Here's a non-ideal life situation for you - Thanksgiving menu testing the week before running a marathon. Really.
I mean, it's only the biggest food holiday of the year. And maybe it's also the first time you're cooking/baking for your extended family who have never really eaten anything you've cooked and/or baked, but know about the blog and are therefore probably expecting greatness. No pressure.
So now not only are you stress eating like a madwoman, but you also have three gratins, a few pies, and a sweet potato casserole or two on the menu for this week, none of which are particularly skimpy on the heavy cream. Not to mention the fact that you also feel compelled to make a real dinner that has, you know...a less jaw-droppingly awful saturated fat and cholesterol profile and that might actually make your muscles stronger rather than send them to hell in a handbasket along with your size 4 skinny jeans that you really want to still fit into after all this is over.
Oh the joys of being a food blogger.
All I have to say is...thank the heavens for this stew. Not only does it come together in around a half hour, but it's also so full of health I can hardly stand it!! Butternut squash, swiss chard, and tofu join forces with some serious Thai flavor to make a dish that is both filling and delicious. Seriously, having this in the fridge will make it that much easier to pry yourself away from the creamed "insert vegetable here" that you've been taste testing every hour for the past two days. And, if you're willing to go the non-traditional route, it would also make for an awesome vegetarian entree on Thanksgiving....which, given how good it is for you, would leave you more room for pie. That, my friends, is a win. Squared.
This is our THIRD week of the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash, cohosted by me and the lovely Heather of Girlichef! If you want to participate, be sure to link up your winter squash recipes from this week below:
Before I get to the recipe, I just want to let my NYC readers know about an awesome event going on at the Tribeca Whole Foods this week! The New York Times best-selling author and health advocate, Kris Carr, along with Senior Culinary Educator for Whole Foods Market's healthy eating program, Chef Chad Sarno will be signing copies of their new book - Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution. They'll be there on Tuesday November 13th from 6:30-8:30PM. Anyone who attends will get to taste an assortment of delicious recipes from their cookbook, watch a cooking demonstration, and get their book signed by the chefs. If you're in the area, it definitely sounds like an awesome event to attend!
Thai Tofu and Winter Squash Stew
Serves 4, adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
- 2 medium leeks, white parts only
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 serrano chiles, minced
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 15 oz can lite coconut milk
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 bunch swiss chard, de-stemmed and cut into ribbons
- 1 10 oz package extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/3 cup raw peanuts
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Halve the leeks lengthwise, then cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Wash off any dirt.
- Heat the oil in a wide soup pot. Add the leeks and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until partially softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, chiles, and ginger. Cook 1 minute more. Add the curry, sugar, and soy sauce. Reduce the heat to medium, scrape the pan and cook for a few minutes more.
- Add 3 cups water, the coconut milk, squash, swiss chard, and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the tofu to the stew once the squash is almost tender, then simmer until it's done. Taste for salt and add the lime juice.
- Fry the peanuts in a few drops of peanut oil in a small skillet over medium heat until browned. Coarsely chop the nuts. Serve the stew over rice with the cilantro and peanuts scattered over the top.