Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Not-Quite Ukrainian Beet and Bean Stew

Last week me and the mr. trekked out to the library book sale, and I was able to stock up on bargain-basement-priced cookbooks, one of which was Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites. Having read on one of my favorite blogs about how great her Moosewood cookbook is, I got it. Now, my normal cookbook relationship is to flip to the index and see how I can use up the vegetables in my fridge before they go bad. So, looking under B for beets I found Ukrainian stew.

I made a lot of omissions and substitutions. Cabbage and celery were just eradicated, plain potatoes replaced with sweet; caraway seeds with cumin (Google advised on the last one), among other things. So here's my modified version:

Ukrainian Beet and Bean Stew
Serves 4
Modified from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites

1 teaspon canola oil
1 medium onion
2 C water or vegetable stock
1/2 C sliced carrots
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 large beets, peeled and chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can black beans (original called for kidney beans)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 C chopped leek

Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and saute for a few minutes. Add 1/2 C water, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add carrots, stir, and simmer for another 5.
Add the rest of the water, potatoes, beets, tomatoes, cumin, vinegar and salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for roughly 35 minutes. You're done when the beats are tender.
Add the pepper while it's still hot, garnish with the leeks.

The end result is a sweet stew. For me I enjoyed it because it was such a departure from my usual vegetables - broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and zucchini. I served it with the Leak and Bean Cassoluet biscuits from Veganomicon.

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