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Garden Bali Stew

I’ve been meaning to get this recipe up for a long time and I was almost 90% sure that I actually did have it on the blog already, clearly I was very wrong. I went fully out of my comfort zone over the weekend and did a live food demo at Vegan Life Live – a weekend show where vegan traders are able to exhibit/showcase their products, food + drink stands, talks, demos and more. Overall a pretty amazing day, not to mention finally getting my hands on my friend Graces, founder of Spicebox chose chaat naan bread, I mean it’s basically Indian food in pizza form.. naturally, next level.

The food demo in itself was probably one of the most nerve wracking/overwhelming/exciting things I’ve ever done and I’m insanely proud of my self (cringe?) for actually going ahead with it. It’s always good to do things out of our comfort zone right? One of the greatest lessons, especially in the last few years, is to just just that. Do things that scare you, things you fear.. because more often than not, the greatest things come from fear (some words of wisdom from my bestie, and boy is she always right!).

Anywho, back to this delightful stew. It’s hearty, wholesome and spicy in all the right ways. The greatest thing about it is that you tailor it to any season. Once you have the foundations for the spices/flavours, chucking in what you have on hand, or in your garden etc, will always work. Of course you can go full Bali style and use a variety of Asian vegetables – greens, mushrooms etc, but it is just as delicious with what you have on hand.

Note 1: I took the picture in the spring, so the vegetables I used are somewhat different to those in the recipe below. I was fully loving aubergine season, with of course some fresh corn in there!

What you’ll need: Serves 4-6
Coconut oil – for frying
2 shallots – chopped
3 cloves garlic – minced
Large knob of fresh ginger – minced/grated
1 chilli – deseeded
2 sticks of lemongrass – tops + bottoms removed, sliced length ways
Large handful coriander – stalks and leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp coconut aminos
4-6 cups water (thickness dependant)
1 low salt stock cube
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
2-3 carrots – peeled, sliced thin
4-6 oyster mushrooms – roughly chopped
2 medium (or 4 small) tomatoes – diced
1 ⅓ cup green beans – sliced length ways
1 tin cooked chickpeas *240g when drained
4 cups Swiss chard – or preferred greens of choice
½ head red cabbage – thinly sliced
Thai basil – handful
1 lime – juiced
1 shallot
1 cup cashews – toasted
Salt + pepper

Optional serving suggestions:
½ cup rice per head – white jasmine rice is great with this dish
Coconut yoghurt

What to do: A key thing to note in this recipe is prep work is everything. Once you have all of your ingredients ready to go, the whole process is pretty quick.

1. On a low heat, sauté your shallots in a little coconut oil or water until they become soft. Add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and coriander stalks, continuing to sauté until fragrant. You may want to add a bit more water if it starts to dry up.
2. Add the tamari/soy sauce, coconut aminos, water and stock cube. Bring to the boil before adding the carrots. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes.
3. Add the mushrooms, diced tomatoes, green beans and chickpeas. Cook for another couple of minutes until the vegetables are soft.
4. Add half of the fresh coriander, Swiss chard and cabbage bringing back to the boil to cook these through. Season to taste here.
5. Lower the heat on your stew whilst you proceed to the next step. In a small pan, lightly toast the cashews in the coconut oil until they are browned. You can also dry roast on a non stick pan. Then add the shallots and fry off too.
6. Once your greens and cabbage have cooked through, season again if necessary and add the rest of the coriander.
7. To serve, ladle into bowls, top with the toasted cashews and eat hot.

Note 2: If you are serving with rice, you can do that right at the last minute, placing a portion in the middle of each bowl, before ladling over the stew.

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