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Banananana stew

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“While the cat’s away, the mice will play”

where cat = “Rahul,” me = “mice,” play = “make crazy, possibly ill-advised recipes”

Rahul left for a short trip to El Salvador at 4 AM today. So I’m taking advantage of his absence to make the kinds of things I could never convince him to eat. The weather was phenomenal today–about 60 degrees, balmy and sunny, and I spent most of the day wandering around town–to the new yarn shop, Bloomingfoods for some groceries, Roots (where I sat outside and had a lovely tempeh salad with green herb dressing), the library, the bead shop, Sahara Mart (where I ran into Chris and Laurel while I was absorbed in choosing a fancy chocolate bar–ended up with a delicious Scharffen Berger nibby milk chocolate bar), the business school…

I had a couple of overripe bananas sitting on the counter, and I didn’t feel like making banana bread, so I went to the library and picked up a cookbook called “Go Bananas” for inspiration. Here’s what I’ve come up with for dinner. It’s simmering on the stove now, and only time will tell whether it works out or not.

Black Bean and Banana Stew 

Saute in oil:

– one yellow onion, diced

– one humungous carrot, diced

– 4 large cloves garlic, minced

– a generous sprinkling of frozen diced green peppers (I bought a pack of these  branded under the “Recipe Beginnings” label)

I meant to add celery, too, but my celery was moldy. Booo!

Season with cumin, cinnamon, oregano, and salt, and let the spices toast in the pan.

When the vegetables are well-sauteed (onions translucent, everything looking sort of floppy), add a can of rinsed black beans, two cans of diced tomatoes (I used one plain, one jalapeno), one bunch of chopped green kale, a splash of white wine (thanks, Jeanne! I’m having a glass of it now, too, and it’s yummy) and a peeled, diced sweet potato.  Add some extra water if the stew looks too dry. Crumble in about 5 dried Thai peppers.

While the stew simmers, make banana dumplings (adapted from the plantain dumpling recipe in the Go Bananas! book): melt about 1 Tbsp butter, mash up 2 very ripe bananas, and stir in a few Tbsp of white flour. Drop the batter into the simmering stew by heaping tablespoonfuls and leave undisturbed to simmer till they hold together.

I’m trying to decide whether or not to add some Morningstar Farms fake meat crumbles.

To finish this stew, I’m going to squirt in some lime juice and add some chopped fresh cilantro.

I’m serving this with brown rice and a green bean and yellow squash casserole (mix 2 cans green beans with 1 fresh yellow summer squash cut into matchsticks, 1 can of Amy’s organic semi-condensed cream of mushroom soup, and maybe 1/2 cup of french-fried onions; bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins, sprinkle with more french-fried onions, bake a bit longer, till crispy and yummy).

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Written by orata

March 2, 2008 at 8:05 pm

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