Wednesday, April 03, 2019

SCRUMPTIONS MORISH Jamaican Pumpkin and Lentil Curry Stew Vegan INSTANT POT

I'm starting to love the Instant Pot for a couple of reasons, quite possibly unique to me.  I love my slow cooker but I don't like the idea of the amount of time and electricity it takes.  Also I'm not super super nuts about leaving it unattended either.  BUT i love the idea of flavours blending and amalgamating over time in a stew.   Then there's the smell.  Koreans and Indians have aversions to smells in their house.  Hence alot of houses designed specifically for Koreans or Indians often have what's called a "spice kitchen".  That's a small kitchen next to the real kitchen, about the size of an old fashioned butler's station.  The difference being there is a full oven in there and ventilation and it's fully enclosed.  That's because not only do Koreans cook smelly foods, we all do, hello? garlic! but Koreans like to use spices and oils that are very penetrating and clingy, particularly sesame oil.  It latches on to all synthetics.  So back to my Instant Pot.  I get the long stew effect without the long cooking time, which not only uses alot of electricity but alot of cooking smells in the house.  Not only does the Instant Pot do it quickly but once the pressure seal is up, the smells aren't coming out.  Like what I call the curry Lamp Berger into the house.  Also, I'm a bit of a germaphobe and the idea of food left freaks me out, like when you delay cook a slow cooker.  With the Instant Pot, I prep the night before or the same day and it's ready fast enough for that night's meal. 

This is a bit of a take on a stew I've done before in a slow cooker but I wanted to document for the Instant Pot. 

Jamaican Pumpkin and Lentil Curry Stew

2 lbs or 3-4 cups Jamaican Pumpkin (or Butternut Squash), 1 inch cubes (Sweet Potatoes will disintegrate)
3 medium-small Onions Diced

2 c Red Lentils washed and soaked overnight (you can do less but then don't exceed the 50% mark)
4 cloves Garlic minced
1 inch Ginger, brunois (means julienned then diced)
1 large can diced Tomatoes
3 cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth (maybe 1 cup extra water after cooking IF there's room)

1 t Black Mustard Seeds
2 t ground Coriander
1 t ground Cumin
2 t ground Turmeric
3 Kaffir Lime Leaves (optional but gives awesome curry flavour)
2-3 Jamaican Curry Powder
1 t Salt
Black Pepper
2-3 T ground Mushroom Powder (a necessity for Vegan/Vegetarian cooking to add depth)

1 can Coconut Milk (if you like it extra, add 2 cans, I wish I had but actually it was still DELICIOUS!)


Don't exceed the 2/3 mark.... the annoying thing I've discovered is the less the 'air space' in the pot, if the contents are largely solid, the longer the pot takes to get to pressure.  Lentils will take like 10 minutes or less in the Instant Pot but I was worried about the Pumpkin, so I set it for 20 minutes and it took more than 20 minutes for the little pressure sealing thing to pop up.  BUT in the process I discovered you can add a minute here and there.  My Cuisinart Slow Cooker and doesn't do that.  You have to shut and restart on mine anyway.  So I kept adding 3 minutes until it sealed and then added 5 minutes so it would be cooking at least 5 minutes under pressure. In total, I added 9 minutes. Probably didn't have to but I'm learning with this thing.  All the veg were well done and probably a little too done so maybe don't add the time.  I let it Natural Release.... again because of the lack of air space, meant that the Natural Release happened in like 5 minutes instead of the 20 it takes when I make a small portion of congee.

I was originally worried I didn't have enough Pumpkin so I added half a Sweet Potato.  In the end I had too much.  Anyhoo, when I added the Veg to the Pot, I had already mixed up the Sweet Potato and the Pumpkin so some Sweet Potato got in.  Under pressure for the amount of time I put on, it basically dissolved.  Which might be okay for you because some Squash soup recipes used canned puree.  The contrast of the smooth thickened broth and Squash pieces was nice.  I put the extra in a Ziplock and put it in the Freezer for a green curry another day.

This was SOOOOO good.  I mean sometimes when I make a big AND THIS IS A BIG pot like this, I'm sick of it by the end of the week, to be honest.  Not this time.  This makes like 10-12 servings.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

EUREKA - INSTANT POT - Brown Rice Jook - 죽 aka Congee trial #3 GOT IT!!!

I THINK I DID IT!  No white rice.  Ha!  And it is creamy and luscious even without the evil white carb :D

That said, I may try to push the water slightly.  If you like it soupy like a clam chowder... this might be a bit think for you.  But this is the way I like it.  It has the consistency of hearty Oatmeal.

What's the magical ratio you may ask?  Well, first I want to emphasize that this proportion works in the Instant Pot or a pressure cooker.  I can't guarantee that it will work in a regular pot.

5:1 Water to Rice!!!  It wasn't soupy at all when I first opened it like with the other ratios and what I've read from other bloggers.  It was the right consistency even without mixing.

PERFECT Brown Rice Jook - 죽 aka Congee trial

1/2 c Short Grain Brown Rice (washed and drained)

2 1/2 c Water or Veggie Stock

2 T Pot Barley
2 T Quinoa
1 t Mushroom Powder (ground dried Mushrooms... optional)
1 t Better than Boullion paste (optional if you've used Veggie Stock)
pinch salt aka 1/8 t of salt

1/2 C Water... if I leave out these additional grains, leave out the additional water.

Put into a 6 Qt Instant Pot on Porridge for 40 minutes.  Let it Natural Release.  I had gone out for my kid's soccer so it had been on Keep Warm for like an hour.  Maybe that helped.

It was PERFECT! AND no need for White Rice to add the starchy binder.  Yay!

#Congee, #Jook, #Porridge 죽

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

INSTANT POT - Vegan No Fat Split Pea Soup

Vegan, No Fat, Instant Pot Pea Soup
I'm on a mission to figure out why I can't manage to appropriately soften dried Yellow Peas.   Slow cooker results were variable and still aldente no matter how many hours and hours they cooked.  I thought this has got to be it!  Instant Pot will save to the day.  Well, yes and no.  It made homemade soup made the day of seam achievable.  I mean even with the slow cooker, it seemed like a big deal and even though I do it alot, I was never nuts about the idea of an unattended appliance for 6 hours, particularly since it gets SOOOO hot to the touch.  The Instant pot is slightly warm on the sides but the lid where it's not plastic does get hot.  I love the idea of flavours melding for hours but I don't like my house getting a dousing into the pores of food smells and in the winter it's highly inefficient, heatingwise, to leave a fan running all day to suck out the heat.

This pea soup is fast and super easy.  I did run a hand blender in it at the end but you don't have to.

Vegan No Fat Split Pea Soup

2 cups or 1 lb dried Yellow Split Peas
1 medium/large Onion, minced
4 cloves Garlic, sliced
1 large Carrot, diced SMALL... i don't like big chunks of carrot in a soup... blech
1 large or 2 medium stalks of Celery, diced small too
2 small Potatoes
1 1/2 t Himalayan Salt
2-3 t dried Thyme
1 1/2 T fresh Rosemary Leaves..  Now they are from brown woody stems, you'll want to strip the needles off and chop them.  If they are from green stems (we keep our rosemary indoors in the winter) then just remove the needles from the stems and just throw them in.
Black Pepper
2 Bay Leaves

8 cups of liquid:
4 cups Veggie Stock
4 cups Water with...
1 No/Low Salt Veggie Stock Cube
2 T Dried Mushroom Powder.... now, I'm writing it this way because this is how I made it and it was delicious and I want to remember what I did.  You can just as easily just do Veggie Broth

The night before.....

Wash and rinse the Yellow Peas and set aside in a large bowl with Water... make sure the water is at least a couple of inches above the peas.  I changed the water a couple of times during the evening but that's just me.  I like to avoid the scum in the pot.

I minced the vegetables and put them in a sealable container until the next morning... EXCEPT the Potatoes.  I don't want them to brown.  I just washed them and set them aside where I wouldn't forget to put them in :D  the next morning, peel and dice them into 1cm cubes

The morning of....

Drain and rinse the peas.... throw out any discoloured ones.

Dump into the instant pot with all the veg and veg cubes.  I minced the cubes into a powder since I won't be able to stir and didn't want chunks.  Add the Water/Broth.  Add the Potatoes.  Stir to combine.

Close the Instant Pot and set the vent to Sealed.  I chose the soup but could have picked beans/chili but this time I chose soup.  Alot of recipes I came across said 15 minutes ... quite a few.  No way in heck... maybe it's Canadian Yellow Spit Peas or the air pressure in my house but there's now way that that particular legume is getting cooked in 15 minutes.  I set the soup for 30 minutes.  I set a delay timer too.... WORD OF ADVICE. unlike my  rice cooker or my bread machine.  The delay timer on an Instant Pot is the time before the cooking starts.....NOT THE WARM UP and not including the TIME TO COOk.  The Rice Cooker and the Bread Maker, interpret delay for the time it should be ready and the time to cook or bake in included.  But for an instant pot a delay of 9 hours means after 9 hours, it will start the warm up of 3-5 minutes... or even more if the contents are cold or it's really full.  then the time to cook AND THEN natural release.  So when I got home, the soup was just done.  Literally.  I had hoped it was well after natural release .

Since the kids were hungry, I manually vented and then ran the hand blender for all of 30 s.  I wanted to leave texture but I wanted some creaminess.

I closed the pot and with the heat of the soup, it sealed again... which was good cuz dad and I ate later.

I may cut back some of the liquid next time but just for density of the soup.  Not the flavour.  It was SOOOO flavourful and comforting.  I will make this again and again which is why I wrote it with the way to achieve 8 cups of broth I did.

Monday, March 18, 2019

INSTANT POT: Vegan Baked Beans EASY - a mistake that turned out okay

Vegan Baked Beans - SUPER EASY - Instant Pot

I want to caveat that you should take all precaution in using the Instant Pot and you should follow all instructions as presented.

I did a few things wrong trying to make homemade VEGAN baked beans:

1. I thought the bag was 1 lb not 2lbs
2. I didn't read the note about not exceeding the 50% mark for stuff that expands. 

That I don't quite get. What is the point of getting a 6 Qt instant pot to replace a 6Qt crock pot if I can't use the full 6Qts?!! I feel like I should have been told. I wouldn't have wanted an 8 Qt because I'd be scraping my 1-2 person portions of Jook off the bottom of a too big pot.

I think somethings worked in my favour though:

1. I thoroughly presoaked the beans from the early evening to the morning on the counter, not the fridge.  In the morning, there was no water left and the beans which were flat, an inch below the lip of the big bowl were a mound above the lip.  I added more water and I did other stuff while waiting.
2. Navy beans don't expand that much.
3. I don't like heavily salted nor sweet food.  I had put the spices for the 1lb version of a few different recipes so it was fine for me, a tad bland for my husband who added Green Tobasco, and he thought it was great.  I added Chipotle hot sauce and it was good too.

I was a bit nervous when I realised I had passed the 50% mark of the Inner Pot but I hadn't passed the 2/3 mark.  I was having visions of the beans pushing up against the lid and either clogging the venting thing or exploding.  I don't know why I didn't just stop it.  It was well into the cook by the time I realised it and maybe morbid curiosity. Don't try that at home!

In the end, it was fine.  Acutally, the final product was exactly, if not slightly below the level in the pot that I had started the cooking at.  Which I think, goes to the good pre-soak of the beans.  So to be honest, I will probably do the same again but with the appropriate amount of spices.  But the water was even okay because of the presoak.  They weren't dry and I didn't have to add more water!!!!

The recipe below is what I did.  And it was 'fine' as far basic taste.  Below the main ingredient list, I will put what I WILL DO next time.

VEGAN BAKED BEANS - Simply and Easy 

2 lbs or one bag of Navy Beans, rinsed throughly and soaked for at least 10-12 hours on the counter with at least 2 inches of water over the beans all the time.  Discard any discoloured or rotten beans.

1 medium tennis ball sized Onion, finely minced (finely bc I want them to melt so my toddler who hates Onions can't complain)
1 t Olive Oil (or leave out and use 1/4 broth... or skip the prefry all together.
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tube (6oz can) Tomato Paste
2 t Paprika
1 t dried Thyme
2 T Maple Syrup
3 T Molasses
4 cups Veggie Broth or Water
1 t Salt
1/4 c Cider Vinegar
1 t Liquid Smoke

Drain and rinse the beans one last time, the morning of.

Open the Instant Pot and put on the Sautée function.  A bunch (dozens) of recipes I skimmed all said to do this so for the first go around, I followed along.  Next time, it will be a set it and forget it approach.  The Onions will melt away anyway... also, my toddler woke up complaining that the house smelled of onions :D.

Add 1 tsp of Oil and the Onions.  Sautee until softened, about 3-5 minutes.

Add the beans, spices and the Water.  Set to the Bean/Stew function and set to cook to 60 minutes and after that Natural Release.

Shockingly, it turned out ok.  Primarily because I presoaked the beans for so long and the type of bean.  I find that Chickpeas nor Split Peas don't puff up on a presoak as well as the Navy's did.  That said, I didn't pass the 2/3 mark.  It was in between but in the end the Water level was exactly or less than when I loaded it up.  Here are the proportions I would change for next time:

2 medium Onions, minced
1 T Paprika
1/2 T Thyme
2 6oz cans or 2 tubes of Tomato Paste
1/4 c Maple Syrup
1/4 c + 1T Molasses
1 1/2 t Salt
1 T Cider Vinegar (maybe it's because ours is old?  but it added a funky background flavour that my husband did not like) Ricardo uses Balsamic BUT I don't want to mix up recipes just yet.  Because he also uses ketchup instead of Tomato Paste which I think would make it too sweet.
2 t Liquid Smoke

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Disclaimer, use your Instant Pot as directed!  This isn't the hurt locker!  It ain't worth it for beans.

INSTANT POT - Brown Rice Jook - 죽 aka Congee trial #2

8:1 Water to Brown Rice Brown Rice Jook - 죽 aka Congee trial #2

Ok, I thought, it's the weekend, I'll immediately do another one since I have time and I have to figure out if I'm keeping the Instant Pot and sell my rice cooker ;)

This time, I upped the water and eliminated the White Jasmine Rice completely.  I know that Jasmine has a lot of starch and lots of people seem to like it for congee but I think I prefer regular Asian short grain.  Anyhoo, my goal is to reduce the white  rice to the lowest a Jook - 죽 can tolerate. 

This time it didn't turn out great.  It still tasted okay and it thickened with extra sitting time and later re-heating.  But off the bat to eat right out of the pot, not great.

Brown Rice Jook - 죽 aka Congee trial #2 - FAIL (too watery)

1/2 c Brown Short Grain Rice
1 l or 4 cups Water

2 T Quinoa
2 T Pot Barley
1 T minced Dried Mushroom (mainly for flavour. optional)
1/2 t Salt
3/4 c Water

Porridge Setting 35 minutes.  Venting set to sealed. 

Let it sit the full 'natural release', until the little metal thingy in the lid drops... i.e. no manual release of the valve.

After a stir, it was a bit less water than the photo but it was still quite loose. 

Served with Sesame Seeds, Chia, Dried Fried Onions, Cilantro and Smoked Tofu.

Next trial will put back some White rice and cut back the water.

Friday, March 15, 2019

INSTANT POT - Brown Rice Jook (Congee or Rice Porridge) 죽

Brown Rice Jook 7:1
I did it.  I bought an Instant Pot.  I got tired of boil overs on my rice porridge or as Koreans call it Jook - 죽.  Or as Chinese or most caucasians in North America call it Congee.  Basically a peasant food meant to extend rice during times when Rice was a rare commodity... not bought in 15kg bags by mom.  I even tried to cook rice and then re-cook it in the Rice Cooker or just add 'too' much water to the Rice Cooker.  Both ended in a goopy disaster.  Seriously, don't try it.  I have (had) a simple Aroma Rice Cooker because it rated tops against some $300 heavy hitters on Cook's Illustrated.  But it didn't have a porridge setting.  I research spiralled myself into a Cuckoo that has a pressure function BUT the inner lining didn't remove and that grossed me out so I returned it.  Thank you Amazon!  So then I replaced with the Aroma, deciding that just having not to babysit a pot to do Brown Rice alone was worth it and being able to have Jook everyonce in a while was not worth 200 bucks!  

Then over my Jan/Feb cleanse, when I was eating alot of Jook, I got super tired of the boil overs and babysitting and even brown rice, sometimes I didn't want to wait the 2.5 hours that my rice cooker takes to make brown rice, I tried to turbo boil it on the stove and that boils over so easily with the bubbles no matter how much you wash your rice before.  Anyhoo, i then decided my time and frustration was finally worth the $200 plus, now Instant Pot closed that gap to just like $100 or even just $50 more if you buy a damaged box from Amazon.

Hubbo agreed, mainly out of practicality but I also suspect, to get me to agree to change a chair in the living room.  I added the added bonus after the fact, after he saw it was an Instant Pot and not just a fancy rice cooker, that MAYBE we could get rid of my crock pot.  He's not sure it's big enough because we bought a 6qt.  I'll do the measuring later.

Over the next few posts, I will post different proportions of Water and Brown Rice and White Rice.  I could not find any recipes on Jook or Congee directly from Instant Pot nor anyone who didn't put Chicken in it. 


Serves 2

1/2 c Brown Rice (I used short grain)
1/4 c Jasmine Rice (or short grain white)
3 tried Mushrooms, chopped into 1 cm sized pieces
1 inch Ginger, julienned (or chunks if you don't mind, I don't mind and after pressure cooking, it was SOFT)
2 cloves Garlic, sliced (this basically melted under pressure)

5 1/4 c Water (or veggie broth)
1/4 t Salt (optional)

1/4 c Grain/Lentil Mix (from Costco, it has lentils, quinoa, barley and dried onion)
1/2 c Water

With or without the Extra,  CLOSE and lock your Instant Pot, make sure the vent is on SEALED.  Choose "Porridge" and manually up the default time to 35 minutes.  The default time is presumably for White Rice or Oats.  Brown will need more time.

Now, let it 'Vent Naturally".  I heard from some posters, it gives the rice extra time to soften.  I may try just a longer cook time and a manual vent later.  What that means is the little silver do-hicky next to the vent will drop down into the cooker once the 'Pressure is Off and safe".  I'm afraid to ask or check but I'm not sure the lock is idiot-proof and I'm not about to test it.  So even after the "natural vent", I checked the manual to ensure it was ok.  Long story short "DO NOT TRY TO OPEN IT EVER DURING COOKING OR UNTIL PRESSURE IS OFF".

When you open it, it will look like a soupy mess.  I'd read that before about the brown Rice jooks because there's no stirring.  I tried jiggling the whole pot while cooking, careful not to touch any part of the lid, particularly not around the handles.  DO NOT TRY THIS PLEASE!!! but it didn't matter, I don't think.  Anyhoo, a quick stir of the pot and the lid back on for a few minutes, (it was still hot), and it looked great!

So this was TRIAL:  7 to 1, Water to RICE, 35 minute cook, natural vent.


Serve with Chopped Cilantro, Sesame Seeds, Chia Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Fried Onions, Green Onions, what ever you want.  

#congee, #Jook, #instantpot

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


Vegan Plantbased Cream of Mushroom Soup

This couldn't be easier and couldn't be tastier.  You will need a good blender like a Ninja or a Vitamix.  A handblender will not work on the Cashews to get them creamy.  A regular blender should work but you will need to soak the Raw Cashews overnighT.  Did you think going vegan or vegetarian meant you can't have this famous comfort food?  Not at all.  Despite no fat or salt added this was amazing.  Double for full batch but I only had 1 c of Raw Cashews left at the time.  USE RAW not roasted.  I used dried mushrooms instead of Veggie Broth because I wanted an extra Mushroom kick.  If you don't have them, then just use a low/no salt Veggie broth.


1 c Raw Cashews
4 c Water/Veggie Broth + upto a cup but taste as you go.
1/2 - 3/4 c dried mushrooms (optional if you plan to use Veggie Broth)
1 1/2 t dried Thyme
2 sprigs, thumb sized, Rosemary (leave out if you don't have fresh, you don't want dried needles in your creamy soup)
1/2 medium Onion (tennis ball sized), diced or sliced... it's all going in the blender.
4 cloves Garlic minced
2 pints sliced Mushrooms (I used Cremini)
Black pepper
1/4 t Cayenne (optional)

Put your RAW Cashews in a bowl or big measuring cup with clove of Garlic sliced in half and 2 T of the dried Mushrooms.  Cover with boiling water and set aside.

In a large measuring 4 cup, or a bowl, put the rest of the dried Mushrooms and a sprig of Rosemary and pour over the 4 c of water and set aside.  It should get as dark as a strong cup of tea.

In a large non-stick skillet or ceramic lined Creuset or dutch oven.  It is essential it is non-stick because I'm not using oil.  Put on medium high heat.  Add the Onions.  Don't move right away.  You'll just get frustrated.  Wait and then move.  They will brown.  If you're stressed, add a spoonful of mushroom water.  They will brown.  Toward the browning, add the Garlic just until softened. Toss the lot into the blender jug and set aside.

Spread out the mushrooms in a single layer as much as you can. Sprinkle over the Thyme and add the Rosemary.  Do not chop the Rosemary.  You'll want to pull it out.   Do not touch until you see water start to blister on the surface and flip.  Add more mushrooms as the first batch starts to shrink.  Get them all nice and brown.  If some get extra brown, you can start tossing them into your blender jug.  This will take some time but trust me, they will brown without oil!  if you're a bit worried about sticking, you've moved them too soon but you can splash in a spoonful of Mushroom water.  Set aside about a quarter of the mushrooms and put in after blending for texture.  Pull out the Rosemary and toss the lot into the blender jug.  I then like to swirl about half a cup of the mushroom water around in the pan to get all the fond, sticky goodness out of the ban and pour into the blender.

Pour the Cashew and the other stuff it's soaking with into the blender.  Add the mushroom water.  If you are worried about grit from the mushrooms, you can pour through a seive lined with cheese cloth.  I would do this if you are using Shitake from an asian market.  I had high quality 'organic gourmet blend' from costco so I did not bother.  I let the soaked mushrooms go in too.  Blend on high for at least 2-3 minutes.  Now, you'll want to keep blending thinking, hey it looks grainy.  Well, unless you have a super weak blender or you didn't soak your cashews enough, it probably isn't.  It's just the speckles of the dark mushrooms.  Test it before you create a pasty gunk and burn out your blender.

Pour back into the Creuset you fried the mushrooms in and heat through.  Add the mushrooms you set aside.  Serve hot. 

It was amazing. 

Monday, January 07, 2019

January Cleanse: Plant Based No Fat Eggplant Caponata

The cleanse continues but to keep hubby engaged and participating, I'm having to make a lot more different foods.  I, myself, could eat the same stew for days and days or last year, I ate brown rice and steamed Kale for a week quite happily.  Yeah, not hubbo.  This is a uber easy dish and very tasty.  You'll be surprised to find that there is no fat it it.

No Fat Eggplant Caponata

1 large Eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups French sliced Onions (halved and sliced) (2 medium Onions or 4-5 ping pong sized ones, which I have a big bag of for some reason)
1 medium/small Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 large can Italian Tomatoes
1 rib Celery, diced
2 T Capers, rinsed
1/2 c Green Olives, rinsed, pitted and halved
3 large Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 T dried Oregano
1 sprig fresh Rosemary (if you have it)
1 pinch Saffron (if you have it)
1 T dried Parsley
1/2 c chopped Fresh Parsley
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/2 t Himalayan or other low Sodium Salt

In a large ceramic dutch oven over medium heat, add the Onions, Dried Parsley, Oregano, Rosemary, Saffron and Celery until soft.  You may want/need to add 1 T of Water.  Once the Onions has started to wilt add the Eggplant.  Stir often.  It may stick, but that's okay.  Once you add the liquid later, it will come off the pot and add nice flavour.      Let heat through for a 5-10 minutes.

Add the Garlic and the Bell Pepper.  Heat through and add a T of water if desired.

Add the Tomatoes.  What I do is pour the tin in and then GENTLY squish each tomato into smithereens.  You can use diced if you want to avoid this step.  Swish a quarter of the tin with Water and add to the pot.  Add the Capers and Olives.

Let stew 10 minutes and add the juice of the Lemon.  If you require more brightness or acid, add another half Lemon.

Add the Fresh Parsley and let stew for half an hour or more.

Serve with crusty bread or with Brown Rice.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Navy Bean Soup - Plantbased - Vegan - Slow Cooker

My hubbo likes to think I am volumetrically challenged.  Ha!  this time it was him.  He left me with a vague recipe he asked me to double because we've had these dried Navy Beans kicking around.  Well, it didn't all fit... well the stock.  But it turned out awesome nonetheless

Navy Bean Soup - Plantbased - Vegan - Slow Cooker

1 900g pack of dried Navy Beans

1 lb Carrots, diced (about 4 medium)
6-8 stalks Celery, diced
4 small Onions, diced
6 cloves Garlic, minced

1 T dried Thyme
1 /2 T dried Coriander
1 t dried Sage
1/2 T Paprika
1 t Fennel Seeds
6 Bay Leaves
6-8 sprigs (young) Rosmary where the stalk bits are white.  If you have Dried use 1/2 T
lots of Black Pepper
1/2 T dried ground mushrooms (optional)

2 litres Vegetable Broth

Boil a kettle full of water.  In a large pot, pour the washed beans and add the boiled water.  Add more to cover.  Boil for 10 minutes, turn off heat and set aside.

During the boiling, start chopping! 

I fish out the bay and rosemary stems toward the end.  This soup was so good my pick 7 year old asked for a second bowl!!

Sweet Potato Three Bean Chili - Plant Based

Day 2 on the FoN cleanse (Forks over KNives) and another stew.  Eventually after two weeks, hubbo wants something for his knife like a cauliflower or tofu steak.  Me?  I'm good.  I'm doing another big one because I have more time before work kicks back into full gear to be cooking.  Chopping can be somewhat time consuming but rewarding.  This one is easier because of all the cans.

Sweet Potato Three Bean Chili - Plant Based

Boil 4 cups water and pour over 1 c of dried mixed Mushrooms of your choice and set aside.

To a large dutch oven on low heat, DRY, start piling in.

1 large Sweet Potato diced into 1 cm cubes
2 c small baby new Potatoes because they were getting old (optional)
1 large stalk Celery, diced
1 large Carrot, diced
2 small Onions, minced
4-5 cloves Garlic, minced

1 T Cumin
1 t Cumin Seeds
1 t Tumeric (optional but it's so good for you)
1 T dried ground Coriander
1/2 T dried Chipotle Peppers
1/2 T Paprika
1 t Cayenne (but my younger complained it was spicy despite how little I added.... it was probably the Chipotle??)
1 t Thyme
4 sprigs Rosemary because my rosemary went crazy when i brought it into the house for the winter
2 T Black Pepper

2 large cans Diced or Whole Tomatoes, squash the whole ones.
1 can Black Beans, rinsed
1 can Red Kidney Beans rinsed
1 can White Kidney Beans/Cannellini beans, rinsed
1 can Corn, dump in completely.  Normally not alot of liquid but what there is sweet!

Pour in the Mushroom water through a seive.  Squeeze.  I like to leave a bit of water left to not get some of the finer particles.  Take the mushrooms and finely dice.  It gives a nice 'meaty' mouth feel and your kids won't complain about the mushrooms.

Cook over high heat until it boils and reduce to simmer for 2-3 hours. 

I ate with steamed Kale.  I didn't add the Kale to the pot because I didn't want to over cook it.  Add your desired heat with Red Chili Flakes.  I can't use hot sauce during January cleanse because of the salt and sugar. 

Green Lentil Coconut Curry Stew - Plant Based - Slow Cooker

January means Plant Based Cleanse.  Why cleanse? because I ascribe to the Forks Over Knives movie/documentary regarding also cutting out all added salt, sugar, processed foods (white flour), coffee and fats/oils.  We're getting better and better every year so that the January is easier and easier.  We actually do a Vegan September without the other restrictions.  But the Salt!  and the Oils! 

This stew was done without a reference.  Just something I ate at my sister's as leftovers.  It's an approximate until she sends me the recipe.

Green Lentil Coconut Curry Stew - Plant Based - Slow Cooker

2 c dried Green Lentils, washed
1 T dried Cumin
1 T Curry Powder
1 T dried ground Coriander
1/2 T Tumeric
1/2 T Cumin Seeds
1/2 T Black Pepper
1 t Cayenne (optional)
1 t Fennel Seeds
6 cloves Garlic, minced
1 medium or 2 small Onions, diced

4 c Vegetable Broth, no salt
1 large can diced Tomatoes

1 package of Frozen Spinach, thawed as much as you can while prepping
1 can Coconut Milk, look for labels with nothing but Coconut Extract at Water, Arroyo is the best

Layer all the ingredients upto the Tomatoes into the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high.  Add the Spinach after it comes to a boil around 2-3 hour mark.  Add the Coconut Milk in the last half hour.

This stew was so full and flavourful that I dare anyone to say that something was missing in the way of fat or salt.  Serve over Brown Rice.