janet @ the taste space

African Pineapple Kale Peanut Stew

In Mains (Vegetarian) on November 8, 2010 at 6:22 AM

I have written about the Nutrition Action Health Letter before, which I describe as the consumer reports of healthy food. I used to borrow my mom’s old copies, but since she has stopped her subscription, I have resorted to reading the free online archives. I am so glad I did because I stumbled upon their vegetable ratings from early 2009. They ranked vegetables according to how much a serving of each vegetable contributes to our dietary reference intake of calcium, iron, potassium, folate, vitamin C and vitamin K, plus the percentage contributing towards our daily value of iron and the daily targets for lutein and other carotenoids. Certainly there isn’t a bad vegetable (mushrooms? eggplant? I still love them!) but there are superstars, too.

Their winner of the veggies, by a landslide at that, was KALE! With just a cup of cooked kale, you exceed your daily requirements for vitamin K (1300%!) and vitamin A. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese.

I still had two pounds of kale left over from the Cranberry Bean Mole with Roasted Butternut Squash, so I searched for more ways to use kale.  I had bookmarked Susan’s African Pineapple Peanut Stew a long time ago, and I stumbled upon it again while flipping through Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. Unlike the mole, this was a quick and easy dish to prepare.

This is an unusual dish, not a typical stew by far, but let me assure you that this tastes great. The flavours work wonderfully together. First and foremost, this is a kale stew. I enjoyed the coarse chopped kale, as there was a nice texture to bulk up the dish. Others may prefer it shredded, like in a curry, so I’ll let you investigate. Sweet, crushed pineapple is added, and it is cooked in a slightly spicy, creamy peanut butter sauce. Be careful when you add in the peanut butter – it can do a doozy to the bottom of your frypan. You might not think this is filling, but trust me the peanut butter does the trick here.

Continuing with an African theme, I served this alongside couscous, and found that this really made the dish stand out. The little pellets of couscous paired well with the creamy kale stew. This could be served with rice or any other grain you have on hand.

I look forward to trying a few more kale recipes and these have caught my eye:

Creamy Kale Soup at Vegan Yum Yum
North African Chickpea and Kale Soup at Fat Free Vegan
Fall Minestrone with Kale and Butternut Squash from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
Quinoa, White Bean and Kale Stew at Post Punk Kitchen
Creamy Millet and Kale Salad by YumUniverse
Spicy Kale and Wheat Berry Salad at Phoo-D
Kale, Chickpeas and Israeli Couscous by Cate’s World Kitchen
Spicy Chickpeas with Ginger and Kale in a Lime Yogurt Sauce
at Dana Treat
Caribbean Gingered Squash, Rice and Kale at Fat Free Vegan
Pennette with Kale Ragu at Eats Well With Others

This is my submission to this week’s Presto Past Nights, hosted by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and to Torview for her green Food Palette event.

African Pineapple Kale Peanut Stew

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes (adjust to taste, this was fairly mild)
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 lb kale (10 cups, packed) – you could use less, even half of this, I just had so much kale
2 cups undrained canned crushed pineapple, in juice (20-ounce can) – I used a 14 oz can
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup chopped parsley (omitted)
salt to taste
1/8 cup skinless peanuts, crushed or coarsely chopped
1 cup couscous, cooked according to package directions

1. Prepare the kale by washing it and removing the large center stem from each leaf. Stack the leaves on a cutting board and slice them into one-inch thick slices.

2. In a large, covered frypan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion and chili flakes for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic, and stir for another minute.

3. Add the pineapple and its juice to the onions and bring to a simmer. Stir in the kale, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until just tender. Mix in the peanut butter and parsley (if using) and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste, and serve topped with crushed peanuts, over couscous, rice or other grain.

Serves 4-6.

  1. Thank you for including my kale and wheat berry salad in your roundup! The African spin on a kale and peanut stew looks awesome. I subscribe to the Nutrition Action newsletter too and always find it fascinating to read the latest issues.

  2. What a great roundup and thank you for including the YumUniverse recipe (try it out with quinoa too). I am really looking forward to tackling some of these recipes!

  3. This sounds super delicious. I’m not surprised to hear the report on kale – it definitely lands in my body as the healthiest veggie. When I am craving “vegetable” I am usually craving kale! I can’t believe I didn’t know about it for the first 20-something years of my life, since now I consume it weekly.

    Thanks for such a detailed description of the stew, too. I always feel like I can easily tell from your posts if a recipe will be something I’ll enjoy!

  4. I have heard about African peanut soups and they are so intriguing. This looks delicious! Also I appreciate the kale roundup since I have my last few bunches from the farm!

  5. […] my quest to find interesting ways to use my large bunch of kale (superfood #1), I stumbled upon a vanilla sweet potato and kale soup by KathEats. I adapted it by swapping some […]

  6. […] I figured I’d pay homage to Vegan MoFo by posting vegan-friendly dishes all month. So far, so […]

  7. […] at Taste Space made a African Pineapple Kale Peanut Stew served with cous cous.   Super healthy with all that kale, and as usual Janet has taken beautiful […]

  8. I love this, I wish I knew more about African cooking! Thanks for taking part in PPN.

    The round up is now finally up! Sorry for the delay!


  9. […] The Taste Space – “I love to share recipes that have worked well for me and this was a new way to expose my love of cooking with a wider audience,” writes Janet M. “Plus, I was no longer spamming my friends’ inboxes. I also really enjoy photography, so that has worked well too.” Some of the categories on this blog include ‘Mains (Vegetarian),’ ‘Desserts.’ Recommended posts: “Egyptian Bread and Butter Pudding (Om Ali)” and “African Pineapple Kale Peanut Stew.” […]

  10. […] tells me peanut (or groundnut) stews are typical of sub-Saharan cuisine. I recently made an African pineapple, kale and peanut stew, and was intrigued to try peanut butter in a savoury dish again. Adapted from Vegan Planet, this is […]

  11. healthy dish haven’t had like this thank you for linking

  12. I need to eat more kale! I think that our body produces most of the vitamin K that we need? But even forgetting kale’s vitamin K contribution, it’s an amazing vegetable! I’ve seen other African stews/soups and find it intriguing the way they combine flavours like peanut butter and pineapple.

    • I never really thought of vitamin K as something we need to concern ourselves about, either. All the other benefits – iron, fibre, etc – are much needed… but vitamin K is a bonus. 🙂

      Kale is so versatile and is lovely for soups since it doesn’t wilt into nothingness.

  13. Oh and I love the Nutrition Action health letter. I didn’t know of its existence until a year or so ago when my classmate offered me a gift subscription (since you get to give a free one if you subscribe yourself).

    • Oh – I didn’t know that about the subscription. It is one of the only magazines I will read cover to cover, it is that awesome (and useful). 🙂

  14. […] broccoli, cabbage, and daikon (white radish). Each one loaded with vitamins and many of them top my superfood chart. Trust me, they do not need to be boring. Anything […]

  15. […] Potato-Kale Soup with Sizzling Chorizo (Caldo Verde), Vanilla Sweet Potato and Kale Curry, African Pineapple Kale Peanut Stew AND  Cranberry Bean Mole with Roasted Butternut Squash. The bundles were huge. This week, they had […]

  16. […] This is a superfood salad if I ever saw one. Pomegranate seeds. Sweet potatoes. Broccoli. All together in a peanut dressing. Even though it doesn’t have kale, many of these veggies top my superfood chart. […]

  17. […] Health Letter arrived in my mailbox this week. I’ve written about this fabulous publication twice before, which I describe as the Consumer’s Reports of healthy food. I usually read my […]

  18. […] have talked about vegetable ratings before (Nutrition Action’s winner of the veggies is kale followed by other leafy veggies) but Dr […]

  19. […] Cabbage and Fermented Black Beans Spanish Green Bean and Lime Bean Stew Japanese Winter Stew African Pineapple Kale Peanut Stew Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas Thyme-Spiced Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and […]

  20. […] grows fairly easily in North America. It rather amusing that kale, the superfood extraordinaire, could easily be grown in my backyard (see exhibits A, B and C) and even easier to find in the […]

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