Hello and welcome to this week’s Rootabaga reveal!
You know it’s the end of February when everything in your produce bag is either a root vegetable, greenhouse grown, an apple, or cabbage. The array of foods that can either be grown in a greenhouse or stored fresh to sustain us all winter long is amazing! And before we know it the spring’s early risers will be here, fresh spinach, greenhouse peppers, and soon after – asparagus! Until all that excitement starts, we have a new recipe to share this week for a hearty “Beefless” Mushroom Stew. It’s the perfect comfort food for warming up after a chilly February day.
The small share has most of the produce you need to make it as well as:
Crimini Mushrooms – Valley Mushrooms, spray-free
Super Sweet Carrots – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Yellow Onions – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally-grown
Superior Potatoes – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Green Cabbage – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Pea-Shoots – Bramble Hill Farm, spray-free
Ambrosia Apple – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally-grown
The large share has everything above, and includes:
3lbs of apples instead of 2lbs
A full container of microgreens instead of ½
Cucumber – Den Haan Greenhouses, conventionally grown
Hot House Tomatoes – Den Haan Greenhouses, conventionally grown
Something interesting I learned recently is that white, cremini, and portobello mushrooms are actually all the same species of mushroom – agaricus bisporus! White mushrooms and cremini are a different colour of the same young mushroom, and portobello’s are what’s harvested when they’re left to grow to maturity. However, the flavour and texture does differ slightly with white being the mildest in flavour, cremini being more “mushroomy,” and portobellos having more flavour still and a chewier texture.
If you love a hearty beef stew, you’re sure to love this mushroom version with chunks of tender onion, carrot, and celery in a rich “beefy” sauce. The savory notes of crimini mushrooms adds back some of the missing umami from the beef, as well as the chewy texture. If you make the stew, make sure you leave the mushrooms in nice big chunks so you still get the chewy texture. This recipe is adapted from an old edition of Forks Over Knives magazine.
This stew is one of my favourite comfort meals! Serve as is or with fresh biscuits if you’re feeling fancy. It makes great leftovers for lunches throughout the week, and I imagine it would also freeze well to save for another meal.
- 3 cups onions, cut into 1cm large pieces
- 2 ¼ cups carrots, cut into 1cm large pieces
- 1 cup celery, cut into 1cm large pieces
- ½ lb cremini mushrooms, cut in halves if small or quarters if large
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 6 cups white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm large pieces
- ⅓ cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dried italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup red cooking wine (optional, can sub more water)
- 1 ½ cups frozen peas
- 1 can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until the onions are translucent and start to soften. Add the mushrooms, garlic, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Cook a few minutes more, and if using, add the wine as things are starting to stick. Stir occasionally until the wine reduces and the alcohol smell burns off.
- Stir in the potatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, paprika, and black pepper. Add 5 cups of liquid (water, or broth, Snowy River Bone broth would be excellent here), if using water season with some extra salt).
- Bring the pot to a boil. Reduce to a medium-low simmer and cook with the lid on for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the green peas and white beans. Cook 5 minutes more or until the carrots and potatoes are soft.
- Transfer 2 big ladles of stew to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pot, this helps give the stew a thick creamy texture. Alternatively, use an immersion blender and do a few pulses until the stew is your desired consistency. Stir in the parsley and taste/adjust seasonings as needed.
The Bramble Hill Microgreens in this week’s Rootabaga are so versatile and keep really well in the refrigerator. Try a winter salad with roasted veggies (like carrots, beets, turnip, or potatoes cut small), crumbled Ran-Cher Acre’s goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, a maple dijon vinaigrette, and chopped microgreens. Or opt for a fresh coleslaw with shredded carrots and cabbage with chopped microgreens throughout. Just note that microgreens won’t keep well once dressed, so only add to the portions you are eating.
Cabbage is one of my favourite vegetables! It’s cheap, delicious, and ready to soak up any flavour you cook it in. Use shredded raw cabbage as the greens on fish tacos with spicy mayo (delicious with Afishionado Breaded Haddock Filets). Make corned beef. Incorporate cabbage into your brunch menu with cabbage hash browns, recipe here: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a26044120/cabbage-hash-browns-recipe/. Or try a cabbage casserole with a similar flavour profile to cabbage rolls but without all the fuss, like this one here: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a22804756/unstuffed-cabbage-casserole-recipe/.
For fruit this week we’re sharing Ambrosia apples. They’re a sweet crunchy variety. Perfect for snacking on as is or adding to salads. Another delicious way to eat apples is in Apple Cinnamon pancakes. Peel and core an apple then grate it into your favourite pancake batter, add cinnamon. Serve the pancakes with a dollop of plain yogurt, like Ran-Cher Acre goat yogurt, chopped walnuts, and maple syrup. I often make a large batch and eat them throughout the week, just store them in the fridge and pop them into the toaster to reheat for subsequent breakfasts.
Thank you, as always, for supporting us and supporting local as we strive to bring seasonally grown food to our communities.
See you next week,