Today’s topic is one of our most amazing products, Vegetable Stew Blend. This simple product will make your life so much easier! Don't let the phrase, “stew” box you in to thinking you can only use it for beef stew. “Stew” is a term describing a method of food preparation. It means to cook by simmering or slow boiling. To prepare Vegetable Stew Blend alone, you need to boil it in water and then let it simmer for 15-20 minutes (according to package directions). This is why it’s called a stew. Read on to learn how to easily incorporate this blast of healthy vegetables into daily cooking and even get a recipe!
I discover a new product, I look at what it consists of. The label
lists the ingredients as: Potato dices, cabbage flakes, chopped onions,
carrot dices, celery slices, red and green bell peppers. I recognize
everything and notice a lack of names I am unfamiliar with. This tells
me it is only vegetables, no fillers or anything else. When you open the
container, you’ll find dehydrated vegetables in smaller pieces and
oxygen absorbers (those are part of what help keep the product have a
longer shelf life; just discard them when you open the container).
Unopened, this product has a 25 year shelf life. Plus, I know it is a
product I can rotate because it can easily be added into my everyday
meals, providing more nutrition for my family. There is a nice plastic
lid that fits tightly on top so I can put it in my cupboard once it’s
opened without having to re-package it. The Vegetable Stew Blend comes
in two different sizes, a #10 can and a 6 gallon pail/bucket.
HOW TO USE
I like to stir the mix before using to make sure I get all the variety of vegetables in each use. I then use a measuring cup to scoop out my desired amount. One forth cup equals a serving and the suggested preparation is 1 part Vegetable Stew Blend to 4 parts water. The directions recommend adding your mix to cold water, bringing it to a boil and letting it simmer for 15-20 minutes. If you like to microwave things you can place your Vegetable Stew Blend and water in a microwave safe bowl, cook on high for 5 minutes (stir it at 3 minutes). Then let the mix sit so it can “simmer” in the microwave. To save time, if I am making a beef stew or soup I just add the mix to my liquid before I start to cook them. This works on my stove top as well as in my crock pot. When I use Stew Blend, I use 1 cup of mix and increase my liquid by 2 cups. This creates a very hearty soup or stew and my family likes the density. You can increase the water amount if you’d rather have it less dense; it’s all based on your preference.
If I want to add more vegetables into my family’s diet, I toss in some prepared mix with my meatloaf, stuffing, scrambled eggs, lasagna, manicotti, cheeseballs, spinach dips, and potato au gratin or even add it to a rice and chicken casserole. To each of those recipes I add about 1 cup of prepared vegetable stew. It adds nutritional value, color and enhances the flavor without being too over powering. This product can be added to a number of dishes because it is so versatile.
The reason why I think it is so brilliant is because of the amount of time I save by not having to go out and buy individual vegetables, wash, peel and chop them all – I can just open the container and throw them into a variety of dishes, it’s so quick and easy. I love sneaking red and green peppers into my children’s meals; as picky as they are, they haven’t even noticed a difference in our favorite dishes (like meatloaf).
If you haven’t tried Vegetable Stew Blend yet, you can try it with the recipe below. If you have tried it, share with us what you’ve used it in.
Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
4 c chicken stock
1 c Vegetable Stew Blend (not prepared)
1 c sliced carrots
2 big potatoes, diced
1 c frozen corn
1 c frozen peas
2 T chicken bouillon
3 T cornstarch
2-3 chicken breasts, baked, cubed
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place chicken stock, Vegetable Stew Blend, carrots, potatoes on stove; bring to a boil. Add corn, peas, chicken bouillon, cornstarch, chicken, salt and pepper; simmer 20-25 minutes, stirring often. Place in 9x13 pan.
2 c flour
1 t salt
1 c shortening
2 T lemon juice
1 ¼ T water
Combine flour, salt and shortening by cutting into it with 2 knives until pea-sized. Add remaining ingredients; mix with a hand mixer until well mixed. Roll out, place on top of chicken mix. Doesn’t need to look perfect. Poke fork holes in the top of crust. Bake at 375 degrees F, 30-35 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.