Friday, June 11, 2010

White Bean Stew with Quatre Epices and Smoked Seitan Sausage plus Fun Facts Friday

Those of you that have been reading a while know that I love beans. We eat them everyday sometimes more than once. I am always looking for new ways to serve beans. Sometimes even I get tired of bean purees and want something warm and comforting. The beauty of bean stews is that they are not only easy to make and reheat but you can season them is in so many ways making them totally different from the last recipe. To this stew I added a little sliced smoked seitan. The chewy texture of the seitan adds nicely to the overall dish. I used more quatre epices to mimic the flavor of the sausage. Here is what I did:

White Bean Stew with Quatre Epices and Smoked Seitan Sausage
Serves 6


2 cups navy beans, dry
8 cups water to soak the beans
1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely minced (approximately 2 cups)
6 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and minced
¼ cup water to sauté the aromatics
6 cups water to cook the beans (or what you need to just barely cover the beans)
3 bay leaves
2 cups peeled diced tomatoes
14 ounces tomato sauce, no salt added
1 ½ teaspoons quatre epices, or to taste
2 smoked seitan sausages with quatre epices, sliced thinly


Soak the beans overnight in water. In the morning drain and rinse the beans.

Water sauté the onions and garlic until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the beans, water and bay leaves to the pot and bring the water to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the beans until they are tender the exact time will depend on the age of your beans. Add the remaining ingredients and cook uncovered for approximately 30 minutes to evaporate some of the liquid and concentrate the flavors.

Refrigerate the stew until ready to serve. Like all soups and bean dishes this is better if you make it the day before which allows the flavors to marry.

You can serve this stew over a cooked grain or as is. This would also be good finished with fresh minced parsley or cilantro and a little fresh lemon or lime juice.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories-  380.12
Calories From Fat (5%) - 17.18

Total Fat - 2g
Saturated Fat-  0.23g
Cholesterol-  0mg
Sodium-  30.59mg
Potassium - 1383.17mg
Total Carbohydrates-  62.94g
Fiber - 20.53g
Sugar - 9.78g
Protein - 30.31g


If you like bean dishes and are looking for something a little different I hope you give this a try. The flavor added by the quatre epices is hard to describe but is very pleasant while still being a bit unusual. I like to finish soups and stews with fresh citrus juice and this one is no different. We used lemon tonight but lime would be just a good. Minced herbs on top add a nice freshness to the dish. If you need to add more calories this is good served over a cooked grain, either bulgur, brown rice, millet, or quinoa would all work. If you plan to serve the stew over a grain then you should add more seasoning since adding an unflavored grain will reduce the overall flavor of the dish.

Each serving of this stew contains approximately 920IU of vitamin A, 170mg of calcium, 5.9mg of iron, 285mcg of folate, 410mg of phosphorus, 165mg of magnesium, and 15mcg of selenium. Definitely not as nutritionally dense as a meal full of green veggies but better than what most people eat. We had this tonight over quinoa with lemon and cilantro. After dinner we also had fresh veggie and fruit juice and Dan had mixed berry and kale ice cream, his new favorite treat.

Fun Facts Friday:

I almost forget today was Friday. Sometimes I can be such a ditz, LOL. Since it has been a rough week I thought I would keep fun facts Friday upbeat. Here are my questions:

1. What is your favorite movie of all time? This one is so easy for me. Hands down my favorite movie (and Dan’s) is “When Harry Met Sally”. I have seen this movie so many times and I still laugh even though I know most all the lines by heart. This movie came out the year Dan and I met and was one of the first movies we went to see together. We have seen it so many times that we will use lines from the movie regularly. For example someone said something about “Kelly Small” one day and in stereo Dan and I said, “Of the Coney Island Smalls?” We both started laughing and the other person thought we had lost our minds. Do you have any movies you love so much you know the lines by heart?

2. Other than your family (spouse, children, siblings, etc) is there someone in your life that means the world to you that you can’t imagine life without? This question is so very easy for me. It has to be my friend Louis. We have known each other a long, long time after meeting at work years ago. When things have gone wrong in my life Louis has always been the first one there to help. There have been quite a few rough patches that I don’t know what I would have done without Louis there to help me stay sane. Since I know you read this Louis, I want you know how very much you mean to me and how much I appreciate you always being there and in particular putting up with my neuroses. ;-) Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the things you do!

3. Do you like your first name and have you always; do you have any nicknames? I have to say I used to hate, hate, hate my first name. Teachers never pronounced it correctly and it used to drive me nuts (short trip). My parents pronounce it like Alicia Silverstone pronounces her name but almost no else does. The variations I have heard of my name are simply ridiculous. I can’t tell you how many times I have been called Alice? Ugh, I can’t think of many names that would be worse. As I have gotten older I learned to appreciate my name but it took me a long time and now I answer to anything that is remotely close (except Alice, you have to draw the line somewhere, LOL). In college a lot of people called me Ali; it was the era of Muffy and Chip so by comparison Ali isn’t so terrible. That is the reason I sign many of my replies Ali it was an old nickname that stuck.

What about all of you? I can’t wait to read your answers.

Unrelated Note:

Since today is Friday it means two days of relaxing with Dan (I hope he won’t be working *sigh*) and a couple of midday meal with the folks. I am planning to spend a little time in the garden if the weather cooperates. But mostly it is going to be a nice relaxing weekend.

I have a few ideas in mind for things I want to do in the kitchen, more experiments that have been in my head for a while. If time permits I hope to at least get to at least one of those this weekend. The smoked seitan sausage with quinoa has inspired me to make some of my other “crazy” ideas.

I will talk to you all later!


  1. I really like using white beans and this looks so good! Great idea to use quinoa in the sausages.

  2. dreaminitvegan,

    White beans are one of my favorites too. The quinoa worked well in the sausages. I was pleased with how everything turned out.


  3. Oh, Alicia, that stew sounds so good! It will definitely be on my list to make once cooler weather returns :-)

    Awwww...I love When Harry Met Sally! Such a good movie. I don't think I can pick just one movie...there are so many I love and know the lines to almost by heart. To pick just one would be too hard!

    Besides family? My friend Sarah...she is like a sister to me and I love her to death.

    I hate my name! I love yours--I didn't realize how you pronounced it til just now reading your post, but I think that is beautiful. I have always liked it pronounced like that. I have always hated my name. And there are no nicknames for it, so I am stuck with it, lol.

    I hope Dan didn't have to work and you are enjoying your Saturday!


  4. Oh I totally flaked out on Fun Facts Friday. I forgot what day it was! LOL. Let's see, fave movie is probably Pretty Woman. I have a friend I've known for 30+ years and consider her to be another sister and I used to hate my first and last names actually. I thought Heather was boring beyond belief and that everyone thought I was lying when I said Iacobacci as my last name.

  5. That looks like pure comfort food! Really yummy, I'm sure. And kale/berry ice cream for dessert? I think summer is here...definitely.

    Yes! I do have films/skits/shows/books that I've watched/listened to/read so many times that I know them line by line! When I was a teenager, my FAVORITE album was the soundtrack of Jesus Christ Superstar. I used to play it on my record player (yes, I said record player...we're talking vinyl here!).

    I could be singing along to it, leave my room, go downstairs, have a snack, play with the dog....all the time singing along to the soundtrack without actually hearing it all the while...and return up to my room in complete sync with the album! My brothers and I used to lip-sync to it too...v. fun. I bet I can still sing it line for line, though I haven't listened to it in decades.

    As for films...I have many favs, but my all-time, favorite has to be Franco Zeffirelli's "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" It's a feature film/period piece (not documentary) about St. Francis...beautiful cinematography of the Italian countryside...very moving...and yes, both my hubby and I know it pretty much line by line :)

    Happy weekend Ali! Sorry to get so long winded.

    Have fun!

  6. Wow, what a tasty-looking and sounding dish! I love beans as well, but I am particular fond of the white beans, so I am looking forward to trying these flavour combinations.
    Fun fact Friday:
    1. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. I love fantasy/sci-fi movies and I have these ones pretty much memorized!
    2. Animal beings including my rabbit who passed on last year - he helped me a lot as a teen and showed me the importance of the moment and opening my heart to the natural world. When he passed, it was as if I lost a best friend.
    3. I definitely had a difficult time with my name particularly because of an unflattering nickname in grade school, but now I definitely appreciate my name :). I find most people mispronounce my name which is kind of annoying though -.-

  7. Courtney,

    Yay, another when "Harry Met Sally" fan. I just love that movie, LOL.

    It is nice to have close friends isnt' it? I don't know what I would do without Louis.

    I like your name. But you are right I can't think of a nickname for it. ;-)

    Dan didn't work yesterday but it was hectic day here. I will write about it as soon as I have a chance to take a breather.

    talk to you later,

  8. Heather,

    I was surprised when you forgot fun facts Friday, LOL. But I almost forgot too and I don't have the vacation excuse.

    We have not seen Pretty Woman in years. I will need to queue that up soon. Thanks for the suggestion. :-)

    It is nice to have old friends isn't it? Being an only child my friends are very important to me.

    I like the name Heather, it reminds me of fields on flowers. I can imagine the problems people had with your last name.

    talk to you later,

  9. Rose,

    Since we are close in age I remember Jesus Christ Superstar very well. I too had that on vinyl. Though I don't think I played it as often as you did, LOL.

    Thanks for the film suggestion. I don't know that one but it sounds like something I would love. This is definitely something that I am going to look for.

    Happy weekend to you too! I hope you had good weather and were able to spend some time in the garden.

    talk to you soon,

  10. Possum,

    My hubby loves sci fi movies too. I had seen all of the ones you mentioned more than once, but not because I selected them, LOL. By now I probably know many of the lines by heart. ;-)

    So sorry your rabbit friend passed. I had a big white rabbit as a child that lived to be 7 years old. He was a part of the family. I also had a cat for 21 years that we all adored. When he passed I was no good for weeks. I still miss him and he died in 1999.

    I find people are more likely to get my name wrong than right. Not that I think it is that difficult. It bothers me much less now than it used to. But Alice still irks me, LOL.


  11. The bean stew looks great--I think I'll soak some beans right now. I'm always forgetting to soak them or nuts the night before. I'm such a last-minute cook.

    I can't think of a favorite movie, maybe because I've never been good with movie quotes or song lyrics. But I feel due to see a good one! If I ever get around to renting...

    My girlfriend of almost 30 years means the most to me, other than my husband and family. And now we live closer than ever before, so hopefully we'll be getting together more often!

    I always liked my name, mainly because other people seem to like it. Sometimes I was called Lori, but my mom discouraged it and I had no nicknames. I miss my maiden name, which many people mispronounced. I like your name a lot, pronounced either way (I can't think of more than two ways, but I guess other people did!).

  12. Laura,

    I am definitely a last minute cook too. I change my mind so many times before I actually make dinner there isn't much reason to start anything ahead of time. ;-)

    No favorite movie? I can't imagine. I am not a big movie person but definitely have my favorites.

    How wonderful that you now live close to your friend of so many years, I would love that! My girlfriend from 30 years ago lives in San Fran so I never see her. It is sad we were inseparable for many years, but distance makes a difference. :-/

    Thanks for the name compliment I have grown to like it too. I like the name Laura as well. People have gotten very creative with my name. The one I get most often is "a-lish-a" with both a's being soft as in ah. How does anyone come up with that? Still better than Alice though, LOL.

    talk to you later,

  13. I'm late, but I still wanted to participate.

    1. My favorite movie of all time is "Say Anything." It has it all: love, humor, John Cusack, great quotes, and sincere, believable writing. Plus, it prominently features Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," which is my love's and my song. :)

    2. Most of the people who mean the world to me are family or my boyfriend, but I guess otherwise, it's my friend Beth from college. We were roommates our first two years, and knowing her has made me a better, more interesting person. Also, she's hilarious, brilliant, and totally one of a kind.

    3. I love my first name, but I didn't always. I used to want to change it to Bridget just to make it easier, though I finally realized that would make it more convenient for other people and not better for me. Having a weird name that is hard to spell can be annoying, but I've gotten used to it. I also have an unusual middle name that I love. I don't really have any nicknames. Some people (mostly family) call me Brig or Brigie, but nearly everyone calls me Brigid.

  14. Brigid,

    I don't know that movie, but it sounds like something I would enjoy. Thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely check it out.

    What a nice thing to say about your friend Beth. I can't think of a better compliment than knowing someone makes you a better person.

    I think all of us with "unusual" names wanted to be like everyone else when we were younger. Like you now I like my name too. But it would be nice if people got it right more often. ;-)

    I hope you are having a good Monday, :-)


Related Posts with Thumbnails