Coconut-Curry Sweet Potato Stew
March 3, 2011 § 2 Comments
How are you? I don’t know about you, but I was so freakin’ happy to turn the calendar from February 28 to March 1. While it’s still cold here, the possibility of warm weather is upon us! I’m so beyond excited.
Just this morning, my toes asked me to slide them into a pair of flip flops, but sadly I had to say “no” while stuffing the little guys into gym socks and stinky sneakers. Sigh. Sorry, little dudes. I honestly just want to bring Peter to the park and sit on a bench in the sun while he plays. That’s it. I’m a pretty simple person, with simple wants and needs
So, on Monday night I found myself in a familiar situation: I wanted a healthy, hearty dinner but was faced with a nearly empty fridge and pantry. It was time for another clean-out-the-cabinet creation.
I was in the mood for quinoa, and luckily I had some. I then pulled out a big can of kidney beans, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of light coconut milk, 3 sweet potatoes, an onion, 2 garlic cloves, curry powder, cocoa powder, a bay leaf and red pepper flakes.
And then…I looked at all that stuff on the counter and wondered what the hell I could do with it. It should be noted, if it hasn’t already been noted, that I am not a recipe developer. I often can’t even follow someone else’s recipe. Despite that handicap, I was determined to make something that tasted half-way decent out of these hodge-podge ingredients .
My first thought was some kind of baked quinoa casserole, but then I thought that a curry-type stew would be better, served over the quinoa.
I have to say, this may be the first recipe that I’ve “developed” that is worthy of being called a “recipe.” It turned out really good. But as God likely said after he created Adam: “it’s good, but it could be even better.”
So on Tuesday night, I topped my stew and quinoa leftovers with pan-toasted unsweetened coconut flakes and cashew pieces. And it was awesome.
But, you know what? I think this dish could get even better. The quinoa base was a little bland, and while I haven’t tried it yet to confirm, I think a coconut milk/lime juice/lime zest dressing mixed into the quinoa may be the ticket. Any thoughts?
Coconut-Curry Sweet Potato Stew over (Limey?) Quinoa
1 c. quinoa, cook according to package directions
3 medium-sized sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks and roasted (buy organic so you can leave the skin on–just wash thoroughly)
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper
25 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
4-5 tbsp. light coconut milk
1 bay leaf
2.5 tsp. curry powder
1.5 tsp. cocoa powder
pinch of red pepper flakes
Topping Ingredients (per serving)
1-2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut
1-2 tbsp. cashew pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet/roasting pan, toss the sweet potato chunks with 1-2 tbsp. olive oil and salt and pepper, and roast for 20-30 minutes, until they’re browned and soft enough to pierce with a fork.
When potatoes are done, heat 1-2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in bay leaf, curry powder, cocoa powder, and red pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds. Then add diced tomatoes, coconut milk, kidney beans, and roasted sweet potatoes (combine all the ingredients well), reduce heat a bit, and simmer for up to 20 minutes.
Directions for topping:
In a small dry skillet, toast coconut and cashew pieces over medium heat. Remove from heat once the coconut begins to brown (don’t let it burn!).
Assemble to serve:
Place some quinoa in a bowl, top with the sweet potato and kidney bean stew, and top that with the toasted coconut and cashews.
And that’s it. You may want to kick up the spice amounts. I kept it pretty mild for Peter. Let me know if you try it with “limey” quinoa.
Have a nice Thursday evening!
P.S. Do you watch “Raising Hope“? You should. I can’t get a line from Tuesday’s episode out of my head. When discussing coin toss rules with her husband, the wife said:
“Heads I win, tails you lose.”
the son flipped the coin and it came up tails-
the husband paused and then said:
“Man, I never win coin tosses!”
So funny. I literally cry from laughing during most of the shows. I feel like I’m cheating on “Parks and Recreation” and “30 Rock,” but “Raising Hope” may make me laugh just a little bit more…