Rustic Proven├žal Vegetable Stew

 This simple stew draws on the characteristic flavors of Provence: tomatoes, basil, olives, olive oil, and garlic. An inexpensive meat variation was traditionally prepared by French peasants in an earthenware casserole dating back centuries ago, but it’s delicate, easily adaptable flavors have remained popular today. This hearty stew pairs well with some grilled bread or can be poured over your choice of pasta. It works very well with almost any vegetable, making it a popular vegan dish in my house!
RUSTIC PROVENCIAL VEGETABLE STEW
4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil 
4 garlic cloves, diced
2 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbs 
1 large red onion, sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
1 lb vine-ripened tomatoes, roughly diced
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
2/3 cup pitted nicoise olives
2 Tbs parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Hear the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, garlic, coriander, and thyme and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the fennel and pepper and cook an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the tomatoes, olives, vegetable stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer gently for 30 minutes. Top with fresh parsley and serve warm! 

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Senegalese Peanut Stew, and Vegan Too!

peanut stew Our first dinner date at my apartment I made my now-husband cry. It was over my home-made salad dressing. And right then I knew that I could cook for this man the rest of our lives and be happy. I am very pleased to share that this past week we celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary, and in celebration we renewed our vows with our little boys and dearest friends in tow! Asher wore a suit with a clip-on tie which he thought was “cute”, and Everett wore a onesy with a picture of a bow-tie and suspenders!

family Over our five years of marriage, there have been a handful of dishes I have prepared for Robby that he has happily claimed is a “keeper”, and today’s recipe is one of them. It’s a vegan Senegalese peanut stew that is superb served over brown rice. You could also add some tofu and fresh peanuts if you are feeling adventurous and need a bit of crunch.

Cooking spray
2 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 medium green pepper, cored and roughly chopped
1/2 pound uncooked sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium uncooked carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp ginger root, fresh, minced
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups vegetable broth, reduced-sodium
6 Tbsp peanut butter, natural, creamy-variety
8 cups fresh spinach, leaves, stemmed, packed, chopped

Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and set over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sweet potato, carrots and garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the ginger, cloves, salt and cayenne; cook for 30 seconds. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly, stirring once in a while, until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Add the spinach; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Keep the heat low as the soup simmers so the peanut butter doesn’t separate.