I’ve been MIA again – well from this blog but NOT from the kitchen. Being a vegetarian, I like to dabble in vegan recipes whenever the flavors tickle my fancy. The other night, I made the Black Soybean and Kabocha Squash Stew from page 164 of The Kind Diet. The Kind Diet is a vegan cookbook crafted by Alicia Silverstone aka Cher Horowitz ;); but it’s not only a cookbook, it’s a lifestyle guide. I am by no means a vegan (I love my cheese and yogurt), but as my bio states, I do like to experiment with recipes and most of the time, they turn out to be delicious.
What surprised me most about this dish was how sweet it turned out to be. I am NOT a fan of sweets but pairing this stew with some rice and greens made the whole dish come together flawlessly. However, I would suggest cutting the mirin suggestion of 1 cup down to ½ cup to avoid it being overly sweet. I can’t wait until the temperature starts to cool down here – this would be a fabulous winter dish to keep you warm and cozy!
- 1 cup dried black beans (or plain black beans)
- 1” piece of konbu seaweed (in Asian section of most markets)
- 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- Sea Salt
- Pinch of Crushed Red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 ½ cups canned diced tomatoes
- ½ kabocha squash, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
- 1 cup mirin (in Asian section of most markets)
- 2 teaspoons white miso
- 2 celery stalks diced
- Rinse the beans and rub them with a kitchen towel to dry them out.
- Toast them in a dry skillet on low heat for 5-10 minutes.
- Put beans in a large pot with the kombu and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover for 90 minutes.
* If you don’t have the time to do these first 3 steps, you can just add one or two cans of black beans. I have done this a few times (using 2 cans because I love beans). The recipe turns out just as tasty, but it really is better to cook with dry, organic beans if you have the time.
- While the beans cook, combine the oil, garlic, onion and chili powder in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add a little salt, red pepper flakes and cumin, continue cooking another 2-3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, squash, mirin and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 35 minutes.
- Using about a ladle of broth from the stew, in a small bowl combine it with the miso until the miso is dissolved, then add back to the pot.
- Add the beans and celery, and you’re done!