Spicy Peanut Butter Greens

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One of my favorite restaurants in Philly, Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen, has one of the craziest, "weird good" sides I have ever tasted: peanut butter greens. I actually tried them on a dare, and I'm so happy that I did because I can't get enough! The peanut butter sauce completely masks the bitterness of the greens, the spice gives the greens a surprising kick, and the resulting flavor/texture is like nothing I had ever tasted before.

Recently I was craving them, so I decided to create my own version. I had nothing to go by other than knowing that I needed greens, something spicy, and peanut butter, so I hopped onto Google and did a little research. Here's what I learned:

  • Peanut Butter Greens are considered by some to be a modern take on West & South African peanut butter one-pot stews. 
  • In the States, you can find Peanut Butter Greens in the Southern States, where it is cooked by the local descendants of West Africans brought there as slaves. I found a really good read & incredibly well-done video on the history of Gullah cuisine and this particular dish, linked here (article) & here (video).
  • In my recipe research, there were actually quite a few variables in preparation: some preparations were pretty in depth (these seemed to be "fancy" and/or "modern" takes on the dish) while others were quite simple (this was the route I decided to take). To be transparent, I didn't actually see the video linked above until after I created my version, although I wish I would have because it is exactly what I had been looking for! Definitely give it a watch.

In the end, I decided to attempt to create something that was true to the recipe's roots (to the best of my knowledge via my research; if you have any comments, please share!) and incorporated a bit of spice through the use of red pepper flakes and a squeeze of Sriracha. I served these alongside sprouted tortillas, blackened barbecued seitan (a favorite in our house, and a recipe that you can find in my Summer Shift E-Book), cooling, creamy avocado crema , and Watermelon Mojitos (another from my Summer Shift E-Book!) for a makeshift dinner party, and they were a hit! 


Spicy Peanut Butter Greens

Vegan, Gluten-Free // Serves 2-4

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Ingredients:

  • Two Big Bunches of Greens (I do kale, collard greens, or a combination of both! Depending on the size of the bunch, you may only use 1.5 bunches)
  • Big Handful Cherry Tomatoes, halved OR 1 Large Tomato, diced
  • 1 Can Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Natural Peanut Butter (almond or other nut butters work fine, too)
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-inch Knob of Ginger, minced
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes, 1 Teaspoon Turmeric, Black Pepper & Sea Salt to taste
  • Optional, but Recommended: Big squeeze(s) of Sriracha!

Method: 

1. Wash and de-stem your greens.
2. Warm a sauté pan or skillet with high sides over medium heat + add coconut oil, onions, and garlic.
3. Sauté, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, ginger, and spices (you can save the salt and pepper to the end, if you'd like) and continue to sauté/stir. Cook until onions are fragrant and slightly translucent.

4. Add the peanut butter and coconut milk to the mixture and stir to combine. If you'd like a bit more bite, add a big squeeze of Sriracha. Bring to a low boil. From here, you can do one of two things: 1) transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender and blend to combine for a smoother sauce (be sure to let the mixture cool a bit first if you choose this route!), 2) leave it in the pan and go to step 5 (this is what I did).

5. Add greens and stir to combine. I also added a few extra shakes of red pepper flakes for more pop. Cover, lower heat, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.
6. Add tomatoes, stir, and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes or until greens are fully cooked.

7. Taste! Adjust seasonings as needed, and remove from heat.
8. As mentioned above, mine were a bit oily from all of the peanut butter, so I drained mine twice before serving. 


I served mine family-style with fun taco ingredients, but this is also great as a main with a grain or as a side dish. They're fantastic warm, but are still delicious cold! What's your favorite way to eat peanut butter greens?


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Spicy Peanut Butter Greens
Vegan, Gluten-Free
Ingredients
  • 2 Big Bunches Greens (Collards or Kale)
  • Big Handful Cherry Tomatoes OR 1 Large Tomato, diced
  • 1 Can Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 Cup All-Natural Peanut Butter OR Almond Butter (I have better results with almond butter)
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-Inch Knob Ginger, minced
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • Big Squeeze Sriracha, to taste
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes, 1 Teaspoon Turmeric, Black Pepper & Sea Salt to taste
Instructions
1. Wash and de-stem your greens.2. Warm a sauté pan or skillet with high sides over medium heat + add coconut oil, onions, and garlic.3. Sauté, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, ginger, and spices (you can save the salt and pepper to the end, if you'd like) and continue to sauté/stir. Cook until onions are fragrant and slightly translucent.4. Add the peanut butter and coconut milk to the mixture and stir to combine. If you'd like a bit more bite, add a big squeeze of Sriracha. Bring to a low boil. From here, you can do one of two things: 1) transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender and blend to combine for a smoother sauce (be sure to let the mixture cool a bit first if you choose this route!), 2) leave it in the pan and go to step 5 (this is what I did).5. Add greens and stir to combine. I also added a few extra shakes of red pepper flakes for more pop. Cover, lower heat, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.6. Add tomatoes, stir, and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes or until greens are fully cooked.7. Taste! Adjust seasonings as needed, and remove from heat.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2-4 Servings