Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pumpkin, Potato and Kidney Bean Stew

I got this potato from the farmers markets. It was called a red-something...only $3 a kilo! I was hoping it would be red inside (I've seen purple ones in seed catalogues) but unfortunately it was white. It tasted like a regular potato but with an earthier skin (I never peel mine).

So I decided to put it in a stew - I adapted this recipe, and changed most of it to suit me, I think.

Pumpkin, Potato and Kidney Bean Stew
Serves 8 with grain base or 10 without


4 cups cooked kidney beans (about 2 cups dried)
1 cup stock (I used Massel Chicken Style)
Oil for frying
4 cups roughly diced onion
4 cups mixed diced: pumpkin, sweet potato, regular potato
1 cup chopped carrot (about 2 medium)
1 chopped jalapeno chili*
2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 cups cooked tomatoes (about 1 800g can)


1. Put some oil in a large stock pot and add onions, carrot, chilli and pumpkin/potatoes until onion starts to soften - about ten minutes.
2. Add beans to this mixture. Add sage, thyme, and paprika and then tomatoes and some of the stock. Add more later if it starts to dry out a little. Stir well and bring to a boil.
3. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until vegetables are tender.
*It could have done with 2 or more!
I served ours with a mixture of unpearled barley and brown rice. I did 2 parts rice to one part barley.

It also would have a little tastier with just sweet potato or pumpkin - or a few extra herbs. I also forgot to put pepper in.
Unpearled barley is whole barley. It takes a LONG time to cook (about 1.5 hours) but I think it's worth it. I cook in the same way as dried beans: Put barley and water to cover in saucepan, bring to boil. Turn off heat and let stand for a few hours (at least 1). Drain barley and put new water in. Bring to boil again then turn down and simmer until tender (this really does take about 1.5 hours - maybe 2!). I just like making life difficult for myself :) It took a few forkfuls to get used to - just remember to chew it well, and not breathe in the husk. We really like the taste and texture, actually. I love regular pearled barley but this adds a little more.

I'm actually trying to gain some weight (only 4-5kg or so) and I figure I should eat more carbs than I burn. Unpearled barley, brown rice, lots of bread etc. They are cheaper for me to buy than good fats such as avocado, peanut butter, other nuts. 1kg of this unpearled barley only cost me $2.60! I'll still be eating my nuts etc occasionally when I can afford it too though.

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