(Updated July 2014) Several years ago, my husband and I were thumbing through Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home when my husband stopped at this recipe and said, “Let’s try this one.” I looked at it. . . and then I looked at him like he was insane. Pineapple, onions, and kale? And peanut butter? What kind of crazy combination is that?
That was before I learned something that D. already knew: Unusual combinations often make the best dishes. We tried this mixture of peanut butter and pineapple, and it was terrific. And it was the first time I really loved kale.
Since then, this dish has become a family favorite, though its higher fat content puts it into the category of “special occasions” for me. I have adapted the recipe to remove the oil in the original, which is really unnecessary for sautéing. And I’ve increased the kale and replaced the cilantro with parsley (because I can’t eat cilantro).
I’ve also managed to reduce the peanut butter on occasion by replacing some or all of it with peanut butter powder. And as of 2014, the most recent change I’ve made is to add chickpeas to make it more filling as my daughter has grown from a child to a young woman. (The original recipe is here, if you’re interested.)
African Pineapple Peanut Stew
The combination of kale, pineapple, and peanut butter sounds unusual, but you will be amazed at how rich and delicious this dish is.
- 1-2 bunches kale or 4-8 cups sliced
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced or pressed
- 1 20-ounce can undrained canned crushed pineapple in juice or about 2 cups with juice
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas optional, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup peanut butter or 1/3 cup peanut butter powder and 1/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce --I actually use about 3 tablespoons of a favorite Louisiana hot sauce that isn’t as spicy as Tabasco
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley optional
- salt to taste
- crushed skinless peanuts optional
- chopped scallions optional
Prepare the kale by washing it and removing the large center stem from each leaf. Stack the leaves on a cutting board and slice them into one-inch thick slices.
In a large, covered wok or Dutch oven (non-stick preferred), sauté the onions for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic, and stir for another minute.
Add the pineapple and its juice to the onions and bring to a simmer. Stir in the kale and the chickpeas if you’re using them, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until just tender. Mix in the peanut butter, Tabasco, and parsley and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste, and serve topped with crushed peanuts and scallions, over rice or other grain. (This makes about 4 servings without chickpeas or 6 servings with.)
Nutrition (per 1/4 of recipe without chickpeas): 330 calories, 143 calories from fat, 17.1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 53.5mg sodium, 881.8mg potassium, 39.5g carbohydrates, 5.6g fiber, 22.3g sugar, 12.5g protein.
Nutrition (per 1/6th of recipe with chickpeas): 286 calories, 105 calories from fat, 12.5g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 101.1mg sodium, 587.9mg potassium, 37.8g carbohydrates, 5.4g fiber, 17.1g sugar, 12.1g protein.
Nutritional values below are for 1/4th of the recipe with 1/3 cup peanut powder instead of peanut butter and added chickpeas, no optional ingredients.