Two weeks ago, I let you all know that I was National Geographic Kids Insider, and with that comes cool things like the National Geographic Kids Cookbook that I was able to review and test out. Since we are in the month of March, and the cookbook takes you on a culinary journey month, by month, we decided to make the Mafe Stew (lovingly called Peanut Stew by some) and see how we liked it. Adding peanut butter to a stew caused some reservations with me for a moment, but I’m always about eating new things, and I wasn’t disappointed! What’s funny is the fact that most people pause at okra – not me though – I’m all about extra okra in ANYTHING! Make sure to read to the bottom, because I’ll be giving away one cookbook to one of my readers!
I had Lil Miss help me chop the okra, but I don’t have photos, because I had to keep an eye on her with the pairing knife. She was so excited to be cutting in the kitchen with me, and it lets me know that kids are often ready for a lot of things before we are. She did exceptionally well, and always kept her non-cutting fingers folded under while firmly holding the okra.
Let me tell you, the smell of all of these aromatics sauteing was divine! Ginger paired with onion, green pepper and garlic is just amazing. From this point on, I knew that we were going to have a great lunch. I was going to make this for dinner, but I started cooking at nine in the morning, and well, yeah, lunch.
This is the point in which I started questioning where this was going. Chunky peanut butter. It shreds bread, but does magnificent things to stew. It creates a smooth texture and gives the nuttiness that Mafe is known for. I think the next time I do this, I’m going to use a little less peanut butter, but I’m a believer!
This was the end result, and while I think that it was a great stew for my first time making it, I think the next time, I’ll switch out the beef cubes for lamb. I know that the recipe above calls for ground beef, but I didn’t have any, and well – stew. The beef didn’t stew long enough, and I wanted it to. I also know what ingredients I’ll play around with next time to make this recipe my own. Probably add in a couple more vegetables and make it a bit heartier.
All in all, I can see these recipes making an appearance each month as we all find something fun and educational to include in our homeschool journey, or just as a family meal to prepare. Each page has fun facts and sometimes even a bit of history to go along with the recipes. The kids had a great time learning about George Washington Carver and his connection with peanuts.
If you’re looking for a great and informative cookbook for your family, you should check out the site and purchase the National Geographic Kids Cookbook for the little or not so little cooks in your life!