African Inspired Yam and Peanut Stew (Vegan) - 2 Recipe Taste Test!

I have to admit, I am a sucker for any recipe that uses peanut butter as one of the flavours. However, usually they tend to be Thai inspired dishes. Then a few days ago I stumbled across an African inspired dish. Most interesting of all it was on a site called Fresh off the Grid and they made this dish while camping and over a campfire. WOW.  Then I read on their blog that it  was inspired by a recipe in a cookbook they had called Oh She Glows, but they scaled it in a way that worked for them when camping.

I of course had to research the original recipe and found it looked interesting as well. The original dish looks like it has more juice and a wider range of colours. Fresh Off the Grid's version looks thicker and a little more 2 tone. Which to make?  What I decided to do was make one version today for dinner and a 2nd version next week. After tasting both I would decide which recipe I want to keep. My only change I made in both is to note DARK ORANGE YAM instead of SWEET POTATO as I prefer them for flavour and colour.  You can use what you want.

I'd like to challenge readers to do the same. Try one or both recipes and let me know your thoughts.  I want to know what you think of the taste, the texture, the look, the aroma and whether your meat eaters found it satisfying or if they felt something was missing. Post your comment here or on Instagram or Facebook.

But most of all ENJOY!

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Soul-soothing African Peanut Stew
By Angela Liddon - Oh She Glows Cookbook and blog


1 tsp         Extra virgin olive oil
1               Medium sweet onion
3               Cloves garlic, minced
1               Red bell pepper, diced
1               Jalapeño, seeded, if desired, and diced (optional)
1               Dark orange yam, peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces
1               28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
⅓ C          Natural peanut butter
4 C           Vegetable broth, plus more as needed
1½ tsp      Chili powder
¼ tsp        Cayenne pepper (optional)
1              15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2               Handfuls baby spinach or destemmed, torn kale leaves
Fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, for serving
Roasted peanuts, for serving


In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the bell pepper, jalapeño (if using), yams, and tomatoes with their juices. Raise the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 minutes more. Season the vegetables with salt and black pepper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter and 1 cup of the vegetable broth until no clumps remain. Stir the mixture into the vegetables along with the remaining 3 cups broth, chili powder, and the cayenne (if using). Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the yams are fork-tender. Stir in the chickpeas and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with cilantro and roasted peanuts.

African Yam (they said Sweet Potato) and Peanut Stew
Megan McDuffie and Michael van Vliet - Fresh Off The Grid blog - cooked over an open fire.

Ingredients - 

1 T         Oil
1             Small onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
2             Cloves garlic, minced
2 C         Dark Orange Yam, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
2 C         Broth
1             14 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 C      Peanut butter
2 tsps      New Mexico chili powder, see note
1 tsp       Salt
1            14 oz can chickpeas, drained
2 C         Tuscan kale, destemmed and chopped

Instructions -

Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and saute about 5 minutes, until translucent and just starting to brown in spots. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the yam, broth, tomatoes & their juices, peanut butter, chili powder, and salt. Stir well to ensure the peanut butter is thoroughly mixed in and there's no clumps remaining.

Simmer, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes, or until the yams are tender. Once the sweet potatoes are tender, add the chickpeas and the kale to the dutch oven. Stir to combine and heat until the chickpeas have warmed through and the kale has wilted.

NOTE - New Mexico chili powder gives this stew a smokey flavor with just a hint of spice to it. If you use a different chili variety, you may need to scale the measurement back according to your heat preferences.