I noticed the Eat the World challenge mentioned on Wendy’s blog.  I figured this would be a great way to combine reading around the world with food.  The country chosen for this month was Kenya.

When researching Kenyan meals I was drawn to the category of Things Mixed with Mashed Potatoes.  Let’s face it.  You really can’t go wrong there.  In Kenyan cuisine usually these are topped with some kind of curry or meat stew.  I can’t serve curry because of the husband’s food allergies and I don’t eat meat.  I needed to find something else.  Later, I was paging through a cookbook and found a portabella fajita recipe that would taste really good on Things Mixed with Mashed Potatoes.  But I hesitated.  For my first time posting in this group, I’m going to try to justify Kenyan-Mexican fusion?

Then a voice from the back of my brain piped up and said, “Lupita.” Lupita_Nyong'o_in_2017_by_Gage_Skidmore_(2)

Sometimes I’m so proud of my brain for coming up with the perfect pop culture references when needed.

Of course then I had to feel bad because Lupita Nyong’o’s family had to flee Kenya to Mexico because her uncle was killed.  Really, you should watch her episode of Finding Your Roots.  It is a very sad story.

But, anyway, Kenya-Mexican fusion is OBVIOUSLY a real and glorious thing and I am sticking with it.

I used Kenyan food blogger Talking To Nelly for inspiration.  I had to choose between Matoke, which is potatoes mashed with plantains, and Irio, which is potatoes with corn and peas.  I chose the irio because I had the ingredients available but I will definitely be trying matoke in the future.  I love plantains. 



This is a simple dish that doesn’t require an exact recipe.  I like to prepare potatoes for mashing in the slow cooker.  I used 3 lbs of potatoes slow cooked for 6 hours. When the potatoes are able to be easily pierced with a fork, I turned off the slow cooker and tossed in the frozen corn and peas.


Let the retained heat of the cooker thaw the vegetables and then mash.


For the topping I simplified the Portobello Fajita Filling from Vegan Under Pressure.


Irio Topped with Portobellos and Peppers

Course Main Course
Cuisine Kenya, Mexican


  • 3 lb Potatoes
  • 1 cup Corn Frozen or fresh
  • 1 cup Peas Frozen or fresh
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 2 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Portobello Mushrooms sliced
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Green Chiles chopped
  • 15 oz Tomatoes diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder


  1. Cook potatoes in slow cooker for 6-8 hours on low until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. 

    Turn off slow cooker.  Add corn and peas to potatoes and replace lid of slow cooker until vegetables are thawed. 

  2. Mash potatoes, corn, and peas. 

    Add salt to taste.

  3. Combine lime juice, garlic, and vegetable broth to make a marinade.

    Marinade mushroom slices for at least 1 hour.

  4. Set an electric pressure cooker to saute.  Add the mushrooms and any remaining marinade.  Cook 3 minutes.

    Add the peppers and chiles and cook for 2 more minutes.

  5. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker.  Cook on high pressure for 2 minutes.  Release the pressure.

  6. Add the tomatoes and chili powder.  Close the lid and allow to sit for 3 minutes. 

  7. Serve the mushroom and pepper sauce over the irio. 

So what book did I read that was set in Kenya?  I read Find Me Unafraid and reviewed it yesterday.


Check out all the wonderful Kenyan dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!

Wendy: Kenyan Pilau
Camilla: Kuku Paka + Irio
Tara: Chapati Za Ngozi (Kenyan Soft-Layered Chapati)
Margaret: Maharagwe & Ugali (Red Beans in Creamy Coconut Sauce with Cornmeal Slices)
Amy: Crunchy N’Dizi
Juli: Nyama Choma
Loreto and Nicoletta: Mango Ice Cream with Pineapple Rum Sauce (Coupe Mount Kenya)
Evelyne: Uji, a Kenyan Fermented Porridge