It’s almost mid-November and I can’t wrap my mind around how quickly this year is passing. I created this online space at the start of the year with the aim of hopefully inspiring a few souls to embrace more plant-based ways of living in their daily routine. I feel like this is still the beginning. There is still so much more to share. Not just plant-based recipes but thoughtful living, slow living. Being more considerate with our choices in life.
November air always brings a certain feeling with it each year. Ushering in an introspective craving. Time to sit and feel, really feel whatever it is that I am feeling and accept it, as it is. At the beginning of the month I turned 26 and I thought about what I wanted for this year and what I am grateful for from 25. Finding my native self was one thought that came to me. Who I really am underneath it all, and being fully her. What’s your native essence underneath all the socially acceptable layers we paint upon ourselves?
So, with that cold, refreshing November air comes the need to keep the body warm. Food is certainly a valid way of bringing in some warmth to the body and soul. This recipe is warming, comforting and wholesome. It’s also easily adapted depending on what vegetables you have to hand (or which ones you might be craving). The stew is a one-pot-wonder. Once everything is prepped and in there cooking away you have some time on your hands; make the cashew cream, do some sun salutations to create warm energy throughout your body, get a little housework done or pop up on the counter with the book your currently reading whilst sipping a mug of tea (I did the latter).
Warm Vegetable Stew with Dill Cashew Cream
For the Vegetable Stew
4-5 shallots, thinly sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
few sprigs fresh herbs or equivalent dried (I used fresh rosemary and thyme)
1 tin crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp each; turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and paprika
pinch chilli flakes (to your desired heat)
1/2 lemon, juice
1 cup aubergine, chopped
1 cup courgette, chopped
1 cup tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, thoroughly rinsed
1/2 cup water
2 cups spinach
salt & pepper to taste
In a pot, on a medium heat, add the olive oil, shallots and garlic. Cook for approx. 5-7 minutes, until sizzling and starting to golden. Add the herbs and cook for another couple of minutes, making sure to occasionally stir to stop anything sticking to the pan. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato puree and spices. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the aubergine, courgette and chickpeas with 1/2 cup water, cover and let simmer on a low heat for 45 minutes. Once cooked through, add in the spinach before serving to let it wilt.
For the Dill Cashew Cream
3/4 cup cashews
1/2 tsp dill
1/2 tsp mint
pinch of salt
1/2 lemon, juice
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4-1/3 cup water (depending on the desired consistency)
In a high power blender add all of the ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. If using a blender or food processor that isn’t high power you will need to take your time, scraping down the sides regularly to make sure everything is incorporated.
Serve with brown rice or quinoa for a hearty, wholesome meal.