Last year I taught a plant based class named “A Taste of Africa Heritage” for Black history month that focused on the healthy diets of Africans. Africa is vast and so are the flavors and many regions nearly all have a plant based diet. I love this recipe because it proved that you can have a meatless meal that is easy to make and full of flavor.  “Mafe”, or groundnut stew, is common throughout West and Central Africa. This traditional stew can include meat, vegetables, or seafood, and it is always based on a savory sauce made from peanut butter and tomatoes. This recipe features the sweet potato, a staple and is a much-loved African heritage food.


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped into medium cubes
  • 2 large carrots, cut into rounds
  • 2 green zucchini, cut into thin half rounds
  • 1 small can (15oz) of diced tomatoes, not salt added
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • sea salt to taste.


Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until translucent (3-4 minutes). While the onions and garlic cook, chop up the sweet potato, carrots, and zucchini. Add sweet potato and vegetables to the pot; saute for 3 – 4 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and curry powder, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the peanut butter and thyme. Let it cook, covered, for another 3 – 5 minutes. Salt to taste and enjoy!

“Recipe courtesy of Oldways; photo by Adante Hart”