Monday, November 15, 2010

Gypsy vegetable stew

I haven't posted a recipe for quite a while, I have been busy with establishing my new enterprise, The Tailor's Apprentice, where I mentor you over 10 weeks to make the gown of your dreams.  I haven't stopped my love of cooking however, I just haven't blogged about it! Since I last wrote we have planted out our summer veggie garden and got a chook, still a youngster but growing fast and hopefully we will get our own eggs soon.

Since I left my city job in April, I have been getting unfit, too much time enjoying myself in the studio and kitchen and not enough time exercising. So my friend Justine from Empowered Beginnings, is working with me to get back to my fit and healthy self, her motto is:
“Whether you’re planning on bringing a new life into the world, or improving your own – we all have a birthright to be healthy and happy!”

 Justine wants everyone to be empowered to eat well, healthily and to exercise to get the best potential out of their lives. She and her partner have started Friday Night Feasts at their place where we all bring a home cooked meal made from fresh, organic ingredients and cooked from first principles and as seasonal as possible. I made Gypsy Vegetable Stew in my Dreampot Thermal Cooker, the recipe is by Suzanne Gibbs from her Pressure Cooker Recipe Book, I adapted it slightly and added organic chicken to the mix.

Gypsy Vegetable Stew

2 white or brown onions, sliced (I used whole spring onions)
2 green or red capsicums, halved, white insides and seeds removed and then sliced into thick strips (i used red and yellow)
3 zucchini, cut into chunks
2-3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (I left them whole)
1 eggplant, cut into chunks (I didn't use this)
2 tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 x 400 g diced tomatoes or 1 punnet cherry tomatoes (I used tinned tomatoes)
1 chicken breast, cut into chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pwepper
!/3 cup olive oil
Juice of one lemon

I also used the following:
1 large handful of Pumpkin, cubed
1 large handful of Sweet potatoes, cubed
1 large handful of Potatoes, cubed 

All my ingredients were organic and locally sourced, some from my garden.

1. Arrange the vegetables and chicken in separate layers, first the onions, then capsicum, zucchini, garlic, chicken, eggplant, lastly the fresh or tinned tomatoes, sprinkling each layer with pepper and salt. Pour over olive oil and lemon juice.

2. Close the lid of your pressure cooker (I used my Dreampot as a thermal cooker, see below for details *), bring the cooker to high heat, once low pressure has been reached, reduce the heat to stablise pressure and cook 5 minutes.

3. Release the pressure using the natural-release method and remove lid. Serve warm or at room temperature.

* Dreampot method:

1.Organise ingredients as for Point 1 above.

2. Place Dreampot saucepan on cooker, bring to a boil, boil gently for 15 minutes.

3. Remove Dreampot saucepan from cooker and put into Dreampot thermal container.

4. Leave for a minimum of 2 hours (mine was the full 7 hours as I made it in the morning)

This recipes is simple, healthy and delicious, not much else you can ask for in a one-pot meal really.

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