Adventures in Eating: Pumpkin Stew with Lentils and Chard

Pumpkins are not just for Halloween, but for year-round cancer protection. Dai­ly, I read something about how certain foods aid in forestalling or eliminating certain diseases. Eating pumpkin is the latest scientific information regarding feeding our body machinery more effi­ciently to live a healthier life. I also just read where tests have shown that women who eat lots of garlic do not suffer from breast cancer. During World War II, our men in some Japanese camps grew gar­lic, and would munch on these buds after being served wormy fish soup. None of them suffered the side effects of such hor­rible meals.

Even if you are a working person, this type of stew is easy to prepare and makes a fair quantity so you may use it as a leftover. The second time around, just add a skinned chicken breast or some frozen shrimp, etc. Even by adding a little curry powder sauteed in some butter, to the stew, will give you a different flavor to savour. Remember, what you put into yourself dictates how the innards will perform in the years to come. A great way to use leftover jack-o-lanterns! Here is a hearty and health protective…

PUMPKIN STEW WITH LENTILS & CHARD

1 Tb. first pressed green olive oil
1 Tb. butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove minced garlic
1 Tb. fresh minced ginger
1 Th. whole cumin seeds
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed
1 lb. pumpkin, peeled and cut into one inch cubes
1/2 cup raisins, preferably golden
10 oz. Swiss chard or spinach chopped (or if frozen thaw first)
3/4 tsp, salt, and pepper to taste

Heat oil in 4 quart saucepan or soup pot (best). Saute onion and ginger about 3 minutes, add garlic. Stir in cumin seeds, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, 2 and a half cups water and lentils. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add pumpkin, raisins and the remaining 2 cups of water. Return to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer over medium heat until lentils are just tender (ten minutes or more) or until pumpkin is soft. Stir in chard and season to taste, then cover and cook for 3-5 minutes more. Serve over wild or brown rice. Variations: Use chicken broth instead of water or half wa­ter and half chicken broth. Slightly mash pumpkin to thicken the stew before serv­ing it on rice. Add a dollop of non-fat yo­gurt sprinkled with sunflower seeds

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