Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Warm and cozy


What with Julie and everyone cooking up individual storms, I made some tasty stew for lunch. It's adapted from the recipe in the Kripalu Cookbook. I substitute tempeh for the seitan that's called for - I never can find seitan, it mystified the people at the Asian grocery shop, and with that, I gave up and decided to re-christen it Tempeh Stew.

Yum!
Also low fat and vegan, for those who care about that sort of thing. How to:
3 T. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (about 2 medium onions)
1 cup sliced celery (3 stalks)
1 cup sliced carrot (okay, we like carrots a lot - 5 carrots)
1 cup diced potato (2 potatoes)
1 cup chopped/sliced/whatever parsnip (I only had two)
1 package tempeh, diced
6 and 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried sage
3/4 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced or halved (depending on what you can find)
1/4 cup tomato puree
1 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Saute the onions in the oil until translucent. Add tempeh and saute until the tempeh begins to brown. Add celery, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, water, and soy sauce, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for about half an hour.

Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least another 15 minutes. It's soup, so you can let it simmer for a while without harming it.

Tada. The original recipe calls for adding some arrowroot as a thickener, but I dislike doing that and when you use potatoes, the starch from them leaches into the soup to make it thick enough. At least for me.

We've had a group of bluebirds hanging around the house for the last couple of weeks. It's the second time in my life I've seen bluebirds, and I'm thrilled. They're so cheerful and sweet and pretty. It seems to be a pair of couples on a winter vacation together. They fly up into the trees when our one outdoor cat ventures out, and watch quite calmly while we're out with the dog. I get a very peaceful feeling watching them.

Books I'm reading - hey, I'm reading some books! - Emergence by Steven Johnson: This one is fascinating, and also not too dense going. The decentralized group functionality he describes makes me think of how terrorist cells actually seem to work (as opposed to how the US government seems to think they work, with a centralized top-down hierarchy). And I snagged A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby: as with all his stuff, this book is great fun to read and really hits the spot--a nice cup of tea for your mind, if you will. Um, snagged it at the do Sunday evening, and I promise to send it to Christina very, very soon. As soon as I finish it. Which should be momentarily.

Homeschooling find of the month has to be the Thinkwell course oldest is doing. It's a rigorous biology course, with online quizzes and everything, and she's loving it. Hey, she chuckles at the jokes the presenter makes during the lectures - how cool is that?

I fully intend to get Christmas cards printed today, and mailed in the next couple of days. I'll be breaking my "no driving on Tuesdays" rule to go to the post office for stamps. We shall see how that turns out. Fingers crossed that I really, really have enough inkjet cartridges.

6 Comments:

Blogger Carole said...

The stew sounds wonderful and perfect for a cold day.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Lucia said...

Erm... what exactly is tempeh? (hangs head in shame)

6:44 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Bluebirds are sweet, aren't they? We don't get many up here - mostly kildeer and goldfinches. At our first house we had a pair of blue jays (cantankerous and not sweet, but beautiful), and an additional pair came every year. Quite a sight. I haven't been able to entice them to our new place yet :(

10:29 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Bluebirds are sweet, aren't they? We don't get many up here - mostly kildeer and goldfinches. At our first house we had a pair of blue jays (cantankerous and not sweet, but beautiful), and an additional pair came every year. Quite a sight. I haven't been able to entice them to our new place yet :(

10:31 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Bluebirds are sweet, aren't they? We don't get many up here - mostly kildeer and goldfinches. At our first house we had a pair of blue jays (cantankerous and not sweet, but beautiful), and an additional pair came every year. Quite a sight. I haven't been able to entice them to our new place yet :(

10:35 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Ya know, I have a Japanese friend who hadn't heard of seitan, either, and it's supposedly Japanese. You might ask for either wheat gluten or ask them about mock duck or some such.

8:48 PM  

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