Dude food: Southwestern stew

South Western Stew-MargauxDrake 2It doesn’t get much easier than this as far as warm, hearty, comfort food goes. Saunter on over to the grocery store today to grab the few ingredients that you don’t already have. Toss them in the slow cooker tomorrow, all sexy like, to make the man in your life 50 shades of happy for Valentine’s Day.

Southwestern Stew
Makes 3 quarts

2 cups white beans (navy and/or lima)
1 medium white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 16 oz jar of Pace Salsa, medium
1 10 ounce box of frozen cut spinach
1 9 ounce bag of Beyond Chicken, 100% plant protein (or 2 grilled chicken breasts)
1 7 ounce bag of Go Veggie Monterey Jack & Cheddar flavor shreds
2 tablespoons cumin, ground
1 tablespoon coriander, ground
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground
sea salt to taste

Wash the beans and quickly inspect them for any discolorations, mold or stones. Discard anything funky. Once you’ve given them the thumbs up, place them in a stock pot and cover them with purified water. Bring them to a boil then turn the heat down to medium and let them simmer. While the beans are cooking, chop the onion and garlic, toss them into the pot with the beans and assemble the other ingredients. After an hour or so, check the beans and make sure to add more water, a cup at a time, if they are looking dry. Once beans are softened transfer them to a slow cooker. Add the salsa, spinach, Beyond Chicken, veggie cheese, spices and sea salt. Set the slow cooker on medium and it will be ready to serve when the stew is warmed through, which will be in about an hour. The stew may be left in the slow cooker on warm for hours. Add more salsa if it is looking dry. Serve it with some corn chips and his favorite brew.

Please, for the love of God, never buy a can of beans. They are way more expensive than their dehydrated counterparts and sometimes contain weird ingredients that you don’t need or want. I always feel like an epic failure if I back myself into the corner and need to break down and buy a can or two (gasp). Keep lots of dry legumes on hand and just plan a night ahead if you are using a slow cooker to rehydrate the beans or a couple of hours ahead if you are using the stovetop. There is magic in some water and time spent simmering. You don’t need to stand guard. Just check in from time to time to make sure they don’t dry out.

This recipe can be made by the truckload, just in case he’s really hungry or you have multiple Valentines, like three kids too;)