hearty calabaza stew

A One Pot Meal: Hearty Calabaza Stew

This might be Lilu’s favorite meal of all.  Whenever we tell her to come eat dinner, at least 80 percent of the time she will ask “is it calabaza?!”  Calabaza is Spanish for “squash” or “pumpkin;” this recipe features a type of Mexican squash similar to zucchini.  (You actually can substitute zucchini and/or yellow squash depending on what is available at your grocer.)

Here’s the how-to in less than five seconds:

making calabaza stew

Now here’s the full recipe.  The beauty of this meal is that it can be made in one pot– no piles of dishes to worry about after dinner!  Mateo likes to cook enough for ten people, so he does the noodles separately (they won’t fit in the calabaza pot), but I will make a note of when to add the noodles for those of you who will be preparing a more normal-sized portion.

You will need:

IMG_2828

  • 1-2lbs ground chuck
  • 1 green and 1 red bell pepper
  • 2-4 calabaza (squash)
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 ears of corn (may substitute 1 can of corn)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 TB tomato paste
  • 2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp diced garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (if all you have is powdered, just double this amount)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 package pasta (we used quinoa pasta– elbows, spirals,or shells work well)

Remember, Mateo makes enough for ten people (literally), so use the lower end of these measurements and ingredient amounts for a normal sized meal.

Start by prepping the veggies. Devein and dice peppers. Dice onions.

IMG_2830IMG_2832IMG_2833

Shuck corn and then remove kernels from the cobs.  It’s easiest to do this over a bowl to avoid corn going everywhere.  Cut the cobs in half and set aside.  Don’t throw them away yet!

IMG_2835IMG_2837IMG_2841

Cut the ends off the calabaza.  Cut each squash in half lengthwise; chop into 1/2 inch slices.

IMG_2842IMG_2844

Now it’s time to put everything in the pot!  Add onions, peppers, and diced garlic; sauté in olive oil until soft.

IMG_2847IMG_2848IMG_2849

Add ground beef, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika and cook until beef starts to brown.  (For a lighter version, pause here to drain the oil from the beef.)  Add canned tomatoes and tomato paste.

IMG_2850IMG_2851

Add calabaza, corn cobs and bay leaves.  Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  This is also where you would add the pasta.  Leave covered and cook for 20-30 minutes.  The longer everything stews together, the more intense the flavors will be.

IMG_2854IMG_2857

Remove corn cobs and bay leaves before serving.  If you cooked the pasta separately (like Mateo), this is where you would add it to the pot.

IMG_2904IMG_2908IMG_2909

Now you have the perfect meal to warm up with during these last few weeks of winter…and a super easy clean-up!

IMG_2910IMG_0042

4 thoughts on “A One Pot Meal: Hearty Calabaza Stew

Share your thoughts :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s