I never thought I'd say this, but this Hugh Jackman recipe has become a staple in my family's diet.
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Sweet Potato Stew

Marriage is all about compromise—especially when I don't eat meat, dairy or eggs and my husband considers steak, cheese and eggs to be his favorite foods. But luckily, with two years of marriage under our belts, I have found a few recipes my wild game-hunting husband truly loves. And naturally, it was created by the guy who plays Wolverine in those X-Men movies. Who would have guessed?

We get a lot of cookbooks sent to us to review before they come out, and one in particular interested me—Dr. Mark Hyman's Food: What the Heck Should I Cook?. This is a "Pegan" cookbook—a term Hyman coined—that combines what he considers to be the best of the Paleo and vegan diets. Hyman explains in the forward of this book that though these diets prioritize different food groups, they have similar philosophies.

I flipped through to see if there were any strictly plant-based dishes worth trying and stumbled upon Hugh Jackman's African Sweet Potato Stew. And it became an instant hit in our house.

I've made this stew about a half-dozen times now, and it never fails. It's super healthy, yet so creamy and flavorful, thanks to peanut butter, curry paste, alliums and ginger. I also love tossing it in my slow-cooker and adding the spinach and peanut butter in a few minutes before serving.

You can find the recipe listed, below:

African Sweet Potato Stew

Contributed by Hugh Jackman


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion,chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry paste
  • 1 medium sweet potato (about ¾pound),peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces)
  • 1¼ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 heaping cup baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups button mushrooms
  • (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro,plus more for garnish
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and cayenne and cook gently for 10 minutes. Add the curry past, stir well and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the sweet potato and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sweet potato is fork-tender. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes, then stir in the spinach.
  2. In a small bowl, mix a couple scoops of stew with the peanut butter and stir well, then mix this back into the stew. Stir in the cilantro and add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. To serve, ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with additional cilantro.

When it comes to getting your husband, kids, yourself or anyone else in your family to eat healthier, it's important to play to their palate. Sweet potatoes are one of the few vegetables my husband really enjoys, so I love to incorporate those into our dinners at least once a week. Also, knowing that Wolverine makes this recipe for his family was just really great propaganda for getting my husband to try this. (I personally prefer Jackman as Jean Valjean in the 2010 film adaptation of Les Mis, but that's just me.)

We have a similar recipe at EatingWell that I can't wait to try out on my husband—Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque. Inspired by the same West African flavors as Jackman's recipe, the stew is creamy, spicy and just sweet enough, while warming you all over. This recipe has been reviewed 72 times on the site and is rated at 4 ½ stars, so you know it's good—plus, it's ready in just 30 minutes.

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