Saturday, 31 March 2018

RECIPE: Feijaoda (super healthy and tasty Brazilian stew)

Recipe for Feijaoda a Brazilian stew, vegan, vegetarian and zero 0 smart points on Weight Watchers Flex

Lately, I've been cooking lots more than usual. It's nice - I tend to get into the habit of cooking the same things over and over, and get really lazy about pushing my boundaries. I have stacks of cookbooks that I've never cooked anything from, and it does sadden me a little. I love to cook, and I love to cook new things - there's nothing like that feeling when you take the first taste and it's not like anything you've ever made before. So I'm pushing myself to do that a little more.

Actually, this isn't a bad time of year to do that. Firstly, it's cold (STILL) and cooking is hot work. Secondly, I'm not going out a whole lot right now, so instead I've been picking a nice meal every weekend to make. We've had beef stew and tikka masalas and oh-so-many curries. And one of my favourite recent recipes - that's actually gone into my cooking rotation already - is this Jamie Oliver version of Feijaoda, a Brazilian stew.

I do turn to Jamie's recipes more and more - they're always super easy to follow and he's pretty creative with flavours, and I like how he bounces around between different cuisines, because that's what I do too.

Also, if you're doing Weight Watchers like I am, this recipe is 0SP which is amazing (rice etc would obvs be extra). I've made a few tweaks to the original - I cut back on the oil a little and switched out the okra out for green beans (it's nice either way). Also, I like to pulse the finished stew with a hand blender to thicken it at the end - totally optional, but I think it's good. And if you're NOT doing Weight Watchers, like my fiance isn't, you'll still enjoy it lots. Promise.

Recipe for Feijaoda a Brazilian stew, vegan, vegetarian and zero 0 smart points on Weight Watchers Flex

Finally, it's worth the extra effort to make the salsa. I've had it with and without the salsa, and it's SO much better with. It takes no time at all to throw it together and it elevates this meal to something v.special.

Feijoada (recipe adapted from here)
One small butternut squash
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 peppers
2 red onions
4 cloves of garlic
4 fresh bay leaves
2 x 400g tins of black beans
100g okra or green beans
2 fresh tomatoes
1/2 fresh red chilli (deseeded if you don't like it too spicy)
Small bunch of fresh coriander (about 15g)
1 lime
2 tsp vegetable or olive oil
Natural yoghurt, to serve

Serves 6-8
Zero (0) Weight Watchers Smart Points

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / Gas mark 6
2. Deseed the squash (you don't need to peel it) then chop into chunks (about 3cm).
3. Add the squash to a large oven tray, and toss and massage with 1 tsp of oil, the ground coriander and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
4. Then deseed the peppers and cut into 3cm chunks, and in a separate tray toss and massage them with another teaspoon of oil and the smoked paprika. Place both trays in the oven for 35 minutes, or until softened.
5. If you're planning to serve this immediately, set aside 1/4 of one of the onions for the salsa. If not, chuck it all in with the rest which you need to roughly chop, and place in a large casserole pan or wok on a low heat. Use some oil here if you like, I just used a splash of water.
6. Crush in the garlic, add the bay leaves and a bit more water and cook for 20 minutes, or until soft, stirring regularly.
7. Tip in both tins of black beans, including the juice, then fill one of the tins with water and add that into the pan. Simmer for another 15 minutes or so, and once the squash and peppers are done too, add them into the pan.
8. If you're using it, trim and finely slice the okra (or green beans), and add to the pan, simmering for another 20 minutes or so until the feijaoda is thickened and delicious.
9. If you'd like to thicken it further, like I did, take a hand blender and blitz in bits until the sauce is thick and unctuous. Now there's a good word. Give it a taste to see if it needs any further seasoning like salt or pepper.
10. This freezes really well, so you can either serve immediately or package it up and pop in the freezer until you're ready.
11. When you're ready to serve, make a quick salsa - deseed the tomatoes, then finely chop with the chilli (deseeded if you don't want it super spicy), a quarter of a red onion (that one you set aside earlier, remember) and add to a bowl with the juice of a lime and a little salt.
12. Serve in big bowls with rice, a dollop of natural yogurt and a couple of spoonfuls of the salsa.

Recipe for Feijaoda a Brazilian stew, vegan, vegetarian and zero 0 smart points on Weight Watchers Flex
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