21 March 2013

The Goddess of the Heavens...eats a very earthy stew and gets pissed off by pancakes

The sky goddess has her days, too. You know those days, when nothing seems to work the way you’d like?

This stew turned out less satisfying than I had hoped and it took a lot longer to cook than I expected. I adjusted the recipe below to remedy those problems. Cut the sweet potatoes in 1/2-inch dice and moderate the cooking time. Add a can of beans or double the soy curls to bulk it up.

The Irish brown bread by way of Ethiopia I wanted to have as part of the meal failed to rise, but its oat and teff flour combination tasted good and earthy. I will tinker with the leavening to get it to where it ought to be; methinks the flax egg needs some chemical enhancement to replace a real egg’s leavening properties.

These pear-date pancakes? I should’ve learned from last year not to cook them on the cast-iron pan. After switching to a new pan, I added cornmeal. Again, egg issue: I think it was the case of a chia-water egg substitute not being able to replace fully an egg’s binding power. The recipe can be found here.  I found this recipe soon after becoming GF in 2011 and it felt satisfying to finally get around to making it.

Who is this sky goddess I spoke of? Look below to see who posted this post. It’s my other social media username, Zella Rain. Zella Rain is the name I gave to my character in the Lionliria story my friends and I invented in seventh grade. Liz was the water goddess, Jessie was the land goddess, and I was the sky goddess. All names began with Z, R, or L. Monkeys were our nemeses (not a word you see in plural often, no?). I’m not sure if the story we were writing ever ended or if we had an end in mind. It was cool fantasy fiction to write and fun to play it out on the blacktop, too.

This stew is loaded with root vegetables and so it contrasts well with Zella’s airiness. While I based mine on the Irish Food Board’s recipe, the inclusion of GF beer makes it more of a “Guinness” stew, and it’s not nearly as rich as a Guinness stew would be because sorghum beer is just sweet water with alcohol content, as we all know. Since St. Patrick’s Day is as dry as any other day for me (read: I don’t drink), I figured I’d make the soup more exciting by using my last bottle of Redbridge. Yes, I bought a six pack of beer around Labour Day and I’m using the last of it close to St Patrick’s Day; clearly, I do not drink.

Irish “Guinness” Stew

3/4 cup soy curls or TVP chunks, rehydrated (soak in enough hot water to cover for 15 minutes, then drain)
3 large onions, finely chopped
1 head green cabbage, shredded and divided in half
1 cup baby carrots, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3 parsnips, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley

4 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 16-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste
water to cover

In a large (8-quart) soup pot, combine the soy curls, onions, carrots, parsnips, herbs, and cover with water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil (this will take a while). Reduce to a simmer and cook 35 minutes.  Add the sweet potatoes and cook 25-35 minutes or until tender. Add half the cabbage and all of the beans and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the last of the cabbage and salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bayleaf and serve with brown bread or rice.

Since it has no fat, I had a small bowl of peanuts with my soup; I also didn’t put beans in mine and were I to make it again, I’d add them. There’s a good likelihood I’d make this again since it is herbaceous and filling. Doing the “wet-chop” method on the Vitamix for the onions, carrots, cabbage, and parsnips saved me a lot of time and made the vegetables all uniformly-sized. The original recipe calls for turnip but I’m not a fan of that giant radish.

Some pictures from the week:

Somebody left 30 and 35-lb dumbbells on the floor of the fitness centre. Guess I’ll have to move them and do some goblet squats. #realgirlsliftheavy

The sky goddess does half-moon pose because ze wishes!
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