Thursday, April 17, 2008

Idaho Dutch Oven Stew Recipe (vegan)

This stew is a childhood memory. My mom used to make a non-vegan version of it when I was a kid. We both happen to be vegan now. She still had the recipe so I decided to modify it and 'dutch oven' it. A barbecue isn't the only way to cook in the back yard.

If you want to make this while camping you will probably need to make the sauce ahead of time since it requires a blender. My mother-in-law just aquired a hand crank blender. I haven't had a chance to test it yet - maybe it would do the job.

I cooked this on a day when temperatures were in the 50s and there was a moderate wind. You can see from the third photo that I attempted to make a wind shelter with some patio pavers. Even with that precaution my cooking temperature was affected. The weather can have a dramatic effect on temperature when you are dutch oven cooking. You can read up on it over at the dutch oven dude. See my notes following the recipe for temperature advice.

Do you want my biased opinion? this stuff is G-O-O-D, even if it doesn't bring back childhood memories for you. My kids thought it was great. Their favorite part was the little corn on the cobs.

Idaho Dutch Oven Stew
Serves 6

>1/4 cup vegetable oil
> 16oz Morningstar Farms Veggie Steak Strips
> 2 medium potatoes, cut into 6 pieces
> 2 large carrots, cut into 6 pieces
> 2 large ears of corn, quartered

sauce ingredients...

> 28 oz. canned tomatoes
> 1 small red onion, chopped
> 2 garlic clove,minced
> 4 oz. canned green chili peppers, drained, halved, and seeded
> 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
> 1 tsp coriander
> 1/2 tsp. salt
> 1/2 tsp. black pepper
> 1/2 tsp. chili powder
> 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1.) First make the sauce. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

2.) Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Add the veggie steak strips and fry until browned.

3.) Stir in the sauce and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer gently for 35 - 45 minutes.

4.) Stir in the potatoes, carrots, and corn. Cover again and continue simmering gently for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Adjust the seasoning before serving.
My notes for this recipe:

1. Keep in mind that a batch of briquettes will typically stay good and hot for about 35 - 45 minutes. You probably need two or three batches to get this stew cooked.

2. I was stewing in a 12" dutch oven, shooting for 325 degrees F. According to the dutch oven dude's calculator that requires 21 briquettes. It was too cold of a day - I should have used extra. It took more than 1 hour for the vegetables to get tender.

3. You could get it to cook faster if you cut the vegetables smaller, but there goes the coolness factor.

4. This is best served on a plate with a fork - so you can smash the large chunks of vegetables before eating.

See Also...

Vegan Dutch Oven Pot Pie Recipe

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Vegan & Vegetarian Options at Fast Food Restaraunts

As much as I try to avoid it I find myself eating at fast food restaraunts and popular chain restaraunts once in awhile. And sometimes I am in the mood for a little more thand fries and a Coke. There is a handy webpage that I use when I know I will be going to a restaraunt ahead of time:

Vegetarian & Vegan Options at Fast Food Restaraunts

Most restaraunts provide a certain amount of nutritional information on their websites but typically don't go as far as listing ingredients. You can always call the local restaraunt with questions. This has been hit and miss for me. Sometimes I get someone willing to find the package of seasoned curly fries and read the ingredients to me over the phone. Other times the person on the other end doesn't know, doesn't want to know, doesn't care if I know, hates his/her job (who can blame them for that?), etc.

The information provided on the webpage above appears to be pretty well researched. I have no idea how often it is updated. But you may find it useful. There are a lot of restaraunts listed that I would not consider to be 'fast food'. Here is the complete list:

Applebee's - Arby's - Atlanta Bread Company - Au Bon Pain - Auntie Anne's - Baskin-Robbins -Bob's Big Boy - Bojangles - Boston Market - Bruegger's Bagel - Burger King - Carl's JR - Checker's Drive-in Restaurant - Chi-Chi's Mexican Restaurant - Chili's - Chick-Fil-A - Chuck E. Cheese's - Church's Fried Chicken - Country Kitchen International - Cracker Barrel - Dairy Queen - Del Taco - Damon's - Denny's - Domino's Pizza - Dunkin' Donuts - Eat'N Park - El Chico's - El Pollo Loco - Fazoli's - Fresh Choice - Fuddruckers - Godfather's Pizza - Golden Fried Chicken - Gold Star Chili - Hardee's - Hot Stuff Pizza - Jack in the Box - Kentucky Fried Chicken - Krispy Kreme - Little Caesar's - Long John Silver's - Manchu Wok - Manhattan Bagel - Mazzio's Pizza - McDonald's - Miami Subs - Moe's - Nathan's - Olive Garden - Panera - Papa John's - Perkins - Pizza Hut - Pizzeria Uno Chicago Grill - Popeye's - Rally's - Rita's Italian Ices - Round Table Pizza - Shakey's - Sonic Drive-in Restaurant - Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes - Steak Escape - Subway - Swiss Chalet - Taco Bell - Taco John's - Taco Time - TCBY - Tim Hortons - T.G.I. Fridays - Tony Roma's - Wendy's - Western Sizzlin's - Western Steer - Whataburger

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. Are there any fellow nerds out there who can tell me where they have heard that before?