Sustenance Sweet Potato Stew

Sustenence Stew in a pot with wooden spoon from The Perfect Blend Cookbook by Tess Masters

Crazy weather we’ve been having here lately… one day we’re eating a sunny lunch on a patio and the next five nights we’re curled up at home trying to stay warm during torrential downpours. I SO wish I was one of those people who finds rainstorms to be cozy and calming but I’m quite the opposite. Storms may get me a little edgy and nervous, but what does calm me down is making a stew like this one.

This recipe comes from my friend Tess (a.k.a. The Blender Girl)’s new cookbook The Perfect Blend. This stew is everything you want on a cold January night – as its name suggests, it’s hearty and comforting. It’s also healthy and healing because it’s packed with a kitchen sink full of vegetables – sweet potatoes, broccoli, swiss chard, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and more. At first glance, the ingredient list looks like my go-to veggie stew formula, but what puts this one over the top is the generous scoop of almond butter that goes in toward the end – it’s a genius secret ingredient that make this stew taste extra rich, while also adding a bit of protein.

Sustenence Stew from The Perfect Blend Cookbook by Tess Masters

Tess suggests serving this stew over cauliflower rice. I’ve included the instructions with the recipe below, but I have to tell you that I skipped that step and just served this on its own. It was plenty filling and it yielded tons of leftovers which I’ve been eating for lunch ever since. This recipe comes together in roughly 30 minutes, so it’s a great healthy weeknight option.

Sustenence Stew from The Perfect Blend Cookbook by Tess Masters

If you’re looking to get healthier in the new year, I definitely recommend this book. It’s entirely vegan and gluten free and the recipes are super creative. On my list to try is her Greedy Green Curry, Jazzy Jackfruit Enchiladas and her Lick-your-plate-lasagna.

What’s truly unique is the way she’s organized the book. The recipes are grouped into sections like Energy, Immunity, Detox, Protein, Weight Loss, Anti-Inflamatory, Low Carb, Probiotic Promoting and Feed the Soul. In each section she talks about vegetables and herbs that are helpful for various ailments – it’s filled with fascinating information whether you’re new to plant-based eating or you’re a well seasoned veggie cook.

The Perfect Blend Cookbook by Tess Masters Click here to get the book!

*Photo #2 of the final dish is by: Anson Smart

5.0 from 8 reviews
Sustenance Sweet Potato Stew
Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Blend, copyright 2016 Tess Masters. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Serves: serves 6 to 8
Cauliflower rice:
  • 2 medium heads cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ¼ cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon natural salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • Natural salt
  • 3 cups (720ml) vegetable broth
  • 2 (14.5-ounce/411g) cans whole tomatoes with their juice
  • 1½ tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups (570g) peeled and roughly diced orange-flesh sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups (210g) chopped broccoli florets
  • 4 cups (120g) Swiss chard, stalks removed, leaves cut into ribbons (about 1 large bunch)
  • ⅓ cup (43g) roasted almond butter
  • ½ cup (14g) loosely packed finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 medium avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
  • ½ cup (80g) sliced raw almonds
Optional boosters
  • ¼ cup (35g) shelled hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (black or white)
  • ¼ cup (10g) pea greens
  1. To make the cauliflower rice, preheat the oven to 375°F (180°C). Line a large baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper.
  2. Put the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse about 5 times, until the cauliflower has the texture of couscous. You may have to process in two batches. Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl and stir in the oil and 1 teaspoon of salt until well combined.
  3. Transfer the “rice” to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon and continue to roast for another 15 minutes, until the “rice” begins to brown. Set aside until ready to serve.
  4. To make the stew, in a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil and sauté the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
  5. Meanwhile, add the broth, tomatoes, ginger, and red pepper flakes to your blender and pulse a few times on low until rustically chopped and combined but not blended.
  6. Stir the sweet potatoes and broth mixture into the sautéed onion. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, add ½ teaspoon of salt, and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the sweet potato is just tender.
  7. Add the broccoli and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  8. Stir in the chard and almond butter and simmer for another 5 minutes, until the chard is just wilted. The broth should be absorbed and you should have a creamy vegetable dish. Stir in the cilantro and tweak the salt to taste.
  9. To serve, spoon equal amounts of the cauliflower rice into bowls and spoon the stew next to or over the “rice.” Top with the avocado and sliced almonds and sprinkle with the hemp seed and chia seed boosters. Finish by topping with the pea greens booster.


If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. Shannon on said:

    This looks so delicious! I can’t wait to make it. I don’t love chard, do you think another hearty green would taste as good? Any suggestions?

      • Mary Frangie on said:

        I love this recipe and make it often. I’ve tried it with different greens and various toppings and it always tastes delicious! The crunch and flavor of hemp seeds Is dynamite as well as cut up avocado. I think this is a recipe just about anyone would like, even non-vegetarians. Thank you!

        • Mary Frangie on said:

          Oops sorry, I accidentally placed this review in the wrong spot.

        • Hi Mary, I’m so glad you loved it and that it’s so versatile! Thanks for commenting back with your tasty additions!

  2. kayra from on said:

    I like to eat boiled and friend sweet potatoes. But this recipe also encourage me to try something new with sweet potatoes. I would definitely try it.

  3. It’s been crazy here too, 50s one day and rain and cold the next! I always love a good soup during the cool weather and this sweet potato one is so perfect!

  4. katy on said:

    check spelling of sustenance!

  5. Kathy Baldwin on said:

    FYI…the correct spelling should be SUSTENANCE is spelled with an “a”

  6. Laura U on said:

    We have a nut allergy. Any substitute for almond butter ?

    • I’d just skip it, it’ll still be delicious!

      • Stephanie on said:

        The hemp seeds or some sunflower seeds could also be blitzed into a “nut butter,” right?

        • yes – if you give it a try can you let me know how it goes? I’m not sure how it would taste in comparison to the nutty roasted flavor of almond butter.

  7. David from on said:

    Muy buenos platos para cocinar

  8. Roxane on said:

    Any suggestions for tomato and tomato juice substitutions. I must follow a low acid diet due to reflux and tomatoes is on the definite NO list.

    • Denise on said:

      Yes I was going to ask the same question! Any good substitutions??

      • Hi Denise, it’s a tomato based stew so I wouldn’t recommend substituting them in this particular recipe.

        • Denise on said:

          I made this recipe tonight and subbed the tomatoes with butternut squash purée I made just by boiling butternut squash and chicken broth together and blended. It turned out amazing!

  9. Laura on said:

    Just made this for dinner! Delicious!
    I tagged you on Instagram with a photo!

  10. Johanne from on said:

    I made this comforting stew last night and it had a wonderful soothing flavor. I am addicted to sweet potato so it is right up my alley.
    I try to love the rain but it always lowers my energy and brings on the sadness.
    Thank you Johanne

  11. Sabrina from on said:

    thank you for sharing this recipe, love sweet potatoes and always love to see them grouped with other healthy tasties!

  12. Maria from on said:

    My husband and I just got back to Seattle where it is mid 40s from Alaska where it was -40. I feel like I want to walk around in a t-shirt…Ha! This soup is so pretty! I love all of the colors!

    • ha, I can’t even imagine what -40 must feel like 🙂

  13. Sue on said:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was sooo good. I loved it! The flavors were really fantastic.

  14. Jenna S. on said:

    I was doubtful, and then I prepped this for weekly lunches…and boy did it hold up!! It might not look like much, but it packs flavor and health! I feel GOOD after eating this.

  15. Sabrina B. from on said:

    nice, nourishing, and great wintry sustenence, love all of these ingredients, thank you for this gorgeous recipe!

  16. Karen on said:

    This was so good! I almost skipped the cauliflower rice but I’m glad I didn’t. I love the ginger and tomato sauce combination

    • Hi Karen – I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  17. Tony Cox from on said:

    This looks delicious and hearty. I’ve been feeling a little under the weather lately… I’m going to give this a try. Thanks!

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  19. Roxane on said:

    Any suggestions for substitutions for the canned whole tomatoes and juice (I love them but need a low acid diet for GERD and tomatoes are a big NO). Otherwise this recipe would be perfect..

  20. Jacqui on said:

    Hi Jeanine,

    How do you think quinoa would work instead of cauliflower rice?

    • I think quinoa would be great! I hope you enjoy the stew!

  21. Annie on said:

    Hi, I love this recipe and make it often. It’s so delicious! Do you know if it freezes well? I’m pregnant and wanting to build up a freezer stash of tasty, healthy meals :).

  22. Mari Barnes on said:

    I came so close to following a recipe! I used the last turnip greens from the garden, and a little kale and spinach; didn’t have chard. It was amazing! I’ll be making this often. Thanks!

    • Hi Mari – I’m glad you loved it! Ha ha, well I think you get points for being so resourceful using turnip greens 🙂

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