Last year, I taught a class called Taste of African Heritage for Black History Month, which focused on the plant-based diets of Africans. Africa is a vast continent and offers many flavors, but nearly all of the regions have a plant-based diet.I love teaching this class, which is from Oldways, a non-profit food and nutrition education organization with a mission to inspire healthy eating through cultural food traditions and lifestyles. This cooking series is also sponsored by Walmart and is a great way to continue your New Year's resolution of a healthier lifestyle.

The Taste of African Heritage hands-on class gives participants the opportunity to learn about the African Heritage Diet Pyramid and commit the easy-to-follow, plant-based recipes to memory. I am offering the series in conjunction with the city of Eustis Recreation Department on March 4, 11 and 18. This class is for anyone who is looking for flavorful ways to add plant-based recipes into their life. To register or for information, call the city of Eustis Recreation Department at 352-357-8510.

The series is full of delicious recipes, but I continue to go back to one particular recipe, especially on cold days. It was a little cold the other morning, and I put a stew on in the morning and figured it would be done by lunch. Well, I was wrong, and we had Senegalese sweet potato and peanut stew (AKA Mafe) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I forgot how fast and nutritious this recipe is.

We will be cooking this stew during the Taste of African Heritage series.



    • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 large sweet potato, chopped into medium-size cubes
    • 2 large carrots, cut into thin rounds
    • 2 green zucchini, cut into thin half rounds
    • 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes, no salt added
    • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
    • 1 tablespoon curry power
    • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
    • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • Sea salt to taste


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

Ze Carter is a food columnist for the Daily Commercial. Email her at

Source: Carter: Learn about Africa’s plant-based diet