Thursday, March 17, 2011

Weekly Recipe - Happy St Patrick's Day Vegan Irish Stew & Sweet Guinness Quick Bread

I have not written a weekly recipe in so long that maybe I should call this feature the "Monthly or Longer Recipe"... I do apologize! Life has been handing me some amazing opportunities lately and, as usual, some challenges. I am the mom to two little ones, so my time is always too short for all the things on my plate. We are ALL busy, so this is no excuse, I just wanted to catch all of you up on my lack of posting.

So, Happy St Paddy's Day! My grandmother's father, Ira Stewart, was from Ireland. He was married to Gerta, from Sweden. They moved to Minnesota and were farmers. My grandmother, Harriett, has wonderful stories about growing up on a farm but she moved to the city as soon as she could and left the farm days behind her. Ira, was my great grandfather, and he was, well, a rather abrasive guy, until it came to me. He lived until I was 5 or 6 years old, and loved to hold me on his lap and to talk with me. I have fond memories of the small apartment he and my great grandmother lived in at a nursing home. My great grandmother used to pass me sugar cubes under the table and I would pop them in my mouth and suck on them until they melted. Today, I remembered my family...

I am not exactly sure how Ira would feel about the fact that I have been a vegetarian for 24 years. I adapted this traditional Irish Stew to make it vegan. Both of these recipes are great during the winter months, not just on St Paddy's Day.

Vegan Irish Stew
Makes 6 - 8 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time one hour

~ 4 cups vegetable broth
~ 4 cups water
~ 2 medium yellow onions
~ 3/4 cup pearl barley (rinsed)
~ 1/2 teaspoon salt
~ 1 1/2 lbs potatoes with skins (waxy, not russets)
~ 1 14 oz can of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans)
~ 3 large peeled carrots
~ 1 - 2 celery stalks
~ 2 tablespoons tamari
~ 1/4 teaspoon thyme
~ 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
~ fresh ground black pepper to taste

Cut all the vegetables into large chunks. In a large pot combine water, vegetable broth, barley, onions, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook at medium heat for about 15 minutes. Add in the potatoes and cook for another 15 minutes. Add the carrots, chickpeas, celery, tamari, and spices and cook for another 30 minutes on low. Enjoy with Irish soda bread or the Guinness bread below...

Guinness Quick Bread
Makes one loaf
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes


~ 1 1/2 cups non-bleached all-purpose flour
~ 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
~ 1 teaspoon baking powder
~ 3/4 cup brown sugar
~ 1 teaspoon cinnamon
~ 1 12-ounce Guinness (that leaves some of the pint for drinking...)
~ 1 cup walnuts, chopped
~ 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients and pour into greased loaf pan. Bake 50 minutes. Serve right out of the over with butter or room temperature.

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