Tag Archives: vegetarian

Beans & Pasta: a vegetarian soup to warm you on the coldest night


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Earlier in February, B and I went to visit his mother near Ottawa, ON.  February was a brutal month for snow and cold, as I’m sure many of you remember.

But one thing can make all that melt away….a piping hot bowl of home-made soup!

She had made a large pot of this soup and it was so delicious that I kept going back for more.

Not to mention…garnished with Parmesan cheese?  Yep, I’m there!  (This may be something to leave out if you’re going for vegetarian friendly)

I have since made it as well and it keeps getting better!  It’s also a nice recipe for experimenting as it leaves room for additions.

So, here we go:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, diced
2-3 parsnips, diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 heaping tsp of diced garlic (I love garlic!  You may wish to adjust this)
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
pepper, I used quite a bit as I wanted a peppery taste
dried chili flakes, added just a few for a bit of bite
1 can diced tomatoes
6-8 cups broth (I used chicken but vegetable would work here too…I also upped the broth closer to 8 cups as I added more pasta and beans than originally called for)
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can mixed beans, drained and rinsed (again, these two cans of beans can be whatever type of legume you wish to add)
1/2 cup pasta, I used what we decided to call “forearm” pasta….as in, not the elbow shape but the tiny tubes without the bend
grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrots and parsnips.  Cook until soft (5 mins).
Stir in garlic, basil, thyme, pepper and a few chill flakes if you wish.
Add tomatoes and broth.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 mins.
Add cabbage, beans and pasta.  Bring just to a boil again and let simmer for 5-10 until pasta is tender.

Stir in pepper and salt to taste.

Serve topped with grated parmesan cheese!

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Curried Stew: Fast, Delicious and Vegetarian if you wish!


The first time I had this dish was at my brother-in-law’s house.  Well, farm.  We were up visiting for a week and I have to say that we ate incredibly well while we were there!

The meat, the eggs and even some of the vegetables were from about 100 feet from the house in varying directions.  Cows, chickens, pigs and an awesome garden!
We were sent home with 4 *huge* zucchini (zucchinis?) but that’s a story for another post. 🙂

The point being that all the food was beyond delicious, including this dish.  It was yummy both freshly made and the day after, so a good choice for meal planning and/or freezing for future meals.  A family member made it initially and when I asked for the recipe, she wrote it down for me…short, sweet and open to creative additions and substitutions.

Delicious AND easy?  My favourite kind of meal!

Curried Stew close up

 

Click here for the recipe or scroll to the bottom of the post.

 

This blog post will be short as the steps are straightforward and easy.  The hardest part was all the chopping of the veggies.

To start, brown the onions and the chicken.  I used chicken thighs but you could substitute tofu, some other vegetarian protein, or forego it all together if you wish.
I also browned them in a pot to save on dishes rather than using a frying pan.  In the end, the pot in the picture below wasn’t big enough so I moved up to my larger soup pot.

Browning the onions and chicken

Browning the onions and chicken

Onion and chicken in a pot. (Not sure what’s up with the colour of that photo)  I also added pepper and salt…but at this point you could add any spices that you think would go well with curry.

Now, remember what I said about having fresh veggies on the farm?  Yeah, now that I’m back in the city without a garden, cans are my friend.

tomatoes peas and coconut milk

Diced tomatoes, peas and coconut milk

Well, not completely.  I did use fresh vegetables too, including one of those zucchinis I brought home with me!  For the vegetables, I would say to look in your fridge and use up what you have.  I added celery, cauliflower and zucchini but you could also add potatoes, carrots, etc.  Depends how much chopping you want to do!

celery and cauliflower

 

And then….it all goes in the pot (except the zucchini) and left to simmer.

simmering stew

I took the above photo after adding the zucchini.  I originally held it back and let the stew simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Then I added the zucchini and let it go for another 10 minutes or so.  Otherwise, the zucchini turns to mush and I prefer a bit of texture….just on *this* side of crunchy.

The time you leave it to simmer is flexible as well.  We like our vegetables to retain their shape so we didn’t let it simmer too long.

The other option is to parboil the vegetables separately and then add them but I wanted it to be easy so I threw everything in together.

I kept checking the cauliflower by piercing it with a fork as it was the part that would take the longest to soften.

When it felt right, we ate!

 

Curried Chicken Stew

Curried Stew close up

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can peas (or frozen)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup of curry paste
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • celery, I used 3 sticks, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped into half moons
  • any other vegetables you wish to add
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • rice, if desired
  1. Brown the onion in a pan with the olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Halfway through, add the chicken thighs, salt, pepper and garlic to taste.
  3. Add tomatoes, peas, coconut milk, curry paste and vegetables.
  4. Bring to a simmer and leave on low to continue simmering for approximately 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Add zucchini near the end and allow to simmer for the final 10 minutes or so.
  6. Serve on rice (or in a bowl on its own) and enjoy!

Chili Tip


So this evening…I learned something about making chili.

Don’t strain your beans. If in a can, just add your beans as they are.

Somehow I got it into my head that rinsing my canned  kidney beans was  a good idea before adding them to the chili.

Not so much when you need the starch to pull everything together.

Veggie Chili after many modifications

Veggie Chili after many modifications

I was attempting this recipe: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetariancrockpotrecipe/r/crockvegchili.htm

The above picture was taken after all my modifying which included:

1) more spices than called for

2) a flour/water mix to thicken the chili

3) a splash of vinegar to add a high note to the flavour

4) addition of more salt to add to the flavour

At the end of the experiment, I have the picture above.  A pretty good bowl of pseudo-chili that will go well on rice. 🙂

 

NOTE: October 7, 2013

On Facebook, we have had quite the discussion about chili and rinsing the beans.

A few people have noted that rinsing diminishes the, shall we say unpleasant, by-product of beans.  Since my chili was made to eat during the week while I’m working…I guess we’ll see about that! 😉

Another suggestion was to mix in a roux rather than a straight flour-water mix.  So noted for next time.

One other step I took last night that I didn’t mention before is that I left the lid off the slow cooker during the final hour (I cooked it for 6 hrs) to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. That too made a huge difference.

 

For some reason, chili continues to be my nemesis!  One day I will figure this out and all the amazing-tasting, non-gaseous chili will be mine!!! Muah  hahahahaha!!


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