Just before we left Alabama, I made this black bean and potato stew on a night I was craving something warm and comforting with no added oil. This dish turned out to be one of those one-pot wonders that don’t require a lot of attention an can be prepared well within an hour.
I usually add kale to soups and stews in the last couple minutes of cooking (or even as I take the pot off the stove) because I don’t want it to wilt too much. If you prefer your kale more wilted, feel free to add it 5-7 min before the dish is done. You can also use other leafy greens instead of kale, bearing in mind that more tender varieties like spinach will take even less time to wilt.
You may have noticed that I use very little oil – or omit it completely – in my recipes. If you’re wondering why, read this Q&A from the site of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn – a renowned heart surgeon and plant-based diet supporter who spent his career at the well-known Cleveland Clinic only to discover through practice that heart disease can be not only prevented, but also reversed if patients adopt a whole foods, plant based diet with no added oils. Even if we seem to be in good health, especially when eating a plant-based vegan diet, we might still be causing damage to the endothelial lining of our arteries through consuming oils. Dr. Esselstyn goes so far as to suggest avoiding nuts and avocadoes to people with symptoms of heart disease. Here’s my post about Dr. Esselstyn and other scientists and researchers who propose switching to a plant-based diet.
But back to our black bean-potato stew…
Like with most of my recipes, you can experiment with adding or substituting different ingredients in this stew. In fall, any type of root vegetable would work great here, so feel free to add parsnips, rutabagas, turnips while cutting down on potatoes. Use sweet potatoes instead of regular, if you wish. And of course, top your bowl with a nice handful of chopped fresh herbs of choice – I used cilantro and scallions here.
While I made this stew in a pan on stovetop, I’m sure you can also make it in a slow cooker: throw everything together except for kale and garam masala, cook on low for a few hours, and enjoy! I haven’t made this stew in a slow cooker though, so if you try it, let me know how it turned out!
A warm bowl of this lovely stew with potatoes, black beans and kale is all you need on those chilly fall nights! The recipe is highly customizable - you can add root vegetables or greens of choice, as well as use a different combination of spices
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 4 medium potatoes (the size of a fist), cubed into 1" dice anr rinsed with cold water *(see notes)*
- 2 carrots, sliced into 1/4"-thick rounds
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 roma romatoes, chopped and lightly squeezed
- 5-6 baby portobello mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 2-3 kale leaves, torn by hand, stalks discarded (or use another leafy vegetable)
- Hot water or vegetable broth, enough to just cover the vegetables in the pot (here's an easy way to make veggie broth at home)
- Fresh herbs (cilantro, scallions, dill etc.), for serving
- 1/2 Tbsp fenugreek
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 - 1/2 Tsp garam masala
- salt, pepper to taste (can use Bragg's Liquid Aminos instead of salt)
- Heat 1-2 Tbsp of water or vegetable broth in a thick-bottomed pan on stovetop until the liquid is bubbly. Add onions and garlic, sautee on medium for 5 min, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if onions start sticking to the pan.
- When onions are translucent, add fenugreek, cumin, turmeric, and paprika. Cook for 2 min, adding more liquid if necessary.
- Add chopped and slightly squeezed tomatoes. Cook for 3 min, stirring a couple times.
- Add potatoes and carrots, stir. Pour hot broth or water over the vegetables, just enough to barely cover them. Cover the pan with a lid, bring to a simmer, and cook for 15-20 min, until potatoes are soft.
- Add mushrooms and cook uncovered for 5 min.
- Add salt (or liquid aminos) and pepper to taste. When all vegetables are soft, stir in torn kale leaves, let them get steamed by the heat of the stew, and take the pan off the heat.
- Stir in garam masala. Allow the dish to cool off for 5 min before serving.
- Garnish each bowl with chopped fresh herbs. Enjoy!
If you're not averse to using a microwave, you can speed up the cooking time of potatoes by microwaving the cubed spuds for 2 min prior to adding them to the stew. Potatoes can be left unpeeled, if you'd like.
What are your favorite ideas for a heartwarming plant-based vegan dinner? Do you use any other recipes that have potatoes, beans and kale in them? Share your thoughts!