A long winter and an abundance of delicious recipes brings me back to writing them down for your enjoyment. This past Sunday I fed a large group of Body Rejuvenation Cleanse practitioners as they gathered to begin the Transition Phase of the Cleanse. Something sweet, warm and hearty was called for to help ease the sugar cravings and demonstrate how eating sweet vegetables can be very satisfying.

I served the stew with basmati brown rice, and a topping of creamy silken tofu flavored with lemon juice and enough nutritional yeast to provide a cheese flavor. As a side I served broccoli raab topped with sauteed garlic in olive oil and a fresh green salad tossed with a light vinaigrette dressing. All in all a delightful and educational afternoon spent with a wonderful group of people enjoying a healthy meal and intelligent conversation.

Sweet Vegetable Stew
Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 onion, chopped
3 clove garlic, minced
1″ piece ginger, peeled, diced

1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam masala (combination of Indian herbs and spices)

2 cups sweet potato, peeled, cubed
1 carrot, chopped
1 parsnip, peeled, chopped
2 cups kabucha squash, peeled, cubed

2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup sweet white wine
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14.5 ounce can chunky tomato sauce

1 can black beans, rinsed
1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

1. In a large dutch oven heat the oil and fry the cumin seeds until aroma is released, about 1 minute.   2. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and sauté until onion is tender about 3 minutes, stirring often.
3. Add the cumin and coriander powder and garam masala and stir well, cooking until aroma is released, about 1 minute.
4. Add the sweet potato, carrot, parsnip and squash to onion herb mixture and stir well. Add the stock, wine and both cans of tomatoes, stir well and bring to a simmer.
5. Add the black beans and sea salt, return to simmer, cover and allow to cook until squash and carrots are tender, about 1 hour. Use a flame deflector under the pot for even distribution of the heat.
Serve over basmati brown rice with a dollop of Tofu Cream.

Tofu Cream
Makes 2 cups

16 ounces organic silken tofu
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon Ume Plum vinegar or sea salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.