Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Winter Vegetable Stew over Couscous

This stew is perfect for those April nights that still have a nip of winter. It feeds a crowd.

In a Dutch oven, combine 5 cups water, 2 cups vertically sliced onion, 1 cup thinly sliced leek, 3/4 cup carrot (chopped into 1/2-inch pieces), 1 and 1/2 cups peeled and 1-inch cubed turnip, and one bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

When preparing the leeks, don't forget it's easier to slice them first, then place the slices in a sieve and rinse with water, to ensure you get the dirt out from between all the layers.

After 30 minutes, remove 1 cup of cooking liquid from the pot and set aside.

To the pot, add 2 cups (1-inch) cubed butternut squash, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, a dash of saffron, 2 minced garlic cloves, and 3/4 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained (that's about half of a standard 14-ounce can). Simmer an additional 25 minutes - I assumed uncovered, although the recipe did not specify.

Add 3 cups chopped Swiss chard, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper; cook a final 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Discard the bay leaf.

While the stew simmers, make the couscous. Combine the reserved cup of cooking liquid with an additional 3/4 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Pour over 1 and 1/2 cups uncooked couscous in a large bowl; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

(Note: I made the classic mistake of cooking while I chatted with guests, which meant I wasn't paying perfect attention and omitted adding the salt and olive oil to the couscous liquid in the step above! Luckily, I did finally remember, so I added them in after the fact, when I was fluffing the couscous with a fork).

Place 3/4 cups couscous and 1 cup of the vegetable stew in each of 5 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 2 and 1/2 tablespoons crumbled vegan feta (such as Sunergia). Each serving is 390 calories.

onion $1.99
leek $0.65
turnips $0.66
butternut squash $3,56
canned chickpeas $1.79
Swiss chard $2.49
cilantro $0.99
couscous $0.94
vegan feta $3.00

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html