Day 2 of my Part 1 Holiday was full of shopping and cooking!
Took my car to the mechanic again this morning. I had my front brakes done last week and I’ve been noticing squeaking everytime I brake. So I brought my car back in and asked him to check it out. Later when we retrieved the car, he said everything was fine, no squeaking, nothing wrong with my brakes. But I swear they really were squeaking really loudly! Len backed me up on that because he’s been noticing it too. But the mechanic assured us he tested it out and there was no noise, nothing wrong. Hmm. So we take the car home, and guess what? The squeaking was gone. Len kept trying to make the brakes squeak by depressing the brake pedal at different speeds, but not a sound did it make. Hmph.
Which is fine, cuz that’s all I wanted anyway, but seriously, I swear the brakes were squeaking really badly for the last week!
Anywaaays, onto the rest of my day… We had dropped off the car in the morning, so we took advantage of the time to bus downtown to finish off our Christmas shopping. It was lovely to shop in relative peace and quiet as there were no crowds that early in the morning. And we got everything we needed!
After another delicious lunch at the Roundel Cafe, we came home and I started prepping tonight’s dinner (Brevan and Kanata came over). On the menu: Mama Pea’s Nut Butter Crusted Tofu and Stegosaurus Stew! Oh, and also Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (my attempt # 2 at this one) for dessert!
- 1 onion
- 3 carrots
- 3 celery stalks
- 4 or 5 Yukon gold potatoes
- 1/2 bunch dinosaur kale
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 1/3 C dry red lentils
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp grapeseed oil
- 6 C liquid (2 C low-sodium chicken broth and 4 C water)
- 2 TB low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 TB whole grain dijon mustard
- 1 and 1/2 TB molasses
- 2 TB tahini
- 1 tsp worstershire sauce
- a hefty pinch EACH of salt and pepper
- 1 TB cornstarch
- 2 green onions
So do you see why this veggie stew is called Stegosaurus Stew? Because it has dinosaur kale in it, or course! 😛 Heh. Dinosaur kale is also called black kale (although it’s decidedly green and not black in colour!), lacinato kale, Tuscan kale, and a host of other names that I can’t remember now…but I think dinosaur kale is the coolest name by far!
Does anyone know if it’s called that because its bumpy texture resembles dinosaur skin?
Len and I were both really into dinosaurs as kids (Len actually way more than me even) and this geeky commonality was something we really bonded over early on in our relationship. Yes, we are geeks and proud of it! 😀
Okay, back to the directions:
Chop the onion, carrots, celery, potatoes and bell pepper into roughly 1-inch chunks.
Remove the tough stalk that runs down the centre of the kale leaves and tear into large bite-sized pieces.
Drain and rinse really well the can of kidney beans.
Rinse and soak the lentils in some water.
Get all your other ingredients ready…
And get cookin’!
Heat oil in a large pot over med-high heat. Saute onions, carrots, celery, and garlic until a bit softened and starting to brown. Splash in a bit of water to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
Drain lentils from the water it was soaking in. Add lentils to pot.
Stir in the soy sauce, mustard, molasses, tahini, worstershire, salt and pepper.
Reserve and set aside about 1/4 C of the liquid, then pour into the pot the rest of the broth and water. Give it a good stir. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir again and reduce heat to med-low, cover, and cook for 10 mins.
Then add potatoes, turn heat to high and bring to another boil. As soon as it’s boiling, stir and reduce to med-low again, cover, and cook for 20 mins.
In the meantime, mix the cornstarch into the 1/4 C reserved liquid and mix until smooth. (It’s important to mix cornstarch into cold liquid; if mixed into hot liquid, it becomes lumpy.)
Now add the kale, beans, and bell pepper. Pour in the cornstarch slurry and stir a few times around. You know the drill by now: turn up heat to high, bring to boil, stir (make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pot), cover, and reduce to med-low. Cook for 6 – 7 mins until the kale leaves are tender.
Slice green onions for garnish.
Serve over brown rice or alongside your favourite crusty bread. We chose rice tonight.
This stew is super hearty and healthy! It has big (like dinosaur big!) flavour of rich savoury goodness with a hint of tang.
The nut butter crusted tofu is one of my favourite ways to eat tofu, and went well with the flavours of the stew. Kanata also brought a lovely plate of appetizers that included beets, guacamole, brie, and crackers. I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of that! And Cookie Dough Balls were a hit!
‘Twas a relaxing, fun night full of good eats, good laughs, and good conversation…