Super Food Stew

You feel healthier just looking at the photo of this pot of vegetables. If only it were that easy. While it not be as easy as moving your eyeballs across a computer screen, this recipe for curried vegetables is simple enough for even the most inexperienced cook because mostly it just requires chopping vegetables up. I made this dish because I had a bit of a blow-out last week during half-term holidays. Not only did I go to Bristol where the food is amazing, but I seemed to fall every wagon I own. There were white bread sandwiches flying and martinis flowing and you’ll hear all about that in due course, but I wanted to share this recipe first.

This is the dish you make for when you need to load up on good, fresh vegetables; when you’re looking for healthy comfort food; when you’re trying to lose some pounds. It’s tasty, filling and full of good things and the only draw back is that it’s kind of ugly. When it’s cooked, this dish looks like a pile of brown, chunky muck, so I photographed it while it was still cooking and the colours were still vibrant.

For the first time I added raw beetroot to my curried vegetable stew. I wasn’t sure if I was making the right decision because it turned the entire meal a disconcerting shade of red, but the results were surprising. The beetroot added a wonderfully earthy and almost fruity flavour to this curry, transforming it from uber-umami into something lighter, sweeter and very enjoyable. I added beetroots because I love them and because they’re one of those foods that I was talking about a few weeks back when I posted about Healthy Eating. Rich in bioflavins, beets are a super food, and along with spinach, mushrooms, butternut squash, carrots, leeks, beans and zucchini – this recipe packs a nutritional punch.

Chop all the vegetables so that they’re roughly the same size, and you can pretty much use what ever you want. Make sure you use a curry paste, not a curry sauce – there is a big difference. I use a rogan josh, but you can choose whatever you like as long as it’s a paste. I rate Sharwoods as one of the best brands that you can get easily in your local supermarket. If you want something a bit more authentic, pop into the Gordon Stores on Gordon St in Maidenhead, they have an incredible selection of Indian food and ingredients. This recipe should provide enough lunch-time bliss for the whole week.

Super Food Curried Vegetable Stew

2 onions or leeks
Half a butternut squash
Half a bag of baby spinach
1 large zucchini
1 packet of mushrooms
1 large carrot
3 beetroot lobes
1 packet of beans
Optional: red or green lentils, chick peas, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potato, chat potatoes, cherry tomatoes, peas, corn.
2 tbs curry paste
1 chicken/vegetable stock pod
Half a can of evaporated milk or coconut milk.

Chop all the vegetables into a similar size, to allow for even cooking.
In a bit of oil and in a large pot, fry off the curry paste until it becomes fragrant.
Throw in all the vegetables and saute them for 5 minutes on high heat.
Cover the vegetables with water and throw in the stock pod.
Simmer with the lid off for about an hour or until the hardest vegetables are cooked through.
Take off the heat and stir in the milk.
Store this in the fridge all week and heat up only the portion you plan to eat.