"The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine."
- Hippocrates

April 9, 2011

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

This dish is one of those ones that you'll have to pack away the leftovers right away, or else you'll find yourself coming back to the pot over and over again to sneak "one more spoonful" until you're left with pants that are too tight, and minimal leftovers for lunch the next day! I first tried this recipe when my super mother-in-law made it for us this Christmas...we've pretty much made it every other week since then!!

The secret ingredient is the peanut butter...it makes the stew so creamy and slightly sweet when it meets the tomato and sweet potatoes. The recipe calls for sweet potato and kidney beans, but I've made it with butternut squash and chickpeas (as pictured) and it turned out just as fantastic! We like to serve it over quinoa, but any grain will do! The recipe makes a good amount so you should have enough to freeze or serve the next day (if you heed my warning from above!).


3 tablespoons water or oil (for sauteing)
2 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon light brown sugar (I skip this, it isn't necessary)
1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (a little generous if you like things on the spicy side)
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter (crunchy is fine too)
3 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 can (15 oz.)red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (19 oz.) diced tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 cup chopped, unsalted dry-roasted peanuts (optional)


Heat water or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in brown sugar, ginger, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne pepper, and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.

Stir in peanut butter and tomatoes, stir until melted and distributing evenly.

Add stock, sweet potatoes and kidney beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft (30 – 40 minutes). Taste and add salt if necessary. Serve over your choice of grain with chopped peanuts on top!


This recipe is from Colleen Patrick Goudreau's The Vegan Table