Mmmm…Coconut. There are few things in this world that I love as much as coconut. I enjoy it in various ways and using the milk out of a can is a wonderful dairy free alternative for those looking for a creamy consistency but keep kosher and cannot mix it with meat or poultry. It can easily be used in baking (make a delicious whipped cream with the thick cream from coconut milk can) but also in cooking as I do here in this delicious stew.
This recipe was actually first made with chicken, but the procedure is essentially the same. It is absolutely my new go to comfort food. It takes about 30 minutes to prepare (make it quicker by using all frozen, pre-cut veggies) and it is very satisfying no matter if you use chicken, your favorite vegetables, or even a firm fleshed white fish.
The flavors used here bring be back to my days at Spice Market restaurant, which are indigenous to Southeast Asia. They are popular for tantalizing your tongue with sweet, sour, and salty at the same time! The stew is creamy and filling and even my meat loving husband really likes it when served with basmati rice (his favorite)
The best part about this recipe is that as long as you follow the basics (saute aromatics-> add spices -> add veg or protein-> add coconut & simmer) then you can use as many or as little vegetables as you like. Use tofu, all of one vegetable, or none at all – honestly, make it your own! Just remember if you are swapping chicken for your vegetables, you should brown it first for optimal flavor.) Chicken thighs are nice, but so is chicken breast, diced or in strips. This would also work really well in the crock pot!
Coconut Vegetable Stew
1/c cup red onion, diced
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
1/2 carrot, dice
1 cup acorn squash, diced
1 cup frozen rutabaga ( already diced)
1 cup kale, chiffonade (ribbon cut, video here)
1 cup green beans, cut in half
1/2 cup, broccoli
1 can garbanzo beans
1 to 2 cans of coconut milk in the can
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1 cinnamon stick
1/3 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, texture is up to you!)
1/2 cilantro bunch, chopped for garnish
- In a large pot, saute the garlic and ginger in a little olive oil until golden brown and immediately add onions and peppers. Once soft and translucent, add spices (turmeric, onion + garlic powder, cinnamon stick and salt to your taste)
- Once the oil has turned a bright yellow, add all the non-green vegetables. While they sweat, you can take a bit of the coconut milk (shake the cans very well) and using a whisk, soften the peanut butter.Then add that and the rest of the coconut milk to the pot and stir well. (the amount of coconut milk should cover the vegetables completely since it will reduce down (see photo above)
- After about 20 minutes or so, add the rest of the green vegetables so they do not cook too long and retain their beautiful color ( unless army green is your thing with vegetables, in which case I am not judging – just add them in at the beginning)
- TASTE! As you go, I cannot reinforce this enough. Add cumin if you love it, use parsley instead of cilantro if you think it is soapy…don’t use the cinnamon stick if you think that’s weird (which it is not, it’s amazing) but what I am trying to drive home here is…have fun with it and let me know how it turned out!