Lately I have discovered many new tastes and food combinations (i.e. bacon and cookies) by browsing dozens of food blogs online. I most often use tastespotting.com by typing in a single ingredient search, and bookmarking as many interesting recipes that appear in the results. It’s a great way to find new food blogs for my viewing pleasure, and also provides an inspiration to cook and try new things. I must say, it’s been a very exciting time in “my kitchen” since tastespotting came into light.
To get to today’s post, this was my first time ever working with coconut milk. I have also never tried kale before… until now. A bonus! – This recipe incorporates two of my most favorite things: butternut squash and sweet potatoes. Sweet! All in all, this was a very flavorful and nutritious meal. Perhaps next time I’ll add some ancho chili powder to give it more of a kick, as I love, love heat in my dishes. (Just wait unil I post my favorite recipe for spicy frosted Mexican brownies – pure, hot madness!)
In general, this recipe has no need for improvement. The sweetness in this dish is definitely heightened by the coconut milk, vanilla, and cinnamon, yet does not taste in the least bit like a dessert. It has a mild curry flavor to it, exhibited through the blend of spices, and tastes quite hearty with the addition of kale. The best part is quite possibly the plumped raisins. They add a different texture, and an additional sweetness that really contrasts with the other flavors. I found the cooking process to be smooth, and the directions were very easy to follow. The most time spent was in peeling and prepping the butternut squash and potatoes. However, TOTALLY WORTH IT.
Vanilla Sweet Potato and Kale Stew
Adapted from The Taste Space Blog
2 pounds of sweet potato and butternut squash, combined – (I used 1 lb sweet potato and 1 lb squash), cut into 1” pieces
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can lite coconut milk (I used 3/4 of a 14 oz can)
1 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla soy milk, making it vegan)
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1/2 lb kale (4 packed cups), trimmed, washed and torn into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins
1/8 cup sliced almonds (for garnish – not pictured)
1. Steam sweet potatoes and squash together in a large pot for 10 minutes (or you can cook in microwave on high for 6.5 minutes)
2. Remove steam basket with potatoes and squash from large pot. Heat pot on medium high. Spray with cooking spray and add potatoes and squash, cooking until they begin to brown. Stir in garlic.
3. Add coconut milk, milk, spices, salt, pepper and flakes.
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Puree with immersion blender (I left mine semi-chunky) or mash with potato masher
6. Add raisins, kale and vanilla and cover. Allow to cook for 8-10 more minutes, until kale is bright green.
7. Portion into bowls and garnish with 1 tbsp each almonds. Eat by itself, or serve over rice. (I opted to eat it solo – too yummy!)