Southeast Asian-Style Vegetable and Nut Butter Stew

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You’ve probably figured out by now that I love one dish meals. This stew is my idea of the ultimate one-pot meal. It is another recipe that my family loves. The assortment of vegetables combined with the ginger and almond butter make a creamy, flavorful, and satisfying meal. You can substitute butternut squash for the sweet potatoes, cauliflower for the broccoli, and collard greens for the kale if you like. You can make it as spicy or as mild as you want. I like to serve it over brown rice.

Yield: 6 – 8 servings

Prep time: 35 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • One 15-to-16-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger root, or more as needed
  • 3 cups water, or more as needed
  • 3 cups (about 8 ounces) small broccoli florets
  • 1 or 2 small Thai chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped (may substitute other small peppers or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 cup smooth almond butter (may substitute peanut or cashew butter)
  • 3 cups lightly packed lacinato kale leaves (about 8 ounces), thick stems discarded, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • 1/2 cup dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped, for garnish (optional)
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
  1. Pour the oil into a soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook until the onion has lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes, the tomatoes and their juices, the ginger (using more if you want the dish to be spicier) and the 3 cups of water. Let it slowly come to a boil, then reduce the heat so the water is barely bubbling; cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are nearly tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli and chili pepper (or peppers, if you want the dish to be spicier). Stir in the almond butter a little at a time until it melts into the broth. Cover and cook until the broccoli loses a little firmness, a few minutes.
  4. Stir in the kale and cook, uncovered, until it is wilted and all of the vegetables are just tender but not mushy, 5 minutes. Add a little more water if needed for a moist but not soupy consistency.
  5. Stir in the cilantro, salt and pepper. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve in bowls over brown rice. If desired, garnish each serving with peanuts and/or scallions.

Adapted from Joe Yonan’s recipe in The Washington Post.