Fun, new way to embrace a delicious, nutritious, winter comfort food. Almost all the colours of the chakras are included in this stew. We begin with the roots … work our way up, through the colour spectrum – Red (pepper, paprika, tamarind), Orange (carrots, sweet potatoes), Yellow (onion, mustard powder), Green (celery, zucchini, herbs), Blue (water – ok, this is a stretch but…), Violet (eggplant, wine), Indigo (no indigo veg., so serve on an indigo plate or drink some violet liquid, such as red wine, from an indigo glass!) There that covers all the colours!
If you would like to add meat to this stew and cut time in the kitchen, cook the meat the night before. Add lots of red wine, a good dollop of olive oil if you are using poultry, sprinkle thyme, paprika, cumin, garam masala, mustard powder&/or chili peppers. Refrigerate and reheat by chopping and quickly stir-frying before adding to the vegetables.
Chop up various root vegetables, including carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, celery root. Toss into a large pan with a good dollop of olive oil and start frying … we want them caramelized! Next add some chopped onion and pepper (red is my favourite). Stir it all together and add some spice – black pepper, mustard powder, garam masala, cumin, paprika and stir again. Spices are better with a little frying – brings out the flavour. Tamarind is great to add, if you can. If not, add a bit of HP sauce – it contains tamarind. Add some chopped celery and garlic. The order of veggies is important to maintain cooking equality – hardest veggies lead as they take longer to cook! Now add the potatoes to absorb the earthiness of the root vegetables and the freshness of the other veggies. The root chakra must flow both ways – root vegetables first to give aroma, potatoes (another root veg.) last to take in the qualities of the root veg. – earthiness, grounding.
Once the onion becomes almost translucent, pour a good amount of a robust red wine (cabernet, pinot noir, shiraz – doesn’t have to be expensive), over all. Now we are ready to add soft vegetables, such as zucchini, eggplant, peas and the herbs. Savory, thyme, basil, oregano, marjoram, parsley, all contribute to a flavourful stew. Add a little of all or a lot of two or three. Use your nose to guide you.
Breathe in the aroma, if it needs tweaking – ie. more herbs/spices, add them now. Turn down heat and stir it all up. Add a little more wine – why not? I used 1/2 bottle in the stew I made, which would feed 8 people at one sitting. If red wine is not on the menu for you, add orange juice. OJ provides the same type of acidity and sweetness as wine, although it will change the flavour slightly.
Spinkle/pour a little GF boullion onto the veggie mixture. Stir a tbsp. of GF flour or cornstarch into a cold glass of water, make sure there are no lumps, then pour over all the veggies. Now you can add your meat/tofu. Cover and let simmer on low for a while … at least 1/2 hour. Serve over rice or GF pasta or just eat it up from a bowl. Any wine left over? Enjoy a glass with this lovely, tummy warming, soul-satisfying, chakra aligning, 😉 dish!