Sunday, May 18, 2008

Vegan African Peanut Stew

I'm on the hunt for new flavors and new recipes. So, I pulled out last summer's Vegetarian Times and experimented. I was a little nervous when we decided to try the Spicy Peanut Stew. I was mostly nervous because the picture sorta made it look disgusting and the flavor combination was a little foreign to me (peanut butter and tomatoes?). But, of course it was a hit. Not only was it a one dish (plus rice maker) meal, but the sink wasn't filled with dishes afterwards, which always makes my husband (aka dishwasher) happy!

Recipe: (for stew...hold on, you should make the salsa too)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 celery stalk, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 tbsp. grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks (about 2 cups +)
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with chiles
1 1b. butternut squash, cut into 1 inch chunks (about 3 cups)
1/2 lb. cauliflower florets (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I used 365 Brand, Organic)
6 cups cooked brown rice
1 head watercress, stems removed (I did not add this ingredient because mine wilted)

Heat oil in large pot on med-low. Add onion and celery and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and ginger and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and tomatoes. Increase heat to medium and cook for another 5 minutes until sauce is thicker, stirring occasionally. Stir in 2 cups of water and season with some salt and pepper (i always under salt my meals for health reasons, but this one really needs some salt). Simmer partially covered for 10 minutes or so. Add squash and cauliflower and cook 15 minutes or so, until vegetables are tender. Whisk together peanut butter and a 1/2 cup warm water. Add to the stew. Cook another 5 minutes and stir constantly. Pour over rice.

Recipe: (for salsa on top)
1 cup roasted peanuts
1 cucumber peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup cilantro
2 jalapeno peppers
4tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. salt

On this recipe, I doubled all the amounts above because there was a group consensus that the cucumber salsa was a key component to this dish. So, no need to double up because I did it for you. But simply toss all those ingredients together and spoon on top of your stew.

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