African Stew

It is really strange to be in a place where the sun is always shining, the rain is never raining, and the temperature never seems to go below 60 degrees.
Ugh. I feel so guilty on days when I don’t want to go out and be physical. So I switch it over to being productive in the kitchen.
For Christmas, my wonderful Meh gave me a big gift set, full of wonderful vegan books. One of them was the 30 Day Vegan Challenge. This is now one of my favorite vegan recipe books! It has high quality photos of all of the foods that she has listed. There aren’t a lot of crazy ingredients that you might find in other vegan books like The Kind Diet.
First challenge: African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew.
Ingredients:
·                         3 tablespoons water for sautéing
·                         3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
·                         2 medium yellow onions, chopped
·                         3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
·                         One 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
·                         2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch squares
·                         One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
·                         1/2-3/4 cup natural peanut butter (crunchy works best)
·                         1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
·                         1 teaspoon ground cumin
·                         1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·                         1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
·                         3 teaspoons light brown sugar
·                         4 cups vegetable stock
·                         1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
·                         Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Directions:
Heat the water in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the peanut butter, and distribute it evenly throughout. You may want to thin out the peanut butter first by mixing it with some water in a small bowl before adding it to the pot. It will make it easier to incorporate it into the stew. Add the sweet potatoes, kidney beans, and tomatoes, and stir to coat. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt, if necessary. Serve in individual bowls, and top with chopped nuts and cilantro, if desired. Serves 6 to 10.
We ended up eating about half of the recipe in one sitting. Ideally it would be nice to eat it in front of the fire, cozyed up next to your loved ones. However, the eerily summer day in January will have to do.

celebrity of the day: Arnold Schwarzenegger and his bentley.
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