Last week, I made the Irish Stew with Potatoes & Seitan from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Appetite for Reduction. This is the first thing I have made from the cookbook, but I have been eyeing several other recipes including the OMG Oven-Baked Onion Rings and Pad Thai Salad. This particular cookbook focuses on healthier, lower fat vegan recipes that still have the Isa touch in the flavor department but are lighter in caloric intake (most come in under 400 calories per serving-and we're not talking teensy tiny servings either). Anyway, I'm definitely looking forward to using this cookbook over the next few months. Now, let's talk about the stew.
This was a really easy meal to put together. Chop a potato or two, some carrots, an onion and clean some grean beans. That was the hardest part, and for you non-chefs there are some easy shortcuts you can take with those just by buying some precut veggies. It's pretty much a one pot meal. I wasn't sure if I wanted to make this with ale, cause I hate all forms of beer, ale, etc and I usually omit/replace alcohol when I cook. But I figured I should give it a go and remain true to the recipe. Lucky for me, even though the ale tasted gross when I sampled it, the stew was pretty tasty and didn't have the same bad taste.
The only potential problem I had was I wasn't sure if everything would fit in my pan, even though it was deep and pretty dang big. I ended up being fine, just barely, but just make sure you really have a large enough pan, or go straight for a pot.
Irish Stew, barely contained in my large deep pan
I consider this meal a complete success. I liked it. And I am really not a stew or soup person. Most of the ones I try to make at home, well, the recipes tend to produce bland meals. This was definitely not the case. Maybe the ale really did add to the stew. Also, I think what helped was the recipe called for green beans rather than the peas which is what I normally expect in a meal like this. I don't like peas much, though I will eat them. But seitan, POTATOES, carrots, and green beans are all my favorites- what's not to love? Ultimately, it's just more of Isa's magic.
For the recipe, please see Appetite for Reduction.