Archived in 2022

Originally posted on 25 Nov 2007

I’ve been eating pretty badly lately. Lots of crackers and cheese. Lots of carbs and fats. Not so much on the veggie end of the foodchain and, boy, can I tell. Set aside for the moment the fact that Thanksgiving was just a few days ago. Even without that my dietary habits have been less than ideal recently. A lot of this springs from the fact that I haven’t had (or made) much time to cook real food for a while. There’s been too much work to be done. That hasn’t changed, but I’ve decided to ignore that for an afternoon and liberate my nutritional needs from the iron clutches of “convenience foods” by preparing a tasty, nutritious plant-based dish which can sustain me through most of the week. That food is vegetable stew.

“Aww…vegetable stew? Hello! Dullsville!” Uh huh. So say the ignorant. There was no recipe for my stew. It was inspired by ingredients on hand and the desire to avoid making a trip to the store. The result was, IMHO, a couple of steps beyond “delish.” Pseudo-recipe follows…

I’m ballparking these amounts since in truth I thought for about 30 seconds to figure out what to do then grabbed a bunch of stuff and started putting it together.

1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 Tbl fat of some sort (I used schmaltz generated by the chicken stock I made last weekend)
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp tumeric
1.5 Tbl tomato paste
1 14oz can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 med. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1″ chunks
3 med. kohlrabi, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks (What? You don’t keep kohlrabi on hand? Fine, pick another hardy green veggie)
3 large carrots, cut into 1/2″ chunks
1 quart chicken stock (homemade preferred)
1 14 oz can chickpeas, drained
1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
salt to taste

  1. Heat the fat in a dutch oven and sautee the onions and garlic
  2. Move the aromatics to the edges of the pan and add all the spices in the middle. Sautee them for a while until fragrant. Be careful not to burn
  3. Add the tomato paste. Stir and cook until darkened slightly. Be careful not to burn
  4. Add the butternut squash, kohlrabi, can of diced tomatoes and stock. Mix up a bit and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, put a top on it and let it cook for 45 minutes. In the meantime hang some curtains, do some dishes and answer some email
  5. Add the chickpeas and kale to the pot. Mix up, put the top on and let it cook until the kale is done to your preference
  6. Add salt to taste

This was tasty. Warm, filling and yummy. The cayenne added a nice little kick. If there’s one complaint it’s that the vegetables chosen (read: the ones I had) made the stew just a little sweet. I added some salt after serving and that leveled things out well. It made about five quarts of stew, ensuring that I’ll be able to eat quick, easy, good for me food all week.

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