DIARY OF A CHEF AT HOME
a collection of holistic nutrition tips & tricks, plus many of Food on the Table's favourite recipes
I recently completed a 3.5 month online course at the Academy of Culinary Nutrition based out of Toronto, ON. Hence the reason I haven't blogged in awhile. I'm a pretty good multi-tasker but when you literally don't have enough hours in the day to get things done, and you collapse onto your bed at the end of the day then you simply do-what-you-can-do and the rest will wait. So hello again, I'm baaaaack!
It's been awhile since I've "schooled", well, except the school of life...you know what I'm sayin. I forgot and was quickly reminded that school is challenging and demanding with its occasional achievements and reminders of "why the "F" am I doing this???? I guess that's the whole point though and part of our growth, right? And with child...well, that's a whole other story. For all you mama and papa students out there....I feel you, for real. It's hard. My son and hubby may have been slightly neglected over the last 3 months but don't worry, they still ate really well...my homework! Another perk of studying culinary nutrition ;)
I hope I'm not painting an awful and treacherous picture, it was a fantastic program about a topic that I'm super passionate about. It was still all those things I mentioned (demanding, challenging) but I loved it, all of it, and I'd do it again. Also, I highly recommend this program if you're at all interested in food, nutrition and business. Regardless of whether you're new to this or a seasoned expert. If you want it, you'll get a lot out of it.
Sooooo, one of my assignments was to create a recipe from scratch. Recipe development is something that love to do anyways so this was an assignment that I very much enjoyed!ii
I decided to go with a pumpkin stew since I had just received a little sugar pumpkin in my CSA box along with some kale and half of a red cabbage leftover from another meal. I created this recipe in the Fall, that time when we start to pull out our warm sweaters and socks. Nothing like a warm, hearty bowl of stew when things start to cool down, I was feeling it. Stews are one of my go-to meals. They're kind of like wearing a onesie, it's all in one, no fuss - no muss. Just one bowl with all the loving goodness, it's all you'll ever need.
Pumpkins (and other winter squash) are an excellent source of carotenoids which are converted into vitamin A in the body. Another great thing about pumpkins (and other winter squash) is that you can keep them in storage for many months and the longer they store, the more concentrated they become in carotenoids! So don't worry if you have a squash leftover from the Fall lingering in your cupboard. It'll be even more nutritious!
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient meaning that we cannot make it in our bodies so we must get it from food. Many foods that are high in carotenoids (which are later converted into vitamin A in the body) are green, orange, yellow and red on colour due to their carotenoid count. Vitamin A plays many rolls in the body such as supporting the immune system and promoting healthy reproduction in males and females.
They're also high in pectin which is a prebiotic fiber that feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut. Feeding the good probiotics will help them produce the nutrients needed for a healthy digestive system.
If you're not feeling up to peeling, gutting and dicing a pumpkin, sweet potato, yam or even butternut squash are less work and taste just as delicious. I've also made this with chickpeas, giving it more heartiness and just today I made it for a client with ground turkey, I browned it separately then added it during the last 15 minutes, delicious!
Either way you do it, leave me a comment and let me know how it turns out. I have a feeling you'll enjoy it...a lot!
Pumpkin & Cabbage Stew
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Number of Servings: 8
2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 red onion, diced
3 tablespoons ginger, grated
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons unrefined salt
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon clove
2 tomatoes, diced
4 cups pumpkin (about 3lb sugar pumpkin), peeled, seeded and diced (optional to use butternut squash or yam)
2 cups stock or water
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
2 cups kale, chopped
½ cup Cilantro
4 Green onion
1. Heat a large soup pot on medium to high heat, add coconut oil and melt.
2. Place fenugreek and cumin seeds into hot oil, swooshing around until coated and fragrant for about 1 minute.
3. Add onion, cook for 5-6 minutes until they soften. Add ginger, cook for another 2 minutes then garlic for 2 minutes while stirring.
4. Stir in all spices, salt and tomatoes. Mix well until everything is coated. Cook for 5 minutes
5. Add pumpkin, stock and coconut milk. Bring to a boil then reduce to low heat. Stir in lemon juice and honey. Simmer on low for 30-35 minutes or until squash is soft.
6. Stir in cabbage and kale, cook for another 3-5 minutes.
7. Turn heat off then stir in cilantro and green onion.
8. Serve as is or on a bed of rice, lentils or greens.
Optional to garnish with pumpkin seeds, avocado and / or sauerkraut (wait until the stew has slightly cooled to preserve the beneficial bacteria in the sauerkraut)
One of my great joys in life is cooking! As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) & food lover I continue to explore the balance between healthy, traditional food preparation and tasty dishes.
Check out my new COOKBOOK! Planting Seeds of Nourishment with over 40 whole-foods based recipes and tons of nutrition info!