West African Peanut Stew


This is a vegan version of the classic West African Peanut Stew that is traditionally made with chicken. The first vegan version I made of this dish was all raw, using raw almonds instead of peanuts. While I was being treated for advanced ovarian cancer and going for chemotherapy, Gary and I went on our first vacation together. We cooked a bunch of meals in our hotel room which had an efficiency kitchen. Close to the end of the trip I wanted to make something that would use up the ingredients we had left – Garbanzo Beans, Tomatoes, Spinach and Peanut Butter and I made West African Peanut Stew with one pot, in a very small space. I think Gary was impressed. I haven’t made it since, until now. Here’s the recipe.

1 bunch collard greens (other greens like kale or spinach may be used)
2 stalks celery
1 red onion
2 cups garbanzo beans
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped, or sauce (we use Bionaturae Organic Strained Tomatoes)
1/4 cup peanut butter (our peanut butter contains only organic peanuts, nothing else; other nut or seed butters may be substituted)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Rinse and dry the collard leaves. Separate the stems from the leaves. Roughly chop the leaves and set aside. Chop the stems into 1/4 inch bits.
Chop the celery and onions.
Heat a large fry pan on medium and add the onions, celery and chopped collard stems. Sauté for about 10 minutes. If the vegetables start to stick add a 1/4 cup of water.
Cream the peanut butter with the tomatoes. Add to the frying pan along with the garbanzo beans and spices. Continue to cook another 10-15 minutes more, adding water as necessary to keep it saucy. Don’t let it dry out.
Add the collard leaves, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves have wilted and can be mixed in with the stew.
Serve with millet or other whole grain.

West African Peanut Stew often has sweet potatoes in it. You can add a cooked sweet potato (cut in chunks) or cook one with the other vegetables (more water will be needed).

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