Posts Tagged With: gluten

Vegan Month of Food, Day 3: Company Stew

This stew, like many other recipes on this blog, is inspired by a favourite comfort food of my childhood.

One Sunday lunch we were at some friends’ to eat with them, and the lady of the house served us Company Stew. Later, whilst visiting, my mom wrote down the recipe, accidentally leaving out the “p” (she added it in afterwards) because she was busy talking while writing. So “Comany Stew” I used to always call it.

But Comany or Company, it was always a favourite. Except for the time my dad made it and put in a crazy amount of black pepper and that day it was Pepper Stew. And rather unpalatable. But usually it was amazing, and there is really nothing lovelier than coming home from church to the delicious aroma of cooking food.

My Boxcar Children stew was modelled closely after this recipe, but this time I’m trying to replicate the actual Company Stew instead of Jessie’s stew, so it’s a tad different. Because you layer the ingredients while it’s cooking, this TOTALLY COUNTS as a legit Layered Food. 🙂 While the original stew baked in the oven, I have chosen to go the crockpot route, and have found that the results are pretty good if not quite as browned as the oven method.

This took me about an hour to prepare, because I had to go pull up my own carrots and dig up my own potatoes and then scrub them down. And make my white sauce. But if you already have potatoes and carrots handy, it won’t take you near that long to prepare it.

companystew

You will need:
1 lb stew beef sub, cut in pieces (I used chopped-up beef flavoured gluten steaks)
4 large potatoes, cut in chunks
4 medium carrots, cut in chunks
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 T tapioca flour
1 1/4 c white sauce (your favourite, or you can try my white sauce)
1 1/4 c water

Put gluten in bottom of crockpot. Layer on potatoes, carrots, and onion, also raw.

Next, combine the salt and tapioca flour and sprinkle on.

Drizzle soup and water over top. Cover and cook in crockpot on high for 5 hours. Should be rich and brown when done.

Tomorrow: Mexican Lasagna!

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Categories: challenges, crockpot, entrees, lunch, recipes, soup, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013 | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

Literary Post: The Boxcar Children. Jessie’s Stew.

By the end of last week, I was mostly back to normal, but here are two things that perplex me:

  • I have a massive sugar addiction.
  • I think Lou Who has a peanut allergy.

Regarding the first thing, I have such bad withdrawal symptoms if I try to just completely stop eating sugar that I’ve yet to make concentrated efforts to completely stop. I can go all morning if I need to. But then I get kind of grouchy and cranky and stuff. So I have a cookie (or two, or ten).

The solution that has worked in the past is to just stop making sweets that go into the freezer, because it’s too easy for me to run out there and grab cookies. I need to make them, take them somewhere, and make sure they don’t come back home with me. And then I’m fine. If it’s not here, I stop feeling like I have to eat it, and the withdrawal symptoms are almost nil. Interesting.

So, that being said, this week’s church potluck is getting a lot of cookies from yours truly, because there are a lot of cookies in the freezer at the moment.

As for the second thing, I have to let the rash around her mouth clear up first and then eat some peanuts again just to make sure it is indeed the peanuts and not something else. I’m bummed because peanut butter-jam sandwiches are about the best thing in the world, and I really just don’t like almond butter. It’s like tasteless paste in my mouth. Bleh. I like the crunchy, chunky, salty flavour/texture of peanut butter. So, I have to keep reminding myself: it could be worse. It could be gluten. I’ll either have to start salting my almond butter or try some other alternatives.

At any rate, it’s time for another LITERARY POST. It should have gone up last week, but I was just too stressed and didn’t have time to prepare it, so here it is today instead.

I was a huge Boxcar Children fan as a child. I read all of the 19 books in the original series, but many of the later ones I only read once. The first 6 or so were my favourites; they seemed to start repeating themselves more and more as the series went on (burning question: did Henry ever make it through college?) My all-time favourites were easily the first book, Mike’s Mystery, The Woodshed Mystery, Mountain Top Mystery, and Snowbound Mystery. I had a stuffed dog I named Jessie and always thought, “What FUN it would be to live in a BOXCAR and have to be INGENIOUSLY CREATIVE.”

No, the irony has not been lost on me.

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 10.24.12 PMTo me the illustrations in the first book are iconic. I’ve never seen this kind of art in any other book and always was a little sad that this (as I recall) anonymous illustrator did not continue doing the rest of the series. Does anyone know otherwise? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

At any rate, I decided to replicate the stew described in The Boxcar Children.

I didn’t use baby vegetables, although for authenticity you’re welcome to do so if you are lucky enough to have them available. For my “meat” I used some basic gluten steaks chopped up. It had been in the freezer and I just put it into the crockpot frozen, but you could thaw it first if you want to or use it fresh – or substitute whatever your preferred beef sub might be.

Note on crockpots: I used my smallish Rival crockpot that is about 10 cup capacity. If you use a larger one or smaller one, cooking times may vary, but this is what worked for that size.

Stewy stew.

Stewy stew.

Jessie’s Stew

1 lb faux meat, cut in pieces
2 large turnips, cut in chunks
4 medium carrots, cut in chunks
2-4 green onions – I used 2 because mine are huge
1 tsp salt
1 tsp beef-like seasoning of choice
1 T tapioca flour (or cornstarch)
2 1/2 c  water

Layer the faux meat and veggies in your crockpot in the order given. Sprinkle salt, beaf seasoning, and tapioca flour on top. Pour water over all.

Turn the crockpot on high and cook 5 hours. (I stirred mine just once after 3 1/2 hours).

***

Some extra notes from a literary nerd:

mental_floss has a great article mentioning Gertrude Chandler Warner.

Said article caused me to go a-Googling and this university library site has the full text and all but one illustration from the original 1924 version of “The Box-car Children”.

I’ve read it. The differences I noticed were interesting to me. The change of the surname Cordyce to Alden is understandable (Cordyce sounds SO snobbish). There are definitely details I do not remember reading before, (the drunken dad in the opening, anyone? the children’s side business selling ginseng?) A side-by-side comparison read would be good, if I had my modern copy available, which I don’t. Sometime in the future though. Anyway, it was a fun little jaunt into the past. I recommend it!

Of particular note to this blog post, the original text said Jess used parsnips, not turnips. So…. have at them parsnips if you want!

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Categories: book-inspired food, crockpot, entrees, lunch, recipes, soup, vegan, vegetables | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Vegan MoFo #1: Savoury Seitan Pie

It’s an absolutely gorgeous day outside today at our house. It started off being pretty cold, but it’s pleasant out now, and GooGoo and Mr Pine Nut are out doing things like grinding up food refuse to feed the garden while I have a lot of other things going. Today I made homemade laundry soap, the powdered kind, because I needed it immediately and didn’t have time to wait for the liquid kind to gel overnight. I had an astonishingly small amount of laundry today – only two loads!

And then after I got the laundry going, it was time to make tasty MoFo food. GooGoo wanted to help.

Little girl cooks!

GooGoo the helper

Savoury Seitan Pie

Savoury Seitan Pie fresh out of the oven

This recipe was originally “Savoury Beef Pie”, found on page 14 of the 1978 Betty Crocker cookbook.

1/4 – 1/2 c chopped onion
2 T chopped green pepper
2 T oil
2 cups beefy seitan (I used my mother-in-law’s gluten steak recipe, chopped it into cubes and stirred up with 1 T of Bill’s Best Beaf seasoning)
10 oz frozen mixed veggies
1 c “beef” gravy of your choice (here’s the gravy recipe I used)
1/4 c water

Cook and stir onion and green pepper in oil until tender with seitan chunks. Add veggies, gravy, and water; heat until hot (about 5 minutes).

Preheat your oven to 450 and pour the above mixture into ungreased 8×8″ or 12×7.5″ pan and set aside.

Prepare Sesame Drop Biscuits:

1/3 c vegan margarine
1 c white flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c non-dairy milk
2-4 T sesame seed

Combine flours, baking powder, and salt. Cut in margarine until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in milk just until soft dough forms (it will be sticky). Drop dough by 12 spoonsful onto casserole and sprinkle with sesame seed.

Bake uncovered at 450 for 15-20 minutes, until biscuits are light brown.

Savoury Seitan Pie

And then you eat it.

Mr Pine Nut and I were both very happy with the way this came out and it’s definitely one I’m going to be making again. I used just peas as my veggie, because I didn’t have mixed veggies on hand, but you could really use any kind of veggie. Corn and carrots would make for a vibrant pop of colour. You could even use chopped-up cabbage, so there are lots of variants you could try. It was really yummy. We decimated the entire pan here for lunch and GooGoo even ate some.

Categories: casseroles, challenges, entrees, recipes, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Cow-Free Pepper Steak

Cow-Free Pepper Steak!!

So, this was so tasty that the only photo I got of it was a quick iPod picture rather than an actually good-quality shot, because I could not wait to dig into it long enough to let my flash boot up.

1 lb. gluten steaks
¼ cup soy sauce
1 garlic clove
1 ½ tsp. grated fresh ginger OR ½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ cup veggie or other oil
1 cup green onion, thinly sliced OR regular onion, minced
1 cup bell peppers cut into 1″ squares
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup water
2 tomatoes (cut into wedges)

First, use a nice sharp knife to cut the gluten steaks into thin strips, 1/4 – 1/8″ thick.

Combine soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add gluten and toss; let it sit in the pan while preparing veggies.

After you get done slicing and dicing the vegetables, add them to the gluten in the pan and toss over medium heat until vegetables are tender crisp.

Mix cornstarch with water. Add to pan; stir and cook until thickened.

Finally, add tomatoes and heat through. Serve over noodles or brown rice.

Categories: entrees, lunch, nut-free, recipes, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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