If you’re looking for something hearty, comforting, and healthy the next time you’re out camping, you need to try this vegan sweet potato peanut stew. We recently cooked up a pot of it over our campfire in Anza Borrego and it was everything we could have hoped for and more. If you’re looking for something to warm you up on a cold winter’s evening, then this stew is for you.
We cooked this at Borrego Palm Canyon Campground, just outside of Borrego Springs, California. While we typically seek out free camp spots while camping in the desert, we decided to splurge and pay for an official campsite (that’s right: a picnic table, fire ring, and access to a nearby flushing toilet now constitutes “splurging” in our lives). In our former weekend warrior days, we camped at this campground on more than a few occasions, so our stay here felt like visiting an old friend.
During these brisk desert evenings having a campfire is nice, but having campfire with a simmering stew on top of it is even better. This particular recipe was inspired by an African peanut stew we saw while leafing through the amazing Oh She Glows cookbook. We loved the flavors of the original (chunky sweet potato, creamy peanut butter broth, and a smoky chili aroma) but we decided to make a few alterations in order to streamline it for camp cooking. This stripped down version is loaded with all the essentials you need to get that same big flavor without taking up too much room in your cooler.
New Mexico chili powder gives this stew a smoky 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. This recipes makes two generous servings, or could stretch to feed 4 if served over rice.
So the next time you’re out camping, give this one a try. It just might become your new go-to stew.
Story and photos by Megan McDuffie and Michael van Vliet, who write about culinary and other adventures at Fresh Off the Grid.
1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion diced (to yield 1 1/2 cups )
2 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 medium sweet potato chopped into 1/4 inch cubes (to yield 2 cups)
2 cups broth
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons New Mexico chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
14 oz can chickpeas drained
2 cups Tuscan kale destemmed and chopped
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté about 5 minutes, until translucent and just starting to brown in spots. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the sweet potato, 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 sweet potatoes 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.