Kid-friendly Green Ghanaian Spinach Stew Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Green Ghanaian Spinach Stew

Recipe: Green Ghanaian Spinach Stew

Green Ghanaian Spinach Stew

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Dylan Sabuco
prep time
5 minutes
cook time
15 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Green Ghanaian Spinach Stew

This simple, curried stew is a snap to make, requiring just a handful of ingredients. It's perfect for those evenings when you need a quick, nutritious fix that the whole family will love. For a delicious, nutritious West African meal, pair it with everyone's hands-on favorite, Fun "Fufu" African Dough Balls!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • simmer :

    to cook a food gently, usually in a liquid, until softened.

  • stir :

    to mix together two or more ingredients with a spoon or spatula, usually in a circle pattern, or figure eight, or in whatever direction you like!

Equipment Checklist

  • Large pot
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Can opener
  • Wooden spoon
scale
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Ingredients

Green Ghanaian Spinach Stew

  • 3 handfuls baby spinach
  • 4 C water
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube **(for NIGHTSHADE ALLERGY sub 1 tsp onion powder)**
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp curry powder **(for NIGHTSHADE ALLERGY sub 1 tsp cumin + 1 tsp turmeric)**
  • 2 T tomato paste **(for NIGHTSHADE ALLERGY sub pumpkin purée)**

Food Allergen Substitutions

Green Ghanaian Spinach Stew

  • Nightshade: For 1 vegetable bouillon cube, substitute 1 tsp onion powder. For 2 tsp curry powder, substitute 1 tsp cumin + 1 tsp turmeric. Substitute pumpkin purée for tomato paste.

Instructions

Green Ghanaian Spinach Stew

1.
measure + simmer

This stew is super simple! Simply measure and pour 3 handfuls baby spinach, 4 cups water, 1 vegetable bouillon cube, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons curry powder, and 2 tablespoons tomato paste into a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes or more.

2.
stir + season

Stir the stew as often as you’d like. Take a taste every so often and adjust the seasoning to your liking as you go. You can always add more water or spices as you cook to adjust the flavor.

3.
serve

Serve the stew alongside the Fun "Fufu" African Dough Balls! Use the fufu to scoop up heaps of the stew and enjoy!

Surprise Ingredient: Spinach!

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Photo by BearFotos/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I’m Spinach!

"I'm Popeye the sailor man … Oh, excuse me. I like to sing that song because Popeye loved me! Yep! I'm Spinach! I'm a dark green, leafy vegetable, the kind that's so good for you! I may not make you as strong as Popeye, but I'll definitely make your body healthier and stronger. Plus, I'm delicious in so many dishes, including salads, sandwiches, soups, spanakopita, and even lasagna! Don't tell anyone, but sometimes I even get sneaked into muffins and cakes." 

History & Etymology

  • Spinach is a native plant of Persia (modern-day Iran). China produces the most spinach anywhere in the world, and in China, spinach is still known as The Persian Green. 
  • Spinach was grown in Spain during the 8th century, and Spaniards eventually brought it to the United States. 
  • Medieval artists extracted green pigment from spinach to use as ink or paint.
  • China is the world's largest spinach producer, with 85 percent of global production, and California produces 74 percent of the fresh spinach grown in the United States.
  • In the mid-1900s, a cartoon character named Popeye the Sailor Man caused the popularity of spinach to explode! This is because he would turn strong and powerful immediately after eating a can of spinach. 
  • The English word "spinach" came from the 14th century French "espinache," through Latin and Arabic, originally from the Persian "aspanak."

Anatomy 

  • Spinach is a member of the amaranth family, making it a close relation to beets and chard. 
  • Spinach plants are hardy and annual (meaning they need to be replanted each year). They can grow up to one foot tall. 
  • Larger leaves grow at the base of the plant, while smaller leaves are at the top (like basil). Spinach has dark green leaves that, depending on the variety, can be either curled or smooth. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • When buying fresh spinach, choose leaves that are crisp and dark green with a nice fresh fragrance. Avoid those that are limp, damaged, or have yellow spots. 
  • Refrigerate spinach in a plastic bag for up to three days. 
  • Spinach, which is usually very gritty because it is grown in sand, must be thoroughly rinsed.
  • Spinach can be eaten raw in salads and added raw to smoothies. Spinach doesn't have a strong taste, so it's a wonderful fuss-free addition when you want to pack in more nutrition to whatever you're cooking. It can be chopped and added to soups and stir-fries, baked into gratins, quiches, and pies, or pureed and added to dips. Spinach is super versatile. Frozen spinach is an easy substitute and works brilliantly in many recipes that call for fresh spinach.

Nutrition

  • Dark leafy green vegetables are some of the best foods to feed our bodies. Specifically, dark greens like spinach keep our hearts, blood, and brains healthy. 
  • Just half a cup of raw spinach counts as one of the five servings of fruits and vegetables you should eat daily.
  • Spinach is another source of vitamin K1. Do you remember that K1 helps with blood clotting? How's this for interesting: French soldiers consumed wine mixed with spinach juice during the First World War to recuperate from excessive bleeding! 
  • Spinach is high in chlorophyll! In fact, all green vegetables (and plants) contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll's job is to absorb sunlight and use it for energy—a process called photosynthesis. In addition, chlorophyll helps the body make red blood cells. These cells carry oxygen through the blood to our organs. 

 

History of Stew!

Photo by Ronald Sumners/Shutterstock.com (Irish stew)
  • Humans have been making stew since ancient times! Food historians say there is evidence of a stew made in Japan sometime during the Jōmon period (14,000-300 BCE). Tribes from the Amazon Rainforest used turtle shells to cook stew over a fire. Other cultures used the shells of mollusks to boil their stew.
  • A stew is a combination of solid foods, usually tough meats and vegetables, cooked on the stove or in the oven in a liquid, like water or stock, sometimes with added wine, at low temperature for one to three hours. The meat becomes tender, and gravy is created due to the slow cooking process, making the stew thick and hearty.
  • Brown stews are made with seared red meat, browned and diced vegetables, browned flour, brown stock, and sometimes red wine. The diced vegetables are called a "mirepoix" (MEER-pwah), part of French cuisine, typically consisting of carrots, celery, and onions. A stew may also include legumes, noodles, rice, or potatoes.
  • White stews can be called "blanquettes" or "fricassées" and consist of lightly seared but not browned lamb, poultry, or veal cooked in a white stock. Diced, braised vegetables with light color, like celery, cucumber, green lettuce, parsnips, or potatoes may be added. 
  • Many countries have stews in their cuisine. France has "beef bourguignon" or "beef Burgundy," a dish of beef stewed in burgundy wine. They also have a fish stew called "bouillabaisse." Vietnam has "bo kho," a richly-seasoned beef stew. "Feijoada" is a bean, beef, and pork stew from Brazil and Portugal. "Főzelék" is a thick vegetable soup from Hungary. South India has a stew made with lentils and vegetables called "sambar."
  • What's the difference between soup and stew? Soups are typically cooked in less time and are thinner in consistency than thick stews.

Lettuce Joke Around

What did Papa Spinach say to Baby Spinach? 

"Be-LEAF in yourself!"

The Yolk's On You

Why are spinach leaves never lonely? 

Because they come in bunches!

THYME for a Laugh

What’s a dancer’s favorite kind of vegetable?

Spin-ach!

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