Written by: Amanda Zimpfer (Amazing Rawr Employee)
During this time of the season I feel like a bear in hibernation, not wanting to be disturbed. I lay in bed warm & cozy with my Ezzy baby (Kittie) curled up by my legs like a warm fresh cinna bun just piling on the cuteness along with the hubby also curled up behind me. The room is filled with peace and quiet & love.
Definitely the type of environment where the struggle is real. How I ever find the way to get out of bed is beyond me. Slowly, but surely I dragged my lazy, stubborn, & tired bum out of bed early Saturday morning and made my way to the Mill City Farmers Market where everything is MN fresh local produce. The epitome of farm to table. The market was bursting with the colors of the rainbow. From the combination of fresh flowers to the local produce. My eyes danced with excitement. As I slowly made my way through the crisp fall air to the more secured area of the market, my nose suddenly filled with the aromatics of roasted peanut butter & fresh simmering vegetables. I let my nose lead the way to the lovely aroma. I then found my way to a lady sampling out a West African Peanut Stew . To my delight it was delicious. The warmth of the sweet & savory flavors washed away the fall chill. This stew is a definite keeper! Hits all the fall notes of gentle spice, sweet, & savory with a side of comfort & cozy all in one sitting. Who doesn't want that? Below you will find a gently modified version. Enjoy
West African Peanut Stew
- 1 red onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger or a tbsp of minced ginger
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 sweet potato, chopped
- 1-2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 tbsp or a spoonful of miso paste
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1, 6 oz jar of tomato paste
- 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter ( I used MaraNatha brand oil free)
- 5-6 cups veggie broth ( I used low sodium)
- 1 bunch of collard greens or kale, chopped
- Salt n pepper to taste
- 1/2 fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 tbsp of maple syrup
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
-In a large pot over medium heat saute all the diced & chopped veggies with the spoonful of miso paste for about 3 minutes stirring every minute or so and adding a splash of water or veggie broth to help deglaze the pan and prevent sticking when necessary.
-After 3 minutes add the spices and tomatoes.
-Continue to saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.
-Then add in the tomato paste, peanut butter, & veggie broth. Stir until well combined.
TIP: I suggest starting with 4 cups broth & then increase from there so you have more control over the consistency. Remember you want the texture to be a thick/stew like base. Not too liquidy
-Bring pot to a boil by turning the burner on high.
-Once boiling place a lid on the pot & reduce the burner down to a simmer for 20 minutes or until the sweet potato is fork tender.
-While the stew is simmering you can also take this time to prep your greens if not already done so.
-You will want to rinse/clean your greens of choice first & then remove the stem in the middle before chopping up your greens. Once the greens are ready you can throw them in the stew once the 20 minutes are up or the sweet potato is fork tender.
-Again let the stew continue to simmer for 5-10 more minutes to wilt the greens down.
-Now go ahead and add in salt n pepper to taste, cilantro, lime juice, and maple syrup. Feel free to sample afterwards to adjust the flavors as desired. This stew pairs well with brown or white rice & slices of toasted sourdough bread on the side. Enjoy!
I wait to add the garlic at the end so the flavor is more pronounced. Also it is encouraged to do this as a routine in cooking for the increased health benefits that is provided.
The rule of thumb with all allium veggies is to chop n stop for 10 minutes before consumption. This category/family of veggies in the plant kingdom contain a enzyme called alliinase. Once you chop an onion or garlic for an example the enzyme is then activated and starts the conversion from alliin to allicin. Allicin has been shown to hold tremendous health benefits such as anticancer, antioxidative, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. So dig in!