Spicy Five-Ring Stew

Named in honor of the upcoming Summer Olympics, this is a pretty spicy stew I invented that has flavors from five different continents represented in the five Olympic rings- the Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa, and “Oceania.” Yes, I looked up the meaning of “Oceania” and discovered that it includes the islands of the Pacific Ocean and Australia.

So in this stew, we’ve got the following ingredients representing these nations:

Pinto beans- Americas

Tofu- Asia

Spinach- Europe

Sweet Potatoes- Africa

Rice- Oceania (…OK cut me a little slack on this one! Who knows what ‘Oceanian’ food is like anyway?)

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Ingredients:

1 cube low sodium vegetable bullion

1 1/2 cups hot water

1/2 tsp corn starch

~1 tbsp teriyaki sauce

~1 tbsp honey

~ 1/8 tsp dried, crushed red pepper

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 sweet potato, diced

1/8 cup raw onion, chopped

1 cup raw broccoli/cauliflower, chopped

1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves

1/4 cup baby carrots, chopped

1/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/3 cup diced, firm tofu (1/2″ cubes)

1/4 cup cooked pinto beans

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp olive oil

Parmesan cheese, for serving

1/4 cup white or brown rice, cooked

Directions:

In a medium bowl, add water and bullion cube and stir until dissolved. Stir in corn starch, teriyaki sauce, honey, and crushed red pepper. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a baking dish, add chopped onion, sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil. Add garlic powder, garlic, and ginger. Mix together until evenly distributed throughout pan. Stick in the oven for 20 minutes or until broccoli and potatoes begin to brown.

Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in saucepan on high. Add tofu and cook on high for about 4 minutes, or until browned. Add broth mixture to saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add spinach and pinto beans and reduce heat to medium.

When vegetables in the oven are browned, add to saucepan and reduce heat to low. Continue to cook for three minutes to allow flavors of broth and vegetables to meld.

Remove from heat. Serve over rice and garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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