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Autumn Vegetable Stew

Autumn Vegetable Stew

This is a sweet, warming vegetarian stew. You can make it with either tofu or tempeh, whichever appeals more to your tastes. You may not be familiar with all of the ingredients but please take a chance with this recipe. The addition of miso, tahini and umeboshi adds a complexity to the flavors that is very satisfying. If you don't have umeboshi vinegar you can substitute apple cider vinegar instead.

For the stew:
2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 cups peeled cubed winter squash
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups cubed yams
4 cups of vegetable stock or water
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups small cauliflower florets
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons white miso diluted in 1/4 cup warm water

3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar (substitute 1 T of apple cider vinegar if need be.)
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper
3/4 cup celery, finely sliced

For the tofu marinade:
2 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound extra-firm tofu, rinsed, drained, cubed

If adding tempeh INSTEAD of tofu:
1 pound tempeh, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and sauté the onions for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add the squash, carrots, yams, and stock and bring to a boil. Add the salt. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

While the vegetables cook, in a small bowl, mix together the tofu marinade. Place the tofu on a rimmed baking sheet and coat with the tamari mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the tofu begins to turn slightly brown.

If adding tempeh instead of tofu see tempeh notes below.

Add the baked tofu and cauliflower to the pot. Stir in diluted miso, tahini, umeboshi vinegar, celery, thyme, rosemary, and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft. Add the peas just before serving and cook 3-5 minutes more until they are a bright green color. Serve immediately.

Tempeh notes:
Mix together tempeh marinade. Arrange tempeh in a pyrex baking pan and add marinade. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Substitute for tofu in menu.

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