Healthy, Poultry, Stew

Spiced chicken, spinach and sweet potato stew

Serves: 4

So, between the time of writing this and next Friday (4 days away), Maxy Ashes Beerworth will be born.

A little man destined to make – and break – our lives, at least in the short-term. (The making will be a much longer-term affair though the immediate focus is on the cannonball that will interrupt any concept of sleep, dancing with tequila in the kitchen late at night or eating out on a whim.)

But kids are a long-term game and I am so bloody excited, words do not describe.

But back to the short-term play.

We will need food and at a time when the sous vide and micro herbs probably won’t play a part.

Herein starts a short series of posts dedicated to Maxy, our sanity and eating well.

And this bloody marvelous stew is a great way to kick it off.

It takes a while and I have adjusted the recipe to add a touch more spice – of which you could certainly add more – and I recommend it it without hesitation if your little Maxy is about to enter the world.

Or you just want an awesome, super-healthy stew for lunch.

Seriously, she is good.

Ingredients

Stew

1 tbsp olive oil
3 sweet potatoes, cubed
200gm baby spinach, fresh
8 chicken thighs, chopped
500ml chicken stock

Spice mix

2 red onions, chopped
2 red chillis, chopped with seeds
1 tsp paprika
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
400gm can tomatoes
2 preserved lemons, deseeded and chopped

To serve

Coriander
Pumpkin seeds, toasted

3 preserved lemons, deseeded and chopped
Warmed naan bread

Method

  1. In a food processor, blend all of the spice mix ingredients until very finely chopped.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the spice mix for around 5 minutes until thickened.
  3. Add the chicken and cook until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Add the stock and reduce over a medium heat until thick; an hour at least, likely two. You want a thick stew and the chicken breaking apart.
  5. Meanwhile, boil the sweet potato for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  6. Season the chicken with pepper, add the sweet potato and spinach. Combine for a minute or two.
  7. Serve with coriander, pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of chopped, preserved lemon.
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Moroccan, Stew, Vegetarian

Moroccan-style Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Serves: 6 – 8 lunches

We don’t buy our lunches at work.

Instead, we cook something big on Sunday night – a stew, a mince, a dahl – and that is lunch for the week.

Nat repeatedly makes the point that there is simply no point in wasting calories during the week. Or to the point, wasting calories, at work, at lunch. Better to reserve the pastas and pastry for the weekends when you can have a few wines and mop everything up with bread and more wines.

I don’t disagree.

Thus why you should consider this stew and making it for your next week of lunches.

Working backwards, it is a calorie blackhole. You’ll burn more calories eating it.

Secondly, it tastes just great.

Thirdly, thanks to the chickpeas, it is filling and you won’t be searching around for a Rivita before four.

Save the money, save the calories and save the weekend for the big chicken sandwiches.

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 – 2 tsp chilli flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 dates, pitted and chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped into 2 cm pieces
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2cm pieces
2 x 400gm cans of crushed tomatoes
3 cups of vegetable stock
1 yellow capsicum (pepper), stemmed and chopped into 2cm pieces
2 cups of cooked chickpeas
Salt and pepper
Couple handfuls of baby spinach
To serve: Greek yoghurt, coriander, lemon zest, brown rice

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the onions, lower the heat and cook until softened. Add the spices and chilli flakes. Slowly saute until the onions are really soft.
  2. Add the garlic and saute for a minute. Add the dates, carrots and sweet potatoes. Season with the salt and pepper and mix. Add the tomatoes, stir and then the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced and thickening.
  3. Add the capsicum and chickpeas; check your seasoning. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the greens and cook for a final minute, adding olive oil, lemon zest and seasoning as need be.
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Healthy, Moroccan, Vegetarian

Moroccan Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Moroccan Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Serves: 6 – 8

This stew isn’t likely from Morocco though who cares?

It is healthy, filling, tasty, full of pleasant heat and super simple to prep.

As a work lunch – something we had all last week – it ticks every box, served either hot or cold.

Add a dollop of yoghurt, coriander or a side of cous cous and the fact that this stew might not be strictly Moroccan really will be the last of your thoughts.

Yum!

Ingredients

1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
Chilli flakes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 dates, pitted and chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 x 400gm cans crushed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable stock
1 yellow pepper, stemmed and chopped
2 cans cooked chickpeas
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
A few handfuls of baby spinach

To serve:
Chopped flat leaf parsley/coriander
Finely grated lemon zest
Extra virgin olive oil
Cooked brown rice/quinoa/couscous

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan over a medium heat. Add the onions, lower the heat and cook until soft. Add the cinnamon, cumin, coriander and a few pinches of chilli flakes. Cook slowly until the onions are soft.
  2. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant: a minute or to. Add the chopped dates, carrots, sweet potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Stirring, add the tomatoes and then the stock.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sweet potatoes are just tender: 10 – 12 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped peppers and chickpeas and stir. Season again and simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  5. Stir through the spinach, check the seasoning and serve.
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