African Peanut Stew

All the rain we’ve had lately means that we are out playing in puddles constantly! Almost every day, Hayden asks me “What time is Sister Rain coming today?” For a kid who loves to play in water, it has been heaven. For me, a rainy cloud days means that I want to turn on the oven to roast vegetables, bake bread, and make soup. (The heat generated by the oven warms up the house nicely, and helps dry soggy rain boots.)

A friend made us an African peanut stew the other week. It was the first time I’d had something like this, despite seeing recipes floating around for years. Once I started looking up recipes (and my friend sent the one she used), I realized just how easy and perfect this stew is for busy families. The peanut butter really is a magical secret ingredient, turning simple food into something savory and creamy. I chose to add red lentils, because they cook quickly and add a nice dose of protein.

The best part about this recipe is that you probably already have most of these ingredients in your kitchen already. Its also quite flexible, as there are a number of optional ingredients that won’t break the recipe if you don’t have them. I have noted them below. Enjoy!

African Peanut Stew

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 cup chopped celery (optional)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 28 oz can san marzano tomatoes, squeezed into small pieces (or 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes + 1.5 cup water)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • 1 cup red lentils (optional – if you omit, then omit 2 cups water or broth)
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley (or 1/3 cup chopped fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chopped leafy greens swiss chard or spinach
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

Directions

  1. Saute onion, garlic, ginger and celery or bell pepper.
  2. After 5 minutes, add mushrooms, saute for another 3 minutes. Then add tomatoes, sweet potato, broth, red lentils, and spices.
  3. Bring to boil, then turn down and simmer for 25 min.
  4. Scoop out 1 cup of broth to combine with peanut butter, then add back in and stir.
  5. Add the greens (including fresh parsley if using), heat until wilted. Salt to taste.

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Perfect Oatmeal, 2 ways

My favorite running clothes company rabbit is featuring my recipe for Perfect Oatmeal today, which my family makes almost every day. You can check it out here. (And read a great review of their gear here!)

There’s a second secret way to make perfect oatmeal, too. Have you ever heard of steel cut oats? Same grain as regular oatmeal, but instead of rolling the groat, its chopped into a few pieces. I personally much prefer the texture and stomach-filling properties of steel cut oats, but I don’t love the prep time involved. Who has 60 minutes to make oats in the morning? Exactly.

So here’s the trick. Just before you go to bed, heat up a pot of water. Once its boiling, add the steel cut oats and let cook at a rollin for 2 minutes. Turn it off, go to bed. And in the morning, give the pot a stir, heat up those oats, flavor to your liking, and eat.

Proportions per serving

1/4 cup steel cut oats

slightly less than 1 cup water