For the last handful of years I have been slowly getting to know bits and pieces of Persian culture. The particular person who connects me with Persian culture has a strong affinity for healthy relationship with food, eating in a balance of flavours, textures, and qualities of food, that I think goes beyond a general cultural attention to these things. He is quick to let me know when a food I am eating seems "too hot" or "too cold" for my system. I appreciate the reminders, and certainly notice that as my body evolves with every passing year, it does become more particular to how nourishing the foods are that I consume. I crave warm and hearty foods at this time of the year, and I crave lighter, fresher foods in the spring, for example. But beyond that, I struggle with my cravings for sweet. I am constantly trying to be diligent with my intake of sweet flavours, noticing when I am lacking "sweetness" in the rest of my life, for instance, and how that triggers me to want to reach for a sweet taste to get that little hit of dopamine or opioid satisfaction that I am not getting in other parts of my life. So when I am looking at the meals I cook for myself I seek to prepare food that is nourishing and will help me stay balanced and not seeking extra sweetness afterward. I find that a hint of sour in my meals, such as this dish, really staves off that sugar craving I so often notice after I eat.
Anyway, back to the Persians. In my experience the folks I have met know how to party, they know how to mourn, they know how to do community, and boy do they know how to eat! It is difficult for me to remember the names of everything in Farsi, but this one has stuck with me because I find this dish so perfect for the fall season, and so freaking healthy! Why don't more people know about Ghormeh Sabzi!? It is rich in protein, chock full of healthy greens, loaded with fibre and tastes amazing.
So, without further ado, and with gratitude to the amazing man who inspires me to take better care of myself, here is my slightly tweaked version of Ghormeh Sabzi. ENJOY!!
- 1 lb grass fed lamb stew meat cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1.5 tbs dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, rinsed
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, rinsed
- 2 bunches spinach, rinsed
- 1 medium sized leek
- 4tbs lime juice
- Cooking oil: grapeseed or olive oil
Finely chop all of your greens: parsley, cilantro, and spinach. In a large skillet add 3 tbs oil and all of the greens for about 15 minutes, stirring gently. After 5 minutes add in the dried fenugreek leaves. While this cooks, finely chop your onion and leek.
In a stockpot heat 2-3 tbs oil and add in chopped onions and sautee until translucent. Next, add in the garlic, turmeric, lamb, leek, salt and pepper to taste. Continue to sautee for about 10 minutes.
Next add the greens, rinsed and drained kidney beans, and lime juice. Add just enough water to barely cover all of the food. Place a lid on the pot and turn heat on low/ med low. Allow this to simmer for 90 minutes- 2 hours.
Serve over brown rice or Persian style white rice, as described here: http://www.mypersiankitchen.com/persian-rice-cooking-method/