Comfort foods don’t need to be unhealthy and loaded with butter, or fried in mile high oils. Comfort foods are about nourishment. Eating whole unprocessed foods, full of fiber, protein, minerals, healthy fats – to me, that what’s real Comfort food is all about! This delicious stew gives you just that, along with an incredible boost of antioxidants! It’s the perfect nourishment for the fall chilly weather. And with the “fall back’ time change, the early setting of the sun and the rush of the holidays falling upon us; Valerian Hot Chocolate is the perfect warming drink to ease you into a state of relaxation, calm anxiety and promote sleep. Enjoy these delicious recipes!
Curried Garbanzo Bean and Squash Stew
This stew is amazing served over brown rice or quinoa for a simple weeknight meal. Feel free to replace the squash with potatoes for an equally delicious meal!
Serves 4-6 and perfect for leftover lunches!
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch cayenne pepper
2 delicata squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
2 cups diced tomatoes, or one 14oz can
3-4 cups chopped kale or spinach
3 cups cooked garbanzo beans, or 2 cans
1 cup water
1-2 tsp sea salt or Herbamare
1. Heat an 11 inch skillet or 6-quart pot over medium heat. Add coconut oil then add onions, saute for about 5 minutes or until soft. Then add the crushed garlic and spices, saute for one more minute.
2. Next, add the squash and tomatoes. Place a lid on the pot and simmer over low to medium-low heat until squash is tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Add chopped kale, cooked garbanzo beans, water and sea salt; gently stir together and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt/seasonings if desired.
Valerian Hot Chocolate
SO what is valerian you ask?! It’s a beautiful wild plant with pink or sometimes white flowers that generally thrives in damp places. It is helpful for anxiety, headaches, tension due to stress/overwork. You can find it in dried herb, tincture or supplemental form.
Lemon Balm, also known as Melissa has a fresh, lemony, clean aroma. It is great for restlessness, digestive upsets, headaches and tension. The fresh leaves are delicious in soups or salads!
Ingredients: NOTE – Most of these fresh/dried herbs can be found in health food stores. If you cannot find fresh, use 1 tbsp dried herb.
3 tbsp fresh valerian root
3 tbsp fresh lemon balm leaves
3 fresh lavender flowers
6 leaves and 3 heads from fresh passionflowers
peel of 1 1/2 oranges
3 3/4 cups almond milk
50g organic dark chocolate (minimun 50% cocoa solids)
dash of vanilla extract
Chop the top and bottom from the fresh valerian root. Add valerian, lemon balm, lavender, passionflowers, orange peel, and almond milk to a pan and gently heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Do not let mixture come to a boil. Strain.
Pour the infused milk back into the pan, then add dark chocolate and vanilla extract, and stir until melted. Drink at once!!
Enjoy your Meatless Monday and I hope this delicious Hot chocolate helps you settle into some sweet dreams!