Twas the day before I left for vacation and I still had a lot…and I mean a lot of fresh produce left from my bin. Sometimes I think I should cancel it the week I go out of town, but never really want to. After all, I love my local and organic fresh produce being delivered to me and I hate these weeks I get back from a trip and have nothing in my fridge resembling a fresh fruit or vegetable. I had to do something with the plethora of produce that remained…and I wasn’t exactly sure what I could manage.
All hail the Happy Herbivore. In the cookbook, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, which, for those of you keeping track, is the same book I got the Garden Vegetable Chili recipe from, I found an amazing recipe for Irish Stew. Yes…vegetarian Irish Stew. Her recipe was not gluten-free…but I made a couple of adjustments…and added a more nontraditional ingredient (to use it from my crisper drawer before leaving, naturally) to make the recipe work for me. Honestly…it is delicious. And so easy to prepare. Like any stew, chili, or soup…just let it simmer and let all those flavors soak in. That’s what it’s all about.
Recipe: Irish Stew
Servings: 3-4 (but I managed 6)
Time: Prep 15 minutes; Cook 50 minutes
- 2 portobello mushrooms (I used 16 ounces of crimini mushrooms)
- 2 cups No-Beef Broth (I used 2 cups organic vegetable broth)
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 thyme twigs, fresh, de-stemmed, or 1-2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalk, sliced
- 2 medium white potatoes, diced
- 1 cup Guinness stout (I used Redbridge Gluten Free Bear)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1-2 tablespoons Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (I used gluten free low sodium tamari)
- **(In addition, I added 2 leeks to this stew…as I had them in my crisper…and why the hell not?)**
Remove stems from portobello mushrooms and discard. Cut the mushroom caps into strips and set aside.
Line a large pot with 1 cup of no-beef broth. Saute onion and garlic over high heat until onions are translucent, about a minute or two.
Add thyme, carrots, celery, potatoes, stout, and tomato paste, and stir.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.
Add mushrooms on top, along with Dijon, bay leaves, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, and remaining broth. Bring to a boil again, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring every so often.
Continue to cook until mushrooms and potatoes are very soft – past fork-tender.
Taste, adding more Worcestershire sauce if desired.
Add a generous amount of black pepper and salt if desired.
Remove bay leaves and serve.
This is definitely a healthy and hearty stew. It has that great ‘stick-to-your-ribs’ feel to it, yet is completely plant based. Gotta love that. And I thought my addition of the leeks actually worked quite well. As I had to use a beer instead of a stout, the flavor is a bit more mild, but this has Ireland written all over it. A little nontraditional…but very good.
I froze a few servings of it and this thaws out and reheats beautifully. Trust me. You’ll love this! Especially as we enter the perfect time for soups!! And with just over 115 calories per 1-3/4 cup serving…you won’t feel guilting indulging in this stew either. I can’t wait to try out more of the Happy Herbivore dishes!