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 I’m super excited to have Robin Robertson as a guest on today’s blog. Robin has long been one of my favorite cookbook authors, so this is truly an honor. And if this guest post wasn’t enough excitement, I also interviewed her for Chic Vegan‘s interview series yesterday! Please hop on over and check it out:  Robin’s new book Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker hits stores on the 25th, but I’m giving away a copy to one lucky reader. Check out yesterday’s post to enter to win. And without further ado, here’s Robin!


 Slow cookers aren’t just for cooking bean soup and chili – you can use them to cook everything from scalloped potatoes, to berry cobbler, to orange marmalade. 


Virtually any kind of stew tastes better when cooked in a slow cooker.  That’s because the extended gentle cooking gives the flavors of the ingredients a chance to mingle.  Once the cooking is done, you can serve it right from the cooker. The stew recipes in Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker include international flavors such as an all-American Farmer’s Market Stew, Moroccan tagine, an Indian curry, a Mexican posole, and this African-Inspired Peanut Stew. Crunchy peanut butter works especially well in this dish, adding an extra layer of texture. Serve over rice, couscous, or quinoa.



Recipe: African-Inspired Peanut Stew


Serves 6

Slow Cooker Size: 5- to 6-quart

Cook Time: 6 hours on Low





  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (optional)
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 medium-size sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 3 cups cooked kidney beans or 2 (15-ounce) cans beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1⁄3 cup peanut butter, preferably crunchy
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach or Swiss chard



1. For the best flavor, heat the oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer, then stir in the ginger (if using), coriander, cumin, curry powder, and cayenne. Alternatively, omit the oil and sauté these ingredients in a few tablespoons of water or combine them in a microwave-safe bowl with a little water, cover, and microwave for 2 minutes.


2. Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker. Stir in the sweet potatoes, bell pepper, beans, and tomatoes and their juices.


3. Ladle about ½ cup of the broth into a small bowl and whisk in the peanut butter, then scrape the mixture into the slow cooker along with the remaining broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.


4. Stir in the chopped spinach, then cover and continue cooking for 1 hour. Alternatively, place the spinach in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and microwave until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes, then add the spinach to the stew just before serving time.


Recipe © 2012 by Robin Robertson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press.



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