Thai Lemongrass & Turmeric Vegetable Stew


Serves 4

Halloween? Fun, fun, fun! Feeling like you’re coming down with the mega-lurgy two days before your birthday? Super un-fun! So as usual, to the kitchen I go to medicate myself with food. This warming stew is packed full of antioxidants due to the SEVEN different brightly coloured veggies crammed in there. And with 180% of my daily Vitamin A requirements, it is perfect for when you’re feeling run down or in need of an immune system boost. Each portion provides 350 calories, 9g of plant-based protein, 24% and 34% of my daily fibre and iron requirements respectively.

The garlic and ginger have wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, but arguably the most potent of all of the ingredients is the turmeric. Curcumin is the yellow pigment and main active ingredient in turmeric and has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Curcumin has also demonstrated incredible potential anti-cancer benefits. And when combined with a fat (eg. an oil) and black pepper, curcumin’s effects are further amplified as it becomes much more readily available to the body.

This freezes very well, so I always have individual portions stocked in my freezer, happy in the knowledge that I can have a nutrient dense dinner on tap for those inevitable manic days that I either run out of fresh food in the fridge or am just too darn tired to cook!

P**s off germs — you are not welcome here!!

NOTE — this stew is very versatile. I only added all of those veggies because they were going off in my fridge! Feel free to leave some out or experiment with new ones, and add some butter beans or lentils too.


· 4 Garlic Cloves
· 1 tbsp Turmeric Powder (or 5cm fresh grated root)
· 1 tbsp Fresh Ginger — Grated
· 2 Lemongrass Stalks
· 1 Fresh Red Chilli (adjust according to how spicy you like your food)
· 1 Lime
· 1 Onion
· 1 Leek
· 2 Celery Stalks
· 1 Large Sweet Potato
· 300g Butternut Squash (approximately 1 cup)
· 50g Red Cabbage
· 50g Green Cabbage
· 1 tbsp Oil
· 400ml Unsweetened Light Coconut Milk
· 500ml Vegetable Stock
· 250g Pre-cooked Mixed Grains Pouch (I used Merchant Gourmet)
· Salt & Pepper to taste
· Fresh coriander to garnish.


· Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
· Dice the onions, leeks and celery.
· Finely dice the chilli and the lemongrass (remove the first 2 tough outer layers first and only use the softer bendier middle part).
· Mince the garlic and grate the ginger.
· Chop the cabbages.
· Peel and chop the sweet potato and butternut squash; add a little oil and roast them for 30 mins or until starting to brown.
· Heat 1 tsp oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onions, leeks and celery for 5 minutes.
· Add the garlic, chilli and ginger and fry for one more minute before adding the vegetable stock, coconut milk and turmeric.
· Simmer for 15 minutes.
· Add the juice and zest of 1 lime.
· Add the roasted sweet potato and squash, the pre-cooked grain/lentil pouch and the chopped cabbage and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
· Season with salt and pepper to taste.
· To serve, garnish with fresh coriander and chilli.

Cheats tip — if you don’t have any fresh ginger, lemongrass or chilli, just stock the larder with the jars of dry or pureed spices so that you always have the Thai tastes to hand should the mood strike! Also, you can now buy frozen Soffrito mix from most supermarkets (pre-chopped onions, celery & carrots) so that you can make a soup or a stew in a snap!