While salads, juices and smoothies have their place in a healthy lifestyle, during the cold winter months it’s best to eat the majority of your food in the form of hot, warming meals.
Soups and stews are a nutritious way to warm up after a day out in the cold.
Eat this because it's damn good, and it'll nourish you. But in case you were wondering, here are some of the health benefits of this warming stew:
1. Chickpeas: Protein and Fiber
- Great source of vegetarian protein: At about 15 grams per cup.
- Rich in fiber: Helps keep your intestines healthy, and that is always good.
- Loaded with vitamins and minerals.
- Satiety: Adding legumes to your diet will help you feel more satisfied overall.
2. Sweet potato: A nutritional powerhouse.
- Rich in carotenoid antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
- Helps to stabilize blood sugar and improve response to insulin.
- In Chinese medicine this vegetable is beneficial to tonify chi (life energy), and blood among other organs.
3. Kale: One of the most nutrient dense foods around.
- Rich in vitamins A, K & C.
- Loaded with antioxidants.
- Kale has compounds that are believed to have anti-cancer properties.
- Significantly low in calories but is super nutrient rich, making it a great weight loss food.
1 Cup of Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas) 2.5 to 3 cups cooked (reserve cooking liquid)
2 Bay leaves
2 pieces of Kombu - 1 to 2 inches
2 to 3 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
1 Teaspoon sea salt
1 Large onion - medium diced
4 Cloves of garlic - minced
2 Medium carrots - roll cut in 1/2 pieces
1 Sweet potato - cut into large dice or rough cut if you like a rustic look
1 Teaspoon cumin
1/2 Teaspoon sweet paprika
1/8 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 28 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes
Black pepper to taste
1 to 1 1/2 Cups chicken or vegetable stock or 1 to 1/2 cup or reserved chickpea cooking liquid
Kale - 4 to 6 large leaves - remove stem and chop into thin strips
1/2 can of coconut milk (more if you prefer a stronger coconut flavor)
This recipe is meant to be flexible. Meaning that if you want a bit more heat just add extra cayenne to taste. Not enough salt, add a bit more. You don’t like greens as much, add less. Don’t feel like slicing kale into thin strips, then rip them apart with your hands if that works better for you. The recipe will still work even as you tweak it, provided you follow the basic cooking procedure.
Prep all your ingredients ahead of time. The French call this mise en place and it will save you time in the kitchen. Don’t do anything else until you have all things in their place.
1. Once you have your ingredients and equipment in order you’re going to begin cooking your base layer of flavor. Take about a 3 & 1/2 to 4 Qt. pot and add 1 & 1/2 to two tablespoons of olive oil. Turn on your heat to a medium and cook onions for about 5 minutes or until they have a golden color. Add garlic and cook just a few minutes. Do not walk away as it burns easily.
2. Add your spices and stir, cooking for about 1 or 2 minutes. Add your carrots and sweet potato, plus a bit more olive oil if necessary. Stir all ingredients to make sure everything gets coated with the onion, garlic and spices. Add another pinch of salt.
3. Add cooked chickpeas and your veg stock or chickpea cooking liquid. This could also be plain water in a pinch, but the stock or chickpea liquid will make the final dish more flavorful. Turn up the heat until liquid comes to a quick boil. Cover pot, reduce heat to low and let this cook for about 10 minutes or until carrots & sweet potatoes are cooked. Add tomatoes and chickpeas, and raise heat until it all comes to a simmer. Cover once again and reduce heat to cook for another 10 minutes or so.
4. Remove cover and stir in a half cup of coconut milk and let cook the flavors meld for a few minutes. Taste and add more coconut milk if desired for a richer flavor. Season to taste and it’s ready to go!
There you have it guys! Cook this up and let us know what you think.
Michael and Pablo