Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer Menu #3 Stew

This is the last of the menus that I came up with for Cooking Matters.  Stew may seem like an odd choice for summer but what I really wanted to feature was the slow cooker. I think slow cookers are a really handy appliance since they allow you to do a little bit of prep before work and come home to an already made dinner.

Both the early and late summer menus use dry legumes which will take planning a day in advance, BUT dried legumes are inexpensive and nutritious (great sources of protein!). You can also use canned beans, but they are more expensive, and often high in sodium. Every decision has its positives and its negatives.

Early summer menu:

Garbanzo and Kale stew
Brown Rice
Banana Pudding with Flaked Coconut

Items to look for at the farmers market: Kale

Garbanzo and Kale Stew
makes 4 servings
Kale is a super food and very high in iron and calcium. Kale tolerates cold temperatures, so it is one of the first local produce items available in the spring.  
luckily I am able to get a lot of locally produced dried beans in Minneapolis at the grocery co-ops including garbanzos. I also usually use barley instead of rice because I like the chewy texture and it is grown locally, which makes this a very local dish (with the major exception of the coconut and bananas) You can also use any green you like. Spinach works well, and if you are using frozen you don’t even need to defrost since it will be cooked in the slow cooker.

1 cup dried garbanzos
1 bunch kale
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
½ tsp pepper flakes (or to taste)
½ can light coconut milk

One day before you plan to eat this meal soak the garbanzo beans in water overnight. The next morning drain the garbanzos in the slow cooker with the other ingredients, except the kale. Pour about 8 cups of water in. Cook on low for 8 hours. If the water starts to look low, feel free to add more. Wash and roughly chop the kale and add to the slow cooker for the last hour of cooking (or when you start the rice).

Brown Rice
For 4 cups of rice
Boil 4 cups of water (I like to use vegetable or chicken broth instead of water). When the water is boiling add 2 cups of dried brown rice, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 to 50 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Banana Pudding -
I used bananas in this recipe because they are delicious and I thought would go well with the curry in the stew, but you could use any fruit you like. You likely won't find bananas at the farmers market (actually you can find them at the downtown Minneapolis Market but they still aren't local and I think this is an odd choice for a market), but berries are always a good bet.

Makes 4 servings

2 cups low fat or non-fat milk
⅓ cup sugar
¼ cup corn starch
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 bananas
4 Tbsp shredded coconut

Mix sugar and corn starch in a small saucepan. Turn heat to low and slowly add the milk while continuing to stir with a whisk or a fork. Continue stirring more or less constantly until the mixture thickens. It wont be as thick as pudding until it has had time to set, but it will be thicker than milk. Remove from heat and add vanilla and salt and refrigerate until it’s time for dessert.

When you are ready to serve dessert slice ½ banana into a small bowl and top with ½ cup of pudding and 1 tbsp of shredded coconut. Repeat for each serving.

Late Summer
Kale prefers cooler weather so you are more likely to find it at the beginning and end of the summer. At the peak of summer I think this stew would be delicious with eggplant. Or maybe I just like the novelty of purple vegetables. Instead of kale wash one eggplant, cut it into bite size chunks and add it to the stew at the beginning (not the last hour like the kale).

No comments:

Post a Comment