A wise friend recently declared we should all eat more kale. Tony is the trainer I have been working with for the past three months and I’ve learned that we agree on many things: women should lift heavy (bet you saw that one coming), tapas is the best way to eat, and True Blood equals awesomeness. We’re also on the same page about eating plenty of nutrient-packed veggies like kale. What’s so great about kale? I’ll let Tony’s
t-shirt blog post do most of the talking, but I’d like to add in that kale is delicious and versatile as well.
The inspiration for this Spicy West African Braised Kale and Tofu came from Kalyn’s recipe for West African Chicken and Peanut Stew. I knew as soon as I saw this recipe that I would love it, but I decided to change things up a little. Kale immediately came to mind. I knew it’s rich, earthy flavor would work well with the peanut sauce, and that it would add plenty of bulk. And because I was feeling a vegetarian meal, I threw in cooked, cubed tofu.
Some of you skeptics are probably reading this thinking, “what’s the point of eating kale and tofu if you’re just going to drown it in fat?” True, this recipe is heavy on the nut butter. But dear readers, don’t fear the fat! Like puppies and good men, peanuts are good for your heart. Well, maybe not in exactly the same way. Peanuts are a great source of monounsaturated fat, which reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease. They also feature an array of other heart-healthy vitamins and nutrients, and their antioxident content rivals or exceeds that of certain fruits. And speaking from my own personal experience, I can guarantee you that eating a little extra good fat each day WILL keep you more satisfied and will NOT hurt your weight-loss efforts.
I’m not suggesting you go pick up a jar of Jiffy reduced-fat and eat it by the spoonful. In fact, I highly suggest you DON’T do that. “Reduced fat” is synonymous with “increased carbs, sugar, and ingredients that don’t need to be there”. Instead, choose a natural peanut butter (the only ingredient should be peanuts, and maybe some salt) and don’t be afraid to have an appropriate serving here and there.
I hope I’ve convinced you of all the good reasons to eat more kale and peanut butter, because this satisfying stew totally packs the one-two punch. But don’t think I’ve strayed from my mantra that food should taste good and be good for you. Along with the boatload of nutrients, this creamy, rich, and spicy stew delivers plenty for the taste buds too.
1 lb firm tofu, cubed and baked*
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 small jalapeno pepper, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup (128gm) all natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 large bunch of kale, thick stems removed and roughly chopped
2 large scallions, thinly sliced
Heat the oil in a large, heavy dutch oven. Cook the onion, ginger and jalapeno over medium-low heat, until the onion has softened, about five minutes. Season with the chili powder, salt and pepper, and cook one minute more.
Stir in the chicken broth, peanut butter, tomato paste, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then add the kale, a few handfuls at a time, stirring to let it wilt down. When all of the kale has been incorporated, add the tofu. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until kale is tender.
Ladle the stew into serving bowls and garnish with sliced scallions.
*To prepare the tofu: Preheat oven to 500ºF. Spray a 9×13 ceramic baking dish with nonstick canola or olive oil cooking spray. Cut the tofu into cubes and place it in the baking dish, and spray the tofu with the oil. Bake for 30 minutes, turning three times. This is a great way to prepare tofu when you’ll be adding it to soups, stir-fry’s, or stews. It comes out crisp on the outside and still tender on the inside – no draining or frying required!
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 27.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 354.6 mg
Total Carbs: 20.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.7 g
Protein: 24.9 g