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Keeping Warm With Stew

Living in this beautiful state of Michigan we are blessed to have different seasons. These different times of the year and temperatures give us the opportunity to explore different cooking techniques and ingredients. The winter time is an excellent time to incorporate more hearty, thick dishes using more oils and spices. Dishes with more oil have a higher fat content which helps keep us warm when it is cold outside. And to impart more heat energy into our bodies, we cook dishes for a longer time. Also by cutting our vegetables in larger chunks they take longer to cook, therefore absorbing more heat.

A great example of this is stew. Who doesn’t love chunks of vegetables smothered in a thick, salty gravy? To make the dishes even more delicious we can add spices. Here are some of the spices used many stew recipes and their medicinal properties.

  • Cumin – Member of the carrot family, relieves abdominal distention and gas, improves liver function and benefits the digestive system.
  • Turmeric – Indian saffron, yellow ginger, highest known source of beat carotene, strengthens the immune system, helps dissolve uterine tumors.
  • Cloves – Dried unopened bud of an evergreen tree, effective toothache remedy, aids in digestion, tonify the kidney, spleen, pancreas and stomach.
  • Thyme – Powerful antiseptic, relieves lung congestion, candida and indigestion.
  • Basil – A warming herb, used as an effective mosquito repellent, used to treat mild depression, calms the nerves, effective against bacterial infections and intestinal parasites.

Kidney Bean Stew

1 1/2 cups dried kidney beans (soaked overnight)
1 (4 inch piece) kombu
1 1/2 cups water
1 onion (diced)
4 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 of a large buttercup squash (cut in cubes)
2 celery stalks (diced)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. sea salt

In a pot with a tight fitting lid, place the kombu on the bottom and pour the kidney beans over, add the 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Add the vegetables layering them, first the onions, then garlic, squash, and celery last. Add the additional 1/2 cup water, cover and cook for one hour. Add the seasoning, mix all together and serve.

««You are encouraged to try the above recipe. It is a Macro Val original recipe and is copyrighted, it may not be copied and/or distributed without permission from Macro Val.»»

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