Brazilian Black Bean and Vegetable Stew
Be prepared for some serious veggies this month. Last month was beans. This month will feature loads of greens. A spotlight on the various ways of eating delicious cruciferous vegetables, which include veggies as seemingly varied as kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and daikon (white radish). Each one loaded with vitamins and many of them top my superfood chart. Trust me, they do not need to be boring. Anything but!
Here we go, case in point here. A party in my mouth.
Brazilian food tends to do that for me.
Just like Moroccan food, Brazilian cuisine is known to be meat-heavy. However, there are endless recipes for delicious vegan alternatives. In my own kitchen, I can create quite the flavour fiesta.
While selecting a random recipe for this month’s No Croutons Required, I was thrilled when this Brazilian Black Bean and Vegetable Stew from The Tropical Vegan Kitchen was an option. It marries two other dishes I have made: a hearty feijoada with black beans and mushrooms as well as a a black bean soup spiced with cinnamon and mango. The results could not have been better – both in the flavour department and in the colour department!
This stew is filled to the max with colourful veggies (sweet potato, red pepper, green pepper, tomato, kale) on a background of black beans. Garlic, cumin and thyme flavour the broth. While I cooked the stew, it was also spiced with orange zest. I was worried it would be overpowering. It wasn’t until I added the final hit of lime juice that I was seriously satisfied with my beautiful and delicious stew.
This is my submission to this month’s Simple and in Season, to this month’s Sweet Heat featuring chilis in soups, to Ricki’s Wellness Weekends, to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and to this month’s No Croutons Required (co-hosted by Jacqui and Dom) featuring random cookbook recipes.
Brazilian Black Bean and Vegetable Stew (Vegetarian Feijoada)
1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight (or substitute 3 cups cooked black beans)
3 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp coconut oil (or your choice of oil)
1 medium sweet potato, chopped (8 oz)
1 large red pepper, chopped (6 oz)
1 large green pepper, chopped (6 oz)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo chili flakes
1 cup packed julienned fresh kale (100g)
1 cup reserved bean liquid or vegetable broth
1 large ripe tomato, chopped (8 oz) (seeded if you want, or not!)
1 teaspoon salt, or less
zest from 1 large orange
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
garnish: 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1. If cooking your own beans, place rinse soaked beans and place in a large pot. Add bay leaves, cinnamon stick and broth. Cover with additional water so that the beans are covered by an inch. Bring to a boil, then simmer until done. Mine took around 60 minutes but start to check after 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Allow to cool until needed. Don’t drain the beans yet as they may dry out. If you must drain them, save their cooking liquid for the stew.
2. Heat a large pot with oil over medium heat. Add the sweet potato, bell pepper, and onion. Cook until the onion is softened, stirring often, about 5-10 minutes.
3. Add the garlic, thyme, cumin, and chili flakes. Stir and continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Add the cooked beans, kale, broth, tomato, salt, orange zest, and black pepper. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
4. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally to keep the vegetables from sticking. When the vegetables are cooked, stir in the lime juice and remove from the heat. Eat while hot. Garnish with cilantro if you so desire. Can serve with rice.