Northern Virginia has been suffering from winter temperatures for just over a week and I’m already completely sick of it. Today was cold, rainy, gray, overcast, cold, wet, chilly, cold, and basically just not hospitable. I’ve been threatening to move to Australia. I dealt with the miserable weather the only way I know how, which is by making stew. Here’s what I made:
“Beef” and Barley Stew
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
6 cups vegan “beef” broth
2 tsp Kitchen Bouquet
2 tsp Marmite
3 bay leaves
2 cups vegan “beef”: beef-style seitan, TVP chunks, tempeh, etc., chopped into bite-sized pieces if necessary
1/2 cup hulled barley
2 huge carrots, chunked
1 cup potatoes, chopped
1 cup pearl onions
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 cup cooked lima beans
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 tsp thyme
freshly ground ground pepper and salt, to taste
Prep the ingredients: chunk the carrots (I like large chunks of carrot), chop the potatoes, garlic, and “beef” (if necessary). Cook the lima beans (I used dried limas and cooked them in the pressure cooker). Bring some water to a boil, add the pearl onions, cook for 5 to 7 minutes, drain, them pop out of their skins.
In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil, then add the flour and mix. Cook for two minutes.
Slowly add the broth. Since I was using bouillon cubes, I just added the water, then added the bouillon cubes once it came to a boil later.
Stir or whisk as you continue to add the water or broth to keep lumps from forming.
Bring to a boil, add bouillon cubes if necessary, Kitchen Bouquet, Marmite, bay leaves, barley, potatoes, and carrots.
Reduce heat and simmer half an hour. Add the remaining ingredients except frozen veggies.
Simmer another 20 minutes, then add frozen veggies and adjust seasonings. Cook for another couple of minutes, until frozen veggies are warmed.
Serve, preferably with crusty bread.
In non-food related news, I am free of the tyranny of iTunes! Not only am I at long last completely managing my iPod in Linux, but I converted all the DRM files I’d purchased from iTunes to mp3. Sweet, sweet freedom! I never have to look at iTunes again, or Windows for that matter (at home anyway). I know this has nothing to do with food, or even cats, but I’m just so ecstatic about it I can’t help but gloat.
I haven’t posted in a while, I know, but I have been taking photos of some of my meals, so I’ll do a sort of conglomeration post this week, as well as a post on real ginger ale, which after three failed batches I have finally perfected and I’m super excited about it. To help make up for my lack of posts lately, here is Brachtune helping me make reusable gift bags.
And here she is simply being beautiful, which is what she does best: