Vegetable Stew with Peanuts

This classic Asian stew is colored with annatto, a carotenoid-rich food coloring obtained from the seeds of the achiote tree.

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon powdered annatto

1 cup finely sliced yellow onion

3 minced cloves of garlic

1 medium eggplant sliced into rounds or quartered if larger in diameter.

1 cup long beans, sliced to a length of 3 inches

1 cup of winter squash cubes 

Four cups of low-sodium vegetable broth, split into one-half cup of smooth peanut butter

5 bok choy leaves, quartered

1 cup washed, canned, quartered artichoke hearts in water

1 tablespoon molasses

3 tablespoon tamari

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

2 cups of cooked rice per serving

½  cup of chopped toasted peanuts as a garnish

How to prepare:

Mix annatto powder with 3 tablespoons of water in a small basin and keep aside.

Add onions and 1/4 cup water to a large saucepan over medium heat and simmer until onions are transparent. Add garlic and cook for 60 seconds, or until golden, taking care not to let it burn.

Incorporate eggplant, long beans, and squash with one cup of broth. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover partially and cook for 10 minutes, stirring periodically, until the squash and eggplant begin to soften.

Add peanut butter, annatto mixture, and the remaining 3 cups of broth. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add baby bok choy and artichoke hearts, cover, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, until the bok choy is tender. Stir in molasses, tamari, and liquid smoke.

Serve hot over rice, then garnish with chopped peanuts.

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