Insert awesome 'stew' pun here...
January 11, 2015 9:14 AM   Subscribe

I need to make a giant pot of stew today to eat all week long. What should it be? Challenge Level: Vegetarian or vegan preferred. Protein is a must. Healthy is best. Cooking time: Doesn't matter, I have all day!

My husband is leaving me to fend for myself for this week, but I'm a total slacker in the kitchen. I want to make something today I can eat all week, and the cool weather screams 'stew'! A search online has come up with over 200 stews, help me decide what to make.
posted by Toddles to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 101 users marked this as a favorite
How about a vegan vegetable tagine? Here's one version; you could make it easier by using a commercial tagine seasoning instead of all the individual spices, and you could add more protein on top of the chickpeas by adding seitan or tempeh.
posted by brianogilvie at 9:18 AM on January 11, 2015

I recommend this West African Groundnut Stew. When I've made it in the past, I've replaced some of the tomato juice with coconut milk.
posted by cider at 9:19 AM on January 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

When I cooked for a vegan, I made a mixed bean type of chili that was simple and very good:

2 cans kidney beans
2 cans chickpeas
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small onion, diced
1-3 cloves garlic, minced
1" knob of fresh ginger, diced
2-3 tablespoons cumin powder

Saute the onion 5-8 minutes, then add the ginger and garlic (taking care not to burn the garlic), stir for a minute or two, add the diced tomatoes and the cumin powder. Add the beans and some water or veg broth. Cook for 15-20 minutes, mash some of the beans to make it thick (optional), and taste. At this point, I would usually add more cumin powder. It's really good with the different textures of beans.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:19 AM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've often made the same kind of mixed bean chilli as Marie Mon Dieu, and eaten it all week (or more).

I always add chopped celery for texture, because my partner doesn't like onions. I've also used fava beans (for a musty, meaty taste) and black eyes peas (for more texture variety). Also, white kidney beans are higher than red in protein & fibre, as well as looking very nice against the red tomatoes.

If you brown the garlic, the taste gets stronger. I also always include cayenne pepper/hot sauce, paprika, and cocoa in addition to cumin, for a more classic spicy chilli taste. a pinch of nutmeg & cloves will also deepen the flavour.
posted by jb at 9:30 AM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Here's one of my go-to vegetarian/vegan stews, modified from a recipe in Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian Cooking.

This is for about 4 servings; I might double the recipe for meals for 1 for a whole week, assuming you want a one-dish meal.

Peel a medium onion (maybe 6 oz), cut it in half, and slice it into thin half-rings.

Make a paste out of 1.5 Tbs grainy mustard (Grey Poupon is fine), 1.5 tsp ground cumin, .75 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp red wine vinegar, and anywhere from .5-2 tsp cayenne, depending on how hot you like it.

Peel and smash 6 cloves of garlic.

Get some vegetables and stuff, clean them, and cut them into appropriate sized pieces. I like a couple of carrots, a block of tofu, a pound of seitan, maybe some potatoes.

put some oil in a pot over medium-high heat, add the onion and cook until it browns a little. Add the garlic. Stir for like 30 seconds. Add the spice paste and stir for a minute. Add the robust vegetables and stuff (seitan, carrots, and potatoes from the above). Stir and cook for about 10 minutes, then add a can of coconut milk and a cup of water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes, then add the softer stuff (mushrooms and tofu). Cook for another 10 minutes or so. Check to see if it's hot enough.

I generally make some rice, but you could also eat it with bread or some other starch. It's sort of like vindaloo.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:32 AM on January 11, 2015 [8 favorites]

How about ribollita? It's technically a soup, not a stew, but it's vegetarian (though not vegan), and has the benefit of variety that just making a pot of stew does not. You start by making way too much minestrone: you eat some, but mainly you're interested in leftovers. You could just eat the leftover minestrone as is, but traditionally the leftovers are stretched by adding some stale bread, making the consistency a little more pudding-like. Then you take the leftovers from that & grate some parmigiano or pecorino on it & bake it. If there's any left at this point, you take the (now almost solid) leftovers & fry them up, hash-style.

The link above has a plausible recipe and some general instructions about the various metamorphoses; there are plenty of other recipes on line, but all share a base of beans and greens.

This theme of multi-staged recycling of leftovers is common in Italian cooking. When I was growing up, my mother would start (day 1) by making tomato sauce (usually in our house meat based but I suppose marinara would also work) for spaghetti. Day 2, the leftover sauce would go over rice, which we called Spanish rice, although for all I know it was as Spanish as English muffins are English. Day 3 was the payoff - the leftover rice was rolled into balls, breaded, and fried into what I now know are arancini but which one of my nephews christened "hand grenades" because my mother made them about the size & shape of baking potatoes.

(In later years, when the kids were grown, we would skip step one and make the sauce for the arancini. But the anticipation was half the fun)
posted by mr vino at 9:34 AM on January 11, 2015 [10 favorites]

I love this vegan Spicy Kale and Chickpea Stew.
posted by dmvs at 9:42 AM on January 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

If your stew doesn't have a lot of green vegetables in it, you should probably also get some frozen green beans to heat up when you start to crave them.
posted by amtho at 9:48 AM on January 11, 2015

Fry up some onions and peppers. Add a couple cans peas (or fresh), couple cans mushrooms (or fresh), and some diced tomatoes and as much water as you like, then bring to boil and add TVP chunks and spices (I usually use lots of black pepper, dry oregano and basil, plus lots of fresh garlic) and let it simmer for a while till the TVP is the texture you like. Baby, you've got a stew going. Serve with fresh crusty bread and a sprinkle of olive oil in the bowl.
posted by Poldo at 9:49 AM on January 11, 2015

This black bean stew is really excellent and smokey. It's not often that I'm drawn to vegan recipes, but this is one I cook several times every winter.
posted by leitmotif at 9:54 AM on January 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

You want Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Red Lentil Thai Chili.
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 10:05 AM on January 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

I just made this yesterday when I discovered gochujang (Korean chili paste). Easy, delicious, healthy, cheap.

soup pot
splash of sesame oil
shredded cabbage
couple of garlic cloves
2 spoonfuls of chili paste
sprinkle or two of chili powder
water to cover it all
veggie boullion cube
simmer and simmer until it's all cooked
toss in a cubed up block of tofu & mushrooms, bean sprouts, etc.
simmer a bit more
crack an egg into it (not vegan, obv.)
simmer a bit more
eat with chopsticks
get seconds
posted by headnsouth at 10:26 AM on January 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

My go-to is pilakhi, which is vegan and DELICIOUS. Here's another recipe. It reheats well. You can also eat the leftovers cold on lettuce leaves with a little lemon juice as a sort of bean salad, and you can simmer the leftovers in veggie stock for a more bean-soup thing if you get bored of the stew at the end of the week. I also like to heat some up and dump it on toasted french bread, a sort of beans-on-toast deliciousness.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:53 AM on January 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

Moroccan-style chickpea stew! 100% vegan and so delicious on a cold day.

liquid: 3-4 Tbsp olive or coconut oil; 2-3 c vegetable broth
fresh: 2 carrots, diced; 2 white or sweet potatoes or 1/2 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed; 1/2 onion, diced; 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
dried: 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp sweet paprika, 1 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, a few grinds of cracked black pepper
tinned: 1 15-ounce can diced or crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, 2 15-ounce cans or 4 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Heat oil over medium heat in a large stockpot. Add carrots and onions, saute for 5-10 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and all dried ingredients, saute for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, deglazing the pot with the liquid from the can. Add potatoes/squash, chickpeas, and 2 cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes or squash are cooked through, adding more broth if needed. Use a potato masher to mush up some of the chickpeas in the pot to thicken the soup if desired. Salt to taste, serve with fresh parsley or cilantro and lemon juice, with a side of pita bread or over couscous. If you want to up the green quotient, throw in a few handfuls of baby spinach at the very end or add some chopped kale along with the potatoes/squash, chickpeas, and broth.
posted by divined by radio at 10:56 AM on January 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

My dal is thick enough that it's basically a porridge/stew. I double Smitten Kitchen's recipe, but substitute red lentils, because then you don't need to soak them beforehand.
posted by unknowncommand at 11:54 AM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Bookmarking this one.

I made this one up, so there's not much to the recipe.

Mixed greens and white bean stew

Saute in olive oil until wilted:
one small onion, chopped
one carrot, chopped
one stalk of celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 short sprig Rosemary (2-3")
1 sage leaf
fresh parsley

• Add 4 cups water or veg or chicken stock, 2 cans of white beans, rinsed, and 1-2 potatoes--not russets--chopped into 1" pieces
• Simmer for 15-20 min or so until the potatoes are tender
• Carefully puree some of the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender. Make sure to leave at least half of it with chunks.
• Add in cooking greens of your choice, such as kale, chard, beet greens, and/or spinach. Kale would need to go first and spinach last.
• Cook until greens are tender.
• Add: salt and pepper to taste.
posted by Stewriffic at 12:28 PM on January 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

I do lentils, tofu, red potato, yam, broccoli and/or zuchini, winter squash, optional edamame beans in pods, black pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper (very tiny bit of it), olive oil and salt.

I'm very happy with it. It's especially the combination of lentils, red potato and yam that works really well, and then you can add any vegies you can get.
posted by rainy at 4:11 PM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I used to make a Italian White Bean and Wheat Berry soup/stew that was soooooooo good and I super recommend it for you this week in cold weather.
posted by jbenben at 5:04 PM on January 11, 2015

One of my favorite protein heavy veggie meals is enchiladas with roasted sweet potatoes, kale or spinach, and black beans - you could easily tweak that combo to a chili instead.
posted by Neely O'Hara at 5:08 PM on January 11, 2015

Spezzatino is my favorite, think I actually found out about it on metafilter. Lots of recipes out there, here's mine:

Dice an onion, chop 5 or 6 celery stalks, chop 4 or 5 carrots. In the stew pot cook those on high heat for 2-3 minutes in olive oil. Then add about a cup of vegetarian/vegan friendly red wine, let reduce for 2-3 minutes.

Add 5 or 6 potatoes that have been peeled and sliced to the pot. Add salt and pepper, a small can of tomato paste, and the rest of the wine bottle (1.5L bottle). Then add about a tablespoon of cornstarch that's been diluted in a bit of water. (cornstarch is optional--better to use not enough than too much)

Simmer for about an hour.
posted by aerotive at 7:16 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

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