Comforting Shepherd's Stew

January and new year resolutions. I'm not into it too much. The latter that is. However, if you've got some changes to make in your life, especially in the food department (don't we all...don't touch that Oreo, Katie...) or just want to learn how to make healthier choices and free yourself from those "food prisons" I know some people put themselves in, then you'll have to check out my blogger friend Claire's new ebook over at Eat Well Party Hard. It's a very funny, no-nonsense ebook, complete with worksheets and straightforward advice to help get you on the right path. So go check it out!   January also calls for stew. But not just any stew. A thick, rich and almost gravy-like stew filled with hearty potatoes, crispy tofu, silky greens and fresh veggies. This stew is full of flavor and sure to fill you up! It's not messin' around. 

Produce On Parade - Comforting Shepherd's Stew

I'm not sure if the Lower 48 is still having their winter storm *cough* just another day in Alaska *cough*, but being born and raised in The Last Frontier, I can definitely say that this is one BA cold weather soup. Perfect for those -20 F days (not including wind chill). Has it warmed up in the States yet?

Comforting Shepherd's Stew

Serves 8

  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium red potatoes, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large portobello mushroom, diced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  •  2 cups water (more or less for desired thickness)
  • 1 Tbsp. oil olive 
  • 1 lb. package of extra-firm tofu (I like sprouted tofu), drained and cubed
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach

Notes: Adjust the water to your personal preference for the soups thickness. If using tofu that's in a plastic box container as opposed to one that's vacuum sealed, you'll probably want to press it for about 20-30 minutes. 

In large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the paprika, turmeric and black pepper. Stir for about 30 seconds. 

Now, add in the onion, and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the onions become tender. 

Add the potatoes, carrots, and celery. Saute for about 10 minutes.

Produce On Parade - Comforting Shepherd's StewThen, add the mushrooms and saute for an additional 5 minutes. 

Produce On Parade - Comforting Shepherd's StewNext, add the flour and dried herbs. Stir well to coat. Turn the heat to high and add in the soy sauce, Worcestershire, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Produce On Parade - Comforting Shepherd's StewMeanwhile, heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium. Blot the tofu with a clean towel to remove any excess liquid and add the cubed tofu to the pan. Fry for about 10-15 minutes, scraping with a metal spatula, until the outside becomes somewhat crispy and brown.

Produce On Parade - Comforting Shepherd's StewRemove the soup from heat and stir in the vinegar, nutritional yeast, fresh parsley, spinach, and browned tofu. 

Produce On Parade - Comforting Shepherd's StewServe hot and sprinkled with additional paprika and fresh parsley.

Produce On Parade - Comforting Shepherd's Stew Produce On Parade - Comforting Shepherd's StewI do need to be better about returning library materials on time. I guess that's my new year resolution...does that count?

Listening to Churchill – Change

[yumprint-recipe id='64']

Sweet Potato Mac and "Cheese"

Oh, macaroni and cheese. Sweet, sweet mac and cheese...the ultimate comfort food. Cheese isn't really on my vegan list of ethically edible items, however, so what's a comfort food seeking vegan to do? Don't worry my dear compassionate foodie, I have the answer. Produce on Parade: Sweet Potato Mac and "Cheese"

This mac and "cheese", made with sweet potato is creamy, and rich, and as always the nutritional yeast lends that proper "cheesy" flavor. Honestly, I truly enjoy this version much more than the typical macaroni and cheese. Now that's saying something. Nostalgia is a hard thing to beat.

Produce on Parade: Sweet Potato Mac and "Cheese"

Sweet Potato Mac and "Cheese" 

Inspired by Detoxinista

Serves 4

  • 1 medium sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 cup almond milk (or nut-free milk for a nut-free mac and "cheese")
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. pink Himalyan salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. mustard seeds or mustard (optional)
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • desired pasta[gallery type="circle" ids="414,412,413"]

 

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta. I used about 6 servings.

Bring a medium pot of water to boil, insert steaming basket, and add chopped sweet potatoes. Cover, turn to medium-low and let steam for 10 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, add the remaining ingredients, except pasta (obvs), into a blender and whirl on high until the mixture is smooth.[gallery type="rectangular" ids="411,409"]

When the sweet potatoes are done steaming, add them to the blender as well and whirl on high again for about a minute or so. Add water as needed to achieve the desired viscosity. Stir in as little or as much sauce as wanted to the cooked pasta.

I'm a firm believe that any day, good or bad, can be improved upon by a warm and creamy dish of mac and "cheese". Especially when no animals were exploited in the process.