This is a recipe for an easy gluten free, vegan stew. No joke, this post took hours to write (and rewrite and write again). How can you really communicate how awesome stew can be if you leave out the meat? Like, how do you convince someone that all they have to do is boil a few vegetables in some seasoned broth, and they’ll have an amazing family meal? It feels like a trick question on an exam. Can anything in life really be that simple?
Take the meat out of stew and you’ve slashed both the cost and the amount of work. No cutting or browning meat, no simmering for hours to make sure the cheap cut you got is finally tender, or spending extra money on a less tough cut that you’re just going to boil anyway. With the right seasonings, you don’t sacrifice any flavor. The flavor from stew comes from the vegetables and the seasoning anyway. The meat is really just there because, well, it’s “supposed” to be.
This stew is perfect for so many reasons. It’s easy, you chop vegetables and boil them. It’s cheap, we can often find potatoes on sale for 5lb for a dollar. Onions, carrots, and lentils are always very cheap here. It’s filling, as filling as a big bowl of potatoes. And it’s very flavorful. Because the McCormicks seasoning and A1 sauce give it a “meat stew” flavor, it’s great if you’re also feeding omnivores. With the obvious exception of the missing meat chunks, you can’t tell that it’s a vegan stew. It’s versatile, you can increase the amounts for feeding bigger groups. This recipe serves 3-4, but you can easily double it and cook it in a bigger pot. You could also make less, but it’s fantastic warmed over. Keep it in the fridge for 3-5 days and reheat it for lunch.
See, it seems just too easy.
You’re going to recognize the ingredients. I’ve explained them to keep with the format of the rest of the blog, and honestly because it’s more fun to unnecessarily explain potatoes than it is to unload the dishwasher.
The potato is a naturally gluten free and vegan root vegetable. It has more potassium than a banana and is packed with vitamin C. Are you tired of spending money on weird sources of “resistant starch”? No need, there’s lots in a potato. A potato can be boiled, mashed, baked, stuffed, fried, stewed, and made into a soup. Some might say it’s the perfect food. In this recipe I use 3 medium-large potatoes. Usually about 4ish inches long each. I wash them, peel them, and then chop them into bite sized pieces.
Man, carrots are great, aren’t they? In this recipe they add color and flavor. I use the cheapo orange carrots, but if you want to impress fancy friends, you can buy carrots in a variety of colors. This recipe uses 2 or 3 medium carrots. Peel them and slice them into rounds between ½” to 1” long.
I use regular old yellow onion in this recipe (the kind that come in the orange mesh bag), but you can use a sweet onion if you like a milder flavor. Cut it into chunks if you like to bite into onion, or dice it if you just want the taste. No need to brown these, the flavor comes out really well while the stew simmers. This recipe calls for half an onion. If you’re a really big onion fan, add the whole thing.
Celery is almost like a seasoning in soups and stews. It adds its own mild flavor and slightly crunchy texture to this stew. I use one stalk and cut in into much smaller pieces than I do the carrots or potato. Look at the color of your celery, dark green stalks have a stronger flavor and are often tougher, this makes them great for stew. Save those pale celery hearts for snacking on raw. 🙂
I get the store brand vegetable broth in the paper box. It costs about $1.50. This recipe uses one 4 cup box. I find that Target and Walmart’s broth are saltier than Trader Joe’s, so I keep that in mind when I season.
McCormick’s Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Spice
This stuff is amazing. Not sure what else to say about it. It really gives the stew a “meaty” flavor, so it’s a perfect add in if you have non-vegans at your table. It also helps make this a great recipe for new vegans.
I’m going to be very honest here. The lentils in this recipe are completely unnecessary for taste. They add some texture and protein, but if you hate lentils, you can leave them out. “Lentils” is a catch all word for a variety of legumes. In this recipe you’re going to use green or brown lentils (the ones that are usually in the generic store brand packaged labeled “lentils”) not the ones that are bright orange. Because lentils (and other legumes) sometimes stay hard if you boil them in a salty broth, I suggest boiling them in water in another pot while the stew is cooking and mix them in at the end. Some people recommend sorting and washing, and at one time this was necessary to avoid sand and stones in your lentils, but it isn’t usually required anymore in North America. If you’re buying lentils from an international source, you might want to look through for stones, but in my experience, they’re rare.
Traditionally, we have always poured a little bit of A1 steak sauce into our stew. It just adds that little bit of extra flavor, a little sweet and a little spicy. It’s worth trying if you haven’t already.
Hearty Potato and Carrot Stew – vegan, gluten free
3 medium-large potatoes
1 celery stalk
4 cups Vegetable broth (one regular carton)
1 Tblsp McCormick’s Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Spice
⅓ cup brown lentils
2 cups water
A1 sauce to taste
Salt to taste
Peel potatoes and carrots and cut into bite sized pieces.
Peel onion and cut to desired size (diced if you just want the flavor, bite sized if you like larger onion pieces)
Wash celery and slice into ¼ inch slices.
Put vegetables, broth, water, and McCormick’s Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Spice into a medium sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes).
As soon as you start the stew cooking, add the lentils and water to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until lentils are soft (about 20 minutes).
Drain lentils and add to stew.
Add salt to taste.
Serve in bowls and top with A1 sauce if desired.
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I'm a wife, mom of four, homeschooler and world traveler.
I've been gluten free for almost 20 years and I share tips and recipes especially for gluten free beginners on knowgluten.me