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Topic: African Peanut Stew  (Read 5442 times)
Tags for this thread: vegetarian_holiday_food , soup , african  Add new tag
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Semiadolescent By Night
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« on: April 09, 2008 07:49:30 PM »

I blogged about this today, then realized it would be a good thing to post in this forum.  I know I'm being lazy by ripping off from my own blog post, but why go to the effort of writing this up two different ways?

Anyway, today I prepared my first vegetarian dish.  I'm not planning to convert, but I wanted to try this out.  I'm considering a couple of meatless meals a week. I think this recipe is vegan too, but Im not 100% sure because it seems like there are tons of little things that can make food not vegan. Vegan wasnt a requirement for me, anyhow. I went to the library after work yesterday and got some books about vegetarian eating. One of the books I checked out was The Vegetarian Family Cookbook, by Nava Atlas.

I was a little afraid of how this would go over at my house, since my boyfriend is what you might consider a meat fan. I think if he could have beef cookies, pork toothpaste, and ham soda, hed be happy. Hes the kind of person who would purchase bacon candy if it ever appeared on the market. Last night I read him a list of recipes Id flagged from a couple of the vegetarian cookbooks. After I finished going through the list I looked up at him quickly, expecting to see a look of abject terror on his face, even though hes had some time while I've been talking about this, to prepare for this possibility.

Well, he said. I cant guarantee Ill like them, but Ill at least try them once. Any of those sound okay.  In other words, he is a keeper.

So I picked a recipe for an African peanut stew, which sounded promising to me. I changed it a tiny bit.

* 1 tbsp canola oil
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 5 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 cups shredded green cabbage
* 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
* 1 16-oz can diced tomatoes
* 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
* 2 cups frozen okra (or use green beans if you hate okra)
* 1/2 cup reduced fat chunky peanut butter
* 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
* 1 tsp salt

Heat the oil in a soup pot and cook the onion and garlic in it for a couple minutes over medium heat until they get tender. If it starts to stick, add a little water to unstick it. Then add the cabbage, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and ginger, along with 3 or so cups of water. It doesnt have to be exact. You can eyeball it. Bring it all to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Then add the frozen okra and stir in the peanut butter, little by little, until it melts into the broth. Add the red pepper flakes and salt and stir well. Simmer for another 10 minutes or so. If needed, add some hot water to thin it out a little. Serve over hot rice or with bread.

We rated this recipe a B- or so. It has good potential, but it felt like something was missing. We didnt have any rice ready, so we just ate it with bread instead, so maybe it would be better with rice. I liked it pretty well overall. I feel a little bad admitting this, but maybe what its missing ismeat? I kind of thought it might be good with shrimp, crab meat, or a smidge of finely chopped chicken.  Either way, I think this is more of a once-in-a-while dish.  Peanut butter has so much fat in it that this is not really all that light, even though I love it.  It would kind of defeat my whole vegetarian health agenda if I picked only the really fatty, delicious meat-free dishes.  I mean, hell, I could eat cake all day and call myself a vegetarian. 

I was hungry again about an hour after I ate, but that happens to me with regular meals sometimes, too.  This is my first try.  I'll see how my other ventures go.  We're having chicken stir fry tomorrow night, since I figure the boyfriend was a good sport about this.  Maybe this weekend I'll try another while he's not around, or next week sometime.  I found a mushroom stroganoff that sounds promising.  This book also has a bunch of good sounding baking recipes, most of which call for very little fat - big relief - those are hard to find, a lot of times.  Thanks, Vegetarian Family Cookbook!
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2008 07:56:56 PM »

Sounds delicious!
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2008 08:14:52 PM »

That looks and sounds delicous!
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2008 08:22:58 PM »

It's neat that you're branching out and stuff, and it looks pretty yummy~

Btw, they do have bacon mints...XD They smell like dog treats, but they're for people.

Happy cooking!

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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2008 08:35:44 PM »

on topic, your stew looks good!

Off topic:

Hes the kind of person who would purchase bacon candy if it ever appeared on the market.


I just tried this the other day.  It is magnificent.


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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2008 09:03:35 PM »

The stew does look delicious and unless you've found some bizarre  peanutbutter that contains dairy or eggs? which I have never heard, it is certifiably Vegan, strong work! 

As for whoever posted the bacon chocolate bar, congrats you have just made me vom in my own mouth
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2008 03:21:13 PM »

Oh my god.  As you probably guessed, I was just fooling around when I mentioned bacon candy.  I...don't know what to say. 

Part of me...wants to buy it and see if he will eat it.  But for $7.50?  Kind of an expensive gag (get it, GAG??!!) gift.

Oh oh, and in response to the peanut butter query, it was store brand organic crunch peanut butter.  I didn't see any weird animal products, but I'm new to all this and the cookbook authors insist that ingredient writers are sneaky and determined to slip animal products past hapless vegetarians.  For instance, gelatin to me sounds vegetarian - and when I thought about it I realized that's completely wrong.  I mean, it's fruit flavored, how meaty could it be?  Not that I'm actually retarded and had no idea, but you know how you think "fruit" and you don't think, oh, animal product. 

So go me.  Vegan dish.  I'm going to eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  I'll let you know if it improves from sitting for a day. 
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008 03:24:26 PM by accountantbyday » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2008 02:32:39 PM »

That looks and sounds awesome!


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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2008 03:59:46 PM »

Mmm, may have to try that.

And in Spain, they sell ham/bacon flavored potato chips.  Tongue

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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2009 11:52:45 AM »

I tried this last week with some alterations and it turned out pretty good. I needed a high fat dish for my boyfriend to take to work because he's been losing a lot of weight lately due to increased activity at work. With that in mind I used chicken broth instead of water (no longer veg but vegetable broth works fine too...I just don't like making soup with just water) and added a half cup of lentils and substituted korean chili sauce for the red pepper (we like our food spicy). I will say that the recipe was substantially better as leftovers as it was fresh. So maybe a slow cooker would be the answer to making this an A instead of a B recipe.
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