Saturday, November 5, 2011

4 Ingredient African Stew + birthday cake

Good chilly afternoon everyone!  Hope you are all staying toasty and warm.  I think we just may put a fire on tonight.

A couple of  months ago a co-worker of Dave's invited us over for dinner. 
They know Keaton and I are vegan and Dave was told not to worry about the meal that they were making a meal they usually  make but with changes to accomadate us.  To our surprise the whole meal was vegan. 
We had a lovely mixed green salad with fresh berries and a light vinaigrette.  Then the main meal was a very delicious...
African Stew with Portobello Mushrooms

We kept talking about how good this meal was I had to get the recipe.
To my surprise there was only 4 ingredients listed in the recipe. 4 ingredients!  I couldn't believe it!
You serve this over a nice bed of brown rice and wallah!  The key to this recipe is letting it cook over a low heat for a couple of hours to let the tomatoes really melt down and the flavors mingle together.  I think this would be a great to make in a crockpot.  Sometimes simple is better and this dish is wonderful left alone without any fancy spices.  Although it makes a great base for adding other veggies, I still like the simplicity for a change.  It makes 4-5 servings. This would be an easy recipe to double for company.  It cost's less than $8 to make.

African Stew
by Eulalia

1)  3 large yellow onions chopped and cooked in olive oil or water for about 45min on low heat until soft and start to sweeten.
2) Add 2 16 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes, drained( I like a bit more tomato so I used 1 28 oz can  + 1 16 oz. can.- if you can't find stewed just add whole plum tomatoes in a can
3)  Add 2 cans of coconut milk(I used lite just because I had it on hand but using regular would give it a bit more thicker consistency and an even richer flavor. The boys loved it with the lite milk just as much)
4) Allow to cook together at least 30 min on low heat.( I found that cooking it for a couple of hours  really helped develop the flavors more and cooked the tomatoes better.)Note- as this cooks you want the tomatoes to break down into it so you can use the back of a spoon or something to help do this. 
5) Once cooked through add salt and pepper to taste.
6) At this point add mushrooms, tofu or anything else. ( I sauteed 8 oz. of portobellos and 8 oz. cubed firm tofu I broil on low until almost golden).  Let cook for about 15 or more minute until ready to serve.

Let me know how you like it!

This was my Halloween Birtthday cake I made for myself.  Chocolate cake, chocolate rice mellow creme filling, thin layer of white frosting and topped with chocolate ganache.  The ghosts are made with rice mellow creme.  I found a recipe at Annie's Eats for a marshmallow filling and adjusted it to a vegan recipe.   My go to chocolate cake recipe is down below.

Moosewood Chocolate Cake
(double the recipe for layer cake)

adapted by dreaminitvegan

- 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
-  1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 c. oil + 1/4 c. apple sauce/canned pumpkin.(The original recipe calls for 1/2 c. oil but I found it's    more moist using apple sauce or pumpkin. Added perk, less fat)
- 1 cup brewed coffee, cooled down
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar into an big bowl.
In a separate bowl,mix the oil, water or coffee and vanilla.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix the batter just until incorporated.

When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and stir only until the vinegar is evenly distributed into the batter.

Transfer the batter into an 8/9 inch round pan... or two if you doubled the recipe.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until cake tester/ toothpick comes out clean or the top springs back when touched. Cool completely.

Rice Mellow Fluff Creme

1 cup Earth Balance

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

7½ oz. Rice Mellow Creme

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat together the Earth Balance and confectioners sugar.  Then add in rice mellow creme and vanilla extract.  Beat until smooth and fluffy.
This is so nice and light in between the layers of cake.

This is my first time using Rice Mellow Creme.  Have you used it before?


  1. The stew sounds really good! Simple, inexpensive meals are definitely a goal of mine these days too.

  2. That cake sounds amazing!! LOVE coffee in sweets. And African food, we just never go out for it!

  3. How very nice that they made a whole vegan meal for you all! It looks great and sounds super easy with just the 4 things. Cool looking cake, love the ghosts! And a belated happy birthday! :-)

  4. Sarah-Very very simple to make. I should add that when you add the tomatoes and while they are cooking, every now and again use the back of the spoon to crush them against the side of the cooking pot. You want them to cook down and into the stew.
    Get Skinny...I agree,adding coffee to chocolate desserts adds a deeper flavor. The stew I was told you could add peanut butter but that would make for a completely differnt taste so I stuck with the original recipe I was given. I hope you try it.
    Chow vegan- It was such a treat to have a homemade vegan meal cooked by someone else and they ate it too! So hospitible. The cake was fun to make. Thanks for the birthday wishes too.

  5. Oooo, thanks for the recipes! That stew does sound wonderful with all those onions and coconut milk. Sounds really satisfying.

    I love your cake too; those little ghosts are so cute!

  6. Happy belated birthday! That does look delicious!!

    I posted in my comments the answer to your question about the servings! :)

  7. LOVE that cake so much! The dripping ganache looks luscious, but it's especially brilliant how the ghosts are nearly hidden in the sides there. They're wonderfully done!