West African Peanut Stew


Not long ago, James seemed out of sorts before he wandered outside to work on his little house, so I was determined to make him something delicious for dinner. Meanwhile, as I was tidying up, I found a list on his side of the couch with what looked like the word “Grievances” at the top.

Shocked that my darling Jamie-boy might have been harbouring a series of grudges, I attempted to decipher his ridiculously indecipherable writing. As it turns out, the list read, “tomatoes, romaine, spinach, bananas,” and I realized it was a list of groceries, not grievances.

And while I was immediately relieved, I did sort of like the idea of the kindly James (an inveterate secret grudge-holder) keeping an enumerated list of grievances, so that’s what I’ve come to call his grocery list these days.

And I just cross my fingers that our neighbours don’t hear me yell out, “Hey Jamie, can you put sweet potatoes on your list of grievances?”

And speaking of sweet potatoes, for someone who’d never tasted one until about six weeks ago, I’m going through these suckers like a house afire these days! First came the amazing sweet potato tortillas, and then the delicious West African peanut-sweet-potato stew everyone on one of my WFPB groups was talking about online. Of course, I love anything with peanuts or peanut butter in it, so I Googled up just about every damn recipe for “African Peanut Stew” and “West African Stew” and conflated a bunch for the following succulent dish.

This is my third–and best–version! I hope you like it.

West African Peanut Stew

Click the Instant Pot onto “saute” and saute for a few minutes:

  • 1.5 pounds of cubed sweet potato
  • 1 diced red pepper
  • 1 finely chopped onion

Meanwhile, add the following to the Vitamix and blend until smooooooth:

  • 1 28-ounce can of tomatoes (liquid included)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • a big ‘ol chunk of ginger
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1.5 TBS Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
  • 1 capful of liquid smoke
  • 1 TBS cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chili peppers
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves

Add the contents of the Vitamix to the Instant Pot, and set to twelve minutes. Let the pot release naturally and then add:

  • 4 cups chopped Swiss chard (I don’t like big chunks, so I blend it for a few seconds in the food processor)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Close the lid again for a few minutes until the chard and chickpeas are heated through.

Serve over brown basmati rice and top with….

  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • a handful of peanuts (if you have them)
  • a wedge of lime

And a couple of these amazing Sweet Potato Tortillas on the side!


Oh, and as it turns out, James was not out of sorts; he was simply preoccupied with continuing plans for his workshop. And when he’s preoccupied, his countenance can resemble that of a grumpy Schnauzer:


And that sweet little Schauzer is Finn. She belongs to James’s brother and sister-in-law, Dave and Deb, who visited us from Medicine Hat last month. And, yes, Buster did terrorize the poor little girl (and, yes, okay….blood may have been spilled).

And the song of the day is Morrissey’s “I Spent the Day in Bed” because…sometimes it’s just good to spend the day in bed:





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