Tuesday, November 22, 2011

African Vegetable Stew

I wish I could say that I invented this amazing concoction, but I did not. My friend Christine found it in the Peas and Thank You cookbook. Christine cooks for a vegan client and is always on the lookout for tasty veggie recipes.

You might be thinking, "What could possibly be so great about a bowl of cooked vegetables?" But this stew is so much more than that. Hearty, thick, spicy and soul-satisfying, it is a meal in a bowl. And here's more great news: this dish is totally hands-off once you get it started, because it cooks in the crock pot. This is my new favorite recipe!

African Vegetable Stew
Serves 4 easily

1 15-ounce can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into about 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon curry powder (or more to taste)
3/4 teaspoon garam masala (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon cumin
big squeeze of ginger (I buy it in the tube)
2 cloves garlic, minced
little squirt of agave nectar
dash of cinnamon
1 14-ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can of light coconut milk
2 cups of vegetable stock (chicken stock is fine, too, if you're not making this for a vegetarian)
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed off very well

Optional garnishes: chopped fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime, a dollop of yogurt or some chopped peanuts


1. Spray the inside of a small or medium-size crock pot with non-stick spray.

2. Place all of the ingredients, except the garnishes, in the crock pot. Stir and cover. Turn to HIGH for 1 hour to get things started. Then turn to LOW. The stew is done when the sweet potatoes are cooked through. This took 2 additional hours in my crock pot; it could take 4 or more hours in yours, so keep checking.

3. Serve stew topped with any of the optional garnishes.

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