I come from a family of picky eaters. I personally have never been this way, barring the fact that for about 5 years I was a vegetarian. I have since reformed my ways, and have incorporated fish into my diet, but still enjoy cooking with no animal protein. My family, on the other hand, makes snooty remarks like, "hippie food" etc. But recently the joke was on them, because I made a double batch of this stew, and they all LOVED it. HA.
**You will notice that none of these measurements are exact. I season this stuff to my own tastes, and I tend like things a little overseasoned, and honestly, these ingredients are so simple(Particularly if you just take them straight out of cans) you can add any combination of portion sizes you want.**
- 3 large potatoes
- ABOUT 3-3 1/2 cups of cooked black beans
- 32 oz of canned stewed tomatoes(I personally LOVE the ones that include garlic. NOT the italian ones. Just diced with garlic)
-15oz of canned corn
- ABOUT 32oz(1qt) of vegetable broth(Now, this will be more or less depending if you make your beans from scratch. If you do so, you can use some of the bean broth you will get from boiling them, thus using less veg broth. This is an EXCELLENT addition I did not have the first time around. Turns it a funky almost purple color too.)
- 2 Boca Burgers (Original Vegan)***
- ABOUT 1c shredded cheddar cheese**
- 6 Tbsp of ground cumin*
- 1/2c Tapatio*(or any hot sauce, or if you don't like spicy, you can omit altogether)
- 7-8 Tbsp Garlic powder*
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Prepare the black beans the day before the rest of your ingredients if you are planning on making them from scratch. Set these aside.
Cut your potatoes into chunks, roughly the size you would see in other stews or chowders. I've said it before, I'm not a professional, and I really do just eyeball things. Boil these until they are cooked, but still slightly firm( we don't want them going to pieces as the rest of the stew heats!). Prepare your Boca Burgers as the box dictates, and then tear into bite-size chunks.
Combine your tomatoes and corn in a seperate bowl while your potatoes are cooking. DO NOT DRAIN THEM(the juices are an important component to the flavor of the soup!), but you may season them, if you like. :) When the potatoes are completed, combine all ingredients(including your spices!) into a large stew pot. Add the vegetable broth until you have a desirable consistency. This can be just a splash, or the full 32oz depending on how you like your stew! Simmer on med low until stew is completely heated through(about ten minutes). Grab a big ol bowl and enjoy!!
*: This is really depending on your tastes. I'm sure I used more, but these measurements seemed reasonable for more delicate pallettes.
**: The cheese is a nice touch, but you may completely omit this and this stew instantly becomes vegan friendly.
***: Ground beef may be substituted here, but like I mentioned, none of my family was told EXACTLY what was in here, and these "burgers" fooled them all. Pretty sure it's the cumin giving it a really nice, rich, smoky flavor that you find in ground beef. And hey! These are less than HALF the saturated fat.
I hope you all enjoy this stew as much as my family did. I began developing this recipe a year ago, and was spurred into making it again because my grandmother needed something vegetable heavy, healthy and filling to eat due to her diabetes. Unfortunately, most of the convienience foods out there either taste like trash or are horrible for you. This soup was something she LOVED and, I kid you not, it actually LOWERED her blood sugar. Double win! I also tagged this "kid-friendly" because my 15 month old cousin, and my two-year old cousin absolutely adored it, too. Kids eating vegetables is always good!