Eating Without Meat gathering from 10/22/11

Last week brought another Eating Without Meat gathering.  I have been wowed by how good the food is month after month.  It truly just keeps getting better.  I think we all agreed that the indisputable hit of this feast was the African Sweet Potato and Peanut stew served over short grain brown rice.  Hearty…creamy…a touch a sweetness…I’ve already made it for my family! We had 4 new friends attend this gathering and by the end of the afternoon, I think we all truly felt nourished—in many ways.  Here is a sampling of the delicious food that was served. Links to the recipes or the actual recipe follows:

Rice Salad with Dried Fruit & Nuts

½ cup brown basmati rice, rinsed

1 cup Lundberg Wild Blend rice

(or use ½ cup each of brown basmati, wild rice, and short-grain brown rice  for a total of 1 ½ cups)

Combine rice in a pan with 3 cups water and ¼ tsp salt.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes.  Meanwhile put in a large mixing bowl:

1 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup currants

½ cup dried apricots (cut in pieces—I use kitchen scissors for this)

When the rice is done add it to the dried fruit.  (The heat of the rice softens the fruit.)  While rice is still warm, pour over this dressing and mix:

¼ cup lemon juice

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

May be refrigerated when cool, depending on when you want to serve it.

Before serving mix in:

¾ cup whole pecans, toasted

½ cup chopped parsley

¼ cup chopped mint

¼ cup chopped basil

Serve at room temperature.

Other Recipes:

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

Black Bean Salad with Mango & Kiwi (no recipe provided)

Vegetarian Chili Verde

Dan’s Special Salsa (no recipe provided)

The Light Body

For over 20 years, Marita studied the way in which food interacts with both the emotional and physical bodies.  She has worked as a nutrition and wellness counselor and operated The Traveling Gourmet School of Cooking. She created her cookbook, The Light Body, in response to the need for a comprehensive cookbook that would meet the necessary criteria for attaining optimal health.  In her words,

My philosophy on eating is not about denial, but rather an awareness of how fresh, whole foods can benefit us both in regaining, and maintaining, health and wellness.  I believe that what we put into our bodies has a direct effect on our health, our moods and the quality of our lives.

Fortunately for us, Marita attended last month’s Eating Without Meat gathering and brought with her a most delicious  Three Sisters Stew.  She graciously has agreed to allow us to share the recipe.


Three Sisters Stew

2 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil
1 1/2 cups sweet onion, coarsely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds butternut (or other variety) squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 large ribs celery, diagonally sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dried summer savory
1 cup dried Great Northern beans or black-eyed peas, cooked
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
In a large, wide-bottomed skillet, heat oil. Sauté onion and garlic until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add squash and next 6 ingredients with sautéed veggies. Cover and cook over medium heat until squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients, simmer 3 minutes. Serve warm with a side of cooked quinoa.  Serves 4 to 6.
The “three sisters”—beans, corn and squash—were more than just food to Native Americans. Daily life was steeped in magic and mystery to the early people of the world. These three staples were part of myth and religion as well as food and were revered as “gift givers and caretakers of the People”. Bursting with flavor, this dish makes a quick, satisfying meal, ready in 30 minutes. 
Thanks Marita!
Our next gathering will be this Saturday.  We hope you can join us for more wonderful and nourishing dishes.