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Spicy Vegetable Stew Recipe

© beats1 @ 123rf.com

Hearty and nourishing, this vegetable stew is perfect on cold, fall days and a terrific way of meeting your daily veggie quota. I usually make it after looking in my fridge and realizing I have too many fresh vegetables on hand (not a bad problem to have!). While I use squash and peppers in this vegetable stew recipe, make it with whatever veggies and legumes you like. Just remember to add any leafy greens like kale or spinach at the end, since they cook much faster than the other veggies.

You can make this in a crockpot – set it and forget it – or on the stove in a large saucepan.

*Choose organic veggies when possible, especially if using bell peppers.

You’ll need:

Optional finishes/garnishes:

  • Jalapeño Garlic or Garlic Olive Oil, drizzled as a finish
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • High-fat, plain Greek yogurt, dollop as a finish
  • Grated cheddar or Jack cheese, as garnish

Prep veggies: wash and slice or dice all the veggies into bite-sized pieces. If using a crockpot, add all ingredients in and set to low if cooking for 4+ hours or med-high, if you want it to cook faster.

For stovepot veggie stew, start by sautéing the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and bell peppers in 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil on low or medium-low until the veggies are tender. Use extra virgin olive oil for a milder flavor, or a garlic or jalapeño garlic olive oil for an added kick of flavor – garlic olive oil is also great when you find yourself out of (or simply don’t feel like peeling and chopping) fresh garlic.

Add the squash and chopped tomatoes, and continue to cook until tender, then pour in the marinara, pureed tomatoes or tomato juice and veggie stock or water, then bring to a simmer. Add the garbanzo beans and Mexican Spice Blend and simmer for 10-20 minutes. If you like curry, you can use curry powder instead of, or in addition to, Mexican Spice Blend – just adjust amount accordingly. Season with freshly ground Savory Salt Blend and Pepper & Juniper Blend (optional), to taste. You can serve immediately, or keep the stew on low heat to slowly keep cooking for a few hours.

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When serving this, I like to finish each dish with a drizzle of jalapeño garlic or garlic flavored olive oil and chopped fresh cilantro. The jalapeño garlic oil gives it a nice kick of chili heat. Family members of mine also enjoy it with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or some grated cheese. No matter what you put on it, make it something you enjoy so veggies are a dish you love eating!

From my heart to yours,

Dr. Stephen Sinatra signature

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