It’s been another marvellous Christmas in Herbivores’ Heaven: I have eaten and drunk much more than necessary, whiled away hours in my pyjamas watching films and reading about dragons, and, of course, received some excellent culinary presents. As well as a few pretty knick knacks to brighten up the kitchen, I got a box full of sushi-making ingredients and utensils from my fellow, who has been my expert guide in Japanese restaurants this year, and Oh She Glows, a book of vegan, whole-food recipes, from my brother, who kindly also provided an array of vegan dishes (and booze) on Christmas Day.
I finished 2013 a bit underweight, and am finishing this year a bit overweight, so I’m hoping that 2015 will be the year that I strike the right balance. I’m confident that my new cookbook and box of ingredients will help me along the way. While the sushi requires a bit more research, I’ve just jumped right into the book, starting with this tasty dish I made yesterday. It’s in the soup section of the book but labelled as a stew, and I decided to add more tomatoes and puree to try to beef it up a bit (so to speak). It’s still very liquidy, but the broth has incredible depth of flavour and is lovely sipped or mopped up with a hearty bit of bread. I was feeling extremely virutous, until I washed it down with a glass of wine and slice of Christmas cake. But surely those two things add up to at least one portion of fruit. No? Well, nobody really starts eating healthily until January, anyway!
African Peanut Stew
Serves 5, slightly adapted from Oh She Glows
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
3-4 tbsp peanut putter
1 litre vegetable stock
1.5 tsp chilli powder
1 tin chickpeas
2 handfuls of baby spinach
roasted peanuts, to serve
1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the pepper, sweet potato, tinned tomatoes and tomato puree. Simmer for five minutes.
3. Whisk together the peanut butter with 250ml of stock, until the mixture is smooth (and very unattractive, might I add).
4. Add the peanut butter mix along with the rest of the stock and the chilli powder to the pan. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 mins until the veg is tender.
5. Stir in the chickpeas and spinach until the spinach has wilted. Season.
6. Serve garnished with roasted peanuts – they give it a lovely crunch!