Vegan African Peanut Stew with Coconut Rice
No matter how much I plan ahead or love making super intricate dishes, sometimes I just need a quick, easy, throw-together meal that is still healthy and delicious. That was definitely the case last night after spending 11 hours at work and getting home at seven o’clock, completely exhausted, with no leftovers in the fridge. Thankfully, I had everything on hand to make this Vegan African Peanut Stew which totally hit the spot. It’s bold and creamy with a little kick from the ginger and hot sauce. The tomato and broth base also balance out the peanut flavor so it’s nutty without being overpowering. Served over creamy coconut rice, this is a very satisfying dinner that’s loaded with veggies and free of animal products.
One of the most important ingredient in this Vegan African Peanut Stew is of course the peanut butter. It’s essential to use natural peanut butter, but be sure to check the ingredients! “Natural” is a very general term and since there is not a legal definition for it, any food can have such a label. For this recipe, you should choose a peanut butter with only one ingredient: peanuts! There should not be any extra salt, sugar, or additional oils which many “natural” peanut butters have. My favorite brand to use is Crazy Richard’s because they don’t add any unnecessary ingredients to their products.
In terms of greens, I like to use spinach for this stew, but feel free to substitute any of your favorite leafy greens. Kale, Swiss chard, or collard greens would all work too.
How to Make Vegan African Peanut Stew
Start by making the coconut rice. Simply add the rice, water, coconut milk, an sea salt to a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes or until the rice is tender. Periodically, stir the rice to make sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Meanwhile, add some olive oil to a stock pot on medium heat. When the oil has warmed up, add the onions and sauté until translucent. Then add the garlic, ginger, carrots, and sweet potato and sauté for a few more minutes. Stir often to keep the garlic from scorching.
Then add the sea salt and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are just starting to soften. Meanwhile, whisk the peanut butter, tomato paste, and hot sauce in a separate bowl. It may help to add a cup or two of hot broth from the stockpot since it will be pretty thick. After stirring the mixture together, add it all into the stock pot and let simmer for ten more minutes. Then add the spinach. When it is wilted, remove the stew from the heat and serve over coconut rice. Enjoy!