Saturday, January 13, 2018

Sweet Potato Peanut Stew

I can't believe that it's taken me this long to make this recipe. Sweet potato peanut stew is a delicious savory bowl of winter comfort food.  It's a one pot meal with sweet potatoes(yams), greens, garbanzo beans and peanuts for protein.

This dish originated in West Africa, known there as Maafe.  It can be made in a number of ways but always includes ground nuts (peanut butter), sweet potatoes (yams) and tomatoes. 

I used no-chicken broth but you can also use your favorite vegetable broth. I also added a can of garbanzo beans, but feel free to substitute them with kidney beans if you prefer. The cilantro and peanuts are for a garnish.  I recommend that you use a peanut butter is made without added fats, sugar or salt.  If you do use a salted peanut butter, add less salt to the stew.

I started by dicing the onions, garlic, and ginger and sauteing them in olive oil.  You can also add a chopped hot pepper at this point, I'm allergic to peppers, but feel free to add one if you like your food spicy.  Then, I added the spices and the diced tomatoes.  While that was simmering, I peeled and chopped the sweet potatoes/yams.  I used garnet yams, but I'm guessing you can use any variety. The smaller you make the pieces, the faster they will cook.

It's easier to mix in the peanut butter if you dilute it first.  I did this right in the empty tomato can, why dirty another bowl.  Whisk the peanut butter with a half cup of the broth before adding it to the pot, and then add the rest of the broth and the beans.  

Simmer everything until the sweet potatoes are tender.  I added the spinach at the very end when the stew was done. Spinach wilts quickly.   If you're going to use chard or kale, they will require about five minutes to cook down.

Traditionally, Sweet Potato Peanut stew is served with rice or millet, so feel free to add a scoop of either to the bowl.  I garnished mine with some roasted peanuts and cilantro.

Sweet Potato Peanut Stew
Makes 4 meal sized servings - Use organic ingredients whenever possible

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 large cloves of garlic, minced (more if your cloves are small)
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 small hot pepper, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1 medium sized sweet potatoes/yams
2 cups no-chicken broth or vegetable broth
4 cups chopped greens (spinach, chard or kale)

Optional garnish: roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro
Cooked rice or millet

Heat the olive oil in a large pot
Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes
Add the garlic and ginger and saute for 3 more minutes
Stir in the salt and spices and saute for 1 minute
Stir in the diced tomatoes and simmer for 3 minutes
Add the diced yams.
Whisk the peanut butter with 1/2 cup of the broth
Mix this into the stew
Add the rest of the broth and bring the stew to a boil.
Cover the pot and turn the heat down to low
Simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove the top and add the beans and simmer 5 minutes
The yams should be tender, if not continue to simmer until they are.
Add the greens and simmer until wilted.
Garnish with peanuts, cilantro, rice or millet

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