A friend of mine who works at Family Circle posts the most delicious pictures of her adventures with food. One recipe in particular caught my attention: crock-pot African Chicken Peanut Stew (find the recipe here). I’ve made this type of stew a couple times before, but stove-top. It’s a lot of work, which is why I haven’t made it in a long time. So when I learned that you could use a crock-pot I jumped for joy (in my head). I added the recipe to Pepperplate (a recipe app I use, and LOVE) about two months ago and now my 6 Weeks of Crock-Potting challenge gives me a reason to whip it out!
There aren’t many ingredients. Just chicken, peanut butter, sweet potato, ginger, garlic, canned tomatoes, coriander, and chicken broth. You can also top it with cilantro and chopped peanuts, but that’s not necessary. Most of these items are staples in my kitchen, so it’s usually just a matter of grabbing some chicken after work. Easy-peasy! The one thing that worries me about crock-pot recipes is the canned goods. They’re usually packed with sodium and preservatives. Check the ingredients label to make sure you’re not eating anything dangerous-sounding. Also, check the label for sodium content. I try not to buy canned goods that list high levels of sodium. I go for the cans or boxes that say “no sodium” or “low sodium”. If things are tasting bland, I can add some salt on my own. When it comes to canned beans, I put them in a bowl, wash them with water, and drain them to get that thick preservative-y liquid out of the picture. I just want the beans, dammit! If you prefer to avoid this canned food dance altogether, just buy the vegetables fresh instead of canned or soak a bag of beans overnight.
My crock-pot only cooks enough for 1 to 2 people, so the recipe ended up being too large for my crock-pot. I didn’t realize that when I bought the ingredients so I still have enough ingredients for a whole second batch! You can probably achieve this with $20 (chicken being the most expensive part). For me, the ingredients put me back about $30, and that’s because I went all Whole Foods fancy. BUT, remember, I only used about half of the ingredients (giving me about 4 to 5 bowls of soup) so this batch cost around $15. My bank account is smiling.
I love walking into my apartment after a long day of work and being greeted by the sweet, sweet smell of a damn good ready-to-eat meal. After adding some finishing touches, I went to town. It’s very tasty on it’s own, but I did end up adding pepper sauce (I like for my food to have a kick). This soup is packed with protein so you don’t need a side dish to fill you up, but if you feel like you do need a little something extra a small bowl of rice or quinoa could go well with this. Week 1 of my 6 weeks of crock-potting seems to be a success! I can’t wait to eat more of this!