Curried Pumpkin and White Bean Stew

What I love about this stew is that it’s a great way to showcase a food that is often overlooked. In doing my research, I learned that most pumpkins grown in Canada and the US are purchased for Halloween, only to end up in the landfill, creating methane, a greenhouse gas that is much more potent than carbon dioxide. It’s a shame because pumpkins are very nutritious and can provide the base for so many different meals.

For example, I cut up my entire pumpkin, mostly into cubes. I discarded the skin, guts and stem in the compost. The cubed pumpkin yielded over 20 cups! I also kept a few large slices with the skin on (In case you’re wondering, I used a combination of a large serrated bread knife and a chef’s knife to chop up my pumpkin). I made red lentil and pumpkin soup, cinnamon roasted pumpkin, and the stew with the cubed pumpkin. I placed the large slices onto a parchment-lined baking tray and roasted for an hour or so at 425 F. Roasting the pumpkin resulted in a rich, slightly sweet flavour. Very tasty! I mashed it up a bit (puree consistency) and added some to a smoothie, and gave some to my dog (he is addicted!). I also roasted the seeds! I still have several cups of cubed pumpkin left, and I plan on steaming or roasting these in the next day or so. I see pumpkin hummus in my future!

Pumpkin puree, pumpkin soup and my stew freezes really well, so you can make big batches and freeze them for another time.  These are just a few of the countless ways you can cook with pumpkin. 

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil 

1 onion, diced 

2 carrots, chopped 

1 cayenne pepper including seeds (or other hot pepper of your choice), minced (optional)

2 cloves of garlic, minced 

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 

1 - 2 tablespoons of your favourite curry powder (I like Cha’s Organics Curry Masala)

6 cups of pumpkin, cubed 

540ml (19 oz) can of white beans of your choice (I used white kidney), drained and rinsed 

2 cups of vegetable broth

1 tablespoon tomato paste 

1 teaspoon of salt 

400 ml (14 oz) coconut milk (full fat or lite both work) 

3 - 4 tightly packed cups of chopped fresh spinach 

Chopped cilantro for garnish

Lime wedges, for garnish 

Salt & Pepper 

Directions: 

Warm the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots and a big pinch of salt. Stir it and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onions become slightly translucent.  Then add the cayenne (if using), garlic, ginger and curry spice. Give it a good stir and cook for another minute.

Add the pumpkin, white beans, vegetable broth, tomato paste and salt, give it a stir, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low and simmer, stirring every so often, for about 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is easily pierced by a fork. 

Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for a few more minutes.  Then add the spinach and give it another stir.  Simmer for about 2 minutes or until the spinach has wilted.  Taste and season with extra salt and pepper as needed. If you’d like a sweeter stew, stir in a drizzle of maple syrup. 

Serve with grain of your choice or a slice of crusty bread. Top with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Will keep in the fridge for 5 days or frozen for 2 months. 

About Amy Longard

Amy Longard is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.) and Plant-Based Chef. Learn more about Amy and her work at http://www.amylongard.com/

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