Here’s a quick one for your meatless weekday dinner database. You might even have most of the ingredients you need already, as this stew consists mostly of canned/frozen and pantry items. Thus, this isn’t ultra-refreshing like a gazpacho made from just-picked, vine-ripened tomatoes and water harvested from a waterfall near some mystical glacier that somehow doesn’t contain any sediments, pollution, or pathogens. But this stew is made out of high-fibre, high-micronutrient, high-protein, low-bad fat, low-fast sugar ingredients. It’s inexpensive, satisfying, and delicious. It is a great meal for those of us who work for a living.
If you are not a fan of veggie ground round, I understand; you don’t need to include it in this dish (and that would make it gluten-free). The stew would also go well with fresh spinach, kale, or swiss chard instead of frozen. Also, you could always use traditional cheese instead of dairy-free if you allow it in your diet.
Vegan Italian ‘Sausage’, Chick Pea, and Spinach Baked Stew
Adapted from Pretty Kitten’s Kitchen
Time: 45 minutes
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1 medium onions, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried red chili flakes
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 600 ml (2 cans) cooked chick peas, drained and rinsed
- 300 g (1 package) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 350 g (1 package) veggie ground round
(I used Yves regular, which is not gluten-free)
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 800 ml (1 large can) pureed tomatoes
- 400 ml cup veggie broth or water
- 1 Tbsp ketchup
- 150 g dairy-free cheese, in shreds
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C / 400 °F.
- Using a pestle and mortar, crush the fennel seeds just so they crack to release more flavour.
- In a pan over medium heat, fry the crushed fennel seeds in oil for 1 minute.
- Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes or until translucent.
- Add the garlic, oregano, parsley, chili flakes, paprika, and cumin. Mix thoroughly while letting the spices toast for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and turn off the heat.
- In a large bowl, mix the sautéed aromatics, chick peas, spinach, veggie ground round, and black pepper.
- Fold in the pureed tomatoes, veggie broth/water, and ketchup.
- Transfer the mixture to a casserole or pie dish. Cover with the dairy-free cheese shreds.
- Bake the stew for 30 minutes, or until stew is bubbly and ‘cheese’ is melted.
- Serve hot and, if you like, with bread, pasta, rice, or potato.