Kale, Yellow Squash, and Sweet Potato Stew
As everyone knows, greens are good for you, but with its high calcium content, kale is a standout. Its deep green color and elaborately ruffled leaves, contrasted with the yellow of the squash and the orange of the sweet potato, makes this an attractive and nourishing dish for the early autumn harvest. Recipe adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons by Nava Atlas.
Serves: 6 to 8
- 2/3 cup short- or medium-grain brown rice, rinsed (see Variation)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium-large red onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6- to 8-ounce bunch kale (curly or lacinato)
- 2 to 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 32-ounce carton low-sodium vegetable broth
(or 4 cups water with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes)
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon each: dry mustard, dried basil, dried thyme
- 2 small yellow summer squashes, diced
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, or more, to taste
Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the rice, then cover and simmer gently until done, about 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until both are golden.
Trim away the stems from the kale leaves. Slice them thinly or discard them. Chop the kale into bite-sized pieces and rinse well in a colander. Add to the soup pot along with the sweet potatoes and broth. Add the ginger and spices and stir well. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the squash and tomatoes and simmer until the kale and sweet potato dice are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Mash enough of the sweet potato dice with the back of a wooden spoon to thicken the base. Stir in the cooked rice.
Season with balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. If time allows, let the stew stand off the heat for an hour or two. Heat through before serving.
Variation: Use quinoa in place of rice. Red quinoa is particularly attractive in this stew. Cook 3/4 cup rinsed quinoa in 1 1/2 cups steadily simmering water for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.