[vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” css_animation=”” box_shadow_on_row=”no”][vc_column][vc_column_text]From my mother, Henrietta Ruberto This is a staple recipe in my home for the fall and winter. The entire family loves this vegetarian meal. The dish is hearty and satisfying, healthy and absolutely delicious. We serve hot sauce on the side so that each member of the family can determine the degree of spice they prefer. I prefer to serve this with quinoa because it is very high in protein and it gives me the option to eliminate the beans on occasion.


  • 2 T cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 each large red and green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 medium-size sweet potatoes or yams cut into  inch cubes
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 2 cups cooked, drained garbanzo beans (optional)
  • Sea salt
  • 1 medium zucchini chopped
  • 4 cups of hot cooked grains such as quinoa, millet, brown rice, or couscous
Hot pepper sauce:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Heat oil in a 5 quart pot over medium heat. Add onion, red and green bell peppers, coriander, and cinnamon and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in sweet potatoes and cook, stirring often for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, water, lemon juice, saffron, and garbanzos. Season to taste with salt. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes more.

Meanwhile, prepare hot pepper sauce. In a small pan, combine all of the ingredients and cook over medium-low heat, stirring until ingredients are well blended (about 5 minutes). Serve warm. Makes about  cup.

After the stew has cooked for 15 minutes, mix zucchini into the mixture and cook, covered, until sweet potatoes are tender (about 5 minutes more). Add more salt if desired. To serve, put grains in each bowl and top with stew and hot sauce. Or, put stew in the center of a deep platter and spread the grains around the edge. Pass the hot pepper sauce to drizzle on top.