Sunday, August 19, 2012

Two-Kale and Spinach Sweet Potato Rice Noodles in West African Maffé Sauce, Jerked Meyer Lemon Seitan

I was shopping at Whole Foods Market today and happily came upon a person sampling West African sauces, all vegan, from a new company in nearby Raleigh, called Kitchens of Africa. The company is the brainchild of an immigrant from The Gambia.

I sampled a tasty Maffé peanut simmer sauce - wow! It was quite flavorful and just spicy enough with a nice afterburn of habanero. The sauce consists of water, peanut paste, tomato, lime juice, tomato paste, scallion, onion, ginger, garlic, sugar (I'll bet it would have been just fine without the sugar), salt, canola oil, spices, and habanero pepper. They also had a carmelized onoin sauce that was okay, but didn't compare to the peanut one.

The nutrition analysis isn't bad; for each quarter cup serving (about 1/6 of the 12 ounce bottle), there is a reasonable 5g of fat with no trans-fats (there is a half gram of saturated fat, which comes from the peanut). It even includes a gram of fiber - but, alas, has a whopping 320mg of sodium. I would love to see the product reformulated to include brown rice or maple syrup, instead of sugar, or with no sweetener at all. I definitely would like to see it with no added salt.

Anyway, I had to buy the peanut sauce! It made dinner preparation easy tonight. This is what I did:

  1. I took about three leaves of red and three leaves of green kale, rinsed them, and roughly hand tore off bite-sized chunks. The stem is nutritious and, were I doing some sort of sautee, I would have used them. Instead, I saved the stems for making vegetable stock.
  2. I already had a half sweet potato that had been baked and was saved in my refrigerator. I cut it into 1/4" or so cubes.
  3. I brought a large stock pot of water to a boil and added the kale, as well as a handful of washed baby spinach leaves. 
  4. I also added the sweet potato, not to cook, but just to get heated up.
  5. After a minute or so, with the kale's color darkening, I added fettucine-style wide rice noodles (I usually prefer to use brown rice noodles, but just had white rice noodles on hand, so used them), estimating how much my toddler, wife, and I would eat.
  6. The noodles only take a minute or two of cooking; once they were cooked, I drained the pan and served on plates.
  7. I put four or five tablespoons or so per serving of the simmer sauce in a small pan and heated it briefly over medium heat, then poured atop the serving (I envisioned serving this based on how the food demonstration was setup, with the sauce put on top of some rice; I will try another dish soon with the sauce indeed serving as a simmer sauce).
  8. I sprinkled a tablespoonful or so of shelled hemp seed on top - hemp seeds are great for omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, fiber, and more - and they taste good!
I also made my jerked limed seitan (I marinated seitan strips in freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice, drained the juice, then sauteed in a little bit of oil till crispy on both sides; I mixed in some jerk seasoning) that we love, and cut some slices of tomato, along with a slice of tasty papaya. Yum!

Dinner didn't take long and was tasty; my toddler enjoyed her noodles without the sauce (too spicy for her) and the seitan without the jerk seasoning. I hope soon to make a variant on recipes I picked up at the sampling for a vegan Maffé  and/or a coconut-curry sauce. I'm delighted that I found this tasty sauce!


At Sun Sep 16, 01:46:00 AM EDT, Blogger Val said...

This looks delicious!


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