Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew

Hi, I'm back!  I want to apologize for disappearing for a week.  It wasn't necessarily because I wanted to, but more because I've been going non-stop since last week.  I almost always have quite a few irons in the fire, but this last week, it's all converged to make me a little nuts.  Besides the blog and the full time plus job, John & I have a film production company business as well, in addition to him being an actor (and me driving him to auditions so he doesn't have to pay to park in Boston or Providence -- and he got the Providence job by the way, hooray!).  We work in non-fiction and fiction both, and depending on the project we could be handling everything from writing to pre-production to packaging and selling an end product.  Right now, we are also interested in getting into some freelance video editing.  So over the last week, I've been on the road a lot while also working and trying to stick to my every day exercise program and eating halfway decently and maybe getting at least 6 hours of sleep.  So no big deal, right?

The good news is, I have plenty of things to post, so provided I have time and can shut up about my life long enough to talk about food, I should be able to jump on a few times this week to share some of the recipes I've had lately.  The most thematically appropriate for this post seems to be this one, which uses my most neglected kitchen appliance, the slow cooker.  I don't know what it is about me and the slow cooker, but it's just not something I think of using very often.  I know how easy and convenient it is, but I guess I tend to be more hands-on with cooking.  The only meal I tend to think of as a definite crock-pot dish is stew.  I used to make beef stew a few times each winter, so I decided to make it without the beef (or seitan or another meat substitute) this time and see what happened.  What happened?  A hearty, healthy and delicious vegetable stew!  It's also oil free, so I think it would fit in with Eat to Live and McDougall followers.

Chunky Vegetable Stew

3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and cut on the bias
6 small potatoes (Yukon gold), peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped
1 cup cooked lima beans
1 can green beans, drained
1 large can diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
Garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except spices in slow cooker.  If necessary, add water to make sure vegetables are mostly covered.  Cook on low for 6 hours, stirring occasionally if possible.  In last 30 minutes, add spices, stir, and simmer.  A light touch with the salt is best.    

I almost never eat corn or lima beans but when I had them in this stew I remembered how much I love them.  They taste so good with tomato for some reason!  I almost always am saying in my recipes to adapt based on what you have on hand, and that is no different here, but I will also say that something about this combo is particularly tasty.  This would probably be pretty great with cornbread, but we just ate it as is.

We managed to make it through Tuesday without a full-on blizzard, which is more than I could have said for the last two weeks, and the sun was actually still out when I left work today, so that has me in a better frame of mind.  Hope the same holds true for the rest of you!


  1. That looks so good!

    Congratulations to your husband.

  2. Oh come on, you call that busy?

    LOL - dang, girl - I'm worn out just reading about your life! That sounds like a lot of neat stuff you guys are doing though, and I wish you the best! And congratulations to John. Remember, behind every great actor is an awesome chauffeur who drove him to his auditions. ;-)

    And an awesome chef, too! That stew does look good, despite lima beans being one of the two plant foods I don't care for (the other is beets, unless they're pickled). Of course, I said that about Brussels sprouts till I gave them another chance a year or two ago, so maybe lima beans need the same opportunity! :-)

    My own blog is unresponsive right now (at least at my end - I think Photobucket is the culprit, but whatever, it's a bit frustrating!), but I hope to work on more posts today for next week, among them the Snobby Joes and the Four Fun Facts (I'm nor forgetful, just neglectful!) I have other, less fun stuff I need to get done too, so we'll see how it goes... but that's the best-laid plan!

    Happy Friday, Georgia! May you remain blizzard-free!