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Bombastic Brazilian Stew §

Get your chops around this spicy little number, a perfect weekday meal that will go a long way with a bit of tupperware in the fridge (keep others' naughty hands away). This recipe for modueca de palmitos and is from Las Iguanas.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Makes: 3 portions


100g butternut squash, pre-cooked in the oven

12g fresh ginger

1 clove garlic

1tbsp olive oil

1 onion

1/2 red chilli

1/4tbsp vegetable bouillon

200g fresh tomatoes

Juice of 1 lime

200ml coconut milk (half a tin)

60g creamed coconut

125ml water

150ml vegetable stock

7g fresh coriander

2 peppers (whatever colours you like!)

50g spinach

125g green beans

1/2 tin palm hearts or ~80g canned/jarred artichokes if not available

1tbsp sustainable palm oil (or vegetable oil if not available)

1. Dice, roll a six sided gasp

Finely dice a thumb sized piece of giner, 1 clove of garlic, an onion and a red chilli. Heat 1tbsp of oil in a large pan and add all of your diced base of flavour. Sweat until the onions are transculscent - around 10 minutes - no need to dab their oniony foreheads with a hanky, let them sweat like they're in the Mississipi delta.

In the meantime, roughly chop your 200g tomatoes, add to the pan with your sweaty veg, also add a tsp of vegetable stock powder. Cook until the tomatoes start to dry out, like a martian lake millions of years ago - another 8-10 minutes.

Once the tomatoes are drier than your boss' jokes, add the juice of one lime, 1/2 tin of coconut milk and 60g creamed coconut the fresh coriander and 125ml of water. Simmer until the sauce is creamy and thick - around 20 minutes.

2. A panopticon gasp

In a seperate pan, add 150ml vegetable stock. Slice your colourful array of peppers and add to the stock [who here knew that the different pepper colours are just different ages of the same pepper? As such, throw whichever colour in which you're ageist against first].

Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Then add the green beans, butternut squash, spinach and palm hearts. Stir well and cook for a minute.

Next, add the creamy coconut sauce to the veg, or vice versa, and stir. It shouldn't be too runny, so cook until thickened and stew like. No soup here Mr and Mrs Bucket!

Taste for seasoning, it might need a healthy pinch of salt. Serve with rice.

And dink and sink!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "Confession o'clock, I've eaten this stew a lot of times at Los Iguanas. I loved it then, and this was also great. It would have been even better served with their cauliflower rice - but it's lockdown and you can't have it all. I thought the flavours of the stew could have had more depth, but that was probably because I used stock instead of bullion.. also there was a lot of pots involved! I was not happy with all the washing up. I think this could easily be made less complicated and be adapted to use less pots. 8/10"

Kate says: "Have you been missing going to restaurants in lockdown? Specifically Las Iguanas? Then this is the recipe for you. Both Lizzy and I had tried it there and loved it, and luckily they had the recipe online! I think traditionally this recipe is served with fish which I also imagine would be delicious, given the subtle creamy flavour of the sauce. I especially like the way the tomatoes broke down into the coconut milk which gave it a rich tangy flavour. I think this might become one of my weeknight staples, it gives you a big hit of flavour for not much effort and a lot of tasty vegetables. The only faff is roasting up the butternut squash (esp. for only 100g of it) so for that reason I'd score it 9/10"

8.5/10 Gasps


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