“This recipe first appeared on my Instagram account,” says recipe writer and activist, Jack Monroe. “It was a rough night, in the middle of a tough week, embedded in a hellish year, and I wasn’t cooking. Overwhelmed by life and sadness, I hadn’t been in my kitchen for days. I needed comfort and nourishment, and I forced myself to the stove.

“This revelation may come as something of a surprise, but even I can’t cook sometimes. This did the trick – and you can use a handful of frozen veg in place of chopping anything if you like.”

Jack Monroe's self-love stew
(Mike English/PA)
Jack Monroe's self-love stew
Print Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Vegetable, bean and tofu stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories 507 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 589mg26%
Potassium 1764mg50%
Carbohydrates 78g26%
Fiber 23g96%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 1453IU29%
Vitamin C 50mg61%
Calcium 404mg40%
Iron 12mg67%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Vegetable, bean and tofu stew

Perfect comfort food
Course: Main Course
Servings: 1
Calories: 507kcal


  • Oil, for frying
  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • A few handfuls of finely chopped or grated root veg (I like carrot, parsnip, spud, sweet potato – any root will do)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 150 g tofu or 2 white fish fillets
  • 400 g tinned beans (baked, kidney, butter, cannellini, chickpeas – any type of beans) drained
  • 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • A fistful of kale or spinach
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • A pinch of salt and a bit of cracked black pepper


  • Warm a little oil in a pan over low heat and cook the garlic and onion to soften.
  • Add the finely chopped or grated root veg and stir some more, then add the paprika and stir in. The stirring is key. It is soothing. It is mindless, not mindful. Sod mindful. My mind is full enough. It is a minefield. Sometimes I want to stir some stuff and stare at my hands or into nothing.
  • Chuck in some chunks of tofu if you’re veggie/vegan, or white or tinned fish if you aren’t. Tip in the beans. Whatever beans – add them for goodness. For laziness. For filling comfort. For making it stretch into an extra meal you won’t have to cook. Pour over the tomatoes. The cheaper ones are brilliantly sloppy and liquid and excellent for soups and stews.
  • Shred some kale in your hands. Rip it the heck up with all the stress and physicality you can muster. Go on. Tear it to shreds. Drop it in. Stir it through, breathe, and stir, and breathe.
  • Bring to the boil, like your fury, heat it up and watch it roar, then reduce it to a simmer. Douse in lemon juice to brighten, add some salt and pepper to amplify the flavours. Eat.


Calories: 507kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 589mg | Potassium: 1764mg | Fiber: 23g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 1453IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 404mg | Iron: 12mg

Cooking On A Bootstrap by Jack Monroe, photography by Mike English, is published by Bluebird.

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Last update on 2021-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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