Cast Iron

African Squash and Peanut Stew with Coconut Milk and Quinoa

September 17, 2013
Photo by Tara Sgroi
Author Notes

I honestly can't remember the first time I heard about traditional African stew that combines squash and peanuts, but I knew I had to make it! I've made many variations to the "traditional" recipe (which almost always includes meat), by using garbanzo beans, coconut milk and quinoa. As with any great stew, there are almost endless possibilities to change it up! Add chicken, beef or lamb...use kale instead of spinach...couscous instead of quinoa...almond milk or broth in place of coconut milk....add more veggies (or less!)....really, adapt it to your taste buds! —arenehart

  • Serves 6
  • 1 Can Garbanzo Beans, Drained and Rinsed
  • 1 Can (14oz) Coconut Milk
  • 1 Can (14oz) Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2 cups Butternut Squash, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 bunch Spinach, washed and shredded
  • 2-3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 2-3 teaspoons Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coriander (crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 handful Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup Quinoa (dry), cooked according to package
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts, roughly chopped
In This Recipe
  1. In a heavy soup pot (my favorite is enameled cast iron), sautee the onion, red bell pepper and squash over medium heat until slightly golden, about 5-10 minutes. Add the fresh ginger, garlic, jalapeno, turmeric, coriander and cinnamon, sautee for about 1 minute.
  2. Add the coconut milk, canned tomatoes and about 1 Cup of water (or broth). Bring just to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer (covered) just until the squash is tender. To test it, simply stab a piece of squash with a fork, if it seems nice and soft, then it's ready, if it's still firm, it needs to cook a little longer. Better yet, taste a small piece of butternut squash to make sure it's at your preferred consistency. For me, it usually takes about 20 minutes, but it can vary depending on how large the squash pieces are.
  3. Once the squash is ready, add the garbanzo beans and peanut butter and simmer for a couple minutes. Then add the fresh cilantro and spinach and simmer a couple minutes longer (or until the spinach reaches desired consistency).
  4. Once it's done, potion it into bowls and top with 1/3 Cup cooked quinoa and 1 Tablespoon of crushed peanuts. YUM!!

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