stews

Kristin’s cinnamon spiced Moroccan stew

20th January 2016

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Since arriving home from our American trip a few weeks ago, I have been ‘nesting’ in my home, cooking, baking, moving things about, filing, organising, simplifying, and creating things, all inspired by my stay in Sebastopol and that lingering sense of being held, nurtured and a deep inner feeling of peace I felt there.

This tasty Moroccan stew is inspired by Kristin, who made it for dinner one rainy, chilly evening. I have been making it weekly for Jonathan to take to work and for the children’s school lunches, or in the evenings for a warming, cosy, comforting meal.

This was a recipe Kristin had written down for me and sent by ‘snail’ mail years ago, but I had never gotten around to making it.  So when I arrived home from our trip, I set about rifling through my drawers, walls, cupboards, mirrors, where I have all of her artwork and things stuck – to find it.  I keep all of her letters as they hold such soft, peaceful beauty and the art inside always inspires. She says I am her muse, but she is my teacher, in so many, many ways – I admire her authenticity to this yogic lifestyle and teachings, and her simple living as a householder.  She has the ability to live with such modesty, surrounded by natural beauty as you can see by the images below – but still maintains a balance as she moves in this world.  I am ever grateful to be moving on this path with her.

kristin in windowkristin kitchen windowinspiration kristin house

– Sebastopol, California.

Freshly grind the spices where possible, it makes all the difference to the flavours of the finished dish. The cinnamon and cumin have an exotic aroma, flooding your senses with a ‘little of the divine’.   It is delicious.  Use any combination of vegetables – carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, eggplant, zucchini, beans – all combined to make at least 5 cups of finely chopped or sliced vegetables…

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Kristin’s cinnamon-spiced Moroccan stew with couscous

Serves 4 – 6

for the couscous

2 cups couscous

3½ cups boiling water

½ tsp salt

4 Tbsp ghee/butter

½ cup roughly chopped almonds

for the stew

cup olive oil

2 heaped tsp cumin seeds

2 heaped tsp turmeric powder

1 heaped tsp cinnamon – preferably Indian – a spicy, strong cinnamon

1 heaped tsp good quality paprika

a combination of approximately 5 cups of finely chopped vegetables – 

2 sticks celery

1 large red bell pepper

2 large tomatoes

2 small carrots

1 small sweet potato/wedge of pumpkin

1 cup green beans

2 cups water

1 cup pre-cooked chickpeas

2 heaped Tbsp jaggery

1  heaped tsp fine rock salt

a handful of chopped parsley or coriander

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prepare the couscous

1.  In a medium saucepan, place the couscous, ghee and boiling water.  Stir to combine, cover and allow to sit for 20 minutes, undisturbed.

prepare the stew

2. In a small pan, dry-roast the cumin seeds until slightly golden, allow to cool and grind in a mortar and pestle. Add the turmeric, cinnamon and paprika – set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, and saute the celery and red pepper until soft, add the tomatoes, and spices, stir to combine.

4.  Add the starchier vegetables first as they take the longest to cook, add the water and pre-cooked chickpeas, simmer for 10 minutes, then add the green beans, cover and simmer on low until the vegetables are slightly softened – 10 minutes.

5.  Season with salt and jaggery, stir in the chopped parsley/coriander.

6.  Fluff the couscous with a fork, and garnish with the roughly chopped almonds.

To serve, scoop a generous helping of couscous, a bountiful spoon of Moroccan stew, garnish with more almonds and freshly chopped coriander/parsley.  A few good rounds of pepper, and if desired, a crumbling of feta or grated parmesan.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

late summer vegetable dish served with couscous

29th September 2015

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For Yasmin – a favourite of yours and a thank-you for all your patience in holding those heavy skillets, plates, seeds, vegetables and flowers in all sorts of elements – wind, rain, cold and in all those inconvenient times…Xx

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This is one of the weekly lunches I make for the children to take to school, Jonathan to work and for me to have my first meal at around 11-ish.  I have a list in the kitchen of meals which I refer to so I don’t have to spend time thinking about what to make when I start cooking early morning and the combination works for everyone’s likes and dislikes. 

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late summer vegetable dish served with whole-wheat couscous

Serves 4

This dish is perfect when needing a simple, soft tasting dish.  The key is the lightly cook the vegetables so they remain vibrant and firm.  When needing a more hearty, protein dish instead of the potatoes, add 1 cup cooked chickpeas. When available, corn fresh off the cob is a nice addition. The couscous is great as it cooks up in only 10 minutes.  Whole wheat couscous is a finely crushed form of durum wheat semolina, less processed than pasta with more fibre and nutrients.

for the couscous

2 cups whole-wheat couscous

3 cups boiling water

1 Tbsp ghee

½ tsp salt

for the vegetables

2 Tbsp ghee/olive oil

1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds

1 fresh/dried bay leaf

2 carrot, chopped into diagonals

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut

½ – 1 cup water

1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced into rounds/2 sticks celery

1 zucchini or handful of green beans, chopped into diagonals

1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

3 Tbsp small dried currants

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh coriander/parsley

¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts/pine nut parmesan

preparation 

1.  Place the couscous in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of ghee/oil and salt, pour the boiling water over the couscous, cover and leave for 10 minutes, when ready to serve fluff up with a fork.

2.  Place the potatoes in a saucepan with a little water and simmer until soft and cooked.

3.  In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the oil, when hot add the yellow mustard seeds and saute for a few seconds, then add the bay leaf, celery, carrots, red pepper, and green beans – cover and simmer for 4 minutes or more.

4.  Once the vegetables have softened slightly but still firm and vibrant, add the soft potatoes and currants – simmer for a further 2 more minutes.

5.  Turn off the heat and stir in the salt and a generous few rounds of freshly ground pepper.

To serve, spoon the couscous into a deep plate, bowl or lunch box.  Sprinkle over a good helping of fresh parsley or coriander.  Spoon the vegetables onto the centre of the couscous.  Drizzle with a good tasting olive oil, a generous sprinkling of pine nut parmesan or toasted pine nuts, garnish again with freshly chopped coriander or parsley and a few rounds of freshly ground pepper.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

spiced adzuki bean stew with vibrant green chard

23rd November 2014

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Delicious splashes of autumn colours

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here and there…

spiced adzuki bean stew with vibrant green chard

Serves 4

Grounding, warming and hearty.  If short on time, replace the ground spices and chilli with a tablespoon of sambar powder.   Serve with avocado raytha/greek yoghurt, crunchy green cucumber salad and a bowl of quinoa.

ingredients 

2 cups adzuki beans

8 cups water

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

¼ tsp hot chilli flakes (or half a fresh chilli)

1 Tbsp ghee/oil

1 tsp turmeric powder

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

2 cup tomatoes, finely chopped

2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 medium carrots, finely chopped

3 sticks celery, finely chopped

1 cup chard leaves, roughly chopped

½ cup coriander leaves, chopped

1 tsp fine rock salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tsp jaggery

pre-soak 

1.  Soak aduki beans overnight, or for 24 hours with one change of water. This is for better digestibility.

preparation

2.  In a medium saucepan, place the drained beans and 8 cups water, bring to a rapid boil, then reduce to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer until beans are soft – approximately 1 hour.

3.  In a small pan, dry roast the cumin, coriander and chilli flakes until there is a lovely aroma (be careful not to burn) – remove from heat and grind in a mortar and pestle.

4.  In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the ghee, add the asafoetida, turmeric and the ground spices – saute for a few seconds, then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste – cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

5.  Add the carrots and celery- simmer for 10 minutes.

6.  When the beans are soft, drain, add to the tomato mixture with the addition of 1 cup water.  (I found if the stew sits for half an hour the beans soak up some of the liquid and the consistency becomes thicker.)

7.  Add chard and coriander – stir through for 2 – 5 minutes and season with salt, freshly ground pepper and add jaggery.  Remove from heat and serve.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

gentle Indian spiced vegetable stew

4th August 2013

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The weekend brought with it an adventure….the inspiring kind that leaves you refreshed, glowing, inspired and filled with awe and in love with Nature’s Greatness that is.

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Praia da Ursa, Sintra, Portugal

a gentle indian spiced vegetable stew

Serves 3 – 4

This is a very clean, soothing and subtle-tasting dish, warming to the core.  I have been making it quite regularly, sometimes adding a beetroot palya or roasted pumpkin to serve with it.  Inspired ‘The South Indian Yogic Cooking Book.’ 

Channa dal is a split and husked relative of the chickpeas.  Urad dal, rich in protein, is a close relative of the moong dal. Both are found in Indian Stores. 

ingredients 

1 cup green beans, finely chopped

2 carrots

1 zucchini

1 small-medium sweet potato (peeled)

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

4 cups water

ingredients for the ground paste 

1½ tsp split channa dal

1 tsp split urad dal

½ cup freshly grated coconut or (2 – 3 Tbsp dried coconut)

1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger

¼ tsp whole black peppercorns

½ tsp jaggery/brown rice

¼ cup chopped fresh coriander

1 tsp fine rock salt

for the voggarane 

1 tsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 -8 fresh curry leaves

preparation 

1.  Finely chop the vegetables into small uniformed pieces.

2.  Bring to boil 4 cups water in a heavy-based saucepan, add the vegetables and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

to make the ground paste 

3.  Dry-fry the channa and urad dal until golden-brown in colour, then add whole peppercorns, turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.    

4.  In a high-speed blender, combine the toasted spices, coconut, ginger,  and 1 cup water from the simmered vegetables.  (Do not worry if you accidentally scoop up any vegetables, as I grind these along with the paste as it adds to the creaminess).

5.  Grind until it becomes a relatively smooth puree, then add the puree back into the vegetables, adding broth from the vegetables to clean out the contents of the blender.

6.  Allow to simmer for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

prepare the voggarane 

7.  Heat the ghee in a small pan, add cumin seeds and curry leaves; when the cumin darkens a few shades, pour the voggarane into the vegetables.

8.  Season with salt and finely chopped fresh coriander.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes for the flavours to come through.

Enjoy with brown basmati rice or whole barley and a drizzling of ghee.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

mellow tofu & vegetable stew with kombu

15th July 2012

deep breath in…..

and let go….

I did ask for something tremendous to come into my life and I think this is it.

This shift. I’m grateful.

But then with these

shifts, there’s always a letting go.

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mellow tofu & vegetable stew with kombu

I usually make this for a Friday lunch when the children get home earlier from school.  Change the vegetables to suit the seasons. Quick, simple and tasty.  Inspired by a friend, Sher, who was an inspirational sparkle in the kitchen, putting quick, healthy meals on the table for her 4 children.  The secret to this dish is to simmer the sweet potato until it is soft and breaks up, as it thickens the sauce and makes it especially tasty.

ingredients 

1 Tbsp ghee/ oil

200 grams tofu

2 medium carrots

2 medium sweet potatoes

6-inch strip kombu (kombu contains glutamic acid – a food tenderizer and flavour enhancer)

2 small zucchini

handful green beans

handful cabbage

½ tsp cumin powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp paprika

6 – 8 cups vegetable stock

fresh coriander

salt to taste

preparation 

1.  Peel the sweet potatoes and carrots and cut all vegetables into bite-sized wedges – set aside.

2.  Heat ghee in a heavy based saucepan and saute tofu, add the turmeric, paprika, and cumin powder – allow to saute with the tofu for a few seconds, then add the stock, kombu, sweet potato, zucchini and carrots – simmer for 20 – 30 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft.

3.  Remove the kombu, slice into half-inch squares, then add back into the soup.

4.  Add the green beans and cabbage, simmer for 10 minutes more or until tender.

5.  Add salt to taste and freshly chopped coriander.

Serve with rice or quinoa.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

:: lentil millet chilli ::

17th November 2011

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Before you taste…

Pause to smell.

 Take in the beauty of dish in front of you.

Take a moment to be grateful.

Breathe!

Take a bite.

Let the flavours greet your tongue.

Feel your mouth water.

Then, chew, slowly.

Close your eyes.

::lentil millet chilli::

Inspired by this post

Serves 4 – 6

ingredients 

1 Tbsp olive oil/ghee

1 red bell pepper/capsicum, finely chopped

1 Tbsp cumin powder

1 Tbsp sweet paprika

1 tsp hot paprika (or chilli powder)

1 Tbsp coriander powder

1 x 240g can crushed tomatoes

1 x 100g tub tomato paste

2-inch strip of kombu (optional – adding seaweeds to recipes soften the beans/lentils and speed cooking time, as well providing a wealth of nutrients)

¾ cup green-brown lentils

¼ cup red lentils

¼ cup millet

4 – 6 cups water/stock

salt and pepper, to taste

finely chopped fresh parsley

preparation 

1.  Heat ghee in a saucepan, add chopped red capsicum and saute gently for a few minutes, then add cumin, paprika and coriander powder – continue to cook for 1 minute.

2.  Pour in the tin of crushed tomatoes, refill the can and rinse out any goodness left into the pot.

3.  Add the tomato paste and kombu.

4.  Rinse the lentils and millet, add to pot with another 3 – 4 cups water.  Partially cover and continue to cook at a slow simmer for 1½ hours.  Add extra liquid if needed.

5.  After the long simmer, add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley.

Serve with cooked millet or quinoa, a dollop of yoghurt, green salad and guacamole.

Goodness shared by Stacey

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