If you ask any Brazilian what food you need to try when visiting the country, you’re almost guaranteed that feijoada will be on that list. If it’s not, you need to find yourself a more credible source to ask!
This savoury, hearty black bean stew is my favourite Brazilian dish. It’s chock full of flavour, and while every region and grandmother seems to have a recipe of their own, this is my vegan version. It’s everything I could ever hope from a black bean stew, vegan or not, and I could honestly eat this on a weekly basis and be a very happy human!
Whilst my grandmother always used a variety of meats for texture and flavour, this delicious vegan feijoada relies on roasted peppers and sweet potatoes for depth and smoked tofu for both texture and, well, smokiness. You could give this version to a meat eater and he would be none-the-wiser. It has the textures and flavours, and I even prefer this vegan feijoada to any I’ve had before!
We typically eat this dish with white rice, but since I’m a brown rice kind-of-gal this is what I recommend serving it with. Slices of orange add a much welcome sweetness to the dish, and the farofa adds an addictive texture. It is traditionally served with cooked kale, so that healthy aspect of the recipe is true to the original.
It makes a big batch, so you can either cook for a crowd or keep leftovers in the fridge or freezer to enjoy throughout the week.
Preheat your oven to 185ºC / 365ºF. Toss together your sweet potatoes, peppers, sweet paprika, pinch of salt, and a drizzle of coconut oil in a baking tray and roast for about 25-30 minutes, tossing once always through, until sweet potatoes have softened.
As you roast your veggies, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pan and add your onion. Reduce to a low heat and cook until softened, about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in your garlic, smoked paprika, tofu, and bay leaves and pan fry for 5 minutes minute before adding your beans along with 1 cup of vegetable stock or water. Simmer uncovered until vegetables are done roasting, then add them to the pan and simmer for a further 20 minutes or until the stew is nice and thick.
As your feijoada stew is cooking, make your farofa.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over low heat, then add your onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add your garlic and cook for a further minute before adding grated carrots and olives. Cover and cook for 1 minute on very low heat.
Uncover and add your cassava flour, stirring until toasted and fragrant. Taste and adjust any seasoning. It should resemble a slightly wet, crunchy flour. Place in a serving bowl and set aside until ready to eat.
Remove the hard stalks from the kale and bunch up the leaves, slicing them across into long thin strips.
Heat up your coconut oil over low heat in a frying pan - you could use the one you used for the farofa - and cook your onion until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute before adding your kale. Cook until wilted, season with salt, and serve.
Serve the bean stew with some rice or quinoa, along with a side of the braised kale, sliced oranges, and the crunchy farofa. You can serve lime wedges and coriander at the table or already add some to individual bowls.
Cassava flour and cassava starch are two different things! The flour is coarse and will toast up nicely.
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Hi, I'm Teffy, a qualified Nutritionist and avid foodie. This blog is all about inspiring a balanced life through delicious and wholesome foods, with not a diet in sight. Healthy eating shouldn't be hard and stressful, it should be easy and fun - Working with my clients they are constantly amazed that yes, food can taste great AND be good for you!