03 March 2009

Brazilian Vegan Stew

I am definitely not a vegan. As a matter of fact, I eat a lot of meat and I love pretty much all kinds of food - I'd hate to deny myself things like chicken, fish, eggs, cheese (oh, cheese), beef, pork and all the other foods out there. Now and then, however, I come across a recipe that just begs me to make it, and this Brazilian stew that just happens to be vegan (and extremely healthy, and filling at that) was one of those recipes.

Brazilian Stew

2 sweet potatoes
1 red pepper
1 sweet onion
3 cloves garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans black beans (or any beans you'd like, just not baked!)
1 ripe mango
fresh cilantro (that's coriander outside the US - here, coriander is the seeds that grow the plant)
vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp Tabasco (optional)

Start by chopping the onion and mincing the garlic. In a large pot, add about two tablespoons of oil and place over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook for a few minutes. Chop the sweet potato into half-inch cubes. Add to the pot and stir. Remove the seeds and chop the red pepper into half inch pieces and add to the pot. Add the tomatoes and stir. Cover with a lid and let cook for about 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are getting soft. Make sure you stir now and then, to prevent burning. If it appears too dry, add a few tablespoons of water. At this point, it's a good opportunity to fight with the mango - try to get as much meat from it as possible. Here is a good guide!

Once the sweet potatoes are soft, add the beans to the pot, stir and let cook for about two minutes. Salt and pepper to taste, and add Tabasco if you wish. Remove from the heat and stir in the mango. Serve immediately with warm tortillas (I generally heat them on high in the microwave for 15 seconds) and sprinkle with the fresh cilantro.

This meal will make a lot more food than you'd expect and it's very filling. I usually have enough for three meals for two people...so if you're just looking to have a smaller meal for perhaps 4 people, remove one can of beans and one sweet potato from the recipe.

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