Squash, Carrot and Red Lentil Stew

Squash and lentil stewTry this recipe for a healthy, hearty meal with flavours that have a South African twist.  For the original, more authentic-sounding recipe (it’s designed for the slow-cooker if you’re into planning ahead like that – during the week, clearly I’m not) check it out on Eating Well. Continue reading


Moroccan Stew

This is an easy, hearty and healthy recipe that made for a delicious dinner with great friends.  The chopping and spice-mixing was done ahead of time so the only thing left to do once people arrived was add things to the pot and stir!  As much as I enjoy cooking, I love spending time with friends more, and the last thing I want to do when I have company is spend the entire evening slaving over the stove.  Continue reading

Not Quite Cajun Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Although winter is still a ways away (I am so not ready for snow yet) as soon as the weather starts to get cold this time of year I run through all my favourite cold weather recipes as if I’ve been eating nothing but lettuce for months!  Yes, an excuse to stuff myself on carbs!  Thank you Fall!

This is a bastardized version of true jambalaya, as it doesn’t have seafood, but it does have two kinds of delicious local meats so I think that makes up for it.  Continue reading

Hearty Beer & Chicken Stew

One of the things I love about fall is that it gives me an excuse to have the stove on for hours heating up the house and making comfort food.  This was originally a slow-cooker recipe from Eating Well, but my slow-cooker isn’t big enough so I translated it to stove-top and made a few other tweaks along the way.

I used local meat to make this stew.  It’s so comforting finding a local butcher (or several) who you trust and can talk to about the origins of the food they sell.  The rich, smokey bacon flavour is really the star of this stew, so if you need an excuse to find a great local butcher I say now is the time!  If you’re in the Ottawa area, I got my meat for this meal at Sasloves.

6 tbsp plus 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I use Red Fife heritage wheat)
2 1/2 pounds local boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces
4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 pieces thick-cut local bacon, chopped
1 can of stout beer (I used Guinness, but would have loved to find a local microbrew!)
1 pound carrots, diced
6 medium red skinned potatoes, diced
1 cup red onion, chopped
1 cup white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups organic chicken broth
2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed
fresh ground salt and pepper to taste


1. Combine 6 tablespoons flour with about 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl. Dredge chicken thighs in the mixture to coat; transfer to a plate.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add half the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to a clean plate and repeat with more oil and second half of chicken. Remove it to the plate also.

3. Add bacon to the pot and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup flour over the bacon and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes more. Add beer and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. (This whole mess with the flour was really annoying, but worth it – it helps the wonderful bacon flavour permeate throughout the stew!)

4. Add carrots, onion, garlic, thyme and broth.  Stir.  Turn down heat to low.  Cover and simmer about half an hour.

5. Add potatoes.  Cook another 20 minutes.

6. Stir in peas, cook for 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cabbage Roll Stew

I’ve never been a huge fan of cabbage, but I do love cabbage rolls.  I had some cabbage sitting in the fridge from our CSA at Waratah Downs, and with the rain and cooler weather we had this weekend, I wasn’t in the mood for coleslaw.

I searched for a new recipe and found this amazing stew!  The original recipe refers to it as a soup but I’m calling it a stew because it’s really hearty and can easily be served as a meal.  I’m also still over-run by tomatoes, and had some peppers and onions from from the Westboro Farmer’s Market, so this recipe was perfect.  Most of the ingredients are in season this time of year and can be found at farmer’s markets.  This stew is sweet and sour and delicious, and tastes very much like cabbage rolls.

Adapted from Eating Well

1 tbsp canola oil
1 pound local lean ground beef
1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp thyme
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped peppers
1 medium apple, unpeeled, diced (we used an Ontario Empire apple)
6 cups organic beef broth
4 cups diced plum tomatoes, seeds removed
1 1/2 tbsp local honey
1 tbsp paprika
3-4 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven (a large heavy-bottomed pot) over medium heat. Add beef, caraway seeds and thyme and cook, stirring and breaking up the beef with a spoon, until it is mostly browned, about 6 minutes.  Stir in peppers, onions and apple; cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes, honey and paprika. Cover and turn heat to high until just boiling. Reduce heat to low and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in cabbage and cook just until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.  Season with vinegar, salt and pepper.

Serves about 6