My Greek mother used to make many different stews – all were rich, and full of colour and flavour. This is based on one she made, which I have veganized, and given it my mouthwatering vegan touch.
It came out beautiful, luscious, warming, hearty and so very, very delicious. I never get an impulse to lick the plate clean, instead I let some Italian bread do that for me.
You will love this ! Oh, and it’s very child friendly – I can vouch for that from my childhood memories, and my daughter’s love of this dish ! Enjoy !
Serve with fresh Italian bread, or French baguette, and raw onion wedges (Greek-style, but not very romantic !)
olive oil, or other of your choice
2 medium sized white onions
2 to 3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 to 4 cups of water
1½ Tbsp plain flour
1 to 2 tsp vegan margarine (optional, but it creams it up nicely)
3 medium sized carrots, chopped
2 medium sized potatoes, chopped
the zest of a lemon
a little rosemary (optional)
1 green apple, peeled, cored and chopped
salt to taste (I used my smoked one – available in the US from here, and in the UK from here)
½ cup red wine, or unsweetened red grape juice
1 tsp dried stock granules
1 cup chopped meatless pieces – I used VBites Redwood beef-style pieces, or TVP chunks, or 1 cup firm silken tofu, chopped into squares, and pre-grilled or fried until golden – allow to cool before using, or 1 cup of precooked beans of your choice
chopped cooked spinach (optional)
cracked black pepper
Mince the onions and garlic in your food processor, or patiently chop them finely.
Meanwhile, heat up some oil in a casserole pan, add the onions and garlic, and gently fry.
Next, add the meatless pieces (or pre-fried tofu, or pre-cooked beans), and fry with the onions and garlic for a few further minutes, turning a few times until they get some colour.
Now add your bay leaves, potatoes, apples and carrots. Stir in the flour and mix well, then add the tomato paste, continue mixing, and pour in the wine. Add the margarine, rosemary, and 1 cup of water, and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients (except for the spinach and lemon zest), and simmer gently for a further 15 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 300ºF (150ºC).
Place your casserole (covered for the 1st 40 minutes then uncover for the last 20, but keep an eye on the amount of liquid left, the sauce should be of a thick consistency so adjust accordingly if it needs a tiny bit more water, add it in) in the oven for over an hour, until the potatoes soften completely.
Then stir in your lemon zest and spinach, and allow them to settle in with the flavours for a few minutes before serving. You want the ‘melt in your mouth effect’ with the potatoes.
Bon Appétit !
All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell www.mouthwateringvegan.com 2010