Monthly Archives: October 2012

Spicy Kale, Sweet Potato and Cashew Stew

I based this stew on Happy Herbivore’s African Kale and Yam Soup, but I wanted to add a nut butter, a hearty protein, use the ingredients I had on hand and make a larger batch so I made a few minor adaptations. Here’s the modified version:

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, sliced into half moons
  • 1 leek, top parts removed, cleaned and diced (or, just use another onion)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cleaned and diced (I skin them as well)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1+ tsp vegetarian bullion paste
  • 1 large bunch kale
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1.5 tbsp yellow miso paste*
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2-4 tbsp nut butter (peanut or cashew) (optional)
  • handful+ cashews (optional)
  • bread to serve on the side
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Follow the original instructions at this link, but with the following two changes:

  1. I don’t use prepared vegetable broth because it takes up a lot of space and goes bad within 7-10 days. Instead, I use this “better than bullion” broth base. To get it to dissolve, I warm water in a pyrex measuring class in the microwave, then once it is warm, stir in the vegetable bullion base.

After the kale has wilted down, add the chickpeas, nut butter and cashews.

Serve with toasted bread.

*Miso is the Japanese term for fermented soybean paste. It is a staple of Japanese and other Asian cuisines, so do not be scared of it! It is salty and so adds good flavor to dishes. It also adds a creaminess to dishes. I like to add miso paste to mashed potatoes. Here is a picture of white miso paste. There is also red miso paste, which is stronger in flavor and taste.

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Food Prep Tip: Cleaning Kale (and other greens)

Bagged, chopped and pre-washed kale have been flooding the supermarket. My local organic market has it and so does Trader Joe’s. While this kale is a lot easier to use, I really don’t think it tastes as good. So I stick with buying kale in bunches and cleaning it myself.

With the kale that is especially dirty, a general rule of thumb (from where I’m not sure) is that you should wash it three times. Here is my technique for washing it, especially when I find little bugs, like this one, even after I take it out of the fridge.

Step 1. Fill a large bowl with water. Tear of kale pieces from the stem and drop them into the bowl of water. With clean hands, fully emerge and stir the kale to loosen up the dirt.

Step 2. Using a large colander, take big handfuls of kale out of the bowl of water and drop it into the colander until no kale is left in the bowl of water. You’ll see bits of dirt in the remaining water. This is supposedly the best way to separate the dirt from the kale.

Step 3. Dump out the bowl of water. (Ideally, dump it into your garden and use it to water your plants so as to not waste the water). Then repeat the process until you don’t see any (or at least not much) dirt in the leftover water, or about 3 times.

Step 4. Enjoy! in recipes such as…

 

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Carrot and Ginger Soup

Butternut squash has hit the farmers’ market and this is exciting news, folks. Matt celebrated by making this delicious, creamy (without any dairy cream) and perfect soup for the start of Fall.

Admittedly it is time-consuming, so make it on the weekend or for a holiday. Matt found the recipe by googling “butternut squash” and searching through what came up. This recipe is from the blog, With Style and Grace, which specializes in gluten-free recipes (but not vegetarian or vegan). You can get the full recipe at this link. We used vegetable bullion instead of chicken broth, and did not use the creme fraiche. It was delicious.

The main ingredients are: butternut squash, carrots, fresh ginger, and leeks. The reason it takes so long is that you have to roast the carrots and butternut squash for 45 minutes before making the soup. Here they are post-roasting:

Then you saute the leek and ginger, add the chopped roasted squash and carrots and simmer.

Then let it cool before you puree it in the food process or blender. (It is really important to let it cool, otherwise it might splurt out of your food process or blender creating a huge and frustrating mess.) Top with the roasted squash seeds or pine nuts, which is what we did.

Categories: Dinner, Sides, Soup/Stews | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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