Tuesday, November 6, 2012

African Sweet Potato Stew

Here is another recipe to help warm those cool evenings and bring friends and family closer to the table.  Bear with me; before you turn your nose up and run away, this recipe calls for peanut butter.  Yes, you read me correctly—I said peanut butter!  PB makes a refreshingly unique flavor that everybody will love. Unless of course you have a peanut allergy.  In that case, you will hate it.  And it may actually kill you…  Barring any life-threatening aversions to peanuts, I think you will find this hearty, vibrant stew is worthy of any occasion—special or casual.  This palate-pleasing dish can be served as the main (for all my Vegan/Vegetarian/Fasting friends out there) or as a side.  Carnivores need only marinate a few chicken breasts and throw them on the grill to compliment the earthy flavors of this delectable meal.     

African Sweet Potato Stew

**NOTE** Remember to cook your Red Beans the night before unless you are fortunate enough to find them canned! 

·        2 teaspoons sunflower oil – olive oil will substitute
·        1 1/2 cups chopped onion
·        1 garlic clove, minced
·        4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
·        2 cups cooked small red beans
·        2 cups vegetable broth – I use Better than Bouillon 
·        1 cup chopped red bell pepper
·        1/2 cup water
·        1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
·        1/2 teaspoon salt
·        1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
·        1/4 teaspoon black pepper
·        1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
·        1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
·        3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
·        3 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts
·        6 lime wedges

·         Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
·         Add onion and garlic; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender.
·         Place onion mixture in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Add sweet potato and next 10 ingredients (through chilies—do not add peanut butter yet!).
·         Cover and cook on low 5 hours or until vegetables are tender.  NOTE: You can refrigerate to cook later – I put out in the morning and use my outlet timer so that the meal is finished cooking about the time that I return home from work.
·         Spoon 1 cup cooking liquid into a small bowl. Add peanut butter; stir well with a whisk. Stir peanut butter mixture into stew. Top with peanuts; serve with lime wedges.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups stew, 1 1/2 teaspoons peanuts, and 1 lime wedge)

9 = Taste (5 from me and 4 from my husband)
5 = Ingredient Availability – available anywhere!
5 = Prep Time (easy to make and very little time)
5 = Cost – all very inexpensive items

24 out of 25 – Pretty darn good if you ask me!

5 = Family Bonus – Everyone in the house enjoyed this recipe.  There were no leftovers, so if you have a large family, you may want to double the recipe. 

Here is what we did with all the time we saved:  We took our kids trick-or-treating under the pretense that we were just good parents, with nothing to gain.  Our reasons weren’t completely altruistic—perhaps we have stolen a chocolate bar or two (or 5) when no one was looking.  I was able to organize my closet and purge it of shoes I haven’t worn in 7 years.  Now, I have only the handful that I do ware and two that I couldn’t bring myself to part with, including one sexy, non-mom pair of high heal sandals my husband insisted I keep (last worn on my honeymoon).  Now, I need to work on re-claiming my office, which seems to have become a giant toy box...

Hope you enjoy the recipe!  Feel free to drop me a comment and let me know if you liked it or share any time saving ideas of your own.