It's getting colder and we're spending more time inside. The electric company is threatening to raise the bill 16% so I'm trying to be a little more aware of our usage. Keeping the thermostat down, I'm wearing a sweatshirt vest in the house and when I want to get warm, a little romp on the elliptical device turns the heat up. Our granddaughter was working that thing hard and I asked what she was doing. She told me she was turning the heater on. Apparently grandpa told her that's how we turn the heater on. I just smiled and asked her if she could fee the heat coming on. That's how we do it.
Another way to warm the insides is with a good, warm pot of vegetable stew simmering on the stove-top. I noticed some yams on the table and remembered a recipe I had for African Vegetable Stew. It's a very easy meal that only takes about 45 minutes from start to finish, 15 minutes prep time and about 30 minutes cook time, if you use canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans). I cooked some up the night before.
West African Vegetable Stew
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sweet potatoes (about 1½ pounds), peeled and cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1 large tomato, coarsely chopped (1½ cups)
10 oz vegetable stock
½ cup water
½ teaspoon each of: ground cinnamon and crushed red pepper
½ cup raisins
4 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves
1 can (about 15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans_, rinsed and drained
Hot cooked rice, quinoa, or couscous (optional)
1. Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are tender.
2. Add the potatoes and tomato. cook and stir for 5 minutes.
3. Stir the broth, water, cinnamon, red pepper and raisins into the saucepan. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
4. Stir in the spinach and chickpeas. Cook until hot. Serve over rice, quinoa, or couscous, if desired.