Monday, September 28, 2009

West African Peanut Stew (Vegan)

Yes, it's me again and I'm still as craptastic as ever with my updates. Still, there's been lots of cooking on this end which will eventually make its way to this blog. Now on to ugly food.

Remember when I said I was being buried under peanut butter? Yeah. It helps to look in your pantry before you make such claims. Apparently, I only had 4 jars, two of which were already mine and opened. Plus, only enough smooth peanut butter to make one recipe. So for this recipe, it called for smooth natural peanut butter, but I threw in the same amount of chunky chemical-packed PB and it turned out just fine. It's up to you. Also, natural peanut butter is evil. Just saying. Either way, this is a pretty tasty soup. It was a little bland for my taste, but most of it got eaten, so there's definitely nothing wrong here.

This is my first time working with fresh okra. Holy crap, it's pretty. It looked like a whole pile of delicate flowers after it was chopped. Plus, it allowed my best friend to throw "mucilaginous" into our conversation, which she so likes to say.

West African Peanut Stew
from the Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas

1 1/2 T olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups shredded white cabbage
2 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" chunks
16 oz diced tomatoes with liquid
1 tsp grated ginger
2 cups trimmed and sliced fresh or 10 oz frozen sliced okra
1/2 c smooth peanut butter
1/4 tsp cayenne or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

1. In a large pot, saute onion and garlic over medium heat until golden.

2. Add cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, ginger, and 3 cups of water. Cover and gently simmer until potatoes and cabbage are nearly tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Add okra. Stir in peanut butter a little at a time until it melts into stew. Stir in cayenne. Cover and simmer gently until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add more water if necessary. You want it moist but not too soupy.

4. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

The book said it was traditionally served with mashed root vegetables or mushy grains. It's good on its own though.