Wellness for the Family: World Food Day

Food from all around the world is at our fingertips in restaurants and grocery stores and the culture that comes along with it is something to be celebrated.

Registered Dietitian from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Grace Derocha, and Michelle are back in the Heritage House Kitchen to teach us the importance of expanding our horizons and of course, bringing us some delicious recipes to celebrate World Food Day on Oct. 16.

Here are the recipes:

African Chicken Peanut Stew


  • 2-3 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, sliced
  • 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
  • 2-3 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 (15 0z.) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. cayenne, or to taste
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
  • Peanuts or baby spinach, chopped, optional


  1. Brown the chicken. Heat the vegetable oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Salt the chicken pieces well, pat them dry and brown them in the oil. Don’t crowd the pot, so do this in batches. Set the chicken pieces aside as they brown.
  2. Sauté the vegetables. Sauté the onions in the oil for 3-4 minutes, stirring often and scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes and stir well to combine.
  3. Cook the stew. Add the chicken, chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, peanut butter, peanuts, coriander and cayenne and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and taste for salt, adding more if needed.
  4. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 90 minutes (check after an hour), or until the sweet potatoes are tender.
  5. Adjust seasonings. Adjust the seasonings for salt and cayenne, then add as much black pepper as you think you can stand—the stew should be peppery. Stir in the cilantro and serve by itself, or with simple steamed rice or quinoa. Enjoy!

Mexican Pasta Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing


  • 1 – 8-ounce box of farfalle (bowtie) pasta or pasta of choice
  • 2 cobs of corn (or 2 cups frozen and thawed corn) or 1-15-ounce can of corn, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 – 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 green pepper, finely diced
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 avocado, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 – 1 jalapeño, finely minced (optional)


  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin


  1. To prepare dressing: Combine avocado, yogurt, lime juice, oil, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin in a mini food processor. Puree until smooth.
  2. To prepare pasta salad: Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and then drain again. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, cheddar, onion, peppers, avocado, and cilantro. Add the dressing and toss to coat.


Categories: Recipes, the four, Wellness for the Family