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Monday, March 20, 2017

Recipe Review from 3/13/2017

A weird week both both weather and meal wise - temps continue to stay below 20*, until Thursday when the "forecast" and "reality" didn't match and we ended up with 1-3" of snow depending on how close to the Lake you were.  Which made for a less than fun Friday morning commute.

Because last week was silly-busy and I didn't get grocery shopping until Tuesday (yes, Tuesday!), meals were super simple incorporated stuff in the pantry - kraut for the rubens, dried soup mix for the soup, potatoes downstairs, celery/carrots/potatoes for the beefless stew.  So, kinda a win-win!

The Meal Plan:
Sat (Out and About)
Sun (L)  leftovers   (S)  Pork chops, mashed pot, kraut
Mon (yoga) leftovers
Tues   Tempeh rubens
Wed   soup and grilled cheese
Thur  (yoga) leftover rubens
Fri - beefless stew

Lunches:  leftover 15 bean soup from week previous.

Beefless Stew (Straight Up Food via Pinterest)  vegetarian, gluten free
For a weeknight dinner (and I made this on a Friday) this wasn't too bad for assembly.  The chopping took the longest, but I did a mise en place (everything in place) and when it came time to cook, it was plop and saute.  I had plenty of time for clean-up while it simmered.

This is flavorful, veggie rich, and honestly, you really don't even notice the meat is missing.  Or most wouldn't.  :D  I did use two cups of chicken stock instead of water, but only because I needed to use it up.  Stock of any kind isn't necessary - there's enough flavor going on.  The only thing I would do different next time (and this will make it back into my rotation), is I would bloom the spices/seasonings and the tomato paste after adding the mushrooms and garlic.  Then, proceed with the water. 

This makes a nice big batch so good for a crowd, or eat some now and freeze in batches for a later date.  I served with some French rolls from the co-op and that was a very satisfactory meal.


Author notes: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 8 to 10 (makes about 10 cups)

1½ large yellow or white onions, chopped into ¾-inch pieces
3 ribs celery, chopped into ¾-inch pieces
3 medium carrots, sliced lengthwise and cut into ¾-inch pieces
2 portabella mushrooms (about ½ pound), cut into ¾-inch pieces
1½ tablespoon finely chopped garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
5 cups water  (I used 2 cups chicken stock because I needed to use it up, the rest water)
2 pounds white potatoes, cut into ¾-inch pieces (author used Yukon Golds, I used baby reds)
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb blend
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary (I used 1/2 tsp dried)
1½ cups green peas (if frozen, thaw first - I didn't bother thawing)
½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Ground black pepper to taste

Heat a large soup pot on high with 1 tablespoon of water. When the water begins to sputter, Spray bottom of stock pot with cooking oil, heat over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, celery, and carrot, and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently as the edges of the onion browns slightly, and adding a little water as needed to prevent sticking.

Stir in the mushrooms and garlic, and continue to cook while stirring for an additional 5 minutes, adding water as needed.

Add the 5 cups of water, potatoes, tomato paste, dried Italian herbs, and paprika. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a low boil. Stir in the rosemary and cook covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peas, and cook for 5 minutes more, or until the carrots and potatoes are tender.

Place 2 cups of the stew (broth and vegetables) into a blender, and blend under very smooth. Stir this back into the pot to thicken the stew, and stir in the parsley. Serve with a few twists of ground black pepper and, if you like, add a small sprig of rosemary as garnish.

Tempeh Rubens  (Ckng Lght/All Recipes)  vegetarian, gluten free option**
I've made these before, and they are worth repeating.  Especially if you are looking for ways to use up some of that homemade sauerkraut.  These are quick enough for a weeknight, and filling!  This makes enough for four sandwiches - the leftover tempeh and onion mix is easily reheated and just as tasty.

My one alteration is I don't bother with the broiler (me + broiler = burned food).  I toast the bread and assemble from there.

1/3 cup 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt (I just use the whole little tub without measuring)
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons refrigerated sauerkraut (such as Bubbies), drained and divided
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
photo from

8 ounces tempeh
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce** (skip for GF)
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 1/4 cups water
8 (1-ounce) slices whole-grain rye bread, toasted** (GF option)
 2 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)

Place Greek yogurt, ketchup, 2 tablespoons sauerkraut, and mustard in a mini food processor; process until smooth.

Cut tempeh in half horizontally; cut each half into 4 slices, forming 8 pieces. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add vinegar, soy sauce, dill, and caraway, stirring constantly. Add tempeh; cook 1 minute on each side. Add 1 1/4 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until water evaporates, turning tempeh occasionally.

Preheat broiler to high. Place 4 bread slices in a single layer on a heavy baking sheet. Divide cheese evenly among bread slices. Broil 1 minute or until cheese melts. Top cheese with about 1 tablespoon yogurt mixture, 1 1/2 tablespoons onion mixture, 2 pieces tempeh, and about 3 tablespoons sauerkraut. Spread remaining yogurt mixture evenly over 1 side of remaining 4 bread slices. Place bread, yogurt side down, on top of sauerkraut.

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