Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pumpkin & sweet potatoes stew with white beans

Do you like fall and winter vegetables? I do. I think I even like them more than summer veggies.  Pumpkins, sweets potatoes, Brussels sprouts, beets, artichokes, chestnuts…. If you love them too, you will like today’s recipe: pumpkin & sweet potatoes stew with white beans. It’s easy, made from seasonal ingredients and healthy! I love fall and winter vegetables because you can cook wonderful comfort meals with them. Ok, steamed broccoli is great (have you tried it just with a drizzle of olive oil and some nuts on top?), but when it’s cold and rainy outside and you want something filling and warm, broccoli is definitely not the first what I think about. Instead, I begin to dream about bowls of steamy chilies, casseroles, soups and stews.

>No, it’s not cold here yet. Actually, today it was 27ºC (80,6ºF),but I suppose that summer is being too long this year, and I have already began to miss my cold days comfort food.

Making stupid faces in front of a camera is SO funny :) I went to the dentist last week to change the elastic bands of my dental braces. Now they are blue! Luckily, it didn't hurt as much as the first time: after two or three days I was able to eat almost normally.

Which is your favorite comfort food or comfort meal? Mine is always something with beans and veggies, cooked on a low heat until they become tender. I sprinkle my stews with nuts (actually, I sprinkle everything with nuts) or seeds because I like the contrast between the crunchy and moist and tender ingredients.

This month is the month of vegan food, and many of the blogs that I follow are participating. I really admire people who can write for a whole month one post a day, which is the main rule of Vegan MoFo. I even don’t know how I found time to write this (short) post. I suppose that I just didn’t want to study on a Friday evening, and I tried to convince myself that I must write a post. Compared with this duty, my Philosophy or Economics homework is something superfluous ;) Luckily, I don’t have school next Monday (hurrayyy!), so I will try to compensate a little bit.

How many of you are participating in Vegan MoFo? Some examples of the great reacipes that vegan bloggers are posting these days are this Mole-Roasted Cauliflower or this Vegan Mauritian Stew. Don’t they look delicious? :)

Pumpkin & sweet potatoes stew with white beans

I love oven baked sweet potatoes. I eat them whole, with the peel because it is the part I like the most, especially when it caramelizes and becomes crunchy. But if you do that, you must scrub with a scouring pad. I used non peeled sweet potatoes in this stew, but you can peel your if you want. You will lose a little bit of texture, but you will improve the presentation: the peel, which is darker, gives a less bright color to the dish. This is a rather sweet main dish (all the ingredients are quite sweet), so I would recommend to serve it with something salty. I ate it topped with ground almonds and gomashio (ground sesame seeds with salt) and crackers. How about these savory onion crackers?

The spice blend was inspired in SasanV’s Iraqi-Inspired Seitan and Eggplant Stew. I only added mustard seeds. You can play with the seasoning: if there is some spice that you don’t like, leave it out. Begin with 2 tsp of seasoning blend and add more if you think it’s not enough. Or just add you own seasoning blend. Whatever is your spices choice, the stew will taste much better the next day, or the next one….if there is some stew left, of course :)

Serves: 3-4 as a main dish
From: original recipe. Seasoning blend inspired in SasanV’s Iraqi-Inspired Seitan and Eggplant Stew

Seasoning blend:
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp mustard seeds

2tsp of the seasoning blend above.
1 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1-2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
1/3 of a medium pumkin, diced
1 apple, peeled and diced
1 ½ cup cooked white beans (feel free to substitue with any kind of beans)

1 ½ cup broth and additional water if needed

If you are using dried white beans, soak them the night before and cook them as always. I used dried beans and reserved the cooking water and used it as the broth. If you are using canned beans, you can use a buillon cube instead (or your homemade stock)

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the spices. Cook on a low heat for a minute, until they become fragrant. Add the chopped onion and sauté for a couple of minutes more.

Add the diced sweet potatoes and cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Add the pumpkin and apple. After a minute, add the beans, the broth (or water) and salt. Cook for 30-40 min on a very low heat, adding more water or salt if necessary.

Serve it very hot, with ground almond and a drizzle of olive oil on top.  

No comments: