Tag Archives: stew

Curried Cauliflower & Chickpea Stew with Kale

30 Oct

It’s crazy how quickly the seasons change. Every year at the start of fall it feels like the weather turns way too quickly and all of the sudden flip flops get replaced with boots, tank tops with cozy sweaters. I always spend a good few weeks in denial, not wanting to say goodbye to the warmth of summer.

And then somehow you reach a point when it finally feels good to welcome fall and the crispness in the air is familiar and maybe even comforting. I made this stew on one such night a few weeks back. It was the day I succumbed & fully welcomed the changing leaves, the need to grab a scarf in the morning and that feeing that there’s no turning back – winter is on its way.

It was the kind of fall evening where it felt really good to be at home, listening to good music, cooking something hot and satisfying in my kitchen.

I was craving something healthy but rich and this stew did the trick. It’s the kind of meal that warms you from the inside out.

I used a Malaysian curry powder blend that I recently bought at Jean’s Vegetarian Kitchen on Danforth (I’m obsessed with their Malaysian Curry Eggplant) and it had the perfect balance of flavors for this recipe. But you can of course make your own blend pretty easily. I would recommend using a mix of dried spices instead of just straight up curry powder because you need that depth of flavor.

The Malaysian curry blend that I used has a really nice kick to it without being overly spicy. It’s a mix of: coriander, cumin, fennel, pepper, cayenne, turmeric, anise, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, mustard seed, cloves, fenugreek & cardamom.

If you don’t have all of those ingredients, I suggest mixing the more common ones: yellow curry powder, garlic or onion powder, ground fennel and cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon, powdered mustard.

This is the kind of dish that you can’t really screw up. Adjust to your tastes.

Curried Cauliflower & Chickpea Stew with Kale

1 Medium onion, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 head cauliflower, chopped into medium sized florets

1 bunch of black kale, chopped

1 can chickpeas, drained

1 can coconut milk (regular or light)

1 tin diced tomatoes (I only had whole ones, so I chopped them myself)

5 tsp curry blend (I used Malaysian curry powder and they were heaping tsp’s)

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil on high, add onions and shallot, sauté until brown (about 8 min).

Add the curry powder and sauté with onions for a minute. Add carrots, cauliflower and chickpeas and mix well. Season with a bit of salt.

Add in tomatoes with a bit of the juice and coconut milk. Add in the chopped kale.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes to a half hour or more. Season with salt and pepper and serve bubbling hot.

Makes great lunch leftovers. I even ate mine cold for lunch the next day and it was delicious.

North African-Inspired Chicken Peanut Stew

6 Jan

I was recently introduced to a wonderful marriage of flavors that I hadn’t really considered before; tomato and peanut.

It seems that the tomato and peanut were meant for each other, at least in the form of a hearty and savory stew.

Neil and I had tried the Rockin’ Moroccan Stew from Hall’s Kitchen a few months ago, and it was so good that I couldn’t get the flavors out of my head. The richness of the peanuts added so much to the already flavorful stew. It piqued my interest in North African recipes and flavors and I’ve been reading a lot about them ever since.

Last night I was craving something rich and stew-like so I decided to create my own version of a tomato and peanut stew using whatever I had in my kitchen. Which wasn’t much, actually.

It was time to get creative.

I came up with this recipe and it was absolutely delicious, though I may have modified it slightly if I had a few other ingredients available to me.

The moral of the story is that you can add, subtract or modify whatever your heart desires in this recipe, just keep those two lovebird ingredients (tomato and peanut, of course) in some form in the dish and you’ll end up with something beautiful.

Things I would have added in if I had them: Onion (I used leek), ginger, cilantro or parsley for garnish & raw unsalted peanuts for crunch.

Things you could also consider: other kinds of vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, peppers etc), tomato paste instead of strained tomatoes (but you’d probably have to add some stock for liquid), tofu or shrimp instead of chicken, chickpeas instead of lentils, curry powder instead of or in addition to turmeric.

Go nuts and enjoy.

North African-Inspired Chicken Peanut Stew

Makes about 4 servings

2 leeks and/or 1 onion, chopped

1 large clove garlic, chopped

2 chicken breasts, butterflied and cut into bite sized pieces

1 large can of lentils

2 Tbsp peanut butter (generous tablespoons)

½ bottle strained tomatoes

Fresh or frozen greens – I used frozen spinach and kale

Cumin

Coriander

Turmeric

Chili flakes

Lime wedges for garnish

Sauté onion/leek and garlic in a little bit of olive oil for about 2-3 minutes. Add chicken and cook just until all the pieces turn white.

Add the entire can of lentils (including all liquid) and the peanut butter. Mix and let the peanut butter melt.

Add your spices. I eyeballed the spices which probably came to about a tsp each of cumin, coriander turmeric. I added a large pinch of very hot chili flakes from India and the stew had good heat. Adjust according to how hot your chilies are. Mix.

Add in your vegetables. Mine were frozen and I threw them in fully frozen without defrosting them first. The extra water just helped liquefy the stew. If you’re using fresh greens, add them in once the chicken is cooked so they have a chance to cook down. And if you need some extra liquid just add water or stock.

Add in half the bottle of tomatoes and stir.

Season with salt and pepper.

Simmer on medium low heat for at least 15 minutes but 30 minutes or longer is better to let the flavors really come together.

Serve over whole-wheat couscous and garnish with lime wedges. Had I had some fresh cilantro or parsley, I would have added some on top as well.

Make sure to squeeze the lime overtop before you dig in! It adds a punch of flavor to the stew.

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