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Vegan Planet: Impromptu Stew

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Impromptu Stew

I recently made a rich and delicious stew. It came about quite easily and almost effortlessly, although if I were to write the recipe it would sound impossibly complex. I put it together with leftovers, odds and ends, and a shrug. It went something like this:

Two days prior to making stew, make a seitan pot roast (see recipe in March 7 post). Refrigerate the leftover pot roast and the 1/2 cup of leftover gravy. The next day, use some of the pot roast to make seitan “cheesesteaks” for lunch and put the small chunk of remaining seitan back in the refrigerator. For dinner, make pasta puttanesca (see recipe in January 19 post). Refrigerate the leftover pasta.

On the day of the stew, rummage through the refrigerator to find one onion, a handful of baby carrots, one potato, some frozen peas and lima beans, and that leftover seitan, gravy, and pasta from the two previous dinners.

Chop the onion, carrots, and potato and place them in a slow cooker with about 2 cups of vegetable broth and the frozen lima beans. Let it cook for a couple hours (until the veggies are just tender), then chop the seitan and add it along with the peas, leftover gravy, and a can of diced tomatoes. Taste to adjust seasonings, adding salt depending on the saltiness of your broth, and any herbs or spices you enjoy — I added some basil and savory. Slow-cook another hour or so. About 15 minutes before serving time, stir in the pasta to let it warm up and soak up some of the rich flavors in the stew. (Alternately, you could heat the pasta on its own and ladle the stew on top, or serve the stew over cooked grains, if that’s what you have in the house.)

So there you have it. An impromptu stew that turned leftovers from two previous meals into a warming and delicious dinner.

(Note: you can also make this stew in a pot on top of the stove — I just felt like using the slow cooker.)

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i love using leftovers to make awesomeness...yours looks supreme....
Haha, I love it when great dinners come about in such a crazy way! Mmm it sounds delicious!
OMG! I am soooo excited I just came across your blog! I live by Vegan Planet, and I actually mentioned you in my blog a couple days ago as my favorite cookbook! I cannot contain my excitement right now! :)
Impromptu cooking can be some of the best. It'a always so satisfying to pull whatever you have from the fridge and turn it into something wonderful!
Thanks for all the great comments. Nice to know there are other leftover lovers out there! I think it's so fun to make an entirely new and wonderful dish out of a few odds and ends in the fridge!

VeganView: Glad you found my blog. Thanks for the kind words about Vegan Planet.
Thanks for your comment and yay for a Vegan Planet! Love your vision for the future :) I made a chili last night and decided to throw in some other random veggies and ingredients - what fun! I've come a long way in cooking - back in the day I would hold the measuring cup carefully and scrape slowly across the top to make sure it was level - now I just scoop and throw, mix and match, and make substitutions everywhere! Love your cookbook, btw - the BEST kung pao seitan EVER!
That looks delicious! And sounds very tasty as well. My mom is a pro at pulling a whack of leftovers out of the fridge and morphing it into something delicious. I've tried, but I'm pretty hopeless. Mine always tastes blah. So thank you for the instructions, and the drool-worthy photo. YUM!
right now I'm eating curried frozen okra, spinach and edamame on brown rice warmed up in the office microwave. Fresh veg stew sounds very good...
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