30 September 2012

Mostly Moosewood's Navajo Stew

Today we drove to Muncie for September's Super Secret Saturday Surprise (even though it is Sunday). Our plan was to go to a family fun park for go karts and bumper boats and such, but they weren't open when we got there. Instead, we had a picnic and did a little shopping (Target for things like dishwasher soap and Kohl's for some new fall sweaters).

Although it was warmer than we expected it to be during the day, it was still a beautiful fall day. In addition, the drive to and from Muncie was beautiful. It seems that just in the past two days more leaves have started to change color, which made it really feel like fall. Well, that and the fact that it's dropping down into the 40s for low overnight temps.

Luckily, our dinner (currently cooking - the house smells amazing!) is perfect for a fall night. This dinner totally takes advantage of savory, hearty flavors. I can't take credit for it, nor can I even take credit for finding it. The recipe (mostly) comes from Moosewood Restaurant's cookbook Simple Suppers (I did edit it a bit). Shana and I had it for the first time at the house of some friends of ours when we were still living in western New York. Every time we make it, I think about them (and their super cute daughter!). I'm not sure why Moosewood named this recipe as they did, because I don't think it is really traditional. Regardless, it's delicious!


Mostly Moosewood's Navajo Stew
Ingredients
1 med. sweet potato, chopped in slightly less than 1 inch pieces
2 red or green bell peppers (or one of each), chopped in 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. canola or light olive oil
1 T. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1, 15 oz. can tomato puree (or plain sauce, NOT pre-made spaghetti sauce)
1 T. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
1, 15 oz. can black beans
1 to 1 1/2 cups uncooked jasmine or basmati rice

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Toss chopped sweet potato, peppers, and onion with minced garlic, oil, cumin, salt, and pepper in a 9x13 baking dish (I use glass).
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring once, until sweet potatoes are tender.
4. Meanwhile, cook rice as per package directions.
5. Add all other ingredients to veggies except rice, stirring to combine. Bake another 10 minutes.
6. Serve over rice.

Helpful Hints
  • If you like spicier foods, feel free to chop up some of the chipotle peppers to taste (which is in the original recipe). Moosewood also serves theirs with flatbread and sour cream or yogurt. 
  • You should be able to find chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in a well-stocked supermarket. I end up freezing the extra sauce in 1 tablespoon chunks using an ice-cube tray. Then I wrap them with plastic wrap and foil and throw them in the freezer. It works out great! Plus, you can do the same thing with tomato paste (great for using up the rest of those 6 oz cans). 
  • This dinner is both soy- and gluten-free!
  • The leftovers for this are great, but it doesn't freeze well. 

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