Meet New Blogger Audrey – Indian Inspiration – Kidney Bean Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Oranges
Meet new blogger Audrey Farson:
I am a marine biologist, avid environmentalist, and complete foodie. I like to support sustainability on all fronts and that includes eating a vegetable centered diet. I am not a vegetarian but I love veggies and feel that it is healthier and better for the environment.
I grew up in Washington DC and moved to Melbourne for college. I have since traveled all quite a bit for work and lived in Alaska, Nantucket, Seattle, New Orleans, and then back to here. I have been lucky enough to have been exposed to fantastic food all along the way.
My foodie ways must fuel some of my favorite things to do, surfing, yoga, biking, and generally running around all the time. The veggie box is helping me to explore new vegetables and cook things out of my normal realm. I hope everyone can learn and grow with my experimentation and experiences.
Indian Vegan Inspiration:
Last week I received my veggie box from a very nice man in a car far too small to have been delivering all that food. Of course I tear it open immediately (saving the box for trade next time of course) and investigate. I know that I should have known what was in it but I am getting married in two weeks and forgot to look on the internet. Among all the goodies the sweet potatoes and oranges got me thinking about a vegetarian recipe I wanted to try.
I have been obsessing about Indian food lately; there are so many balanced and flavorful vegetarian dishes it is an easy route to go. It is an Indian fusion dish of Bal Arneson called Kidney Bean Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Oranges (creative name, I know) on the Cooking Channel. I tweaked it a little to my tastes.
Side Note: While I mostly only feed two people my recipes are almost always for 4 or more. I love leftovers and I send my Pilot fiancé to work with little homemade Tupperware’s so he doesn’t have to eat bad fast food on the road.
This recipe has a lot of somewhat exotic ingredients; unfortunately you will not find them all at the grocery store. As I have been getting more into cooking Indian food I have been building my Indian pantry. Once you have a few staple spices all you will ever need are the fresh parts to make a great meal in no time. All of these ingredients were very easy to find at the Indian grocery Best India http://bestindiafl.com/tablet/ at 205 S Wickham Rd. Melbourne FL 32904. If you have a hard time finding anything in there (and you will there is A LOT of stuff going on) just ask the person at the front, they will take you right to it.
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or any mild flavorless oil) this one is good because it has a high smoke point.
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger (save the extra in the freezer and you will never throw old ginger in the freezer again. You don’t even have to thaw it just hack off a frozen bit and use)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds *
- 1 tablespoon garam masala *
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (These are often labeled Methi Seeds) *
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (Fresh is fine, use a tablespoon instead)
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (Fresh is fine, use a tablespoon instead)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric *
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp* (I have Tamarind paste, which you soak and mash for a few minutes with 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Add all 4 tablespoons to the dish)
- 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 cups diced sweet potato
- 1 Serrano chili diced (optional, don’t add if you don’t like spicy food. You can also moderate the heat by removing the seeds and pith before you dice)
- 1 cup water
- 1 (14-ounce) can kidney beans, drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 small seedless oranges, peeled and cubed
- Cilantro, chopped for garnish
* These are the items I bought at the Indian grocery. You can find cumin seeds and turmeric at the grocery store, but it is much less expensive from the Indian grocery.
OK, so the list of ingredients is a little long but the preparation is super simple. This is what I love about stewy dishes. Place the oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat. Once the oil is shimmering (about a minute or less on the heat) add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Next add the bay leaves, whole cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, oregano, rosemary, and turmeric and cook while stirring for about 2 minutes. This step uses most of that long list ingredient; from here it looks so much less intimidating. Add the tamarind pulp, or paste and water mixture, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, Serrano chilies and water and bring to a boil. Once you reach a boil reduce to simmer (my favorite BTBRTS, Bring to Boil, Reduce to Simmer) until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Once potatoes are tender add the rinsed kidney beans and oranges and cook for 2 more minutes. Turn the heat off and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the Bay leaves and serve.
Sorry I only have one kind of messy picture, I made this before knew I was going to be blogging about it. They will be much better in the future.
I served the stew over brown rice and garnished with cilantro at first, but the next day I found something even better. That kale was staring at me and I needed to use it. I sautéed half a cup of diced onions (also came in my box) until translucent than added about half of the bunch of chopped red kale and cooked until just wilted. I placed that in a bowl and poured the stew on top of it. The slight bitterness of the kale and sweetness of the oranges and potatoes made this so complex and amazing.
This raises my box veggies used in the dish to 4.