Curried Pumpkin and Turkey Stew
Greetings from the other side, friends.
How you feeling? Tired? Full? Teensy bit hungover??? Cool. Samesies.
I hope yesterday’s feast was fabulous and that there were no major culinary disasters. And if there were, fingies crossed they were the kind where something hilariously terrible happens, but no one gets hurt, so you get to dine out on the story for the rest of the year. Those are ze best.
Anyhoo, I’m about to hit the road for a romantic weekend with my roommate and our leftovers, and I’m giddy with anticipatory excitement. We’ve been doing the same trip for years now, and it’s hands down my favorite fall weekend. Logan and I pack up all of our T-Day leftovers in a suitcase—there are a lot because I make enough food for twelve people even though I’m only feeding three—and head out to a little inn in Southampton for 56 glorious hours of doing as close to nothing as humanly possible.
Our cave home for the weekend is a creaky little cabin with toile curtains, a kitchenette, and a claw-footed tub, which is super cute and, more importantly, QUIET. We crush our joint Christmas shopping (so many sales!!!), go to the movies, sleep an embarrassing amount, and rely almost exclusively on Thanksgiving sandwiches and bourbon cocktails (booze and c-tail garnishes also go in the suitcase!) for sustenance. Logan watches a lot of football, which is obviously not ideal, but I am easily placated with a teen novel and the aforementioned sandwiches and bourbon.
Like I said, it’s glorious.
Given my rustic kitchenette, I’m forced to be a purist with my leftovers—sandwiches or “repeat feasts” only—but I firmly believe in getting creative with yours. It’s become a little bit of a Domesticate ME! tradition to provide a fun and delicious vehicle for your remaining T-Day odds and ends (i.e. Mashed Potato Pancakes with Goat Cheese and Chives, Thanksgiving Enchiladas, and Turkey and Sweet Potato Taquitos), and I’m proud to present this year’s offering: Curried Pumpkin and Turkey Stew.
First off, this stew will light up your taste buds. Loaded with turkey, pumpkin puree (maybe you have some leftover from pie?), and greens, it’s got an epic sweet and savory thing going for it with a gentle heat thanks to Thai red curry paste. Plus, it tastes super decadent and creamy despite the fact that there’s no actual cream involved.
I highly recommend topping each bowl with a heavy sprinkling of cilantro for freshness, pepitas for crunch, and leftover cranberry sauce for a sweet-tart kick. (I know the cranberry sauce addition may sound weird and gross, but I need you to trust me on this one. It’s a game changer.)
On top of being a total flavor bomb, this stew also happens to be loaded with health benefits, which is always a welcome surprise. Turkey is a great source of lean protein as well as vitamin B6 and niacin (essential for the body’s energy production), pumpkin is brimming with antioxidants (we could all use a little help in the glow department, no?), and spinach is full of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. It’s just the type of clean(ish) meal you need to get normal post T-Day.
Oh, and in case you’re totally over cooking right now, I’m pleased to report this one-pot wonder requires maybe 10 minutes of hands-on time, zero skill, and minimal cleanup. HALLELUJAH. And feel free to experiment with sweet potato or squash puree in place of the pumpkin if that’s what you have. (Depending on the puree, you may need to either simmer it a bit longer to thicken the stew or add a little chicken or vegetable broth to thin it out. It should still be delicious!)
Have fun this weekend, peeps! Thankful for you yesterday, today, and always.
p.s. This stew isn’t just a recipe for your leftovers—it’s a great anytime fall/winter meal. Try it with roast chicken in place of the turkey on the reg.
Curried Pumpkin and Turkey Stew: (serves 4-6)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup Thai red curry paste (I like Thai Kitchen brand)
1 13.5 ounce can light coconut milk
1 28-ounce can pumpkin puree (or about 3½ cups homemade pumpkin puree)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon low-sodium tamari or soy sauce (plus extra if needed)
1½ teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
3 cups shredded or diced turkey (white or dark meat)
3 packed cups baby spinach (baby kale is also great)
For serving: (optional)
Freshly chopped cilantro leaves
Pepitas (raw or toasted)
Preparing your Curried Pumpkin and Turkey Stew:
-Heat the coconut oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. (Be careful not to burn the garlic! If it starts to brown at all, reduce the heat, stat!)
-Stir in the curry paste and cook for 2-3 minutes to unlock the curry’s delicious flavor.
-Stir in the coconut milk, pumpkin, tamari, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Add the turkey and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the stew has thickened slightly. Add the spinach, stirring until it’s just wilted, about 1 minute (max). Taste and add a little extra tamari or salt if needed. (If your stew is too thick, feel free to add a little chicken broth to achieve the desired consistency.)
-Serve warm topped with cilantro, cranberry sauce, and pepitas if you’re feeling festive.
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