February: Peanut Stew with Winter Vegetables & Cornmeal Dumplings

This peanut stew looked delicious when I was flipping through “Afro-Vegan,” and it turned out to be just that. I hadn’t attempted cooking African cuisine before, but the friends who graciously agreed to be my taste-testers for the evening really enjoyed it. One had even traveled to Africa several times for work, and claimed that this recipe tasted almost exactly like an authentic peanut stew!

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Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed

Bryant Terry, Ten Speed Press (2014)

I can’t remember where I inherited my copy of “Afro-Vegan” by Bryant Terry. Most likely someone it was from someone I knew who was moving and giving away a bunch of possessions, and I saw the opportunity to hoard more books. Despite having it for several years, I haven’t used it as much as I should, because it’s fantastic!

Bryant Terry is a food justice activist who is the founder of b-healthy! that encourages youth to be active in creating a sustainable food system in their communities. In 2014, “Afro-Vegan” was nominated for an NAACP Image Award as an Outstanding Literary Work. Every recipe in the book comes with a song or book to pair with it, so I listened to the recommended “Ghana Emotion” by Omar Lye-Fook while cooking the peanut stew and winter vegetables.

“Good music goes with good food.” – African proverb

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Modifications, Testing and Recommendations: This recipe is great for the winter because the root vegetables used – carrots, potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes – are all hearty and easily available. I was lucky to have some of the fancier items already in the cupboard, like the flax seeds and whole wheat pastry flour that go into making the dumplings. If you don’t want to buy infrequently-used items like these, the soup is delicious on its own or served over rice.

Here is the recipe! It was my first time making cornmeal dumplings, so I accidentally made them a little too thick – make sure to roll the dough into balls before dropping them into the water to prevent them coming apart.

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