So, I finally took the slow cooker I bought weeks ago out of the box! I decided to not use a recipe, and just use up ingredients I had handy in the kitchen. As you know, I’m not much of a cookbook user, just a cookbook collector. I just like having fun in the kitchen & seasoning to taste!
I wanted my stew to have lots of protein, so I used 1 cup of Trader Joe’s 17 Bean & Barley Mix! It’s awesome!
It’s a nice blend of baby lima beans, black turtle beans, blackeye peas, dark red kidney beans, garbanzo beans, great northern beans, green lentils, green split peas, large lima beans, light red kidney beans, navy beans, pink beans, pinto beans, red lentils, small red beans, small white beans, yellow split peas and pearl barley! Yowza!!
I also wanted the stew to be colorful! When food is colorful, it usually means you’re getting lots and lots of vitamins! So I chopped up several leaves of fresh organic dinosaur kale (one of my very most favorite veggies ever!), 3 sweet potatoes and an onion & tossed them in with several cups of water & tomato purée.
The amount of liquid you add will really just depend on the size of your slow cooker & the amount of veggies you use. And don’t forget to leave an inch or two at the top to allow room to simmer. Then I added 1/4th cup of organic red quinoa, which once cooked, opens up into beautiful little red & white spirals.
Native Americans referred to quinoa as the “mother of all grains” and I think it always make soups & stews look so pretty. It also contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source!
For seasoning, I used a “Muchi Curry” seasoning I found at Whole Foods Market, along with sage, oregano, pepper and a little bit of salt.
Conclusion: Slow Cookers ROCK.
Love my vegan bean & barley veggie stew! Next time however, I need to toss everything in before 5pm. I didn’t realize a “slow cooker” really means a SLOW cooker! We didn’t eat dinner until 11:45pm last night! A little LATE, but worth the wait. Mmmm…