Last night I decided to make a recipe based on the picture in the cookbook. Yes, I do look at those photos and they appeal to me. Or sometimes they don't. The stew is called Cholent. This is a traditionally a Jewish stew served for Passover. We don't observe Jewish holidays so I figured it would be just fine to make this anytime.
I found this recipe in my favorite named cookbook, Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook
I started with some veggies which I cut on my huge cutting board. This is one of my prized possession in the kitchen. I don't think I could ever go back to a normal size of cutting board. I found it at a restaurant supple store for a very reasonable price. I highly recommend a big cutting board!
I sauteed these items in a little vegetable broth and added 3 cloves of garlic. Once that sauteed for a little bit I added some lentils. I keep lentils on hand all the time. They are versatile, quick and tasty.
As the veggies and lentils cook they begin to leave behind some yummy flavors at the bottom of the pan. To get this flavor up and into what will be the stew it's good to deglaze the pan. I use red wine to deglaze. Just scrap up the goodness off the bottom of the pan after pouring in the wine. So good! Smells great too!
Okay, so now the "weird" part. This stew calls for TVP, textured vegetable protein. Don't be scared, I promise it's good. But, I have to be honest with you, it looks a little like dog food. TVP is a defatted soy flour product; a by product of extracting soy bean oil. This product has an equivalent amount of protein as meat which is great for us vegans! It soaks in all the flavor of whatever you are cooking, kind of like tofu.
At this point I added vegetable stock and tomatoes and a few other seasoning. I let it cook for about 45 minutes, until the lentils were soft.
I made biscuits (very very good!) to go with the store and that was dinner! Hearty, delicious, easy to make.
I actually just had this stew for lunch as a leftover. Wow! The flavors were even better! Such a great stew. I will definitely make this one again!!
Cheers and happy eating!