Ginger Cumin Butternut Kale Stew aka. chili substitute

I know its a mouth full, but I just couldn’t leave any of these star ingredients out. This is one of the best stews I have made to date. It’s  funny because the whole time I was making it I was complaining about how I wanted to be making chili.

The reason for this is, four months ago my husband took a food sensitivity test because he was developing a painful rash on his face. It turns out, among other things, he has a sensitivity to night shade vegetables. This includes: eggplant, tomatoes, chili peppers, red peppers, potatoes and paprika. I guess I shouldn’t complain too much because at least I am still able to eat them. However, right now,  I try not to cook with nightshades at home. It has been challenging, but well worth it. Ecspecially when I come up with recipes like this stew.

This brings me back to the amazing stew I made. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Because we haven’t been using red peppers, cayenne, or other chili pepper, I have been spicing up my food with black pepper, cumin, and of course lots of garlic.

Not only is this stew delicious, but it is also nutritious. The ginger is anti-inflammatory and along with the garlic, it is a great immune booster. The fennel seeds can be beneficial for gas and bloating. Beans are a great source of protein and full of fiber to keep you satisfied. The butternut squash is full of antioxidants and a good source of carotene. And of course, the kale. Kale is a bitter leafy green that is great for the liver and great for alkalizing your blood. It is also a great source of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K. I could go on and on about kale. It is one of my favorite foods, but I will save that for another post.  So, here is the recipe:

Ginger Cumin Butternut Kale Stew

3 cups pinto beans or another bean

1 1/2 pounds of butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 medium sized celeric, peeled and cubed

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3/4 inch of ginger, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. fennel seeds

sea salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbls. olive oil

1 bunch of kale

4 cups of vegetable broth

Saute the garlic, ginger and onions in oil for about 3-5 minutes until fragrant. Add the fennel seeds and cumin. Mix well. Add the chopped celeric and butternut squash, mix well with all the spices and add the broth. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the beans and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the kale and cook until it is wilted. Season with sea salt and pepper if desired.  Enjoy!

I have entered this recipe in Ricki’s Wellness Weekend. Here is the link: http://www.dietdessertndogs.com/2012/02/16/wellness-weekend-february-16-20-2012 . Please check out all the great recipes!

Crunchy Chicks

Having healthy food on hand in the pantry and fridge are a must in my house.  I love taking the time to cook a delicious and seasonal meal with fresh ingredients. But there are days when I am in and out of the house or simple do not have the time or energy.  So snacks are a must. My husband has a love affair with chips.  I try to keep other snacks on hand to prevent him from caving and going to the local co-op. The co-op is a block away, so this happens often.

Snacking on whole foods will leave you much more satisfied.  Having a handful of Crispy Chicks leaves my tummy full, while a handful of corn chips leaves me unsatisfied and wanting more.

Crunchy Chicks are a great snack or are a fabulous topping on a salad for an extra crunch. You can be creative with the seasonings. Try a savory crunch with garlic or rosemary or a sweeter treat  with maple syrup and cinnamon.  These little guys are great for kids too!

Crunchy Chicks

3 cups cooked chickpeas

2 Tbls. olive oil

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 Tbls. fresh rosemary chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

This recipe is headed to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend at http://www.dietdessertndogs.com/2012/02/02/wellness-weekend-february-2-6-2012. Check out all the great recipes she has to offer, you won’t be sorry!

Broccoli and Quinoa with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Today I was scrounging around the cupboards and fridge to find a quick and healthy lunch. This is what I came up with:

Quinoa with steamed broccoli and some leftover sun-dried tomato pesto.  Having multiply dressings, dips, and sauces is great if you are in a hurry and need to make a good lunch or snack.

For the sun-dried tomato pesto, I like to use pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts, because they are cheaper and super nutritious. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, manganese, and magnesium. Chewing on raw pumpkin seeds are also a remedy for parasites. Who would have thought?

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

1/2 cup basil

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

4 garlic cloves

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup unrefined olive oil

black pepper and sea salt to taste

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and process until you have reached your desired consistency. It is that easy!

Be Well,

Brittany