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Thai Vegetable Stew

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2 min read
Summary

This beautifully flavored stew is brimming with vegetables and tofu in a creamy peanut-coconut sauce that is not too rich or heavy. See notes for soy-free and peanut-free options. Also, don’t let the ingredient list fool you! This stew is simple to make and bursting with nutrients from the spices, vegetables and tofu.

Yields5 ServingsPrep Time25 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time45 mins

Ingredients

 2 tbsp water (+1 Tbsp as needed)
 2 cups onion (diced)
 5 medium garlic cloves (minced)
 2 cups orange sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed, see note, +½ as desired)
 ½ tsp salt (optional)
 1 tsp coriander seeds (or ½ tsp ground)
 ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like the heat!)
 1 stalk lemongrass (optional)
 1 ½ cups organic zucchini (cubed, +½ cup as desired)
 1 cup bell pepper (red, orange or yellow, chopped)
 2 cups vegetable broth (unsalted, preferably homemade)
 ¾ cup water (+¼ cup as needed)
 13.50 oz coconut milk (light, BPA-free canned)
 ½ cup organic peanut butter (unsweetened and unsalted)
 1 tbsp organic tamari (reduced-sodium or coconut aminos)
 1 ½ tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
 ½ 350 gm package organic tofu (or whole package, firm or extra-firm, cut into bite-sized cubes — see notes for soy-free option)
 6 cups organic spinach leaves (+2 cups as desired, loosely packed, can substitute Swiss Chard leaves)
 2 ½ tbsp lime juice (freshly squeezed, +½ Tbsp as desired)
 cilantro (optional, for serving, chopped)
 lime wedges (for serving)

Directions

1

In a soup pot over medium heat, add the water, onion, garlic, sweet potato, salt, coriander seeds, and red pepper flakes.

2

Cover and let cook for 4–5 minutes.

3

While cooking, prepare the lemongrass, if using. Cut off the lower yellow bulbous portion (about halfway), and remove the outer tough leaves (discard outer leaves along with upper portion of stalk). Using your chef’s knife ‘bruise’ this bulbous portion. Cut a few shallow slits in the stalk and then use pressure on your knife to open and bruise the stalk, to help release its flavors (do not chop the stalk, keep in one piece).

4

Add the lemongrass, zucchini, bell pepper, stock, water, coconut milk, peanut butter (start with ½ cup + 1 tbsp), tamari, and fresh ginger.

5

Stir through and increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil.

6

Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low/medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the tofu (see note) and gently stir through.

7

Simmer covered for another 2–4 minutes or longer, until sweet potatoes are fork tender.

8

Add the fresh spinach and lime juice (start with 2½ tbsp, and add more if desired), stir through and serve immediately (so spinach stays a vibrant green color).

9

Taste, and if you’d like a full peanut flavor, add the remaining 1 tbsp of peanut butter, or more if desired.

10

Remove the lemongrass before serving.

11

Serve garnished with fresh cilantro if desired, and with a lime wedge to squeeze juices on individual portions.

Chef's Notes

Sweet Potato
You can use the orange-flesh sweet potatoes that are sometimes labeled as known as ‘garnet yams’ or ‘jewel yams,’ or you can use the yellow flesh tubers most often labeled as simply yellow sweet potatoes.

Peanut Butter
If peanut allergies are present, you can easily substitute a natural almond or cashew butter here. Another option, if nut allergies are a concern, is to use tahini in place of the peanut butter.

Tofu
You can choose to use either the full package of tofu, or a lesser amount to your preference. If you’d like a very substantial stew, use the full package (or most of it). If you’d like a lighter stew with fewer pieces of tofu, use roughly ½ of the package, and refrigerate the remaining tofu (tightly wrapped in plastic). For a soy substitute, omit the tofu and add a can of black beans (rinsed/drained first; roughly 1¾–2 cups). The beans offer a hearty substance similar to the tofu.

Spinach
Do not add the spinach until almost ready to serve. If making this soup earlier in the day, omit the spinach and then reheat soup, adding the spinach to heat through a few minutes before serving. It’s nice for taste and presentation to cook greens until just wilted, rather than cooking too long, when the color turns to a grey-green, and the flavor isn’t as appealing.

Recipe from Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton adapted for WHOLE Life Club (WLC)

Ingredients

 2 tbsp water (+1 Tbsp as needed)
 2 cups onion (diced)
 5 medium garlic cloves (minced)
 2 cups orange sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed, see note, +½ as desired)
 ½ tsp salt (optional)
 1 tsp coriander seeds (or ½ tsp ground)
 ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like the heat!)
 1 stalk lemongrass (optional)
 1 ½ cups organic zucchini (cubed, +½ cup as desired)
 1 cup bell pepper (red, orange or yellow, chopped)
 2 cups vegetable broth (unsalted, preferably homemade)
 ¾ cup water (+¼ cup as needed)
 13.50 oz coconut milk (light, BPA-free canned)
 ½ cup organic peanut butter (unsweetened and unsalted)
 1 tbsp organic tamari (reduced-sodium or coconut aminos)
 1 ½ tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
 ½ 350 gm package organic tofu (or whole package, firm or extra-firm, cut into bite-sized cubes — see notes for soy-free option)
 6 cups organic spinach leaves (+2 cups as desired, loosely packed, can substitute Swiss Chard leaves)
 2 ½ tbsp lime juice (freshly squeezed, +½ Tbsp as desired)
 cilantro (optional, for serving, chopped)
 lime wedges (for serving)

Directions

1

In a soup pot over medium heat, add the water, onion, garlic, sweet potato, salt, coriander seeds, and red pepper flakes.

2

Cover and let cook for 4–5 minutes.

3

While cooking, prepare the lemongrass, if using. Cut off the lower yellow bulbous portion (about halfway), and remove the outer tough leaves (discard outer leaves along with upper portion of stalk). Using your chef’s knife ‘bruise’ this bulbous portion. Cut a few shallow slits in the stalk and then use pressure on your knife to open and bruise the stalk, to help release its flavors (do not chop the stalk, keep in one piece).

4

Add the lemongrass, zucchini, bell pepper, stock, water, coconut milk, peanut butter (start with ½ cup + 1 tbsp), tamari, and fresh ginger.

5

Stir through and increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil.

6

Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low/medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the tofu (see note) and gently stir through.

7

Simmer covered for another 2–4 minutes or longer, until sweet potatoes are fork tender.

8

Add the fresh spinach and lime juice (start with 2½ tbsp, and add more if desired), stir through and serve immediately (so spinach stays a vibrant green color).

9

Taste, and if you’d like a full peanut flavor, add the remaining 1 tbsp of peanut butter, or more if desired.

10

Remove the lemongrass before serving.

11

Serve garnished with fresh cilantro if desired, and with a lime wedge to squeeze juices on individual portions.

Thai Vegetable Stew