African Peanut Stew

Based on an African Peanut Soup recipe from Emeril Lagasse. The original recipe called for sweet potatoes. I would prefer the sweet-spicy contrast, but my family likes white potatoes better.

African Peanut Stew

Ingredients:African Peanut Stew

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder (more if you like it spicy)
  • 2 medium onions, sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 medium potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish – optional)


Heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add curry powder and cook briefly for 1 minute. Add onions and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in potatoes, stock, and tomatoes, and bring soup to a boil. Simmer, covered, 20 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Add salt, pepper, cayenne, peanut butter, peanuts, and coconut milk to the soup. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Garnish bowls with cilantro, if desired.

Olive Nut Ball

olive nut spread
apologies for the low-quality photo

I enjoyed this Olive Nut Ball appetizer with pretzels this afternoon at work. It’s one of my holiday favorites.

1 container Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (non-hydrogenated)
1/2 cup manzanilla (green) olives with pimentos, chopped
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 tsp Bacon Salt (hickory flavor is vegan, all flavors are vegetarian)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Combine ingredients. Turn onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into ball, log, or other amusing shape. Refrigerate overnight or until firm. Serve with toasted rye bread, crackers, or celery sticks.

Mushroom and Sausage Calzone

I love homemade pizza and calzones. With the wind gusting to 45 mph and the temperature near the single digits, it was a good night to heat up the oven. This Mushroom and Sausage (Field Roast Italian sausage) Calzone was hot, hearty, and filling. I could only eat half!

The crust is best made a few hours ahead of time, making this a good recipe for a weekend. It can be proofed on the countertop, or in the refrigerator overnight. All you need is a large bowl, a measuring cup, and something to stir it up.

Mushroom and Sausage Calzone

For the dough

(Note: this recipe makes enough dough for four 14-inch pizzas or calzones. It stores well in the refrigerator in an oiled container for about a week.)

1 3/4 cups warm water (100˚ F)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Heat water to 100˚ F. Dissolve sugar, then add yeast and wait 5 minutes to proof (it should be foamy). Meanwhile, mix the flours and salt in a large bowl. After the yeast has proofed, add oil to the yeast and water mixture. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until a somewhat cohesive ball forms.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Place ball in an oiled bowl and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes covered by a damp kitchen towel.

Divide dough into four equal parts, and form into tight balls. Coat the balls with a bit more oil to prevent sticking and either place back in the bowl, or in a baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel and allow to proof for 2-3 hours, or proof in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

For the filling (fills 1 calzone)

1 package gourmet mushroom blend – oyster, baby bella, shiitake, or whatever floats your boat – about 2 cups, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup diced red pepper
1 Field Roast Italian Sausage, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pizza sauce (I pulled a container from the freezer, but use any vegan tomato-based sauce you like)
1/4 cup Follow Your Heart vegan cheese, shredded (or Daiya would work)

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add chopped mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, red pepper, sausage, and fennel. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 425 F, and place a pizza stone about 2 notches from the bottom of the oven to preheat.

To assemble a calzone, stretch one of the dough balls into a circle about 12-14 inches in diameter. On one half, spread the sauce, leaving a 1-inch margin around the edge. Spoon mushroom filling over sauce, and top with cheese. Fold over un-topped half of the dough, and roll bottom layer over top layer, pinching to seal edges. (You can wet the edges with a bit of water to get a better seal.)

Cut 3 small slits in the top of the calzone. Transfer to the preheated pizza stone. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.