Blue in the Sky

A lesbian wife and mother tries her hand at something new. Surely there is a hat that fits out there somewhere!

Connecting with my Inner Chef Sunday January 31, 2010

Filed under: Food Glorious Food,The Chef — The Professor @ 1:14 pm

I don’t know if it’s the snow (we’ve got a little more than 10 inches on the ground) or the fact of my being emotionally unemployed (I coined this phrase during a crying jag this morning – I’m clearly SO over that place), but I’ve been cooking.  Tonight will make three nights in a row.  I’m not sure when I last accomplished such a feat.

Last night we had Beef & Sweet Potato stew which was just the thing for a snowy day.  They say it serves 6, I say we had a healthy serving left over.  ONE healthy serving.  Yum.  Here’s the recipe:


  • 1 pound lean beef boneless chuck or stew beef, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups peeled sweet potatoes, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • dash ground allspice
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks, or 12 frozen small white onions, thawed
  • 1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes, undrained
  • 8 dried apricots, cut in half
  • chopped fresh parsley


Trim any excess fat from beef; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Brown beef in the hot oil, stirring to brown all sides.

In a 4 to 5-quart crockpot, combine browned beef with sweet potatoes, garlic, allspice, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, onion, and tomatoes. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours, or until beef is tender. Stir in apricots.

Cover and cook on low about 20 minutes or until apricots are softened. Discard bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Sprinkle a little fresh parsley over the stew just before serving.

Serves 6.

Tonight we are entering the land of vegan meatloaf.  I’m appropriately frightened, but optimistic.  We found this recipe in the January Vegetarian Times.  I’m hoping it looks something like this:


  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.) divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 Tbs. herbes de provence
  • 1 15-oz. can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 8-oz pkg. tempeh
  • 1/4 tsp vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce


Preheat oven to 350^F. Coat large loaf pan with olive oil cooking spray. Bring 1/2 cup oats, 1 tsp. garlic, bay leaf, and 1 cup water to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 10 minutes, or until oatmeal is thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, remove bay leaf, and set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute 3 to 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add herbes de Provence and remaining 1 tsp. garlic, and saute 1 minute more. Add chopped tomatoes and juice. Crumble tempeh into mixture and stir in vinegar and sugar. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Transfer tempeh mixture to food processor, add cooked oatmeal, and blend until combined. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups oats and baking powder, and pulse until combined.

Spread oat mixture in prepared loaf pan. Spray top with olive oil cooking spray, and pour marinara sauce over top. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until top begins to brown and marinara sauce is hot and bubbly.


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