Monday, January 17, 2011

Seitan and Barley Stew

This is an old standby recipe a friend shared with me for Beef and Barley Stew. This is a simple recipe that everyone always loved, so I thought I'd try it with seitan. This is snowy day sort of stew. Something warm always helps me feel a little less gloomy on a dreary, cold day.

Vegan "Beef" Seitan and Barley Stew
3/4 C. Frozen Cut Green Beans
1 1/2 C. Frozen Sweet White Corn
2/3 Log of Seitan O' Greatness, cut in small cubes
1/2 cup Bell Pepper, chopped
1 C. Yellow onion, chopped
4 Cloves Garlic minced
2/3 C. Uncooked Pearled Barley
1 t. Thyme
1/4 t. Pepper
5 C. Water and 5 t. Better than Bouillon Reduced Veggie Bouillon, or 5 C. Veggie Broth
1 T. Tomato Paste
1- 2 cans (14.5 oz) Petite Diced Tomatoes Undrained (Depending on how much you like tomatoes.)
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 T. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat small dutch oven over medium high heat. Add olive oil. Add onions, garlic, and bell pepper. Saute for a few minutes. Rinse green beans and corn with cold water to separate and partially thaw. Mix green beans, corn and remaining ingredients into dutch oven. Heat until simmering. Simmer for 1-2 hours on stove, or put in oven at 250 degrees for 2 -3 hours. Add seitan about 30 minutes from the end of cooking time. Oh, and FYI: This stew is best the second day, or made in the morning, so that the barley has time to plump up. At first the stew will seem too thin, but after a few hours of sitting on the stove it will thicken right up.

Also, I hadn't gotten my hands on a copy of The Engine 2 Diet before last week. I love the library! I have some loved ones for whom I'm always trying to find a few healthy recipes, and this one has a few I'll keep in mind. I love that there's a book that promotes a vegan diet that is apparently going more mainstream that is even guy friendly. Hopefully the info that is in this book will get people thinking more about their overall health and not just their weight. While at Whole Foods the other day, I noticed a bunch of stickers near products that said "Engine 2 Diet" friendly. Anyway, there was a Quick Bran Muffin recipe for bran muffins that includes nothing more than a box of mix, a couple of bananas and water (though I did use soy milk instead.) I used Hodson Mill's mix. It isn't perfect as far as being "whole," but it's an easy option that's better than store bought muffins. I though they were yummy for something that is easy to throw together :)