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Samoan Tropical Salad

Summer can’t come soon enough – the heat of sun on my shoulders, the way my skin smells with sunscreen on, hot evenings under the stars. So today we’re going to Samoa. There’ll be drippy sweetness: papaya and cantaloupe. There’ll be richness, too – buttery avocado and moody – almost bitter – spinach. And to finish it all off? A puckering of lime juice – as bright as a Samoan seascape.   Typically known for rich, coconut milk-laden recipes, this Samoan salad is a healthier twist on island fare. The version I based mine on even won a Samoan recipe challenge! I chose this salad for sentimental reasons – something to set the scene a bit for the release of my new book Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness. I went to Samoa 2 months before I was born (as a real life stowaway, I suppose). Scientists believe our taste preferences can be affected by what our mother’s ate while we were gestating. I like to think I carry a bit of Samoa with me today. It was an …

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West African Toasted Baguette Sandwich with Spinach Scrambled Eggs

If you’re going to serve an egg sandwich, you best do it up right. Layer hot, scrambled eggs in a crusty, toasty baguette and wrap ’em up. Make sure there’s something green in there to keep you strong and healthy. Tie it with a bow. Simply put: turn breakfast into a present for your belly. I learned this trick from Niger. When I dug around for traditional recipes I kept stumbling upon the same thing: eggs sandwiches sold by street vendors. Simple. Comforting. Filling. This is the kind of thing people crave once they leave Niger – a fond memory in the making. Most people say they come wrapped in old newspapers, but any old paper does the trick. Turns out wrapping up a sandwich is by far the best thing you can do to help keep your eggs from running away. Particularly if you’re 3 years old. Just ask Ava. Seriously. This could have been bad. While I used spinach and a little green onion in our sandwich, the fine folks of Niger often …

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Callaloo

Serves 4-6 Callaloo, a luscious green stew made all over the Caribbean, is one of *those* recipes. It’s like chili in the US; everyone lays claim to having the “best” version. And every version was made by someone’s mama, so you best not mess with it. This version is made by Ava’s mamma – me. But.. unlike those other recipes, feel free to mess with mine. After all, I’m a novice Callaloo maker and still have a lot to learn. Given the limitations of supplies around these parts, I went ahead and made a few substitutions, all clearly noted. Ingredients: 1 large onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, crushed 4 green onions, sliced vegetable oil ham bone (salted pig tails are traditional, but I had a bone leftover from my Christmas ham) 1 lb baby spinach (use dasheen/taro leaves, if you can find them) 1 can coconut milk 1 coconut can of water 1/2 lb okra 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (about a sprig) 1/2 lb lump crabmeat (whole crab is traditional) Method: Add coconut milk …

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Bostwanan Stewed Spinach Greens

Serves 2-4 I love this easy, no-nonsense, super healthy side dish from Botswana.  Simply steam spinach in its own juices until all the vegetables are soft. If you’d like to leave the tomatoes a little firmer, add them half way through cooking. Ingredients: 1 lb baby spinach 1 large onion, sliced thinly 2 tomatoes, chopped 1 green pepper, sliced thinly oil salt pepper Method: 1. Add all ingredients to  a large skillet or wok. Cover and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until all vegetables are soft. Serve hot. The thinner the onion, the quicker it will cook and become tender. Look how pretty – you can see the knife through the onion! 🙂 ‘ Bostwanan Stewed Spinach Greens Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe I love this easy, no-nonsense, super healthy side dish from Botswana. Simply steam spinach in its own juices until all the vegetables are soft. If you’d like to leave the tomatoes a little firmer, add them half way through cooking. CourseSides …

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Warm Spinach and Mushroom Salad

Serves 4 Wild mushrooms give this spinach salad Andorran appeal. The crunch of slivered almonds and the sweet of the golden raisins add another dimension. Ingredients: 12 oz assorted mushrooms (Iused 4 oz French Horn Mushrooms; 8 oz Oyster Mushrooms) 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 3 Tbsp olive oil, plus 1 Tbsp for the last step 1/4 cup white wine 1/4 cup raisins 1/2 lb baby spinach 1/4 cup slivered almonds salt, pepper Method: 1. In a large skillet over medium high, saute mushrooms in 3 Tbsp olive oil until reduced and golden brown. Add garlic. Saute a few more minutes, until fragrant. Add raisins. Deglaze with white wine. 2. Add spinach and turn off heat. Toss for a few minutes to wilt. Transfer to serving bowl. Toss with slivered almonds, 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Warm Spinach and Mushroom Salad Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Wild mushrooms give this spinach salad Andorran appeal. The crunch of slivered almonds and the sweet of the golden raisins add another dimension. CourseSides & Salads LifestyleGluten-Free, Quick, Vegan, Vegetarian Food …

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