COCONUT CURRY BUTTERNUT SQUASH STEW
My favorite thing about fall is the return of weekly soups to my crockpot. If you don’t have a crockpot, my advice would be to get one – as soon as possible. I purchased my first crockpot in college at Target for $7; and it’s still running. Last Christmas I upgraded to a bigger one with a timer, but the point is – any crockpot works and you’ll love the food it makes! This stew, in particular, is a favorite of mine and clients who’ve done our 28 Day Nutrition Program.
Loaded with nutrient-dense foods and spices that aid in reducing inflammation in the body, this stew helps to give the immune systems a boost for the change in season (and increase in colds!). Enjoy!
1 medium butternut squash
6 cups coconut water (regular water is also fine or a combo of both; can add more water if needed/desired)
1 organic vegetable bouillon cube
1 cup adzuki beans, dried
½ cup quinoa, dried
Half (15 oz.) can Organic Coconut Milk
1 Tbls. each of: curry and turmeric
2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. each of black pepper, sea salt and cayenne pepper (can do more/less cayenne based on desired level of spiciness)
1/3 cup organic peanut (or other nut) butter
Leaves from 3 stems kale, washed & stems discarded
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin horizontally & seeds removed
(1). Remove the shell from the butternut squash and slice into cubes [check out this video tutorial: http://ow.ly/pxQEs for guidance!].
(2). Place water, coconut milk, spices and bouillon cube in the bottom of the crockpot and whisk to mix.
(3). Add squash, beans, quinoa and peanut butter.
(4). Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8.
(5). Ten minutes before you’re ready to eat, add kale and bell pepper. Let cool before eating!
*If desired, you can also add organic sausage or free-range organic chicken breast (in step #3). We used kale and a bell pepper in this version, but feel free to use any other vegetables and leafy greens you have on hand! Some examples are chard, spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli and even mushrooms!
I love spaghetti squash. And this smorgasbord of vegetables on top of spaghetti squash is pure delight. In the recipe, you use store-bought marinara sauce. I usually make my own, but sometimes it’s nice to just pour it pre-made straight out of the jar. Do you feel me? My new favorite brand is Mezzetta Tomato Basil, filled with all whole food ingredients and found in PCC, Thriftway and QFC Grocery Stores here in Seattle. Regardless of the brand, always check ingredients – buy products that contain only ingredients you’d use at home to make a pasta sauce (citric acid and “natural” flavors excluded). I’m talking tomatoes, olive oil, basil, garlic, red wine vinegar, honey, wine, tomato paste; get the picture? And you don’t have to include every veggie listed below. You can swap, exclude or add in any others you’d desire. And last — enjoy. Let us know how you like it!
1 medium spaghetti squash
2 whole carrots, peeled and sliced thin
3 celery stocked, sliced
2 zucchini, quartered
2 yellow squash, quartered
Florets from 1 crown broccoli, stem discarded
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed (or other desired bean)
2 tsp. each of: minced garlic, thyme, Italian seasoning
Pinch of sea salt + pepper
1 jar store-bought organic marinara sauce (check ingredients – no chemicals, artificial preservatives or additives; only real food ingredients you’d use to make a sauce at home!)
- Hold spaghetti squash standing up lengthwise over cutting board and use a large serrated knife to slice shell off squash. Once complete, remove stem, cut in half and use a form to scoop out seeds. Fill a large glass bowl with ½” of water, then place SS on top and cover with saran wrap. Cook in microwave for designated times, based on size:
– Small = 10 minutes
– Medium = 12 minutes
– Large = 15 minutes
- Meanwhile, cook carrots & celery in water (sparingly cover bottom of large sauté pan), covered and on medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally & add more water as needed.
- Next, add garlic, seasonings, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes and broccoli. Again, add more water as needed (always want a little on bottom to be able to steam the veggies). Cook, covered for another 8 minutes. At this time, add the jar of sauce + beans and simmer on low, covered for 5 minutes.
- Remove SS from microwave and carefully drain out excess water. Add vegetable primavera to the squash and stir to combine.
We all have those days…where the fridge is filled with a bunch of random ingredients, we haven’t been to the grocery store in a few days (or week) and we want to throw something quick together for dinner. Enter the “kitchen-sink curry”. For grocery-less and extra busy weeks, it’s important to always have a stocked pantry. One of my staples is organic coconut milk – it’s great for thickening sauces and of course, is just plain delicious. I also always have a jar of Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste (great whole food product found in the asian section of almost any grocery store). When I’m making a curry, I always use three staple spices: curry powder (that’s a given), turmeric and coriander; no specific measurements, like a little shake here and a little shake there + sea salt and pepper.
Ingredients I had “lying around”:
– Sweet potatoes
– Cauliflower (I’ve had the intention to make cauliflower rice for awhile now)
– Red Chard
– Yellow onion (1/2)
– PCC Organic Chicken-Apple Sausage
– My “curry staples”: organic coconut milk, curry paste and my spices
– 1 Tbls. each of: brown rice flour and coconut oil x 2
– Water, vegetable broth or half a vegetable bouillon cube
When you’re making a “kitchen-sink” dish, you can use ANY vegetable you have around: yellow summer squash, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, leeks, parsnips, turnips – the list goes on. You can choose to add an animal protein or not – I had PCC Chicken-Apple Sausage on hand that I set out to thaw earlier in the day.
So, to make, you’ll need three pans – saute, sautoir, etc. If three pans going at once sounds intimidating, don’t worry – this is how we make the meal quick: multi-tasking! You’ll put designated ingredients in each pan and cook at the same time. Chop all your vegetables first and your animal protein (if using). Then, make the cauliflower “rice” by adding cauliflower florets and 1/2 an onion to a food processor, chopping into “rice”-size bits.
#1 PAN: Add any vegetables with 1 Tbls. coconut oil in your largest sautoir pan (like a saute pan with high sides) – this will be the pan you end the curry in. Saute for 5 minutes on medium heat.
#2 PAN: Add animal protein and saute until browned. When done, remove from heat.
#3 PAN: Add cauliflower rice + 1 Tbls. coconut oil. Cook for 8 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Season with sea salt + pepper. Remove from heat when done.
- When vegetables have sauteed for 5 minutes (they should still be a little “uncooked”), add 1 Tbls. flour and coat. Then, add 1/2 can coconut milk, 1 Tbls. Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste and either 2 cups water + half vegetable bouillon cube OR 2 cups vegetable broth. Stir for about 60 seconds (flour helps to thicken sauce). You can always add full can coconut milk or more vegetable broth to have more sauce.
- Add animal protein (if using) and seasonings: 1 tsp. each of: turmeric, coriander and curry powder + sea salt & pepper. Stir to mix.
- Cook, covered for 5 – 8 minutes, letting flavors marinate. At this time, add any GREENS (like chard, kale, spinach, etc.).
- Serve over “rice”!