I am a total savory person. Yup, I love to bake, but 95% of the joy I take in mixing up a batch of sweet treats in the happiness it brings others. The remaining 5% we can attribute to licking the spoon.
However, something comes over me every single December and I become a total and utter cookie fiend. The second coming of Cookie Monster, if you will give me that very obvious (and mildly sacrilegious) analogy. Part of it is just the heightened availability – parties, gifts, cookie exchanges – but it also just feels festive to eat cookies. “But it’s the holidays!”
Anyway, these last two paragraphs are totally misleading because by now you’re probably looking forward to a sweet cookie recipe and wondering how I could have possibly mis-labeled this post so very incorrectly, but sorry my friends, veggie stew it is.
Veggie stew is the ANSWER to my holiday cookie issue. It’s the ying to my baked goods’ yang. It’s super filling, warm and comforting, and despite its lackluster appearance, completely delicious.
And it’s just about the healthiest thing you could ever put in your body. Dairy free! Fat free! Gluten free! Cholesterol free! So cheap it’s practically free!
Here’s the jist of it:
Buy a ton of vegetables. Whatever combination you’d like, but I do think you should use something a bit starchy, like sweet potatoes, to ensure that it has a nice, thick consistency. Unpictured are the already chopped onion and garlic, which I would also recommend including in your combo for flavor. And have a glass of wine while you’re at it, you deserve it.
Wash everything, chop it all into chunks, then put it all in a large, heavy pot.
Add a quarter cup of water, whatever herbs tickle your fancy, and a generous pinch of salt. Or no salt, if you want sodium-free, but I think we’re being healthy enough here.
Heat over a medium flame, covered, for about an hour. The vegetables will start to break down, and you can use a potato masher to make it the consistency that you want. Stir every once in a while to ensure it all cooks evenly and mash it up as the veggies start to soften.
Not very scientific, I know, but trust me when I assure you this would be very difficult to screw up. This amounted to 6 very large bowls of hearty stew that left me absolutely stuffed and annoyingly smug about my uber-healthy meal choice. I did bastardize it’s cleanliness a bit with a Laughing Cow wedge and Thai chili sauce, but that’s 35 processed calories I can live with.
With this for lunch, I can happily indulge in a cookie a day and still fit into holiday party dresses without tears and a pair of pliers to zip me up. And it’s GOOD! So yes, I am having my cookie and eating it too.