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Southwestern Stew (Great for Vegetarians and Vegans)
Recipe Submitted by the Fox Hill Bed & Breakfast and Cottage Suites

1 tbs plus 1 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tbs all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground coriander
3 cups vegetable broth
2 ½ cups peeled, cubed winter squash (butternut or delicata) (3/4 inch pieces)*

1 large all-purpose potato, peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes***
1 cup frozen corn
1 bay leaf
½ tsp salt, or more to taste
1 tbs tomato paste**
½ tsp dried basil
1 large pinch cinnamon
freshly ground pepper or cayenne pepper, to taste
finely chopped red bell pepper for garnish

In large saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, cook until soft, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, flour, cumin, chili powder, coriander and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Stir in broth, squash, potato, corn, bay leaf and salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover partially and simmer 15 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste, basil, cinnamon and pepper; cover partially and simmer gently until flavors have blended about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve over rice or polenta (see separate recipe). Best if sits for a few hours before eating. Taste before serving and see if it needs a bit of sugar or a squeeze of lemon -–or both.
6 servings

Per serving: 325 cal; 7G protein; 6g total fat (1g sat. fat); 53g carb; 0 chol; 284mg sodium; 7g fiber

Sue’s suggestions for Southwestern Stew:

Don’t use olive oil; instead sauté onion in a bit of broth.

Can substitute low salt/low fat chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. OR use plain water instead of broth to both sauté onion and make stew; increase spices a bit to bring up taste.

Don’t add salt ahead of time – add when eating if necessary.

*Grocery stores now sell butternut squash already peeled and sliced – get it this way – saves a lot of work. Also, garlic can be purchased already minced in a jar – it’s usually in the produce aisle.

**When you only need a small amount of tomato paste, scoop the remaining paste out of the can by tablespoons and drop on a large piece of saran wrap; separating the scoops by about 2 inches. Wrap them up (being sure each scoop is separate), and put in the freezer. The next time you need tomato paste, just take out a lump or two.

***If you want to save time, don’t bother to peel potato – just wash skin well. Also adds extra nutrients if you don’t peel.

When you’re not sure if you should add extra seasonings, scoop out a bit of the stew and add a sprinkle to that. If it tastes better, add the flavoring to the larger pot. This is how I test things when being “creative”.

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