Crock Pot, Kitchen Sink Stew

All ingredients ready to crock pot cookMs. 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. Four Organic Red Potatoes washed and scrubbed, buds removed She had this many left so just cut them up into about 3/4 – 1 inch pieces. Red potatoes cut about 3/4 - 1 inch thick 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. Organic Carrots cut about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick It amounted to about 1/2 package of Organic Carrots.Organic Carrots cut about 1/2  - 3/4 inch thick Carrots and Red Potatoes about even in quantityusing up 1/2 piece red onion using up 1/2 piece red onion 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.using up 1/2 piece red onion about 1/2 Red Onion chopped thick Cut the onions in chunks. They will soften and be sized similar to potatoes and carrots. One small garlic bulb, peeled and sliced about 1/8 inch Use a whole bulb of garlic, peeled and cut up into about 1/8 inch slices. One small garlic bulb, all cloves peeled and sliced about 1/8 inch 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. Garlic added, about 1/8 inch slices (Sorry for the blurry picture(s). She had the camera set wrong but didn’t realize it in time!) Cilantro Add a handful of Cilantro, chopped up. st.stew 023 organic rice and lentil medley about one cup Add about 1 cup dry Rice & Lentil Medley. Rice and Lentil Medley, Organic Organic vegetable broth, whole container to increase flavor Add the whole 32 FL. OZ. (1 QT) of Organic Vegetable Broth. st.stew 031 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.[5]

Crock Pot Kitchen Sink Stew Here it is bubbling away, about 45 minutes into a high setting on the Crock Pot. It’s starting to smell really good. Be sure to put scraps in compost 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.. Compost Heaps out in Ms. SpoolTeacher's yard Someday the hope is to have soil good enough to have a thriving organic food production system of her own… st.stew 038 Add about one half package of Baby Bella Mushrooms, cut coarsely. Add pepper 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. can each of Chili Beans w/ Sauce and Black BeansAt 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, ready to finish cooking 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. Oh, my gosh is it Good, Good 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!

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Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad/Dip

Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad/Dip

Gather organic ingredients:

  • Spinach
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Fire Roasted Salsa
  • Flax Seed
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Pepper
  • Sea Salt (Himalayan Pink best)
  • Turmeric
  • Mayonnaise
  • Avocado
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Wild Caught Canned Salmon

Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad Dip

Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad DipSuper Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad Dip

Ms. SpoolTeacher was anticipating numbers (of guests) and tried to make as much as she could.

She used 1/2 – 2/3 of a 16oz tub of baby spinach, cut up into about 3/8″ pieces/strips.

She uses a knife.

She likes the slow process of doing things and not using conveniences, just cuz, (aka: no hurry, no worry); so she scrunched the spinach in her hand and used a sharp knife and just went from back to front with the knife to get fairly consistent pieces.

Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad Dip

She learned a new trick for cutting onions. She “dices”, both directions, through the onion before cutting the slices. She used about 1/3 onion. Could have been more. Add to your preferred taste.

Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad Dip

Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad Dip
She only had one ripe avocado. It should have had at least two for this quantity.

She started with about 1/2 can of salmon, but after integrating it into the spinach, it was plain to see, the whole can was needed. One whole can,14 3/4 oz was the perfect amount. The picture before tossing, shows only 1/2 can. After-tossing picture is with whole can.Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad DipSuper Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad Dip

So, spinach, avocado, onion and salmon tossed and then the rest of the ingredients become the binder and distributor of all the other elements.

Use your taste preferences here as well. She uses the “about that much” method and ended up making a second batch of goo because first was about 1/2 too little.   Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad Dip

Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad DipShe did only dice up 3 cloves of garlic, again, use your own taste preferences. She likes things garlicky and would have added twice that amount had it not been for making it for others.

Same with the vinegar. She likes a lot. She probably used 2-3 tbs here but would have used more for herself.

Combine fire roasted salsa. mayonnaise, poppy seed, turmeric (gives it a subtle curry flavor and adds another super anti-inflammatory element), salt, pepper, flax seed (ground), garlic and vinegar to make a thousand island-like consistency binder to bring all the other elements together and distribute the flavors throughout the concoction.

Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad Dip

Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad Dip

Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad DipAs a side note, she used a knife to break up the salmon for the first 1/2 can she put in, but found that it actually worked just as well to flake it up with her hand and that gave her a chance to smush the little bones up so they weren’t as noticeable. The bones are good for us, some people don’t like running into them while eating. Smushed up, hard to tell they are there. Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad DipTwice this much “goo” was used in the final outcome below.

Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad Dip

Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad DipShe had these cute little Christmas tree containers that were part of her Lollipops & Polka Dots Variety Store back in the day when she had it. Now they are in her Home Studio waiting for a second chance.

In the mean time, they come in handy for taking Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad/Dip to friends’ house for Christmas sitting a spell and sharing.

Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad DipIt was a great time with friends who are like family.

Thank you for having me, you know who you are….

“Everything Crackers” went along to the party too.