Fall is my favorite time of the year! The vivid fall colors, pumpkins, Halloween-all give me the feeling of warmth and love. It's also a time for reflection. As the season transitions, I take the time to reflect on all aspects of my life that are important to me-my friendships, my family and of course my health. I review my health plan which includes eating locally grown foods when possible and regular exercise. I spend many evenings in my kitchen cooking healthy delicious meals for my family. Healthy eating and cooking is simple if you have the right recipes and ingredients at hand. This month, stock your pantry with winter squash and pumpkins all fresh and locally available. Try something new like my Spanish Vegetable Stew. It will warm your heart and soul, I promise!
Spanish Vegetable Stew
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion chopped coarsely
2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
1 cup butternut squash peeled and cubed
1 cup eggplant with skin cubed
1 cup yellow peppers chopped
1 cup fresh tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup carrots chopped
1/2 cup portobello or button mushrooms chopped
1/4 cup pumpkin seed and some for garnish
1 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp sweet paprika (this gives the stew the amazing red color)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups vegetable broth (use better than bouillon brand if possible)
2 cups canned chickpeas
1/2 cup zucchini squash chopped
1 cup spinach or kale
salt and pepper to taste
Over medium heat using a large cast iron pot (or other heavy soup pot) sauté the onion in the olive oil until translucent (about 3 minutes.) Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the butternut squash, and the following 6 ingredients and cook stirring frequently for 5 minutes until well combined. Add the spices: cumin, sweet paprika, and cayenne pepper. Continue stirring to combine and let cook for another 5 minutes. Now add the vegetable broth until it covers the vegetables up to a 1/2 above (add more stock if necessary). Add the drained chickpeas and stir. Cover for 30-35 minutes and cook until the squash is soft. Add the zucchini and spinach and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper and garnish bowls with more pumpkin seeds. This is a perfect dish for batch cooking. You can freeze some for when you return from travel or save for healthy lunches during the week.
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Healthy On You Recipes and cooking tips by Samantha Binkley. Many of these recipes use Samantha's 100% Organic Spice Blends that take the guess work out of cooking.