Ms. SpoolTeacher has to make the most of what she has, so a stew is a great option to stretch her food budget and at the same time, utilize things that might otherwise go to waste, (like a hunk of onion that isn’t good for dicing for her Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad/Dip). She’s made this once before but she decided that she wanted to add a few new ingredients, like mushrooms, onions, garlic and cilantro. This is a crock pot recipe so she added all the ingredients that take awhile to soften first, most everything. She adds the mushrooms a little later, since they cook quickly, as well as a can of precooked black beans and a can of chile beans in sauce that will only need enough time to heat within the stew. Hence: Crock Pot Kitchen Sink Stew. Just about everything but the kitchen sink goes into it, eh? Criteria? All ingredients must be organic. She leaves the skin on the potatoes. Vitamins right? And she likes the added texture. The skins cook off for the most part and float as a separate entity. Note: Her Safeway Market had the soup stock and the beans marked down but they were missing from the shelf. She went back two different days looking for them, and finally asked for the check-out clerk to mark down an alternative brand to the same price. The clerk obliged without flinching, though she did get flustered to figure out how to do it. (Ms. SpoolTeacher’s thought was that her request might inspire the associate to implore her manager to do a better job of keeping the shelves stocked with on-sale items)(This is a frequent occurrence and Ms. ST thinks it is a strategy to discourage customers and make them buy the higher priced items)(conspiracy theory?). Anyway, so… Gather ingredients: Red Potatoes Carrots Red Onion Garlic Cilantro Himalayan Pink Sea Salt Pepper Turmeric Rice and Lentil Medley Baby Bella Mushrooms Can Black Beans Can Chili Beans in Sauce Wash/scrub potatoes, leave the peels on or scrap them off if you prefer. Cut off sprouts if there are any. She had this many left so just cut them up into about 3/4 – 1 inch pieces. She cut up about the same volume of carrots into approximately 3/4 inch pieces. She didn’t scrape them either but washed/brushed well before chopping. It really helps to have a sharp knife. It amounted to about 1/2 package of Organic Carrots. This was a piece of onion she had been dicing off of for salads. It was just about enough, almost 1/2 of a large Red Organic Onion. Cut the onions in chunks. They will soften and be sized similar to potatoes and carrots. Use a whole bulb of garlic, peeled and cut up into about 1/8 inch slices. If you don’t already know, hold the knife over the clove and smash your fist over it to break the peel and it will practically fall off. (Or visit here, to see how this “chef” does it in less than 10 seconds.) Cut off just the hard end where it was originally cut from the stem. (Sorry for the blurry picture(s). She had the camera set wrong but didn’t realize it in time!) Add a handful of Cilantro, chopped up. Add about 1 cup dry Rice & Lentil Medley. Add the whole 32 FL. OZ. (1 QT) of Organic Vegetable Broth. Ms. SpoolTeacher adds Turmeric to everything she possibly can because disease is all about inflammation and she is all about finding ways to anti-inflame her body to fight that unwanted disease. Turmeric is great to accomplish this, and is becoming well known for fighting many ills. She has acquired a genuine love of the flavor. It is used widely in Indian Cuisine.
Wikipedia: Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell. Curcumin has been a centre of attraction for potential treatment of an array of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, allergies, arthritis and other chronic illnesses.
Here it is bubbling away, about 45 minutes into a high setting on the Crock Pot. It’s starting to smell really good. She makes sure to collect all the scraps into the compost receptacle to eventually make it out into one of the many heaps in her yards, at various stages of decomposition.. Someday the hope is to have soil good enough to have a thriving organic food production system of her own… Add about one half package of Baby Bella Mushrooms, cut coarsely. Add pepper to taste and additional salt if needed. Add one can each of Black Beans (drained) and Chili Beans in Sauce (she must confess, she ate a few of these waiting to put them in..) and additional water to bring level up to top of pot. At this point everything is just about tender enough to eat. An additional few minutes will make it perfect. The onions were still a little crisp as were the carrots not quite al dente. Her timing may be off as she didn’t watch the clock. You will know as you go along, checking only very occasionally. Here it is now, ready to finish cooking. She knows with this that she needs another, a little larger crock pot and that she can feed the neighborhood; but fortunately for her, if she makes something she likes, she loves to eat it until she gets sick of it. It was 10:30 pm when it finished cooking; so she just took a little to taste it. Oh, my gosh was it good, good. Good enough to go back for seconds. Spicy, warm, cooked just right. De-e-e-lish! And just enough cilantro. Please let her know if you like it if you try it. Next time, she may add some fennel. For some reason, fennel makes her think it has meat in it (for meat eating friends) and the mushrooms give a similar texture. She’s (mostly) a vegetarian (almost a vegan), don’t ya know? Mmm, Mmm, Mmm!