A Little Bit About Us

Our goal is to make affordable, delicious, healthy food that nourishes our souls as well as our bodies. We love new flavors as well as old favorites. It's important, for us, not to place too many restrictions and be as free and simple as we can when it comes to our food. We have no fancy equipment or expensive gadgets (although when we're wrestling with our dinosaur blender/smoothie maker we have both thought how nice it'd be to have a functioning one.. lol). We love each other more than anything and making food together is rewarding on every level.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Quinoa and Vegetable Vegan Stew!

I'm freezing.  Winter is coming.  Kasey and I hosted a dinner party last weekend and we puzzled over what we could make.  No vegans were attending BUT we can't resist preparing a beautiful vegan menu.  It's such a nice feeling when people that expect vegan food to be bland and tasteless and boring are proven wrong :P We decided on a stew because what's better when you're cold and want something warm and hearty.  This stew was so fun to make, and simple.  The chopping took a while but if you have a good knife or a food processor that would help a lot.

We started with making the stock.  I think making a stock can seem a bit intimidating if you've never done it before.  It creates the base of the stew and that's where your base flavor starts.  I'll break this recipe into two parts to simplify.  Keep in mind, that if you are low on time it is perfectly okay to buy a pre-made vegan stock at the store, but we found it fun and delicious to make our own.

Vegetable Stock

1 Brown Onion, cut into quarters
2 Stalks of Celery, chopped in half
4 Carrots, medium size, cut in half
8 cloves of Garlic, cut in half
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Cumin
Handful of fresh Parsley
Handful of fresh Rosemary
Salt and Whole Peppercorns, we didn't really measure, just added as we went
6 Cups Spring Water

*We included mushrooms in our stock, but removed them after about 10 minutes when we realized they could be overpowering.  

Throw all of it in a big pot with a lid.  Heat on high until boiling.  Then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 2.5-3 hours.  We ended up letting it cool over night just for extra flavor development.  Strain completely (you might be able to find another use for the leftover vegetable, Kasey happily ate the carrots on their own they were so good :D).  You'll need about 2 cups of stock liquid for your stew.

Quinoa and Vegetable Vegan Stew

1 Brown Onion, chopped 
2 Carrot, chopped
1.5 cups Quinoa
2 tablespoons of Macadamia Oil
1 tablespoon Cumin
2-4 cloves Garlic, finely minced
Salt and Ground Pepper to taste
Handful of Rosemary
Handful of Basil
5 Medium Tomatoes, chopped
2-3 cups of red and green cabbage, shredded
2 Cups Kale
1 Sweet Potato/Kumera, chopped
2 Cups of the above prepared stock
2-3 Cups Spring Water

Add the chopped carrot and onion and garlic to your pot, with the macadamia oil.  Cook it off just a bit then add the quinoa.  

 Now add the stock, water, and the tomatoes.  Simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Finally, add in the cabbage and the kale and the sweet potato.  Put in the spices, the cumin, the rosemary, the basil, and your salt and pepper.  We taste as we cook and season accordingly, so our measurements might not be exact, but remember that you can always add more if you think it needs it.

Turn the heat down and continue to cook for 15-20 more minutes.  We checked on it constantly just to make sure the flavors were right.  It smelled so nice :)  Basically it's done when the sweet potato is cooked.  Enjoy!

We hope you love it as much as we did!  We had about 12 servings but everyone wanted seconds so it was hard to tell.  It was perfect for our chilly evening dinner party.  It was a big hit, for vegans and non-vegans alike :P