I've been trying out some of you all's suggestions.
First, I made a stew with stuff I had on hand: onions, garlic, yellow squash, leftover sauteed mushrooms, potato, sweet potato, carrot, celery hoisin sauce, soy sauce, tomato paste. It was good--nothing to write home about. The hoisin sauce was a mistake... too sweet.
Then I went to the store and stocked up: eggplant, miso soup mix (no plain miso in my local store), liquid smoke, beet, shiitake and portobello mushrooms.
I spread some liquid smoke on thin slices of eggplant and roasted them; sauteed the onions and garlic in olive oil; added thick slices of mushrooms to the onions; threw in carrots, celery, diced beet, diced potato, diced sweet potato; added the eggplant, some water, the miso soup mix, dried thyme, dried sage, and a spoonful of tomato paste. I brought it to a boil and put it in the haybox cooker. I left it in there for 24 hours--it's cold enough outside now that I can do that. I brought it back to a boil and ate it. This one's a keeper. The mushrooms give something to chew on. The beet gives a nice earthy flavor. The miso soup adds the umami I was wanting (alas, I later read the label and it has fish in it, so my stew's not vegetarian). I think my kids will like this one (10 and 7--they're on a trip right now, so I'm a temporary bachelor). The only downside is it's not as filling as a beef stew, so I'll have to make more of it.
I also tried frying the eggplant spread with liquid smoke and making an ELT sandwich. I loved this. I did spread mayo on the sandwich, so not vegan. I'm loathe to compare it to a BLT. The mouth-feel is different, and the taste isn't the same. But if you approach the sandwich as it's own thing, not a substitute for a BLT, it's simply an excellent sandwich.
Thanks, everybody, for your suggestions!