Canadian Hodgepodge Stew: Recipe #210

Hodgepodge is a bit like taking whatever vegetables you have left from your garden and tossing them into a big, nourishing stew. I learned about it from the East Coast of Canada, but no doubt there are similar recipes wherever people grow food. It’s very rewarding to turn leftover things into delicious things, like this Canadian hodgepodge!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($9 for a large pot of stew)

2 tbsp coconut oil – $0.31
1 cup chopped onion – $0.50
1 tsp each oregano, garlic powder, and sage – $0.42
2 cups halved baby potatoes – $0.90
2 cups cooked pinto beans – $0.79
2 cups chopped snap peas – $2.29
2 cups chopped beet greens -$1.99
1 cup frozen corn – $1.00
1 cup unsweetened soy milk – $0.37
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar – $0.27

Directions for Canadian Hodgepodge Stew

1. In a large pot, melt the coconut oil over medium high heat, then add the onion, oregano, garlic powder and sage. Cook for 5 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent, then add the potatoes and enough water to just cover them. Bring to a boil, then turn it down to a medium low simmer. Stir in the beans and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender to be easily poked with a fork.

2. Add the chopped up snap peas and beet greens, then the frozen corn and soy milk. Mix thoroughly.

3. Cook for a few more minutes to combine all the flavors, then serve your Canadian hodgepodge stew warm in individual bowls. Enjoy!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Savory Bean Stew with Dumplings: #188 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

We’ve made this recipe twice already, with the lovely combination of dill, rosemary, and sage warming our tummies. As a bonus, leftovers the next day are just as good as the real thing. Many thanks to the Post-Punk Kitchen for inspiration.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 for a large pot)

Stew:
2 tablespoons olive oil – $0.20
1/4 cup all purpose flour – $0.04
1 medium onion, chopped – $0.50
1 tsp salt – $0.05
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
6 cups vegetable broth – free from boiling leftover kale and collard stalks
2 celery stalks, chopped – $0.15
1 1/2 pounds gold potatoes, cut into chunks – $1.35
2 carrots, chopped – $0.46
1 large zucchini, chopped – $0.78
1 tsp sage – $0.28
1 tbsp dill – $0.70
1/2 tsp paprika – $0.14
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups freshly cooked or canned pinto beans, rinsed – $0.79

Dumplings:
1 1/2 cups flour – $0.24
2 tsp baking powder – $0.03
1 tbsp rosemary – $0.70
1 tsp salt – $0.05
3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk – $0.28
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20

Directions

1. Start the stew: in a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the flour and cook, stirring continuously, for a few minutes until it gets nice and thick. Then stir in the onions and salt, and mix well to coat the onions in the sauce. Next add the garlic, celery, and start pouring in the vegetable broth. Whisk well as you go to evenly mix in the broth with the flour mixture.

2. Once all the broth is mixed in, add the potatoes, carrots, zucchini, beans, sage, dill, and paprika, as well as salt and pepper to your liking. Raise the heat to bring it to a boil, then reduce it to keep it simmering on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. No need to cover the pot at this point – the evaporating steam means the stew will be nice and thick.

Prepare the dumplings: mix all the dumpling ingredients together in a medium bowl and mix well. When the stew is nice and thick and the vegetables are tender, drop spoonfuls of the dumpling mix right on top of the stew, evenly spacing them out over the surface. We got 12 large dumplings out of it. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 14 minutes, making sure the stew is simmering gently.

3. The dumplings will get nice and firm to the touch when they’re done. Serve hot in a bowl with a dumpling and a scoop or two of stew poured over top of it. So yummy and comforting! Leftovers keep well in the fridge or freezer, and can be microwaved when you’re ready to eat them.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18 (maximum score!)

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Lentil Miso Gravy with Seitan, Broccoli, and Quinoa: #185 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

When transitioning to a plant-based diet, it can be helpful to have some meat-like meals to soften the change. This recipe tastes like a rich beef stew, thanks to a hearty lentil miso gravy and some chopped up Field Roast plant-based meat. We enjoyed it for a comforting dinner with baby broccoli over quinoa. Thanks to Isa once again for inspiration.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($14 total for 6 servings)

Gravy:
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1/2 large onion, diced – $0.25
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 tsp salt – $0.05
1 tbsp thyme – $0.70
1 tsp sage – $0.28
Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked lentils – $0.69
2 tbsp red miso – $0.67
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch – $0.15
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth – free from boiling leftover kale stalks with some herbs

1 package Field Roast frankfurters or sausages (seitan), cut into bite-sized pieces – $6.99
1 cup dry quinoa, cooked according to package directions – $1.00
1 bunch baby broccoli – $2.79

Directions

1. Make the gravy: In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the salt, thyme, sage, and pepper, followed by the lentils and miso. Stir until well mixed and heated through. Transfer to a blender and process until very smooth.

Dissolve the cornstarch in the vegetable broth and add it back to the pan along with the blended gravy. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then turn the heat down and simmer for a few minutes until you get your desired thickness of gravy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

2. Add the seitan chunks to the gravy to heat through. Meanwhile, steam the baby broccoli – put a bit of water in the bottom of a Pyrex dish with the broccoli, cover it with the lid and microwave it for about 3 minutes, then let it sit for a few minutes longer to finish cooking. It should be tender but still bright green. Warm up the cooked quinoa.

3. And now for the exciting part! Assemble your bowl with quinoa, baby broccoli, and a good helping of seitan with gravy. Cozy up on the couch with your bowl of warm healing deliciousness. Enjoy on your own or with people you love.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18 (maximum score!)

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Cauliflower Tikka Masala: #176 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

We love the creamy curry-ness of a good chicken tikka, but now we’re eating more of a plant-based diet. What to do? Fortunately Jamie Oliver came to the rescue with the inspiration for this cauliflower tikka masala recipe. Very comforting comfort food, and healthy to boot.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($12 total)

Blend:
1 can coconut milk – $1.99
1 tomato – $0.99
2 heaping tbsp cashews – $0.24
1 tbsp apricot jam – $0.16
1 lemon, squeezed – $0.20
1/4 tsp paprika – $0.07
1 tbsp curry powder – $0.70
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped – $0.08
1 tsp ginger – $0.28

Sauté:
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
2 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces – $2.49
1 bunch collard greens, chopped – $1.99
1 bunch chard, chopped – $1.99
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Put all the “Blend” ingredients in a blender and process until it makes a smooth simmer sauce.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat, then add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften, then add the garlic and cook for 3 more minutes to start to brown the garlic. Next add the cauliflower, the greens, and the simmer sauce.

3. Bring to a bubbly boil then turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the cauliflower is soft and the flavors have all melded together. Cook the rice during this time too, using one part rice and two parts water, with a bit of salt.

Serve the cauliflower tikka hot over rice, and enjoy the melting comforting sensation of filling your body with this healing treat of a meal.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18 (maximum score!)

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Winter Ratatouille (aka Ghivetch Vegetable Stew): #148 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

We had a lot of cabbage in our farm box this past week, so we improvised this healing stew based on the flavors of a Romanian vegetable stew called ghivetch. It reminded us of ratatouille, but with winter veggies instead of summer ones. So good!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($6.50 total for a large pot)

2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
2 potatoes, cubed – $0.40
4 carrots, sliced – $0.20
1 tbsp dill – $0.70
1 tsp paprika – $0.28
1 cabbage, shredded – $2.49
1 can diced tomatoes – $0.67
2 cups chicken stock – $1.00
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to get soft. Add the potatoes and carrots, then the dill, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for 3 more minutes to combine the flavors.

2. Add the cabbage, chicken stock, and diced tomatoes, and mix well. Turn the heat down to medium, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the cabbage has turned yellow and gotten nice and soft. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.

3. Serve in individual bowls, with your favorite nuts as a garnish. Help yourself to second and third helpings if you like, since it’s all vegetables!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish (no protein)
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Luscious Chicken Bourbon Beet Stew: #135 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

It starts out with the luscious savory flavors of coq au vin, but with bourbon instead of wine. Then you layer in red and gold beets and the beet greens. And voila, a dinner fit for a royal family. Or any family! Like any good stew, it takes a bit of time, but it’s well worth the effort.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($19 for a big pot)

1 bunch each of red and gold beets, with the greens – $3.68
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
3 large chicken breasts – $6.54
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 bunch brown beech mushrooms – $2.69
3/4 cup bourbon (or wine if you prefer) – $3.60
3 cups homemade chicken stock – $1.00
1 tsp each thyme and oregano – $0.56
2 tbsp flour – $0.02
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Prepare the ingredients: separate the beets from the greens and boil the beet roots for 1 hour in a large pot of water, until tender. Run them under cool water, rub off the peels with your fingers, and chop the beets into bite-sized pieces.

In another large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, then lightly brown the chicken until the outside is cooked. Remove the chicken and add the onion and garlic. Stir and cook for 5-10 minutes until translucent.

2. Assemble the stew: when the onions are done, add the mushrooms, bourbon, spices, salt and pepper, and mix well. Cut up the chicken breast into large pieces and add to the pot, then add the chicken stock, which should cover all the ingredients. 

Add in the chopped beets, bring to a boil, then lower to medium low for a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 40 minutes.

3. Finish the stew: when the simmering step is done, it should look nice and red. Add in the flour and the washed, chopped up beet greens, then cook for a couple more minutes to wilt the greens. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve hot, with at least one big piece of chicken per bowl, surrounded by yummy veggies.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Chakalaka (Cabbage Bean Curry): #131 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Chakalaka is a South African dish that’s like a cross between a chili and a curry. Made with cabbage, beans, tomatoes, onions, and spices, it’s easy to prepare as a lovely comforting dinner. We had it on top of baked potatoes, but you could serve it over rice or pasta just as well. We’ll be making this again!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($6.50 total for a big pot)

2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1/2 onion, minced – $0.25
1 tbsp curry powder – $0.70
1 tsp garlic powder – $0.28
1 tsp thyme – $0.28
1/2 tsp paprika – $0.14
1/2 tsp ginger – $0.14
1 can diced tomatoes – $1.59
1 cabbage, chopped – $2.49
3 cups cooked beans – $0.24
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, then add the minced onion. Cook for 5 minutes, then add in the curry powder, garlic powder, thyme, paprika, ginger, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for a couple more minutes.

2. Add the chopped tomatoes and mix well, then add the cabbage and beans.

3. Turn heat down to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the cabbage has wilted. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve warm over baked potato, rice, or pasta.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers 
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal (for the younger kiddos, 3 for the older ones!)
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Restorative Coconut Ginger Dal: #104 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

If you’re feeling a bit under the weather, or if you just want an extra healing, nourishing meal for your body and spirit, this is the soup for you. You can leave out the chard if you prefer, but we had some on hand from our farm volunteering, so I threw it in. This dal freezes very well too.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($10 total for a large pot of soup)

2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
2 tbsp curry powder – $1.40
1 tbsp ginger – $0.70
2 cups red lentils – $1.69
6 cups water – free
5 medium potatoes, diced – $0.90
2 carrots, sliced – $0.46
2 celery stalks, sliced – $0.20
1 cup raisins – $1.00
1/4 cup tomato paste (1 small can) – $0.89
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk – $1.99
20 leaves of rainbow chard, chopped up – free from the farm
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until it starts to get soft, stirring frequently. Then add the curry powder and ginger, and mix to thoroughly coat the onions.

Once that’s all nicely combined, add the lentils (dry) to the pot and stir briefly to cover the lentils with the onion and spices. 

2. Add the water, potatoes, carrots, and celery next. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 1/2 an hour until the lentils and veggies are soft. 

Then add the tomato paste, raisins, coconut milk, and salt/pepper to taste. Mix well.

3. With the cover removed, simmer for 10-20 more minutes over medium low heat. If you’re adding chopped greens, put them in here and let them wilt while the soup simmers.

You want the dal to be a nice thick soup, not watery at all. Taste for spices and serve hot. Store any leftovers in the fridge or freezer. We like to freeze lunch portions in individual containers so they’re easy to grab from the freezer for school or work.

Enjoy, and feel better soon! 🙂

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18 (maximum score!)

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Mennonite Seven Layer Dinner: #90 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

I learned to make this after enjoying it at my husband’s grandmother’s house. The seven layers are potatoes, onions, carrots, rice, peas, sausages, and tomato soup, with some salt and pepper for seasoning. It smells amazing in the oven and is a very comforting winter casserole for all ages.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($10 total for 10 servings)

3-5 medium potatoes, thinly sliced – $0.90
1 onion, thinly sliced – $0.50
2-3 carrots, thinly sliced – $0.46
1/2 cup uncooked white rice – $0.18
2 cups peas, frozen – $1.00
1 pound chicken breakfast sausage – $3.99
1 32 oz. carton creamy tomato soup – $2.69
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Rub some olive oil around a deep casserole dish. Layer the potatoes, onions and carrots in the dish with a bit of salt and pepper. Add a layer of rice and then peas, then a bit more salt and pepper.

2. Arrange the sausages over top. Pour the tomato soup evenly over the casserole.

3. Cover and bake at 350°F for 1 hour, then turn the sausages over and bake for 1 more hour, until vegetables are tender and rice is cooked. Scoop all the way down to grab all the layers when serving!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Lentils with Sausages: #77 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

This is a tasty and nutritious Italian peasant dish, which you can serve for lunch or dinner with pasta or fresh bread. I used chicken sausages, fresh chopped spinach, and the secret ingredient to any lentil soup – celery! 

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 total)

4 cloves garlic, chopped – $0.15
2 1/2 cups green lentils, rinsed – $1.69
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 carrot, chopped – $0.23
1 celery stick, chopped – $0.10
1 package chicken sausages, garlic and herb, sliced – $3.99
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce – $0.67
1 package baby spinach, chopped – 1.99
Salt, pepper, basil, and oregano to taste

Directions

1. Put one clove of garlic in a large pot with the lentils. Cover with water, bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 25 minutes until lentils are mostly tender. No need to drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a large pan over medium high heat, put the olive oil, 3 cloves garlic, carrot, celery, and any spices to taste. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add the sausages, then the tomato sauce. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

3. Add the lentils and chopped spinach to the pan, taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. Simmer for another 15 minutes, then serve hot with pasta or fresh bread.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!