Wednesday, November 12, 2014

African Inspired Peanut Stew

You must forgive my absence, our house was hit hard by an unforgiving stomach flu.  It started with Presley, and then hit both Sloane and I.  Cory has somehow managed to miss out, lucky boy!  Without going into all the gory details, it was gross, and I'm glad to have my energy and appetite back.
I've only seen the movie "The Devil Wears Prada" maybe once or twice, so this is completely random that it sticks out in my memory, but whenever I get the stomach flu, I always think of this quote:

Emily: Andrea, my God! You look so chic.
Andy Sachs: Oh, thanks. You look so thin.
Emily: Really? It's for Paris, I'm on this new diet.  Well, I don't eat anything and when I feel like I'm about to faint I eat a cube of cheese.  I'm just one stomach flu away from my goal weight.

Hilarious, and true, right?!
I've decided to look at having the flu, as getting the opportunity to re-set your body, Mother Nature's cleanse!  Now that you have this blank slate of appetite and even what you may normally crave, you might as well keep eating the smaller portions, and as follow as clean a diet as possible.

One of the first real meals I craved once I was ready to get back in the kitchen was this African Inspired Peanut Stew.  I added chicken, because whiners, and swapped chick peas for lentils, because whiners, but kept the subtle spice, and the sweet potatoes, which pair perfectly with the peanut butter.
It's an interpretation of the vegan "Soul Soothing African Peanut Stew" from the recently published Oh She Glows Cookbook.  Angela Liddon is the author and blogger behind the amazing Oh She Glows website, and now the award winning book!  I find Angela's recipes to be imaginative, yet totally do-able, and always delicious.
Because I can borrow cookbooks for free from the library (you can too, silly!), I rarely purchase cookbooks of my own, but the Oh She Glows cookbook is the exception!  Totally worth the $ and the shelf space.

African Inspired Peanut Stew
Recipe Adapted From: Oh She Glows Cookbook Page 129

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded (optional) and diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, and chopped
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed (optional)
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/3 - 1/2 cup peanut butter
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup uncooked lentils (I used red), or can of chickpeas drained & rinsed
2 large handfuls spinach, chopped or torn
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 handful cilantro, for garnish
Roasted peanuts, for garnish

Using a large stock/soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and sauté for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic, red pepper, and jalapeño, sautéing for another 2 minutes. Add the sweet potato, chicken (optional), and tomatoes (with their juice) and a good shake of both salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, using a small saucepan or microwave, heat up 1 cup of broth, and then add the peanut butter, stirring so no clumps remain. Stir the peanut butter mixture to the vegetables, along with the remaining broth. Season with the cumin, chili powder, and cayenne.
Cover the pot, and reduce heat to low, leaving to simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and lentils are tender, and the chicken (if you're using it) is cooked through.
Taste and season if necessary, then stir in the spinach, and cook until just wilted.
Serve stew over rice and/or steamed vegetables, and garnish with the cilantro and roasted peanuts.



  1. Okay, I hate the stomach flu, but I looove peanut butter in savory dishes! This looks so yummy Crystal!

  2. Peanut butter is the bomb, always! Thanks Kari <3