Slow Cooker Veggie Stew and Polenta

This is one of those “clean out the veggie drawers” kind of recipes. I listed below what I put in, but you can make this more like ratatouille by skipping the carrots, chickpeas, and mushrooms and adding more eggplant and some zucchini.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 eggplant, cubed 
  • 2 stalks celery 
  • 2 summer squash, chopped 
  • 1 red pepper, chopped 
  • 1 onion, sliced 
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 4 oz mushrooms 
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced 
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning 
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes 
  • 1-2 tsp capers
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 18 oz. prepared polenta tube
  • Vegan parm (purchase or make using nutritional yeast combined with finely crushed pine nuts or almonds and sea salt)

Process

Chop your veggies. Add everything but the polenta to your slow cooker or Instant Pot. In a slow cooker, give it about 4 hours. In the Instant Pot, you’ll want about 5 hours.

About ½ hour before the stew is complete, oven fry the polenta in ½ inch slices. Place a little olive oil in a baking pan. Add slices. Sprinkle with vegan parmesan. Bake at 375, flipping over when bottom begins to brown.

Serve stew over polenta with your choice of seasonings or hot sauce.

Vegan Greek-ish Veggie and Chickpea Stew with Pearl Couscous

When you have some veggies and a trying to get creative, who knows what will happen?

Ingredients

  • 2 Small Eggplants, peeled and cubed
  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Zucchini, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large (or 2 small) and diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans of chickpeas or 3-4 cups prepared chickpeas
  • 1.5 cups of water from chickpea cans or chickpea prep
  • 1 bunch of kale, trimmed and chopped
  • Pearl/Israeli couscous
  • Vegetable broth

Process

Salt eggplant and allow to sweat in a colander for 1 hour.  Rinse and pat dry.

Sauté onion, peppers, carrots in olive oil for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and spices. Cook an additional 3 minutes. If you do this in a cast iron pan, you’ll have one less pan to clean later!

Add tomatoes, chickpeas and chickpea liquid, eggplant, and zucchini. Bring to a boil, add kale, and allow to cook at a low boil for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400*

Transfer the whole shebang to the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Check at 20 minutes and add additional water if necessary.

Meanwhile, prepare your couscous in broth according to directions. 

Serve stew with a heap of couscous and a drizzle of olive oil, a spoon of yogurt or sour cream, and some olives.

Black-Eyed Peas and New Year’s Luck

I don’t know if black-eyed peas really create luck for the new year, but it’s pretty lucky to have a dish of them sitting in front of you on New Year’s Day! This recipe initially came from Fat Free Vegan and I adapted it slightly to suit my needs and available ingredients. It was, I think we all agreed, delicious! I made a double batch for 7 of us and have plenty of leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
  • 5 cups water
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • 1.5 tsp. sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegan sour cream and hot sauce for serving

Process

Add olive oil, onions, and garlic to your pressure cooker and sauté until onion starts to soften. Throw in the celery and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add water, peppers, and peas to the pressure cooker, seal, and heat to high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes, then turn off heat and allow to depressurize naturally. Open the pressure cooker and add tomatoes and spices. If it needs a bit more water at this point, feel free to add it. Return heat to medium and cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving to thicken.

Serve with rice, vegan sour cream, and hot sauce.