As the cooler weather settles in I get excited for hearty stews and soups. Foods that provide a more warming effect on the body. During my second pregnancy the majority of my pregnancy was in the fall and winter months. I lived on soups and stews. That's all I wanted. It didn't help that I was carrying my sweet little girl high and it never felt like I had room to eat. I (along with my hubs and a few friends) started to worrying that this baby was going to be a little, under developed peanut because that's honestly all I ever wanted to eat the majority of my pregnancy. My first trimester was in the summer and well I was just too sick to much at all. So then that left me eating soups from October to March. Nourishing my growing baby with soups. Even my mid-wife was a little skeptical that I was getting all my nutrients in. I assured her I was but I did have my own doubts, to be honest. I just knew I was craving soups like crazy. They were easy one pot meals. I could get creative and add all kinds of things to them. There's a lot of variety to play with when making soups. Now at the time my husband and then 1 year old would not have agreed. They were on soup burnout, while I was happily indulging in new soup recipes daily and couldn't get enough. Well my sweet little Sydney girl arrived in March weighing in at a whooping 8 pounds 15 ounces! Whoa! Nearly 2 pounds bigger than my first. So much for my malnourished growing baby! I think we were all completely surprised. She looked like a 2 month old when they handed her to me.
So I share this story with you to tell you that you can create powerhouses of nutrition in stews and soups. Think of adding whole grains (quinoa, rice, barley, millet, bulgar..), tofu, tempeh, various vegetables, spices, and herbs to soup recipes to give them a creative or fresh feel. Soups can be an amazing vehicle of nutrition for you and your family. Even with little eaters they go over well. The veggies in soups are soft enough that they make for great finger foods and start to expose babies to a little bit of variety of spices.
I wanted to share one my favorite stews I created this fall. So hearty and warming. We loved it. Well all except my littlest one. She prefers not to eat soup. It's funny really. Maybe there's something in her that just cannot handle the thought of any more soup even though her little body was built on the stuff!
Well I hope you enjoy a hearty stew and cozy evening in!
Squash & Sweet Potato Curry Stew
1 onion, finely chopped
1 14 ounce package extra firm tofu
1 large sweet potato
1/2 medium sized butternut squash, cubed (mine was already cooked)
2 cloves garlic
1 3/4 cups vegetable stock
1 can coconut milk
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups garbanzo beans (canned or already cooked)
3 cups finely chopped spinach, kale, swiss chard, or other leafy greens
Medium head of broccoli
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
sea salt to taste
chopped fresh mint
Garnish bowls with chopped fresh mint. Eat as is or over a already cooked grain. I just used some brown rice I had leftover in the fridge and added it right in with the soup while it was simmering.