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African Sweet Potato Stew with Red Beans

Vivid colors and fragrant spices are the hallmarks of this thick stew, which is garnished with crunchy peanuts. A squeeze of lime juice at the table brightens the rich, earthy flavors.

Makes: 6 servings (serving size: 1 ⅓ cups stew, 1 ½ teaspoons peanuts, 1 lime wedge)

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed sweet potato (about 1 ½ pounds)
1 ½ cups small red beans
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup water
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
3 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter (try natural or old fashioned)
3 Tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts
6 lime wedges

Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cover and cook for 5 minutes or until tender.

Place onion mixture in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Add sweet potato and next 10 ingredients (through chiles). Cover and cook on low 8 hours or until vegetables are tender.

Spoon 1 cup of cooking liquid into a small bowl. Add peanut butter; stir well with a whisk. Stir peanut butter mixture back into the stew. Top with peanuts; serve with lime wedges.

Nutrition per serving: Calories 308; Fat 8.8g (sat. 1.5g, mono4.2g, poly 2.3g); Protein 11.1g; Cholesterol 0.0mg: Calcium 64mg; Sodium 574mg, Fiber 10.2g; Carbohydrate 49.9g

Source: Cooking Light, October 2004