The one I chose this week was a recipe. I got back from vacation and hadn't gone to the grocery store, so the fridge was looking awfully empty. I found some dried beans in the pantry and put them on to cook in the slow cooker. Then I went to Pinterest for some inspiration.
I found a recipe for Great Northern Bean stew, and miraculously, I had most of the ingredients. Anyone who has ever been around me when I'm cooking knows that it's practically impossible for me to follow a recipe exactly. I always adapt, substitute, or in some other way make the recipe my own. This one was no different. I can't say it worked out exactly as planned, but it was edible.
First of all, it called for canned beans, which I didn't use. I put the beans in the Crock-Pot with 3x the water and an onion. Then I left it to cook. I checked it a few times, since I was home all day. It seemed like the beans were taking forever to soften up. So I left it alone for a few hours. When I came back, the beans were completely cooked. Oops...I was supposed to add some vegetables somewhere along the way.
I had to take the beans out and set them aside. Then I put the veggies in the slow-cooker with some water and left for about an hour. When I came back, the water wasn't even boiling. I had to abandon the slow-cooker and put them in a pot on the stove. They still took ages to cook! Meanwhile, my husband had come home. Luckily, he was patient as I checked the veggies every 5 minutes for what seemed like an hour. I didn't have enough carrots, so I used the quarter bag of baby carrots I had in the fridge and added a turnip in place of the rest. I also used fresh basil, since we have plenty. I added about 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil before it cooked, then added another 2 tbs of fresh basil and cilantro about 5 minutes before it was done. I added the beans back in, and a little bit of extra cloves. I didn't have frozen corn, so I cut kernels off an ear of fresh corn that was lurking in the vegetable drawer while I was on vacation. Also, since I used dried beans instead of canned, I had to add some extra salt.
Thankfully, it turned out quite edible. I don't know that I'll make it again, as I like stews with more vegetables. But this one wasn't bad. It's quite filling, and vegetarian for those interested.
Here's the original recipe from Greener Eating via Pinterest, along with my adaptations in parentheses.
3 c. water (I used 2 cups of dried beans, so 6 cups of water, more later for cooking the veggies)
1 T. vegetable broth powder (I skipped this)
1 to 2 c. potatoes, diced (I used probably 3 cups)
2 carrots, diced or grated (here I used 1 large turnip and a handful of chopped baby carrots)
1 large sweet onion, chopped (I cooked one in the beans, and added another small one w/ veggies)
1 clove garlic, minced (1/2 t. fridge garlic) (I used 3 cloves)
2 T. fresh cilantro (see above)
1 T. dried basil (see above)
2 t. chili powder
1/4 t. ground cloves (doubled this)
1 t. salt (doubled this)
2 cans great northern beans, undrained* (I used 2 cups dried, about 4 cooked)
1 c. frozen sweet white corn** (Kernels off one ear of corn. If I made it again, I'd use more corn for sure).