Easy Warming Vegetable Stew
24 July 2015 | 1 comment
An incredibly grounding winter stew full of root vegetables, anti-inflammatory spices and fresh herbs. Done in 30 minutes, this will no doubt be in high rotation during the colder months!
With winter in full swing, warmth is the name of the game. I’m sure you all know I have an absolute LOVE for Raw foods, however, eating according to the season wins on all fronts, and in the cooler months I naturally find warm dishes, use of heating spices (on that note – have you tried my homemade Masala Chai yet?), grounding root vegetables and slow cooked grains, legumes and stews really hit the spot.
I prefer to enjoy of these things made from scratch, then you know you can count on the ingredients being whole, simple and fresh. Also, anything marketed as ‘quick’ and ‘easy’ is usually too good to be true – the supermarket bought soups (even the ‘healthy’ ones), stews, and even tinned vegetables such as tomatoes, are often laden with added sugars. Always turn the label over and read the ingredient list!
This plant-based stew is based on chickpeas (garbanzo beans), they have a beautiful nutty taste and feel soft and creamy in the mouth once cooked properly. They are an excellent source of the trace mineral molybdenum, an important cofactor for several enzymes in the body. They are also high in folic acid, and manganese, which assists enzymes in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids – as well as playing a part in bone formation [1, 2].
They provide a healthy serving of fibre (12.5g per cup)  helping lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels . Low in fat, high in protein, they make the stew feel nice and substantial.
Properly preparing chickpeas for optimal digestion
Legumes, grains, nuts and seeds contain phytic acid, a storage form of phosphorus in plants, which would go on to provide energy for the sprouting legume/grain/nut or seed, should it escape its fate as our dinner. The phosphorus is wrapped up in a molecule with the unfortunate ability to then go ahead and bind with other minerals in the digestive tract, in effect, preventing you from absorbing and utilising them .Soak your chickpeas in water with ACV to improve digestion. Find out how here. Click To Tweet
To get around this, we look back to traditional methods of food preparations. Soaking, sprouting and fermenting are some examples. In the case of our chickpea friends, simply soaking them in water with a little splash of apple cider vinegar is enough to reduce the phytic acid content . By the way – apple cider vinegar simply works as an acid medium to facilitate the process (lemon juice would also work). The longer you have to soak them, the better (overnight is great). You can of course turn to tinned beans – I guess if you are in a hurry they are better than nothing!
Easy Warming Vegetable Stew
I’ve added a little of my favourite anti-inflammatory spice in the mix – turmeric – perfect for fighting winter ailments. I always look for a good quality organic powder. Alternatively, buy the fresh root and grate some straight into the pot.
Fun fact – garlic is the best flu fighter – peel and chop a clove, leave it out to breath for a few minutes (this allows the enzymes a chance to convert a compound called alliin into allicin – which is responsible both for the odour and the anti-microbial properties) then hold your nose and knock it back .
Serve with a handful of fresh garden herbs sprinkled on top and a piece of crunchy toasted buckwheat or other gluten free bread.
Easy Warming Vegetable Stew
This easy warming vegetable stew is nourishing, protein and fibre rich. Note active prep time excludes the 12-24 hours soaking time for the chickpeas. You can of course use canned chickpeas.
- 250 g chickpeas dried
- Splash of apple cider vinegar
- 1 shallot or small red onion sliced finely
- 2-3 cloves of garlic crushed
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 sweet potato diced
- 1 parsnip diced
- 1 handful of green beans ends trimmed, and halved
- 1 large handful of fresh coriander chopped
- 1 tin crushed tomatoes 400g
- 1-2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Firstly, soak the chickpeas in water with a splash of apple cider vinegar all day (or overnight). They will increase in size so make sure you have plenty of water. Drain them, rinse them, add them to a pot, cover with fresh water and boil with a pinch of salt till they become soft. From here, drain them and set aside ready for the recipe. If this process seems too laborious, you can use a 400g tin of beans instead.
- To make the stew, brown the shallots and garlic in a large pot in a little olive oil on medium heat, cook until soft.
- Add diced vegetables and beans and stir till coated.
- Pour in the tin of tomatoes and add the chickpeas and tomato puree, stir well.
- Add all of the spices, stir well, and cook the stew slowly for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon, olive oil, a little sea salt and some crunchy toasted buckwheat bread.
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The George Matelijan Foundation. (2001-2016). Garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Retrieved from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=58
Whitney, E., Rolfes, S., Crowe, T., Cameron-Smith, D., Walsh, A. (2014). Understanding nutrition. Australia and New Zealand edition (2nd ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Cengage Learning
USDA National Nutrient Database. (2016). Basic report: 16057, chickpeas (garbanzo beans, Bengal gram), matre seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt. Retrieved from http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4796?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=35&offset=&sort=&qlookup=chickpeas
Zhou, J.R., & Erdman, J.W.Jr. (1995). Phytic acid in health and disease. Food Science and Nutrition, 35(6), 495-508.
Hotz, C., & Gibson, R.S. (2007). Traditional food-processing and preparation practices to enhance the bioavailability of micronutrients in plant-based diets. The Journal of Nutrition, 137(4): 1097-1100 Retrieved 10 June 2015 from: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/137/4/1097.full
Braun, L, & Cohen, M. (2015). Herbs & natural supplements. An evidence-based guide (4th ed., Vol. 2). Sydney, Australia: Churchill Livingstone