I heard from a dear friend over the weekend. She reminded me that I hadn't posted a blog in awhile and she enjoyed reading them. The last few months have been a bit of a blur as I had an amazing experience teaching summer camps for Cooking in Bloom. The camp kids were amazing! We learned a ton about sustainability, nutrition, and food safety and the best part was that we created and tasted some really tasty food. There are numerous memorable moments but a couple stick out in my mind the most. One is the kids and their excitement about tasting something new. The wide eyes and the exclamations! I heard things like, "Oh my gosh this is so good!," "I've never tasted something like this before and this is my new favorite thing!," and "I can't wait to tell my parents about this and make this at home!" The comments and the expressions made me giggle because I understood their connection with the food we prepared. I also was overjoyed that they were loving food that was full of nutrients! Another moment that stands out is one of my week long camps that focussed on foods from around the world. That week we took a tour of Thailand, Italy, Germany, Argentina, and Zimbabwe Africa. I had a mom of one of the camp kids approach me to say she was from Kenya. I asked her if she wouldn't mind coming to speak with the kids about her country. I was so excited when she said yes! She brought some wonderful and traditional spices from her country, talked about the foods that she enjoyed growing up, and things that she continues to make in her Little Rock home kitchen. All in all it was a very busy and exciting summer chalked full of memorable moments.
Recipes from Around the World
2 tbsp. Olive oil
2 Onions, chopped
4 Garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. of a Hot chili or peri peri sauce (optional, but highly recommended)
2 Red chili peppers, sliced thinly
1 c. Peanut butter
4 c. Vegetable stock
1 7 oz. Can of tomato paste
1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
4 Carrots, chopped
1 c. Okra, whole
2 c. of Spinach
Salt and pepper
Take a large pot over medium-high heat and add your olive oil
Once the oil is heated, add your onions and garlic. Cook together for 3 minutes as the onions become translucent
Next, add 1 cup of vegetable stock, chili sauce and peanut butter. Using either a whisk or a slotted ladle, stir in the peanut butter until it has dissolved and mixed with the liquid
Add the remaining vegetable stock, tomato paste, cayenne pepper and carrots. Reduce the head to medium-low and cover the pot to let the dovi simmer for ~10 minutes
Next, add your okra and re-cover the pot. Simmer for another 8 minutes as the okra cooks (and helps to thicken the stew)
Finally, add your spinach and mix in as the spinach shrinks and softens (roughly 2 minutes). Mix well into the stew, then take off your dovi off the heat. Serve and enjoy!
750ml boiling water
5 cups roller meal, plus extra
Add 1/2 cup of mealie - meal to a large saucepan. Add enough cold water to completely soak the mealie - meal and to make a smooth paste.
Place saucepan over medium high heat, and while stirring add the boiling water slowly. Continue to stir evenly and constantly to prevent the mealie - meal from settling and hardening at the bottom of the pan.
As the mixture heats up, the texture changes from rough to smooth. Continue to add water to loosen the mixture and allow it to boil with enough movement - some upward spattering will occur!
Allow the mixture to boil under medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Add extra mealie - meal ½ cup at a time and stir. At this point the sadza requires heavy stirring as it thickens! Continue to add more and stir evenly until the sadza takes on the appearance of smooth stiff mashed potatoes.
After the sadza reaches the desired texture and is well mixed,turn heat off and cover and let it set for a couple of minutes before serving. Spoon into a large dish and smooth over with a wooden spoon. Serve with your favorite relish. Delicious!
Thank you for reading and happy cooking! -Denise Albert