Well it is officially fall! My favourite season. So far, fall in Nova Scotia isn't too shabby with warmer temperatures sticking around during the day, but we will soon see the colours start to change and scarves making the yearly come-back.
Another sign of fall is finding a variety of squash at your local market. For me that happened last week when I found the hard to find delicata squash at the Halifax Forum Market! Finding this squash only means making my favourite moroccan fall vegetable stew, from the Whole Life Nutrition cookbook. This is a wonderful stew that celebrates the flavours of fall with warming spices rich in beta-carotene and antioxidants. It a great dish if you are avoiding meat, gluten or dairy, filled with nutritious squash, potatoes and carrots, and topped with a little sweetness. It may seem like a lot of ingredients but it comes together easily and is worth it. I serve it over a little quinoa with a side green salad. This stew never fails to impress!
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp ground cardamom (I get mine from Bulk Barn)
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 3 medium red potatoes, diced
- 1 small delicata squash, peeled, and cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup Zante currants (or regular, again from Bulk Barn)
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (to make your own, soak overnight and cook)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
- 3/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
- fresh mint for garnish
- Heat a large pot over medium heat, and add the olive oil. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, then the cardamom, curry powder, salt, pepper and cayenne. Saute and stir a few minutes more.
- Next add the carrots and potatoes. Stir well to coat with the oil and spices. Saute-stir for about 5 minutes, then add the squash and stir. Add the currents, tomato sauce, chickpeas and water. Place a lid on the pot and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender, about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary.
- Toast the almonds for about 10 minutes at 350F (or in a toaster oven like I do).
- Before serving, sprinkle the figs and almonds on top of the stew. Top with freshly chopped mint. (Or save some nuts and figs for leftovers). Serves 4-6.
In health & happiness,
(Photo credit: divinedestinationcollection.com, nesfp.org)