• Leyla Hur, as featured in Munaty Cooking

    Leyla Hur, as featured in Munaty Cooking

    "In Hong Kong, everything revolves around food, and it was not different in my family. In my family, each meal was truly an event and that is something I still hold close. Right after we finished one meal, Dad would discuss with us what we would have for our next meal..."

  • About Leyla

    About Leyla

    "Even from my earliest years, I liked to feed people and share my food with others. I have been privileged enough to grow up in Hong Kong, live in Malaysia, Australia, Canada, and now the United States; and I have travelled extensively throughout the world, sampling the delicacies of..."

  • Asian Beef Lettuce Cups (with Vegetarian Alternative)

    Asian Beef Lettuce Cups (with Vegetarian Alternative)

    "In Hong Kong, this is very famous and usually comes when you order Peking Duck. The restaurant will then make three dishes from the duck. You will usually get the skin (Peking Duck) which is served with..."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pumpkin, Barley, Lentil, Turkey Stew

It's cold in Arizona. Well, at least cold for Arizona. So what better way to warm up than to eat a stew that is going to stick to your bones, but is packed full of healthy benefits?

Growing up, Mum often made barley stew... or at least stews with barley. I love it and it is so incredibly healthy for you. Barley water made into a refreshing drink is also very healthy for you, but that is for another post. The other oft-eaten legume in our home, was lentil. So these are two items that I have in my freezer at all times.

As I pondered what to pair these this grain and legume with, I came across a large can of pureed pumpkin in my cupboard and a can of turkey chunks.

Many people buy cans of pumpkin around the holiday time to make pies and soup with. I use it throughout the year in soups, curries, and even pumpkin muffins and loaves. It is a great and handy item to have in your pantry, and I suggest everyone keep a few cans in your pantry for as fast and healthy addition to what you are cooking.

This dish is so easy to make and it does not take too long either. You can also add carrots, diced mushrooms, and baby spinach to the stew. If you add mushrooms and baby spinach, do so right towards the end before you turn off the heat so that the vegetables doesn't get overcooked.

1 cup barley, washed
1/2 red lentils, washed
1 (heaped) tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
2 TBSP butter
1/2 can puree pumpkin, large can
1 can turkey chunks, liquid included
6 cups water, or as needed
Salt (to taste)

Melt butter in a pot and add the barley and lentils, stir well and add the spices, mix very well and then add the pumpkin puree and enough water to make puree smooth. Now add the can of turkey, including the liquid. Separate the turkey meat and bring to boil. Stirring often. Add more water as needed. When stew comes to a boil, reduce heat to very low and keep an eye on the stew, stir often to prevent it from sticking to the bottom and burning. Throughout the cooking process, add more water as it is needed until all six cups are used and the barley is cooked through. It should be very thick by this time. Taste it and if you need to add salt, do so now.

** If you are vegetarian, you can omit the chicken powder and use vegetable bouillon powder/cube instead (or omit altogether), as well as the meat. You can substitute the meat with firm tofu or more vegetables.

                        Pumpkin, Barley, Lentil, Turkey Stew

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