Monday, June 4, 2012

Green Posole Seitan Stew

So I'm sure many of you are aware of my love for Viva Vegan by Terry Hope Romero. I have a huge list of recipes I would like to make and I would love to completely cook my way through her book (and believe me, I don't say that about all cookbooks!). Her seitan recipes are killer (I've made them all) and I plan on working my way through all the beans-and-rice recipes next.

One of the final recipes I made before I left Missouri was her recipe for Green Posole Seitan Stew with Chard and White Beans. I made a big ol' pot of this, prepped all the garnishes, and ate that throughout the second-to-last week (before I had to pack up my kitchen and live off of Chipotle and Amy's frozen entrees...). Anywho, I did make a few changes to this recipe based on what I had available to me, but for the most part I tried to stay true to the recipe (she knows best, after all!).

Here are a few of the changes I made:
  • For starters, I picked up a can of crushed tomatillos. The recipe called for fresh, but I don't really know how to pick out fresh ones. Also, at the time, it was cheaper (and easier) to just use canned.

  • I used vegetable broth instead of beer, simply because I didn't want to buy extra ingredients when I was trying to use up the ones I had. I'll be buying myself a six-pack of some Modelo or something to use in the next recipes I try because I have a kitchen again (yay!!!).

  • For the white beans I picked out a can of mayocoba beans. They are a small, buttery white bean used in Latin American cooking. I scored those at Big Lots. Apparently, they are similar to a bean used in a kind of Indian curry as well (they're sometimes called canary beans). These beans held up in the stew quite nicely.

  • I used half a package of frozen, drained spinach instead of Swiss chard, since it needed to be used up. Also, I like chard, but they aren't my favorite type of greens. Though I suppose if they were free I would eat them...
  • And finally, instead of canned hominy I used dried corn. This was definitely not a time-saver. I impulse bought a small bag of it awhile back since it was labeled "blue posole" and because I had seen this recipe in the book. In order to use it to make this posole though, I had to soak it overnight, cook it for two hours on the stove, and then cook it in the recipe. It had great texture though. I would totally use it again (hmmm, maybe in the Red Posole?

I really liked this stew. I even got my boyfriend to eat a couple of bowls of it ("so this is what now? Seitan? You made it? It's pretty good. I can see why you like it". Lol.). And of course, with each bowl I ate I topped it with some raw onion, fresh lime, crunched up tortilla chips, and cubed avocado. It made a great, filling meal and the leftovers were just as tasty.

In other news, the town I live in also has a Trader Joe's. As soon as I found out, I had to go check it out myself. Kansas City had gotten one a few months before I moved but I always went to Whole Foods instead. I was all about that salad bar and kombucha off the tap, lol. It was kind of like I expected, but I was also pleasantly surprised. I'm able to get a lot of my basics there, as well as a good variety of frozen veggies, and I like that a lot. They had this fresh stir-fry mix that I combined with some tofu, a half-serving of leftover fresh fettucine, three tablespoons of Trader Joe's Island Soyaki, and some leftover sliced squash and zucchini. I topped it with a few sliced almonds and it was awesome. Especially once I picked out the baby corns and bamboo shoots that I found out I don't like. Ha. But seriously, it was good, and it came together in about 15 minutes.

I plan on doing the majority of my shopping there. I bought a lot of stuff and it only came out to be about $30. That's quite a difference from the prices I was used to paying! I also do some of my shopping at Earth Fare and Kroger when I can get good deals. For example, right now Kroger has the large cartons of Vita Coco coconut water on sale for $4.50. That's a really good price. And let's not forget Big Lots of course, lol. In general though, I'm trying to be more consciencious of my budget now that I'm a grad student and have a few more bills to pay (helloooo student loans). Anywho, that's about all for now. Have a great afternoon!

Oh, and I swear my next post will have a recipe!

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