Friday, February 4, 2011

Margaret's Stew

When someone asks, "What's your favorite meal?" I always answer:

A home-cooked meal that I didn't cook.

When someone makes a home-cooked meal, there's a lot that goes into it.

First, one must decide what to make--taking into consideration likes and dislikes plus dietary constrictions, check the pantry to see what is needed, compile a grocery list, go to the market, then come home and do the cooking, and finally, clean it all up.

When someone goes to the trouble to do that for ME, I am so happy, it makes me feel really special.

Yesterday, my sister and my mom came over to cook with me, and it was so much fun.

I'm calling this dish Margaret's Stew.

When my sister was planning her visit home, she thought about what we could make together and brought this recipe. Her daughter is one of my two nieces that asked if I would join them in becoming vegetarians. We are now in our second year.

We each may have different reasons for not eating meat, but I have found it relatively easy to do because we're doing it together.

What I'm calling Margaret's Stew is a recipe called Mushroom, Peanut, Tofu Stew with Greens and comes from the Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health cookbook. My sister makes it for her family and her omnivores like it too.


1 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion
1.5 cups chopped celery
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups sliced white mushrooms
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
3 cups water
16-oz firm tofu, diced
3 cups chopped fresh greens
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

To a heated soup pot, you're going to add the oil along with the onions, celery and salt. Saute until soft.

Stir in the mushrooms and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are wilted.

Add the tomatoes, water and tofu.

My mom brought over tomatoes she had in her freezer that my dad grew last summer. Home grown tomatoes taste the best!

Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently.

Mix the peanut butter with some of the hot broth and stir until smooth.

Mix it with a little bit of broth first, like you mixed the miso for misoshiru, then add more broth as the mixture loosens up.

Add the greens according to how long they'll take to cook. If you're using kale, cabbage or collards, add with the tomatoes, if you're using spinach, add it at the end with the cilantro.

We're using napa, it takes only about five minutes.

When the greens are tender, stir in the peanut butter and cilantro.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.


This soup is delicious and the broth is outstanding!

It warmed me all the way down to my toes.

That's why I'm calling it Margaret's Stew.

Light comfort food.

My mom and my sister have a lot in common.

They are both gentle souls with a calm, reserved manner, fun, funny, talented, humble, thoughtful and patient.

They both think of dishes to make especially for me that warm me all the way to my toes.

Yesterday I posted a photo of my sister, today, my favorite picture of my mom.

I love you both.
I don't know what I'd do without you.


  1. Wonderful photo of your mom. She looks like she has a good sense of humor.

    The stew looks so flavorful, I think I can taste it......cyber eating is just not the same.