Tag: Spices

Mediterranean Butternut Squash + Carrot Stew with Quinoa

My Mediterranean stew is made with mellow spices for a flavorful and healthy meal.

This stew can be prepared a day ahead. It’s great to take to work or enjoy for dinner the next day, or for a warm and healthy meal for the kids to come home to and easily reheat.

mediterranean stew

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: black pepper, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground turmeric, ground ginger, cayenne pepper
  • Pinch saffron
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup cooked lentils (if canned, do not drain: if cooked, save 1/4 cup of the cooking water)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups (about 1& 1/2 pounds) cubed butternut squash
  • 2 cups peeled carrots, cut into 3/4 inch slices

QUINOA

  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups filtered water

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Directions

First, prepare the stew. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, stirring often, for about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the dry spices. Add 1 cup water, lentils (with liquid from the can or reserved 1/4 cup cooking water), and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the squash and carrots. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Keep warm until the quinoa is finished, or cover the stew and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Next, prepare the quinoa. Place the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, covered, until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often so the onion does not burn. Add the garlic, salt, and turmeric, and sauté for one minute. Add the quinoa and stir for one minute. Add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, for about 15 minutes.

To serve, stir half the cilantro and half of the basil into the warm stew. Spoon the quinoa onto a platter or divide among bowls and form a well in the center. Spoon the stew into the well and garnish with the remaining cilantro and basil, if desired.

Terrific Turmeric: Why Nutritionists Are Calling it a ‘Super Spice’

Veronica working from home

Turmeric has always been identifiable by its golden color and popularity in Indian cuisine. However, the fragrant spice’s health benefits have only recently gained attention. Some nutritionists are now even calling it a ‘super spice’.

Read on to learn more about turmeric’s numerous health benefits and why we heavily feature it in our detox soups.

What is turmeric?

In America, some people may consider turmeric an exotic spice. However, in many parts of the world like India, it’s a staple ingredient.

Turmeric technically refers to the plant turmeric, which is a relative of ginger. The rhizomes, or root stalks of this plant, can be boiled, dried, and then ground down to create the orangey-yellow powder we call turmeric.

Turmeric is native to India. In India, turmeric isn’t just a flavorful ingredient – it is also an important part of traditional medicine as well as a dye for Hindi and Buddhist monk robes. In fact, due to its color, Europeans originally nicknamed it Indian Saffron.

Thanks to its bright color, mild flavor, and medicinal benefits, it didn’t take long for turmeric to become popular throughout Asia as well as internationally.

Why is turmeric so healthy?

Turmeric is packed with health benefits, largely thanks to a bioactive substance called curcumin.

Curcumin is a well-known anti-inflammatory and polyphenol. It promotes good heart health, boosts liver function, and aids in digestion. The latter benefit is particularly important during detoxes when you’re trying to rid your body of harmful toxins.

Of course, we can’t miss out on one of the most important turmeric benefits. It tastes delicious! If you’re making your own soups or healthy curries, turmeric is always a great ingredient to include.

blueberries

Does turmeric have side effects?

There is no concrete evidence of any side effects to eating or drinking turmeric.

Anecdotally speaking, some people new to turmeric have reported small amounts of indigestion after consuming large amounts of the ingredient. However, this is often a reported side effect of many new spices and ingredients and may just be a sign of your body getting used to it.

Perhaps the most preposterous myth about turmeric is that it causes pregnant women to go into labor early. There is zero evidence of this. In fact, pregnant women may very well benefit from including more turmeric in their diet.

The Super Ingredients

By design, a lot of ingredients are found in both of our healthy detox soups. These detox vegetable soups have been designed specifically for getting the most out of a juice cleanse, and pair perfectly with our other products. Our healthy detox soups will fuel you to roll right through our 21-day cleanse.

Cooking with turmeric

At Chef V, we’ve included turmeric and curcumin in both of our delicious detox soups. Not only does the ingredient taste delicious, but it also aids in helping your body detox harmful chemicals. Not to mention, its natural pigment makes every soup look beautiful and inviting!

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