The downside to having well over 100 cookbooks is that you tend to overlook old favorites in favor of shiny new toys. I have my books stored as follows: one cabinet houses two shelves of the high rotation favorites, one shelf houses international cookbooks, one has baking books, a separate somewhat annoying-to-get-to shelf is reserved for the lesser used books, and a kitchen counter houses all the overflow. In my high rotation cabinet sits The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook. It isn’t sexy or fancy but it has some of my favorite recipes. Most of the dishes in this large book are healthy but substantial. A winning combination if there ever was one.
You know those days where you could just eat all day long and never feel full? Where nothing is really satisfying? That is the kind of day to make this curry. It is incredibly hearty without being too rich and it is so healthy with all kinds of vegetables and beans. I serve mine on a bed of rice and with a dollop of yogurt on top, but you could easily leave that out and keep it vegan. The spices here are intoxicating and there is just enough peanut butter here to make it interesting but not so much as to be overwhelming. If you are wanting to make that naan, it is a perfect accompaniment to this stew.
One Year Ago: Brussels Sprout Hash with Caramelized Shallots and Parmesan and Thyme Crackers
Peanut Curry with Sweet Potato and Collard Greens
Adapted from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook
Serves 4 generously
I know this is a long list of ingredients but it actually comes together quite quickly. I have substituted spinach for the collard greens here with good results.
2 tsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. whole mustard seeds
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground tumeric
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 14-ounce can lite coconut milk, or more to taste
2 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
1 large bunch collard greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and cook until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add all the spices and cook for another minute, then add the red pepper, the potatoes, the sweet potato, and the tomatoes. Cover and let simmer over medium-low, until the potatoes have cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk and peanut butter. Add the collard greens and the chickpeas and stir well to combine. Cook until the collard greens have wilted down enough to be soft, about 15 minutes. If the curry seems to thick, add more coconut milk or water to thin it.