African Peanut Stew
You guys! The Bachelor Finale happened this week, and then it happened again on Tuesday night with Part 2. There's soooo much to unpack from the 6 hours of TV I just watched, I don't even know where to begin. Other than to say I CALLED IT!
So, before every finale begins, Ty and I bet on who the chosen girl is going to be. Given how smitten Arie was with Lauren, despite her inability to let her guard down and you know, have a decent conversation, I thought for sure he was going to pick her. Ty could really care less - he's been battling a pretty nasty head cold so he had more important things to do like sleep. Anywho...My vote was on Lauren. OK now it's time to see if my intuition is correct (I've got a pretty good track record on picking the winning woman).
They're in Peru and the women meet with Arie's family, and Lauren goes first. The family likes her and all is good. Nothing really of note (read: pretty boring as per usual). Then Becca meets the fam the next day. That poor person who goes second, I feel for them because it's just comparison city. And to make matters worse, every single family member asks Becca about Lauren! Becca held her shit together pretty well because if that were Lauren who went second, I think she would have clammed up and then broken into tears within 5 minutes. Needless to say it leaves Becca feeling a bit shaken.
When Arie asks for the family's thoughts, they all say they love Lauren but that Becca just seems like the better fit for him, and Arie looks a bit deflated. You could sense he wanted them to say Lauren is the one. But he takes it in stride and heads into the final one-on-one dates.
Lauren is up first, and finally, FINALLY, really opens up about her feelings. All the while Arie has been telling both women that he's in love with them. The date is perfect(ly boring) and Arie gets ready for his final date with Becca. Which also goes really well and ends with reassurance from Arie again. Geez - he really has no idea even at this point!
At last, the final day arrives and Arie picks out a gorgeous ring from Neil Lane (I'd want to go on this show JUST to get a Neil Lane ring!). But can we also talk about those beautiful dresses?! I'm seriously no fashionista but dang, I would love a beautiful dress like those. Then to find a reason to wear them....#momlife
The moment arrives, and Arie sends Lauren home broken-hearted - and I'm a bit shocked but also feel like Arie made the "safe choice" in Becca. Arie proposes and she says yes. BUT THEN.....
We find out that there'a a raw, unedited clip that's going to shock us, the most shocking thing we could witness in Bachelor history...Oh Chris Harrison, you realize you say this EVERY season right? Arie admits to Chris that the feeling for Lauren never went away and that he feels he made a mistake in choosing Becca. And he wants to call off the engagement on national TV. Dear Lord he's pulling a Meznic! (Recall Season 13 when Jason Meznic did pretty much the exact same thing, but luckily him and Molly are still together). It's like watching something so gross, you know you need to look away but you just can't! The break up was so hard to watch and I felt embarrassed and devastated for Becca. How does one even begin to comprehend that situation? Arie looks like he needs a hug from Becca before he leaves, but she just tells him to leave and not touch her. Good girl - he doesn't deserve that kind of closure!
We then learn than Arie had contacted Lauren on NYE to sort out his feelings when he discovered that he wanted her back. So he gets reassurance from her before he makes such a big move. All the while Becca thinks he's contacting Lauren to put the feelings to rest and move on. Totally blindsided. Poor Becca.
The season then takes a twist as we learn that there's a Part 2 - with Becca coming back on the show and confronting Arie. And of course, to find out if Lauren takes him back. So here goes another 3 hour episode...
Becca watches the replay of her horrible breakup and relives those shitty feelings all over again. This show really can be brutal, but I guess that's what they signed up for right?! Arie arrives and they finally get to hash things out. Which for the most part never really gives the loser any closure, but they try. Arie looks pensive and for the first time, I felt like there was genuine emotion from him! Halleluja, some empathy, some regret, and some real feelings.
While on one hand I feel like it was such a d-bag move to propose to someone who you weren't 100% sure about, I do commend Arie for having the balls to admit his mistake, publicly apologize to Becca, and to answer her questions. Overall, I think he's a good guy who made a bad decision. But holy hell, people are ripping him a new one because of this move! And this is the part of this show, and reality TV in general, that just seems so insane to me. How crazy people can get with the nasty comments on social media, forgetting that this guy is just another human, who was ultimately following his heart. People hiding behind their computers and phones and hating on people. Get a life already1
Chris finally brings Lauren out, and they genuinely look happy together. I'm sure that they're going to be tested in the coming weeks with all the backlash from Arie breaking up with Becca, so we'll see how they manage to do. Then Arie decides to finish the segment with ANOTHER PROPOSAL! Which actually sounded like it came from the heart and made me tear up just a wee bit. Good luck you guys, I really wish you the best!
But then the question of who will be the next Bachelorette comes up. Of course, on to the next, and obv it was Becca. The other bachelorettes swarm the stage to support their friend, and then Chris Harrison announces it starts RIGHT NOW! OMG, I can't even process all the things that just happened in 6 hours...too much! Becca meets a few of the men, and she seems like she's getting over Arie and on with her life JUUUUUUST FINE.
And just when I thought my Tuesday night guilty pleasure was ending, another season begins. Until then, go and make this stew. It's a hybrid of my Moroccan Veggie Stew, and it's soooooo good! Perfect bowl of goodness to snuggle up to on your next Bachelor episode :D
African Peanut Stew
Prep Time: 25min | Cook Time: 45min | Total Time: 70min | Makes: 8 servings
1 sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
500 grams cubed butternut squash (1 small squash)
2 medium carrots, peeled & chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 - 425 gram can chickpeas
1 - 425 gram can crushed tomatoes
1 Liter vegetable stock
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
3 large handfuls baby spinach (or chopped kale)
Handful roasted peanut (garnish)
Handful fresh cilantro (garnish)
4 teaspoons sea salt
4 teaspoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons coriander
4 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons cloves
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a small mason jar, create the 9-Spice mix.
In a large (5L+) cooking pot and over medium heat, place coconut oil, onions and garlic and sauté until translucent.
Add in squash, carrots, and pepper. Add 2 Tablespoons of the spice mixture and continue to sauté for 5-10 minutes.
Add in vegetable stock, crushed tomatoes, chickpeas, and peanut butter, and bring the stew to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for another 35 minutes.
When there's 5 minutes left, stir in the baby spinach until it's all wilted. Garnish with roasted peanuts and cilantro, and serve it on its own or with brown rice.