 potatoes – cubed

1 onion – diced

6 oz frozen okra (optional)

12 oz frozen lima beans

2 stalks of lemongrass – smashed a bit with a roller &  chopped into large hunks (so you can easily avoid eating it) – (optional)

5 TBS lemongrass paste – (optional)

Juice of half a lemon

3 garlic cloves – chopped

1/4 cup chili paste or sriracha (or to taste)

1 TBS turmeric

1 TBS ground coriander

1 TBS chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Corn starch

Garnish – cooked rice, cilantro, diced red or green jalapenos

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DIRECTIONS

Slow cooker – Put everything (except the cilantro) into a slow cooker & cook on high for 5-6 hours.  If it is too thin  – whisk 2 TBS corn starch into some water & stir it in.  If it gets too thick – add water or stock.  Stir in the cilantro.

Stove top – Same as above but you probably won’t need any water because you are using canned beans.  Heat it to boil & simmer until the potatoes are cooked – maybe 30 minutes – depending on how big your potato cubes are.  If it gets too thick – thin with some water.   If it is too thin  – whisk 2 TBS corn starch into some water & stir it in. When the vegetables are tender & it is heated through – stir in the cilantro.

Serve with rice & garnishes of your desire.

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Easy and Spicy Brunswick Stew (Vegan or Vegetarian or Not!) – with Chicken and Beef

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK!  I was away a while but I should be posting more often now.  Today, let me present – Brunswick Stew.  Apparently, this is a traditional southern dish, but, despite dating a man from Arkansas for three years – I have never heard of it.   Apparently, there are lots of variations of this tomato-based soup that usually consists of lima or butter beans and one or two kinds of meat  – the most authentic using rabbit, squirrel or opossum – and vegetables.  Since most people aren’t often in the mood for those delicacies – chicken & pork are often used.

I did not use any back yard meat sources.  Or any real meat products.  I used Beyond Meat vegan chicken and their beefy crumbles – and these vegetables (plus a few more)!

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This could be done in a slow cooker on high for a few hours but it comes together on the stove in about an hour.  That time is mainly needed to make this dish thick – like a stew – and not just a hearty soup.  You could hasten that thickening by whisking a TBS of cornstarch into 1/2 cup water & adding it to the pot.  I went the old fashioned way & just let it simmer for a while.  And it was even thicker & more yummy the next day.

In a quick aside – look at this picture I caught of my cutie latest foster – Sid Vicious!  Isn’t he the sweetest little 7 pound guy?

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Anyway – here is the recipe.   The list is long but the ingredients are easy.

Easy and Spicy Brunswick Stew (Vegan or Vegetarian or Not!) – with Chicken and Beef

Feeds 4-6 very well – more of you serve it with steamed rice

9 oz vegan chicken (or real chicken)

9 oz beefy crumbles (or real ground beef)

Flour

2 cups vegetable stock

1 medium onion – diced

1 green bell pepper – diced

12 oz frozen or canned lima beans

6 oz corn

6 oz okra

2 red potatoes – diced (I skipped these to cut the carbs but potato is traditional in this recipe)

1 or 2 (10 oz) can Rotel or other diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes) – I used one can because I don’t like a lot of tomato in my soups

2 TBS Worcestershire sauce (or tamari/soy sauce – if you are vegan/vegetarian)

2 TBS steak sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce)

1 TBS BBQ sauce (or more – to taste) – I used some of the Korean variety I show below AND some Spicy Stubb’s brand.

1 TBS ketchup

1 TBS Dijon

1 TBS hot sauce (I love Crystal – seen below) – more if you love heat

4 oz diced canned spicy jalapenos (optional) – I used all of a 4 oz can but use less if you dislike heat

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp cayenne

S&P

Olive oil

Cornstarch (maybe)

Garnish ideas:  avocado, cilantro, chopped raw onion, HOT SAUCE, steamed rice, diced fresh tomato

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DIRECTIONS

I tossed the chicken (in the bag) with enough flour to coat it.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Cook the chicken until it sears & browns a bit.  Take it from the pan & set it aside.  Later – when it is cooled – you can shred it with two forks – though this step is not necessary.  I did shred it.

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If you are using real meat – cook both the chicken & beef (separately) in a bit of olive oil.  When done – shred the chicken & set both meats aside.

Add the onion & green pepper to the same pot.  Add a little oil if you need to.  Scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan & cook until the veggies are soft – only a few minutes.

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Then, just add everything else.  Bring to a boil & then simmer on low for about an hour.  If it gets too thick – add water.  If it is too thin – whisk 1-2 TBS cornstarch or flour into 1/2 cup water.  Bring the stew to a boil again & add the mixture.  It should thicken up pretty fast.  Season to taste with S&P, hot sauce & maybe more BBQ sauce.

Serve in bowls or over rice & garnish as you like.

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Vegan Moroccan Meatball Soup with Israeli Couscous & Waterfront Film Festival!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I have been shirking my blogging duties lately because last weekend was year 16 of the AWESOME Waterfront Film Festival (Waterfront on Facebook) – a festival I have programmed for every year.  This year was our second season in South Haven, Michigan – having been in Saugatuck for 14 years before that.  We screened a ton of amazing films & the weather was gorgeous & I got to meet a lot of new folks & reunite with some old friends.  Internationally acclaimed artist Ron English did our poster again this year

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and he even came early & painted this mural – IN A DAY.  That is my stepdad, Alvan Long, in the black get-up.

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Besides beaches & murals & movies – there were lots of parties & lotsa this kinda thing:

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As you might imagine, it takes a few days to recover from such debauchery – but recovered I am!  Sorta.  Still too lazy to get nuts in the kitchen but I made this soup today & it came together in about 20-30 minutes & tastes amazing!  EASY & healthy & vegan.  I used these products from Trader Joe’s:

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but you could use any vegan (or not) meatball or another grain – like barley or something.   So easy & flavorful – I hope you try it!

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Vegan Moroccan Meatball Soup with Israeli Couscous

serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cup uncooked Israeli couscous

1/2 lb vegan meatballs

1-2 TBS olive oil

1 medium onion – minced

6 garlic cloves – minced

4 cups vegetable stock

2 TBS mint – chopped (plus more as garnish)

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp dry oregano

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp dry thyme

1/2 tsp chili powder

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

NOTE – I tried the leftovers of this soup the next day & by day two – the spices seemed heavy-handed.  So – if you are going to eat this immediately – spice it up.  If you expect leftovers or intend to let it simmer long time – maybe reduce the spices by half and season it more (if it needs it) before serving.

Despite the photos above – keep your vegan meatballs OUT until the end to prevent them from falling apart.

Cook your couscous according to the package & set aside.  This should take 15 minutes.

Meanwhile – heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat & saute the onion (not the garlic) with the dry spices until the onion softens – a few minutes.  Add the garlic for one minute & then add the stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer & add the couscous & meatballs.  Season with S&P – add some mint – and you are pretty much good to go.  The longer it gets to simmer – the better the flavors meld but be careful not to break up your meatballs.  If it gets too thick – add water.

Serve with more chopped mint & slurp it up!

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Vegan Crockpot Beef & Potato Coconut Curry Stew

3 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

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This is as easy as dumping stuff into a crock-pot and waiting a few hours.  I have that little crock-pot above.  No settings – not even an on/off switch.  Just either “plugged in” or “not plugged in.”  I think I paid $12 at a grocery store for it.  It does the trick & makes enough of whatever to feed two people very well & likely leave some leftover for lunch the next day.

The ingredients list here is long but, I bet if you look in your cupboards, you will find you already have most (if not all) of them.   Not many of the ingredients are critical with the exceptions of the beef, potato, some kinda curry & coconut milk.  The rest – meah.  You could get away with losing a bunch of them, probably, and still do just fine.  And, yes, real beef hunks could be used, too, but I used the Trader Joe’s stuff (seen below) & I recommend it highly.  If there are no Trader Joe’s near you – most supermarkets carry fake meats in the freezer section but try to avoid Gardein.  It is mushy & the worst of the bunch, in my opinion.  Simple Truth vegan meats are decent.  Beyond Meat brand is the best but they only make beef crumbles – not strips or cubes.

I also used these things below.  If you cannot find a red curry paste – just use a curry powder.  I used the tamarind but I am leaving it out of the recipe because I feel it added to much tartness.

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Vegan Crock-pot Beef & Potato Coconut Curry Stew

INGREDIENTS

Cooked rice (I used a really long grain Basmati)

1/2 lb faux beef

1/2 onion or 1 large shallot – diced

3 small potatoes – cut into big (but bite-sized) chunks – though the larger they are, the longer they take to cook

1 14 oz can lite (or regular) coconut milk

1/2 cup cilantro – chopped

2 TBS red curry paste (or 1 TBS curry powder and 1 tsp olive oil)

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 cup vegetable stock

1 tsp fresh ginger – minced

2 garlic cloves – minced

2 pinches of cinnamon

2 bay leaves

3 TBS low sodium soy sauce (I used fish sauce but it is not vegan)

2 TBS peanut butter

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp paprika

1 TBS sriracha (optional)

S&P to taste

Additional cilantro as garnish

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS

sugar to taste (optional) – added toward the end in tiny increments like you would with the s&p

3 cardamom pods – crushed well (VERY VERY optional – blow it off if you do not already have cardamom)

1 tsp tamarind (if you already own some & only if you like a touch of tartness)

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DIRECTIONS

Cook some rice.

Put everything into a crock-pot & turn it on for 2-3 hours – or until the potatoes are soft.  I left it on the counter unplugged overnight to really let the flavors blend.

Alternately, you could do this stove-top.   If so – heat a little olive oil & saute the onion until soft.  Then just add everything, bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are soft.

Season with salt & pepper and maybe even a few pinches of sugar.

Garnish with cilantro.  Eat.

Oh – and I think bull fighting is a DISGUSTING & barbaric thing & I cannot believe it is legal – let alone that there are people who think it is fun to watch.  But this vintage bull with little sword olive picks is very Ernest Hemingway & cruelty-free!  So lighten the fuck up.

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