Winter Leek, Squash and Miso Stew

So, Flu-Nami is going around.  It's that time of year again...when everyone and their mom seems to be getting sick.  To make matters even worse, it's one of those chilly, gray winter days again.  Don't fear, we have the perfect solution and way to combat the bacteria blues!! Try out this yummy, soothing, comforting soup.

Miso is a fermented soybean paste, used in Japanese cooking.  It is full of good bacteria, which is beneficial for the digestive tract.  Miso is great to eat when you are feeling sick, as it supports the good bacteria in your intestines.  This good bacteria is needed for proper digestion of food and removal of waste.  This good bacteria helps fight off bad bugs and bacteria that enter your body.

Kabocha Squash is one of the best tasting vegetables out there, it is a deep, rich, mustard yellow colour and is nutty and sweet in flavour.  It is often used in Asian cuisine and usually has a dark slate green skin.  Like other squashes, kabocha is rich in vitamin A and C, which are super important nutrients for boosting immunity and fighting off the flu.  Squash is a warming food, which is so important to include in the winter diet.

Mung Beans and Adzuki Beans are not the most traditionally used beans in the western side of the world.  These legumes are packed full of protein and a healthy dose of fiber.  They are a good source of minerals as well.  Adzuki beans are used in healing Macrobiotic cooking and mung beans have been used for thousands of years in the traditional Indian healing system Ayurveda.  Both beans are rich in potassium as well as contain B-vitamins.   Potassium is an important electrolyte and maintains healthy water balance in the body, influencing everything from headaches to arthritis to blood pressure.

Adzuki Beans and Mung Beans

Ingredients: 2 tsp grapeseed oil or ghee ¼ cup mung beans ¼ cup adzuki beans 1 inch piece ginger root, sliced 1 large leek or 2 small leeks, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 carrots, chopped ½ kabocha squash (the best squash in the whole world), chopped in small cubes 2 cups kale, finely chopped 4 cups water 2 Tbsp miso

Directions: 1. Saute the leeks, garlic, and ginger in oil for 2 minutes. 2. Add the carots, mung bean, and adzuki beans. 3. Add water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. 4. Add in the kabocha squash.  Cook for 10 minutes. 5. Add in the kale.  Cook for 2 minutes. 6. Remove from heat.  Stir in the miso.