fake beef stewYou can, of course, do the same thing with meat if you like, but there are a thousand recipes for beef stews out there. You can also use seitan as a beef substitute if you don’t have a problem with gluten.

You will need a large slow cooker or a pot you can put on very low simmer and a large saute pan.

1.5 cups chopped celery
1.5 cups chopped onion
1.5 cups chopped carrots.5 lb French beans (or regular string beans), ends trimmed and beans cut in half horizontally
2 baking potatoes, scrubbed & cut into 1-inch cubes or slightly smaller
2 Tbs oil*
Garlic to taste*
1 12-oz container of Pacific Naturals Organic Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1.25 cups vegetable broth (I like Better Than Bouillon, but it contains soy sauce so it may not be for you if you’re very gluten-sensitive)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup of red wine (currently, my favorite for this recipe is Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano, which we refer to as “wine on a stick”)
1 dry cup of Beef (Not!) strips (do not reconstitute before cooking)
Salt, pepper, herbs and spices to taste

*I don’t mess around with oil and garlic. I begin virtually every recipe with these two ingredients (unless the first two are butter and sugar), so we keep large containers of Rick Bayless’s garlic mojo in the fridge at all times. So when I saute this particular mirepoix, I use a tablespoon of mojo and a tablespoon of canola oil.

Saute celery, onion, and carrots until onions clear but have not yet begun to brown. Add beans. Saute until onions brown. Scoop out (leaving as much oil as possible in pan) and put into slow cooker. Saute potatoes in leftover oil (add more if necessary) until brown but not cooked. Put into the slow cooker.

Add cream of mushroom soup, diced tomatoes, and wine to slow cooker.** Pour some vegetable broth into still-hot saute pan and use to deglaze. Then pour all stock into slow cooker. Add salt, pepper, and herbs. (I use grey sea salt because it’s strong so you don’t need much, and blended Italian herbs because they’re easy.)

Cook on high for two hours or until the potatoes are cooked through.

Enjoy! As with most soups and stews, this tastes even better the next day.

**I don’t like a particularly thick base, but if you do, you can start this with a roux using gluten-free flour or you can thicken with cornstarch.