When cooking for a family its nice to be able to work on a budget.I used to think creating tasty food on a budget was not possible. Then I remembered how growing up we never seemed to have a refrigerator full of food, yet without fail, all the meals my Mum would make us would come out tasting like a gourmet meal. Okay…maybe I am biased because that’s my Mom.
Yet I would like to challenge you to think back to the times you have really appreciated good meals you have prepared for yourself. I’m sure you have made delicious meals with the last ingredients left in the refrigerator before you have to head out and do your weekly shopping. It surprised you because you did not put much but it packed a punch.
I think the reason for this is because, sometimes it takes running out of all you have to ultimately get the best out of something. You are ultimately giving it all your best because you have no choice.
I would like to believe that we can use common, inexpensive ingredients to transform simple meals into mouth watering stews. Stews are great when cooking in bulk as they help stretch through the week, like this mushroom and carrot stew that I hope you enjoy preparing for yourself and your loved ones.
My philosophy when it comes to food is that you are the ultimate cook. You know how to cook to suit your taste buds and the flavors you like in food. Use this simply as a guide and feel free to tweak, explore and play around with it. You might even come up with a better recipe you can share with me.
3 cups mushroom
2 carrots diced lengthwise
1 clove garlic minced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. arrowroot starch
3 tsp. water
1 Tbsp. oil
1 cup stock of water
1/3 cup red cooking wine
1 Tbsp Soy sauce or Tamari
1.Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat and add the mushrooms, carrots, thyme. Allow the mushrooms to sit undisturbed for about a minute so they can brown. Stir the mushrooms and carrots to allow them to brown on both sides. The mushrooms will release their water and continue cooking until most of the water cooks off.
2. Add the olive oil and garlic and continue cooking for about 3 minutes on medium heat.
3. In a cup put the tomato paste, arrow root, 3 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. soy sauce and create a paste.
4. You will now add the paste you created and add the cooking wine ensuring that you keep stirring or it will clump together. Quickly add the stock or water and allow the food to simmer on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes until the stew thickens. Adjust the salt to your taste.
Note: If you taste it and its too tarte, add some agave or sweetener of choice to balance the flavor like 1/2 a tsp.