Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Italian Vegetable Stew

Ugh. My head is congested. My chest is congested. I slept for almost 48 of the 60 hours between Saturday night and Tuesday morning. It's crazy how you can sleep so much yet still be so tired. I guess that means your body is busy fighting off whatever disease you picked up from the fact that undergrads are back on campus. Don't worry that you have had like zero contact with them, it's just that they are back, bringing in their wake disease and destruction.

Okay, maybe it isn't their fault. But I'm blaming them nonetheless for my completely comatose state during this holiday weekend. I had grand plans of work plus rest and relaxation and updating a few recipes on the blog. Well, I got the rest, just not the relaxation nor the work. I sat on my couch watching episodes of Supernatural on Netflix, drinking Sprite Zero, and eating chicken noodle soup and mini-saltines. I didn't have the energy to open up my computer and come up with witty things about my recipes for y'all.

But before the sickness completely took me over (read, Saturday night at about 9:00 pm when I crawled into bed), I made this stew. I actually want to call it, clean-out-your-pantry-and-fridge-stew because that's totally what I did. I grabbed a half eaten eggplant, a 1/3 leftover zucchini, some mushrooms that wouldn't last another week, and a can of diced tomatoes. I mixed them all together with some seasonings and broth and let them simmer for about 4 hours on Saturday afternoon. I also threw in some browned Italian sausage because I felt like adding some meat to the mix, but that is totally optional, it would have been just as hearty without the meat. The stew turned out great, and it cleaned out my fridge. Which was totally a good idea when I was planning on grocery shopping for the week on Sunday, but in retrospec was a bad idea because now my fridge is practically empty and I didn't have the energy to plan out meals and go to the store.

At least I have leftovers. :)

Italian Vegetable Stew
1/2 large eggplant, chopped
1/3-1/2 large zucchini, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
5-6 baby portabello mushrooms, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced, more or less depending on how spicy you want it to be
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 lb sweet Italian sausage, optional

If using, brown the sausage in a small pan over medium heat, breaking up into smaller pieces. Cook for approximately 5-6 minutes until no longer pink.

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2-5 hours, until the vegetables are soft.

Serve hot with bread.

Serves 4-5.

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