WEST AFRICAN PEANUT STEW
This West African Peanut Stew is one of the very first things I made when I first went vegan in 2011. Prior to this, I don't think I had ever even made a stew in my life and had tried very little ethnic cuisine. It can be made with whatever veggies you have, and eaten with whatever grain you have; rice, quinoa, millet, etc. It keeps a while in the fridge and it's so so tasty! I believe I got the original idea from The Vegan Stoner, a website I used a lot back in the beginning and I would definitely recommend it for goods recipes for a person just starting out with plant-based food. I've made this stew so much over the years and it has definitely evolved and become one of my own personal favorites!
I've written it in metric form and in an informal form in case you don't have a scale on hand.
WEST AFRICAN PEANUT STEW
Yield: 8 100 gram servings
>> 15 ml coconut oil (1 T)
>> 200 g onions, diced (½ a large onion)
>> 15 g ginger, minced (2 in. thumb)
>> 15 g garlic, minced (4 cloves)
>> 200 g carrots, mandolined in rounds (3 med. carrots) *
>> 160 g celery, cut into slices (4 sticks) *
>> 200 g cooked chick peas ** (1 cup)
>> 800 g canned tomatoes (28 oz large can)
>> 130 g crunchy peanut butter (a little more than half a cup)
>> 110 g corn kernals or sweet peas (1/2 cup)
>> 100 g fresh baby spinach * (handful)
>> 50 ml lemon juice (3 1/2 Tablespoons)
>> 10 ml cumin (2 teaspoons)
>> 10 ml thyme (2 teaspoons)
>> 5 ml paprika (1 teaspoon)
>> 1 pinch of chili
>> 5 ml salt, or to taste (1 teaspoon, or to taste)
>> Garnish: chopped peanuts, fresh coriander/cilantro, green onion, a squeeze of lemon.
*Really, any veggies will do. I've added sweet potatoes, red peppers, broccoli - whatever you like, have fun!
** A note about chick peas and beans in general. I prefer dried beans to ones in cans. They are cheaper and tend to be a healthier option due to the manufacturing process that canned beans go through. Do half the amount dried that you want cooked. Soak them overnight to make them more digestable and faster in cooking! Adding a piece of kombu seaweed to the pot can make them even more digestable. DO NOT salt the water until the very end if you want them with a bit of salt. Salting at the beginning can make the outer skin tougher and harder to cook through. If you prefer canned, be sure to drain and rinse them. Canned beans tend to be cooked directly in their cans and that liquid can be hard to digest. Also, the lining of the cans can seep into the food during the cooking process which is of particular concern if it is not BPA free - yikes!
Heat oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat
Cook onions until translucent, about 3 minutes
Add in minced garlic and ginger, cook another few minutes until fragrant
Add in carrots and celery (or other veg) and allow to cook down, 2-3 minutes
Add in chick peas, tomatoes, corn, and peanut butter. Stir to melt the peanut butter. Let cook a few minutes.
Once all of the veggies are tenderly cooked, turn off the heat and add in the baby spinach, lemon, spices and salt. You want the spinach to stay bright green so make sure you only add it once the heat is off. Stir to mix in seasonings and wilt the spinach.
Top with garnish.
Serve with a grain of choice!
I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you try it out in the comments.