We have been craving stew for weeks. Literally. Weeks. When I think of stew, though, I always think of it as a long-simmered ordeal and we just haven’t had time for that lately.
This stew goes together in a snap, but tastes like you’ve been slaving over the stove all afternoon. The marinated and baked tofu cubes take on a lovely colour and texture in the oven and make a great stand-in for meat. Adding them towards the end helps them to hold their shape. Be sure to reserve the marinade to use in the final step. It seasons the stew perfectly and adds a deep, rich colour.
(Feel free to substitute rosemary and/or thyme for the herbes de provence. I have a big jar of the stuff to go through, so I’ve been putting it in everything lately.)
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup veggie stock
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 pkg extra firm tofu, cubed
1/2 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 tsp herbes de provence
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 potato, diced
1/3 cup frozen peas
6 large mushrooms, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 tsp cornstarch
Preheat oven to 400. In a small bowl, combine tamari, stock and sugar. Add tofu cubes and marinate for about 10 minutes, while you prep your vegetables.
Drain tofu, reserving marinade. Place cubes in a sprayed baking dish and bake for 15 minutes, turning once or twice. Combine 2 TBSP of the reserved marinade with 1 tsp corn starch. Set aside.
While tofu is baking, make the stew. In a large, non-stick pan sauté onion, celery and carrot until onion is translucent. Add herbes de provence, squash and potatoes (See note). Stir in 2 cups vegetable stock and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove cover, add mushrooms and baked tofu. Continue to simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until potatoes and squash are tender. Stir in peas and additional stock, if required. Increase heat and when stew returns to a boil, stir in corn starch/tamari mixture. Cook until thickened.
Note: the mascot likes his potatoes on the side and, to be honest, I could take ‘em or leave ‘em. Whenever I make stews like this, I cook the potatoes separately. It’s up to you and your family’s preference.
Serves 2 or 3