Samhain Stew

Sometimes recipes are so tasty that you feel inclined to save them for special occasions ... perhaps to only make them once a year so you'll savor every delicious bite when the time finally rolls around to make the dish again.

That's the case with this Smoky South American Seitan Stew from Grub: Ideas for the Urban Organic Kitchen:

I only make this stew once a year — around Samhain-time (a.k.a. Halloween). Traditionally, Samhain is the night when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead are the thinnest. So I make this stew and eat it while I think about my dead friends and family. Sounds morbid, I guess. But I feel like it's a fitting way for a foodie to honor their memories.

The tomato and chipotle pepper based stew is loaded with chunks of tender seitan, cubed potatoes, and fried plantains. The recipe comes from Memphis native and vegan soul chef Bryant Terry's first cookbook, Grub. Though the front half of Grub is mostly text about the importance of eating organically, the back half of the book contains seasonal and themed vegetarian (mostly vegan) dinner party menus. This stew is listed in one of the menus for fall.

Though I only make it once a year, I make a huge pot. So I've got a few bowls leftover. I'll be enjoying a bowl tomorrow for lunch with a hearty slice of whole wheat beer bread.