Kwanzaa food is traditionally rich and heavy. However, weight gain isn’t inevitable. The Courier Journal posted some healthier alternatives to traditional Kwanzaa recipes on Dec. 26.
Kwanzaa focuses on seven principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, collective, purpose, creativity and faith. It was first celebrated in the United States in 1966. It starts on Dec. 26 and runs through Jan.1 each year. The holiday is predominately celebrated by African-Americans; however some families of other cultures also embrace Kwanzaa for various reasons.
According to PBS, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt celebrate Kwanzaa as a way to teach their children about different heritages. Pitt and Jolie have six children. Three of their children are adopted. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt teach their children about their various heritages. Their daughter, Zahara, was adopted from Africa as an infant. The Jolie-Pitt family also adopted from Cambodia and Vietnam.
Traditional Kwanzaa celebration includes spending time with friends and family, dancing, lighting candles and eating lots of delicious food. Fortunately there are ways to lighten up the delicious comfort foods. Here is a recipe for African peanut stew. Serve it with coconut rice and Jerk cabbage.
African peanut stew
- 2 cups brown basmati rice (or coconut rice)
- 1 tablespoon safflower oil or peanut oil
- 2 onions, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 4 cups low salt vegetable broth
- 2 cups tomatoes, chopped, with juices
- 1/2 cup unsalted peanut butter
- 1 ¾ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch dice
- 4 cups Swiss chard, shredded
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- Cook rice according to package directions and set aside.
- While the rice is cooking, in a 6-quart stockpot, heat oil on medium. Add onions and saute, stirring occasionally until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeno peppers, curry powder and ginger and saute for 1 minute.
- Stir in broth, tomatoes and peanut butter. Add sweet potatoes and cauliflower and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, 12-15 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and cook until chard wilts down. Season with salt.
- Divide rice among serving bowls and top with stew and cilantro.
Try this combination of recipes for the perfect lightened up Kwanzaa meal:
African peanut stew
Sautéed ripe plantains