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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! 🙂 ‘ 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.Bostwanan Stewed Spinach Greens 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. 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.Warm Spinach and Mushroom Salad CourseSides & Salads LifestyleGluten-Free, Quick, Vegan, Vegetarian Food TypeSasha’s …

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