West African Vegetable Stew

It’s hard not to look at a pile of carrots, sweet potatoes, and cabbage and not think about making some sort of African-style peanut curry.  This recipe hews to the lighter brothier side of the spectrum and goes easy on the peanut butter.  It’s a tasty vegan alternative for St. Patrick’s Day or another chilly March evening.

Clean and dice 1 leek and 3 carrots.  Saute in 2 T. olive oil until the leeks are tender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Finely mince 4 cloves of garlic and fresh ginger to make 2 T.  Add to the pot along with 2 t. cumin powder and a dash of cayenne pepper.   If you like things spicy, add some minced and seeded fresh jalapeno.

Stir in 3 T. tomato paste and coat the other ingredients.  Then add 4 C. vegetable broth, 1 C. water, and 1/2 C. unsweetened smooth peanut butter.  Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and stir to melt the peanut butter.

Dice 1 lb. of sweet potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, and add to the stew.

While the stew bubbles, cut a head of cabbage in half and then slice one entire half.  Cut the largest slices in half.  When the sweet potatoes are fork-tender, add the cabbage and stir to combine.

Wash and drain your greens:  2 C. of spinach, chard or kale leaves.  Remove the thickest stems and chop.  Add the greens and cook until the cabbage is “done” the way you like it, whether slightly chewy, tender, or falling apart.

Season with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

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