Easy Veggie Stew

In a sense this recipe is at the center of my life. Soups and stews are the means by which I manage to feed myself through school, a busy work schedule, and general winter-ness. Stew is hearty, adaptable, freezes very well, and only requires a few basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Plus, you can always add whatever you want in the moment to spice it up. As long as you have a few minutes to do some chopping, you’re good to go. I love making big batches of this in a large pot like a Le Creuset dutch oven, and then freezing it in smaller quantities so that whenever I think I won’t have time to cook, I can just whip out a little batch of it to get me through the week! I make this quite often, and the recipe is never the exact same each time. That’s a good thing, cause variety is good folks! So use whatever vegetables and beans you have on hand. Switch up the spices and flavor it with whatever you want. This is just meant to serve as a basic template from which to start. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I highly suggest you prep ALL of your ingredients (chop or mince them as needed) before you even turn on your stovetop. This will ensure that once things are ready to be cooked, they’re all ready to go and you don’t have to worry about whatever’s already in the pot burning. It makes the whole process such a breeze! 10808471_611535762286287_1494508536_n Ingredients:

  • grapeseed oil (or other high heat cooking oil)
  • 3 small or 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp turmeric root, minced (or sub for 1 tsp ground tumeric powder)
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced (I usually discard the seeds)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp himalayan or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper (helps your body absorb the tumeric!)
  • 1 cup peeled and cubed squash (I usually use butternut, but acorn or delicata would also work)
  • 1 cup peeled and cubed potato (I usually use sweet potato or yam but regular white potatoes would be fine too)
  • 2 cups chopped veggies (I usually use a mix of bell pepper, zucchini, and celery)
  • 1 cup dry lentils (you can soak these a couple hours ahead of time to aid digestion if you prefer, but it is not necessary)
  • 1 can of beans, drained and rinsed (I usually use chickpeas but any beans would work; alternatively you could use dry beans that you’ve soaked and pre-cooked yourself)
  • 1 can of low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 large bunch (or more) dark leafy greens, coarsely chopped (I usually use collard greens but you could use kale or chard)
  • 2 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth

Method:

  1. Coat the bottom of a dutch oven or other large stew pot with grapeseed oil (about 1 to 1.5 tbsp). Place over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until onion has started to cook through and is fragrant (about 5 minutes or so). Add a bit of water if it sticks to the pot.
  3. Add the garlic, turmeric root, jalapeño and ginger, and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the spices (except for sea salt) for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add all of the chopped veggies, potatoes, and squash. Stir for a few seconds to coat with spice mixture.
  6. Add the water and canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
  7. Once boiling, add lentils and stir everything together. Bring back to a boil.
  8. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until veggies are tender when pricked with a fork. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Add sea salt and stir.
  9. Add beans and leafy greens. Stir into stew and then turn off the heat.
  10. Let the stew sit for a few minutes so that the greens wilt.
  11. Serve with your favorite whole grain (works well with farro, brown rice, millet, and freekeh!) and top with your favorite fresh herbs and some chopped avocado.
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