Warming Cabbage and Butternut Squash Stew

Hello!  It is hard to believe it is already November. It will be Thanksgiving and Christmas before we know it!  I hope you had a good Halloween.  It has never been my favorite holiday but this year was fun. I went to the Raleigh area to visit my friend Caryn who has the 9 year old triplets.  I had a great time being with her family and trick or treating in a great neighborhood.  Her kids were Cleopatria, King Henry VIII, and Harry Potter.  Somehow I missed a photo of Harry Potter. 

We had a great time.  I ate too much candy and delicious food that I normally skip.....pizza, bagels, dark chocolate peanut butter cups. So I came home wanting vegetables.  It is cold and rainy here so I thought a stew was in order.  I also decided that today is the day to clean up my diet overall. I have been eating too much dark chocolate, pumpkin bread (recipe coming soon!), whole wheat bread with peanut butter.  Although almost everything I eat is healthy, I need to get back to eating mostly vegetables, some fruits and grains.  It is easy to eat peanut butter toast and call it a day.  So my plan from now until Thanksgiving is to focus on vegetables, legumes, a little fruit, some whole grains and some nuts and seeds. No chocolate or candy, no pasta (even rice or whole grain), alcohol, bread, or cheese.  I think some eggs, a little rice, oats or other grains, and maybe some good yogurt.  I'll let you know how it goes.  

I have also been quite cold these days and want to work on warming myself up. A stew was just the thing to meet all those requirements.  This is pretty easy and uses staples of Fall. Butternut squash, cabbage and apple cooked in broth with sauteed onion, rosemary, sage, and bay leaf. I added a good bit of red pepper flakes to give it some heat.  I added 2 cups of pinto beans I cooked last week but any kind of canned bean will work.  I think a white bean like cannelini would be prettier than these brown pintos.  After cooking you stir in lime zest and juice which gives it a nice brightness.  Stews can be kind of heavy and bland but the lime and pepper remedies that. For me this was the perfect lunch for a rainy day after too much sugar!  Add a green salad if you like.  A big hunk of crusty bread would be a nice side if you aren't trying to limit your refined grains.  I hope you'll try it.  (Note:  I used 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes and it was spicy enough to make my nose run. If you don't like heat, just put a very small pinch or 1/4 tsp.)  

I'll leave you with a couple pictures of the weekend.  Caryn's sweet dog Stella (I loved getting some dog time in!)  and a blurry photos of us.  Isn't her daughter Alison stylish?  She has quite the creative design sense! BTW, sorry for the pictures today....it was too cloudy to get nice photos! 

Warming Cabbage and Butternut Squash Stew

by Catherine Craig

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Keywords: entree soup/stew gluten-free vegan vegetarian apples butternut squash cabbage fall

Ingredients (4 - 6 servings)

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (red or yellow)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 10 grinds of black pepper
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1 firm apple, cored and cubed
  • 4 cups liquid (vegetable broth or water or a combo. I used 2 of each)
  • 2 cups cooked beans (if canned, rinsed and drained)
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in a big soup pot/Dutch oven over medium high heat.

Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until tender and starting to slighly brown.

Add the garic, rosemary, bay leaves, sage, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the squash, cabbage, and apple and stir to coat in the onion/spice mixture.

Add the liquid, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low to maintain a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans, and cook for about 15 minutes on low heat until the ingredients meld together and cook into a thick stew. Remove the bay leaves. Add the lime juice and zest. Taste for seasoning and adjust with more lime, salt and pepper as needed.

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