I used to dread the ending of the summer months for a few reasons. First and foremost, I cringed at the thought of having to return to school. I made the best of it...convincing my mother yearly that I needed new shoes and clothes. In all reality, I haven't changed clothes or shoe size since I was 12. I guess that's why I'm an actress.
Secondly, I had to stow away my shorts, t-shirts and tank-tops in favor of sweaters and those puffy jackets that made me look like a 5-foot-tall marshmallow. I would, however, refuse to put away my Birkenstock sandals and would instead just wear them with a thick pair of socks...even in the snow. What can I say? I was classy.
The one great aspect about the cold weather moving into Northeastern Ohio was that it was time for my mom to bust out of her belly-warming, comfort food recipe box. After a long day of snowboarding (*cough* smoking joints outside *cough*), I knew I could look forward to a steady rotation of mac-n-cheese, beef stew, chili, etc. I was one lucky kid.
Now that I'm older and live in a city with a lack of seasonal rotation, I've trained myself to tolerate warm foods during extreme temperature spikes. It does chill down a little bit here, but when the temperature forecast for September 1st reads "91 degrees F" and the weather forecast reads "Smokey" (I'm not kidding...check Google Weather), you gotta do what'cha gotta do. I ate this Veganized version of "Beef" stew-ey goodness when it was 95 degrees, and I loved every bite. Plus, my sweat did the job of adding extra salt! Or not. That joke was gross. I'm still not going to hit the "delete" button ;)
And now...TWO IMPORTANT THINGS.
1) My good friend Trevor has just developed an amazing program for both Vegans and Vegetarians, and I encourage all of you to stand up and participate. The information he offers is amazing, and comes highly recommended by yours truly. Here's a link for you to check out the program...
Learn How To Thrive On A Vegan Diet... But Space Is Limited
If you'd like to thrive on a vegan diet, whip up delicious meals
in 10-30 minutes, and stop being vulnerable to vitamin and mineral
deficiencies, here's great news...
In a couple of weeks, you'll be able to sign up for The Vegan
Mastery Program. Created by my friend Trevor Justice, it’s a series of
50 Lessons that’ll show you how to thrive on a plant-based diet. You
can even participate in a weekly Q&A call.
But space is limited. So if you're interested and want to be invited before the general public, click here now:
The Vegan Mastery Program
2) I made a 2nd episode of VeganizeItTV! I'll stop talking now because I certainly do enough in the video :)
For the "Beef" and Vegetable Pot...
- 1 batch Beef Style Seitan, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Spanish Paprika
- A pinch of Freshly Grated Nutmeg (or Ground Nutmeg)
- 1 medium Yellow Onion, Roughly Chopped
- 2 Purple Bell Peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
- 2 small Russet Potatoes, cleaned and cubed with skins on
- 2 carrots, cleaned and sliced
- 2 large ribs Celery, sliced
- 1/4 cup Red Bordeaux Wine (or Cooking Sherry)
- 1 TBSP Sherry Vinegar
- 2 Tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme
- Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
- Cayenne Pepper, to taste (optional)
- 2 TBSP Corn Starch mixed with 2 TBSP Cold Water (optional, for further thickening)
- 6 sprigs Fresh Parsley Leaves
For the Stock Pot...
- 6 TBSP Vegan Margarine
- 6 TBSP Unbleached All Purpose White Flour
- 10 cup prepared Better Than Bouillon's No Beef Broth
Chef's Note: You'll need two very large stock pots for this recipe. You're going to be multi-tasking while working both pots simultaneously, but it's much easier than it sounds. Just be mindful when reading the directions to note when you're working with the "'Beef' and Vegetable Pot" or the "Stock Pot".
Cube your beef style seitan and prep all of your vegetables and spices. It can be helpful to mix all of the spices together prior to beginning the cooking process to save time and chaos.
In the "'Beef' and Vegetable Pot", warm the 3 TBSP of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic, cubed "beef" seitan, cumin, coriander, paprika, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well to mix all the spices in with the "beef". Saute until the "beef" just begins to brown, about 2-3 minutes.
While the "beef" cubes are sauteing, take your other large "Stock Pot" and start melting the vegan margarine over medium-low heat. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn.
Add the onions, purple peppers, potatoes, carrots, and celery to the "'Beef' and Vegetable Pot", then add the sherry wine to deglaze. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.
While the vegetables are sauteing, return to the "Stock Pot". Once the vegan margarine has melted, stir in the flour until fully combined. Pour in the "beef" broth, and whisk all of the pot's contents well. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and cook, whisking occasionally, until the broth begins to thicken (about 15 minutes.)
Back to the "'Beef' and Vegetable Pot". Once the onions are translucent and the other veggies are softening, pour the thickened contents of the "Stock Pot" into the "'Beef' and Vegetable Pot". Stir well to mix everything together.
Stir in the chopped fresh tomatoes, bay leaves, sprigs of fresh thyme. Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.
Turn the heat down to medium low, and allow to simmer until all the vegetables are soft and the stew has thickened, about 35 minutes. If the stew is not thickened to your liking, you can thicken more by adding the 2 TBSP corn starch mixed into 2 TBSP cold water, stir well and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes longer.
Discard the thyme sprigs, mix in the flat leaf parsley, then taste again for salt and pepper.