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Spinach and Peanut Butter

This is a recipe from Rev. John B. Kauta of Kenya who is with the USA/Canadian Emissary of the Missionary Cooperative Plan of the Catholic Diocese of Tororo, Africa. We had the pleasure of meeting him in Indianapolis on August 4, 1996. During his sermon, he made a casual, innocent reference to this recipe of his mother's and in a somewhat joking manner, suggested that for a $1.00 donation to his cause he would share this recipe to all comers. Of course I was the only bold taker and I am very happy I to have done so as the recipe is wonderful! The Rev. Kauta is also a fine speaker with a great sense of humor and of the human spirit. If you like this recipe, please send $1.00 (or more) to:

Rev. John B. Kauta

P.O. Box 587

Bedford Village, NY 10506 

If your letter is returned as undeliverable, I ask you to please make a $1.00 donation to the charity of your choice in honor of the Good Reverend's deeds and spirit.

 Ingredients (Serves 4 as a side dish):

1 Lb. Fresh spinach leaves (washed well)

1 Tbs. Good Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Small yellow onion peeled, cut in half and diced

1 Cup sliced mushrooms

2-3 Cloves of garlic (large or 4-5 small), minced

1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

1/4 tsp. (or to taste) freshly ground black pepper

15 oz can of diced tomatoes (or two medium tomatoes seeded and chopped)

3-4 Tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter

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Directions:

Put the spinach in a large pot. In a separate pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a full boil. Pour the water over the spinach all at once and give a quick stir. After one minute, drain the spinach (reserve 1/4 cup of this liquid) in a colander until somewhat cooled and chop coarsely. (You can just add everything else to the raw spinach at the end but this, to me, is a much better method of getting everything nicely combined.)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. (I use a Wok and find it fast and easy!) Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes (until they begin giving off liquid). Add garlic and sauté 2-3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and add salt and pepper.

With heat still on, make a well in the center of the above mixture and stir in the peanut butter with 2 Tbs. of the reserved liquid. Stir until the peanut butter melts and combines with water. Stir into mixture. You may add additional 1-2 Tbs. water if it seems to dry.

Add chopped spinach to mixture and toss together. Serve right away in an appropriate bowl.

 From The Kitchen of Todd L. McCagg