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Friday, March 19, 2010

Vegetarian Vittles

Here is the recipe I made on Wednesday, which turned out nicely. I'll call it, "Mediterranean Vegetable Stew". I served it over brown rice.

1 tsp olive oil
4-6 small zucchini, sliced into thin circles (the really small ones are most tender)
1 red onion, diced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained, or 6-8 roma tomatoes, diced
1 can chickpeas
2 cloves garlic, minced
Splash of red wine vinegar
chili flakes (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

Sauce

1 cup plain yogurt
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
Couple handfuls fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tbls spicy mint chutney (optional)

Saute zucchini over medium heat in large skillet or frying pan until golden. Add onion and saute until softened. Add garlic, chickpeas, tomatoes, vinegar and chili flakes, if using. Continue to saute until tomatoes are cooked. Season to taste.

To make sauce, simply stir everything together until smooth, then drizzle over veggie mixture.

This next recipe for African Groundnut Stew is absolutely fantastic. I am making it tonight and I am so excited. It also brings back fond memories of my childhood - My father had a graduate student from Nigeria, named Esong, who would make his family's recipe and bring us some and even as a kid I loved this dish. I have made the addition of shredded cabbage, which is not traditional, to bump up the nutrition. It is traditionally very spicy but you can simply eliminate the heat (the chili) and still enjoy this yummy meal. I serve this one with brown rice too.

African Groundnut (Peanut) Stew

1 tsp olive oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 hot or minced chilli peppers, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 knob peeled and grated fresh ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ pounds winter squash, such as butternut or Buttercup, seeded, peeled, and cut into bite-size cubes (about 3 ½ cups) (or one box frozen, pureed squash)
1/2 head of green cabbage
1 ½ cups water
¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 ½ cups cooled black-eyed peas or one 15-ounce can, drained
½ cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chiles, ginger, cinnamon, and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add the squash and stir to coat with the spices. Stir in cabbage. Add 1 ¼ cup of the water and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Put the peanut butter in a small bowl and slowly add the remaining ¼ cup water, stirring until smooth. Stir the peanut butter mixture into the stew, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Allow 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the black-eyed peas and peanuts and simmer until heated through. Before serving, taste to adjust the seasonings.

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