You may not have noticed, but I snuck away last week. An absolutely epic road trip, starting at Portland, the vegan mecca, meandering through lakes and mountains, including Crater Lake, reaching our ultimate destination: Burning Man. I hope to summarize our adventures and if I don’t I’ll be sure to share if Rob posts anything on his website. He is much better at looking through photos afterwards. I have a hard enough time keeping track of my food photos. ;)
Before we left, I tried to cook through our pile of produce. Serendipitously, I had everything for this delicious Caribbean Stew. It is from Moosewood’s latest cookbook: Moosewood Restaurant Favorites. Through their collective, they run a restaurant in Ithica, New York, and have written many cookbooks over the past few decades. Most of my Moosewood cookbooks were bought/discovered at used book sales, although they are still keeping up with the times. Their latest cookbook, while not entirely vegan (they still use cheese, although less than before) and not even vegetarian (they have recipes for fish), includes updates from their restaurant favourites. Between their section dedicated to Soups (Thai Butternut Squash Soup, Texas Barbecue Bean Soup, Red Lentil Soup), to Main Dish Salads (Peruvian Quinoa and Vegetable Salad), to Curries and Stews (Lentil-Vegetable Sambar, Navajo Stew), a section dedicated to Beans (Basque Beans, Caribbean Red Beans, Creole Red Beans), and sides (Lentil Dhal), I was very pleased with their vegan recipes.
And this Caribbean Stew? It did not disappoint. A delicious medley of sweet potato, red bell pepper, tomato, cabbage and kale in a flavourful (not too) spicy broth made with ginger and green chiles. The dash of nutmeg and lime finish kept this special. As part of their growing process, Moosewood recommends more fresh herbs than before (I learned that lesson, too!) and this included fresh ginger, thyme and cilantro. They also recommended freshly grated nutmeg which is definitely more potent than pre-bought powdered. I modified the original recipe slightly, noted below. I decreased the ginger, although I probably didn’t need to be scared of the bit of heat it would impart. I also found the directions to cook everything on low to be too slow, so I increased my heat to medium-low and eventually medium. In the end, though, it was a fabulous soup. Tons of veggies with a delicious broth. A bit lacking in the protein department, I served it with the suggested brown rice. I bet you could easily sneak in some beans or tofu in there, too.
I really want to share this cookbook with you. Thankfully the publisher is letting me give away a cookbook to one reader living in the US or Canada. To be entered, please leave a comment here, telling me about your favourite Moosewood dish. If you haven’t made anything by Moosewood yet, have a look through the table of contents of Moosewood Restaurant Favorites on amazon (or my list below) and tell me what you want to cook the most. I will randomly select a winner on September 15, 2013. Good luck!
Other Moosewood recipes I have shared:
French Barley Salad
Chinese Cabbage and Fermented Black Beans
Spanish Green Bean and Lime Bean Stew
Japanese Winter Stew
African Pineapple Kale Peanut Stew
Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas
Thyme-Spiced Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Cranberries.
Moosewood’s Caribbean Stew
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Favorites
1 tbsp coconut oil (decreased from 2 tbsp)
1.5 cups chopped onions
salt and pepper to taste, to taste (Moosewood suggests 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, but I used less)
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger (Moosewood suggested 2 tbsp)
2 tbsp roasted green chiles (Moosewood suggested 1 fresh hot pepper, minced)
2.5 cups cubed sweet potato (peeled if desired)
2 cups sliced cabbage
1 red bell pepper, chopped (1.5 cups)
several fresh thyme sprigs (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
15-oz can diced tomatoes, including juice
3 cups stemmed and thinly sliced kale
zest from 1 lime (1 tsp)
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
cooked rice, to serve
1. Warm the oil in a covered soup pot on medium-low heat. Add the onions with the salt, black pepper, nutmeg, ginger, green chiles and thyme (only if using dried thyme) and cook for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
2. Stir in the sweet potato and saute for 5 minute until slightly browned. Stir in the cabbage and bell pepper, cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.
3. If using fresh thyme, bundle the sprigs with string and add it along with ~3 cups water (enough to cover the sweet potatoes). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Add the canned tomatoes and juice, kale, lime zest and cilantro and simmer for a final 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice and season to taste. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs.
Serve overtop rice, or with baked tofu (Moosewood recommends the Jerk Sauce and Lemon-Herb tofu).