Rainbow Stew is Versatile and Delicious

I had a delicious dinner at a friend’s house recently, so of course I scammed the recipe from her. We had what she called Rainbow Stew. It’s actually her grandmother’s vegetable soup recipe and it’s very versatile. It also can be cooked on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.

Here’s the basic recipe:

Rainbow Stew

5 potatoes, chunked up

3 onions, chopped

1 can corn

1 can peas

1 can tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

1 spoon Crisco

1/2 can water for each can of vegetables

Combine all in slow cooker and cook all day on low or 4 to 6 hours on high.

Before serving, boil a small package of elbow macaroni separately according to package directions then drain and mix into stew. Allow stew to simmer with macaroni in it for a few minutes before serving.

So easy and simple, right? My friend said she often adds sliced fresh okra or celery when she has it on hand and it’s delicious with these additions.

She also often substitutes a can of diced tomatoes and green chilis for the plain tomatoes. This version is much spicier. The batch we ate, she substituted oregano and basil seasoned diced tomatoes instead of plain tomatoes. It was excellent.

She also noted that her grandmother sometimes adds tomato juice instead of water. This made me wonder whether it would be awesome to add chicken broth in place of the water. I think it would. I also think I would slice up some carrots and add them to the stew for even more color.

See what I mean about versatile? You can add (or delete) vegetables according to your family’s tastes, and even adjust the spices easily. And it’s a delicious meal that cooks itself in the slow cooker while you’re out living your life. Wonderful.

For more hearty, delicious dinner ideas, try Carver’s TomatoesCarver’s Tomatoes includes all of George Washington Carver’s 115 Tomato Recipes updated for today’s cooks. These were originally published in 1918 when Carver ran the Agriculture Department at the Tuskegee Institute under Booker T. Washington. His original pamphlet was a large part of his efforts to increase the popularity of tomatoes.

His recipes remain relevant through their use of common pantry and garden ingredients. Known for his personal frugality, most of these recipes are quite inexpensive to prepare and most are quite flexible, allowing the cook to create dishes to serve any number of people. The recipes are wide-ranging, from basic ketchups to soups and salads to dinner entrees.

Carver’s Tomatoes is available online for only $2.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony or Smashwords.

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Peanut Recipes from Oklahoma

Found an interesting old recipe book at an estate sale, “It’s Easy to be a ‘Gourmet’ with Peanuts.”

It doesn’t have a date on it, but looks to be from the 1950s. It says it is “brought to you by the 7,000 peanut growers of Oklahoma and their families.”

The cookbook is filled with recipes that use peanuts, from main dishes to soups, breads, cakes and more. Here are a couple of recipes from the Salads section.

Peanut-Carrot-Orange Salad

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated carrots

3/4 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts

1/3 cup raisins

Lemon juice, if desired

Mayonnaise, or any peanut butter salad dressing, as needed

2 oranges, cut in sections

Combine carrots, peanuts, and raisins with mayonnaise or peanut butter salad dressing to moisten. Add lemon juice to taste, if desired, Arrange on lettuce with orange sections around edge. Serves 4.

Never heard of peanut butter salad dressing? Here you go:

Quick Peanut Butter Dressing

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons peanut butter

Mix mayonnaise with lemon juice, sugar and peanut butter.

Or if you want to get fancy:

Peanut Butter Fruit Dressing

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup pineapple juice or pineapple-grapefruit blend

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons honey or sugar

Blend peanut butter with part of juices until smooth. Gradually add remaining juice, salt and honey, stirring until blended. Store in covered container in refrigerator. Makes 1 1/2 cups dressing. Excellent with fruit salad.

If you try and enjoy these recipes, say a word of thanks to the Oklahoma peanut growers!

Note: For those who enjoy historical recipes, check out “Carver’s Tomatoes” from Lakehouse publishing. It includes all 115 tomato recipes from George Washington Carver’s historic agriculatural bulletin – all updated for today’s cooks and kitchens. “Carver’s Tomatoes” is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Itunes, and Kobo for only $2.99.

George Washington Carver’s 8 Cardinal Virtues

George Washington Carver’s 8 Cardinal Virtues. Worth attempting!

1. Be clean both inside and out.

2. Neither look up to the rich or down on the poor.

3. Lose, if need be, without squealing.

4. Win without bragging.

5. Always be considerate of women, children, and older people.

6. Be too brave to lie.

7. Be too generous to cheat.

8. Take your share of the world and let others take theirs.

This is such a great list of character-based goals! GW Carver was an amazing person for so many reasons, but this list still stuns me.