Many Recipes and a Pathetic Update

I haven’t blogged in forever, and when I have, it’s been pathetic. There’s a reason for that, and it’s boring. I’m fantastically internal and have been so for a month going now. I’m also absolutely determined to finish the WIP (still the college novel), so what energy I have I put into that. We’re also hauling way too much ass to the horse barn, and we’re working on fixing that.

In the meantime, I’ve been cooking.

We hosted Thanksgiving and my fantastic baby sister helped. It was a lot of fun and really good food. As usual it was vegan with a side of flesh. Tonight I also made an amazing shepherd’s stew, which was actually vegan all the way. We’re going to eat it while we watch Once Upon a Time.

So, food.

Vegan Shepherd’s Stew

modified from Oh She Glows/Angela Liddon


  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 2 cups peeled chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped potatoes
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup white wine (I used pino grigo)
  • 1 14-oz package Upton Naturals Italian Seitan (I’d have used plain, but the co-op was out)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper



In a large pot/dutch oven, Sauté the onion, carrots, potatoes, and celery in either oil or broth (or wine, what the heck) for ten minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté for five more minutes. If you go the broth route, add more if you need it.

Stir in parsley, flour, Herbes de Provence, and tamari until vegetables are coated. Add apple cider vinegar, paprika and white pepper. Stir in broth and wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 until vegetables are tender.

While that’s boiling, prepare the seitan in oil or, once again, wine. I used wine, and this time I did 3 tablespoons of red. (Shiraz.) Add it to the stew as soon as it’s browned and warmed up, then let the whole business keep simmering.


Additional thoughts

Liddon called for firm tofu instead of the seitan, but I really freaking hate tofu cubes, so I went with the faux meat. You could use any real meat too, either stew or even ground beef. If you go that route, I’d say use some wine and switch the vinegar, paprika and pepper to season it because it’s plain.

Now, you notice I called for white pepper, and that’s something I added beyond Liddon’s original. We used white pepper in a recipe for Thanksgiving, and I really dug it. You could use black, but I urge you to try the white pepper. I found it in the Tone’s spice aisle.

Which, Iowans? Apparently we get off on spices on the cheap because we live next to the factory (it’s in Ankeny). My sister tells me in Chicago they’re $3 a piece across the board. Crazy!


Here’s the Thanksgiving menu. Just links because I used them all direct. Our turkey was a heritage bird from Wheatsfield Co-Op. People liked it, but it was expensive and a bit tough. Next time I’m going with the standard bird.

Also, this is my sister with whom I made the dinner.



Cullinan – Gentz – Hoerschelman

Thanksgiving Menu

heritage turkey in apple spice brine

spiral-sliced ham (FIL brought this)

glazed lentil-walnut-apple loaf 

wild rice dressing

vegan mashed potatoes (use soymilk and Earth Balance)

turkey gravy

spicy sweet potatoes

steamed broccoli & carrots (plain in deference to child)

 kale salad

candy bar salad (MIL made this)

romaine salad (again, plain and boring, for child)

jellied cranberries (from the can, man)

deviled eggs (Mom brought them)

relish tray

dinner rolls (Mom)

vegan pumpkin pie

vegan chocolate mousse (It was only okay. I’m going to look for a better one next time.)

vegan whipped cream

cranberry apple cobbler (Mom)

Icing on the Cake coffee (brought by my brother & SIL, thanks Hans & Alicia!)


That’s the update. Kind of boring, but now you have a lot to eat.

2 Comments on “Many Recipes and a Pathetic Update

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