Lately, I’ve been finding a lot of pleasure in rythmical, mechanical almost, living. Answering quick, yes/no questions, seeing reality in a binary way as opposed to such with endless options after the question mark. Pedalling without assessing the sweatmarks or heaviness of breathing, out of stubbornness. Being on my feet for seven-ish hours, watching a pristine, calm space become a task list and then turn quiet again, all the boxed ticked. Taking my shoes off with a glass of wine in hand.
There is, naturally, a lot of boring, idle moments, and I wouldn’t be myself hadn’t I filled those moments with observing. I’ve been given the opportunity to look at food and eating from a variety of new angles, and I am constantly amazed with the multitude of functions the two serve us. While my eating is currently reduced simply to energy and nourishment, and my need for cooking is at its lowest, I feel like my ideas/plans are being given some foundations and ground for growing.
I’ve also given a lot of thought to this space and I hope to update it soon. In the meantime, let me share a recipe that best reflects what food has been to me in those past two weeks. A bowl of tummy-warming stew that is heavy on the carbs and asks for little more than pantry food. All that’s missing is a handful of cold French fries. I don’t know if the coconut milk makes any sense in there in terms of culinary traditions, but that’s what I had in the cupboard.
African Stew with Bell Peppers and Peanut Butter
(makes enough for 3-4 people)
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 tbsp oil
1 garlic clove
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coriander
1-2 bell peppers, red or yellow
2 handfuls baby potatoes, or 1 large potato
3/4 cup canned tomato (about half of the can)
3/4 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp peanut butter
salt and pepper to taste
large handful of chopped fresh coriander
1-2 chopped scallions, green tops only
Cook rice according to instruction on the box.
Heat up the oil over medium heat. Seed and chop the peppers, set aside.
Chop the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then. Add minced garlic, cook for 1 minute, add the remaining spices, cook for 1 minute, stirring.
Add the chopped peppers, leave to cook for 5 minutes. Cut the potatoes in bite-size chunks and add to the pan, cover with the tomatoes, coconut milk and water. Cover the pan with a lid and let simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
Stir in the peanut butter. The stew will thicken, so add some extra water or coconut milk if a thinner texture is more to your liking. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the stew with a serving of rice and a generous sprinkling of the herbs.