There’s nothing better than coming home on a crisp autumn night to have a warm healthy stew fill your belly. I’ve always been a fan of stews ever since I was a little girl except now my stews don’t contain any meat and they are high in nutrients.
I’ve been really inspired this year to create my own recipes. I certainly don’t have any ‘chef-like’ qualities but I find there are no rules when it comes to creating your own recipes, especially when you want it to suit your own tastes. Isn’t that what food is all about? Creating a recipe that not only exceeds your expectations when it comes to taste but one that is actually healthy for you.
When I cook, it’s completely whole. This means i use foods in their most natural state, untouched, and unrefined. You will not find oil, meat, dairy, eggs, or any processed ingredient in any of my creations. I like to think of my cooking as Compassionate Cooking as it’s not just for my health, but for the animals and the planet. These foods just make you feel really, really good.
When it comes to creating a stew, I generally start with the base, meaning that you need a stew to be filling and hardy so what better way to start than to use some type of legume. Today’s stew is about navy beans. If you’re not a bean fan, (you couldn’t get me to eat beans 10 years ago, now I love them!) then try using less than what is in the recipe. When you add all the other ingredients, you find that you won’t taste them at all. Next, I think about the vegetables I want to add, and then the spices. Sometimes it’s hit and miss with the spices, but I find you can always alter the taste. I like to eat what’s in season, and since we are still in autumn, squash is the perfect ingredient for the main attraction in this hardy stew.
So, let’s get started.
- 2 cups navy beans, soaked overnight or you can use canned beans (ensure they are thoroughly rinsed)
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 4 teaspoons smoked paprika divided
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano divided
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin divided
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon of ground pepper
- 2 cups cubed winter squash peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1 large red bell pepper chopped
- 1 large yellow bell pepper chopped
- 1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
- 1 bunch kale removed from stems and sliced
- 1 cup fresh corn or peas (I use thawed frozen vegetables)
- 1 15 ounce can tomatoes
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh basil
- If you are soaking beans overnight, rinse and drain and set aside.
- In a Dutch oven, add the onions until soft and slightly brown 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
- Add the beans, vegetable broth, paprika, oregano, cumin, basil, and pepper to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until the beans are cooked all the way through, 30-60 minutes. You may need to add more vegetable broth to cover the beans.
- Add the squash, tomatoes, and peppers and continue to cook on simmer for another 30 minutes. Add more vegetable broth or water to cover all the ingredients.
- Add the kale and corn and simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes until the kale has softened. Add any additional spices.
- Top with basil before serving.
Eat Clean & Live Green!
Your Compassionate Coach,