Vegetarian Cooking With Beer
Here's my take on some healthy foods that pack
plenty of flavor.  Try these easy to cook recipes
and you won't be disappointed.  And of course,
don't forget my golden rule -
when in doubt use more beer!
Beer Four Grain Tomato Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 large celery stalks, finely diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
One 28-ounce can pureed or crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup bulgur
1/4 cup wild rice
1/4 cup millet or quinoa
1/4 cup pearl or pot barley
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons all-purpose seasoning blend (such as Spike or Mrs. Dash)
2 cups water
16 oz. pale ale or IPA
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a soup pot.
Add the onion and sauté over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the celery, carrots, sweet potato, tomatoes, the four grains,
bay leaves, and seasoning blend.
Stir in beer and water and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat, cover, and
simmer gently for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so.

If the soup is too dense, adjust with additional water and return to a gentle
simmer. Add the dill and season with salt and pepper.

Simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes longer,
or until the grains and vegetables are tender.

Serves 8
Potatoes and Beer Stew

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 teaspoon salt-free all-purpose seasoning
3/4 pounds seitan cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup frozen green peas, completely thawed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pint of Imperial IPA or Strong Ale

Heat half of the oil in a large soup pot.
Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until the onion is golden.
Add beer along with the potatoes, carrots, bouillon cube, and seasoning.
Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes,

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet.
Add the seitan pieces and saute over medium-high heat, stirring frequently,
until most sides are nicely browned and crisp.

Once the vegetables are done, use the back of a wooden spoon to mash
enough of the potatoes to thicken the base of the stew.
Stir in the sauteed seitan and peas.

Season with salt and pepper then serve in shallow bowls.
Serves 6-7
Beer Sautéed Tofu

16-ounce tub extra-firm tofu
1 tablespoon olive oil or other healthy vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup pale ale

Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Blot well between clean tea-towels or several layers of
paper towel, and cut into 1/2-inch dice.

Slowly heat the oil, beer, and soy sauce together in a wide skillet,
stirring together as they heat.

Add the tofu and stir quickly to coat with the liquid.
Sauté  over medium-high heat until golden-brown and crisp on most sides,
about 10 minutes, and serve alone or over rice.
Give these recipes a try and you won't be
disappointed.  They are quick, easy, and fun to cook.  
And remember, when in doubt just use more beer!
Be seeing you.....
For good beer and vegetarian food Elaine recommends the
Gaslight Brewery and Restaurant, 15 So. Orange Ave, South Orange, NJ
Elaine Alexander  -  wine, beer and culinary writer
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