Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Summer Garden Vegetable Stew For The Soul...
As much as I hate sharing bad stuff here, you all really know how to make a girl feel better! Knowing that you all cared enough to say something nice for my husband and the passing of his uncle really means a lot to my family. Thank you all so much. Needless to say, this week is full of family gatherings and strolls down memory lane. I think remembering someone at there best is such a great way to show appreciation. Tony and I have talked about he and his uncle a lot the past few days. He is the man that actually taught Tony (the illustrator) how to oil paint and bought him his first set of oil paints. He will always hold a special place in our hearts.

I'm going to try to move forward this summer and really appreciate the little things. We have a lot going on along with a lot of change, but we are all together and moving in a direction that's good for our family. So, with that, the first little thing I am focusing on is...the's over flowing with squash and zucchini right now! Expect to see more recipes with these jewels of the garden. My father-in-law cracks me up. He likes to take me to the garden and show me what's growing, but I can't touch it. Luckily, I'm allowed to cook and eat the bounty!

Remember I said I made a vegetable stew on Sunday? Well, this is what I've been loving as far as leftovers go...

The great thing about cooking with fresh from the garden produce is that it makes a great tasting,  quick refreshing meal!

This stew came together in about 30 minutes and really the chopping took the longest. Chopping is definitely a form of therapy for me. This included zucchini, squash, onion, potatoes and carrots from the garden. The rest was stuff we had in the pantry. I wish I had some chickpeas or quinoa to add to it, but it was still tasty without. I smothered mine in nutritional yeast and it was perfect for a Sunday evening...

Summer Garden Vegetable Stew
(makes 16 cups)

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 24 oz jar pasta sauce (I used Classico Fire Roasted Tomato and Garlic)
3 lbs summer squash, diced (I used zucchini and yellow squash)
12 oz potatoes, diced
10 oz carrots, diced
7 oz onion, diced
4 cups water
1 tsp garlic powder

Put everything in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes and carrots are cooked through, about 20 minutes.

See! Easy! I don't normally go for the jarred seasonings in my soups, but the sauce really made it easy and tasty!

Confession...for the record, I ate the rest of the zucchini muffins before Tony got any (not that day, but as of today I finished them off). He asked me if I would make more. In my defense, he's been busy and well, I didn't want the muffins to be lonely. I guess I will suffer through making another batch...if I have to...

What's one of the little things you've been enjoying lately? 

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:30 AM  
  • At June 22, 2011 at 7:56 AM, Anonymous Madeline- Greens and Jeans said…

    Man, even though it's wicked humid here, that stew still looks SO good! Of course, comfort food is seasonless in my book!

  • At June 22, 2011 at 8:24 AM, Blogger Heather Iacobacci-Miller said…

    That stew actually looks oddly appealing despite the heat. Maybe it's all the veggies.

  • At June 22, 2011 at 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg said…

    Haha...I would have eaten all of the muffins too :-)

  • At June 22, 2011 at 10:01 AM, Anonymous Cait's Plate said…

    Appreciating the little things is definitely the way to go. And just reminiscing and remembering all the happy/funny times. I hope you and Tony heal together throughout this summer :)

    On a happier note, that Vegetable Stew looks stellar! So fresh and comforting!

    As for my little things...I'd say taking a walk on a nice night, spending time with my family, eating something REALLY good or even just having a great sleep. It doesn't take much :)

  • At June 22, 2011 at 10:18 AM, Blogger Lisa said…

    I'm so with you on keeping focus on appreciating the little things in life. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the muck...but when you lose someone important to you, it's a reminder about what's really important in life.
    My friend just lost his bro to cancer, and his grandma the next day (and had lost another bro to a car accident a year ago)'s just so sad, it makes me want to hug everyone in my family and tell them how much I love them!

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us--I always can use the reminders!

  • At June 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM, Anonymous Gina @ Running to the Kitchen said…

    That stew looks delicious and summery!

  • At June 22, 2011 at 11:55 AM, Blogger becomingbianca said…

    That veggie stew looks scrumptious! And zucchini muffins sound amazing! Lately I've been indulging in Double Stuff Oreos. It's SO WRONG - I know. I somehow left a Father's Day gathering with a half-eaten bag of them and so now I've been polishing them off... I think I might have to counter that with a nice large helping of this stew!

  • At June 22, 2011 at 12:03 PM, Blogger Emily said…

    That stew looks like something I would love - yum!

    I've really been enjoying reading lately; despite the recent purchase of my new tv, I've been having quiet nights on the couch reading and its been so nice.

    Keep on smiling, Sarena. :)

  • At June 22, 2011 at 1:02 PM, Blogger Heather said…

    I crave soup and stew in the summer - not sure why! I think I just use it as a reason to make corn bread. :)
    Keep your head up, Sarena. We're all thinking about you and your family...

  • At June 22, 2011 at 5:54 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    family and food can be so comforting in those times. And if your making the food, then its filled with love. Enjoy the all those little things Sarena and your family, even in the hard times.

  • At June 23, 2011 at 6:28 PM, Anonymous Pure2raw twins said…

    stew looks great, and we tend to always eat a whole batch of recipe we make too ;)

    and Michelle is heading to ATL this weekend, so sad you are not there :(

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Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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