So, I’m a little late posting this recipe (sorry Sash-but that’s how us Ethiopians roll!), but it’s a great one as the weather starts to cool and salads become less appealing.

This is my take on my mama’s lovely Gomen recipe (substituting coconut oil for kibe—I can hear her smacking her lips now).  While my siblings and I all agree that noone can make greens like Ma Dukes, here is my humble attempt.

1 large bunch collard or mustard greens, about 1½ pounds
¼ cup coconut oil
1 red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and cut in 1/2 (lengthwise)
salt (to taste)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon each- coriander and cumin

1. Tear stems from collard greens, and wash greens well. Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Add greens to water and boil for 15 minutes. Drain, squeezing water from greens. When cool enough to handle, slice them thinly.

2. In a large skillet or stir fry pan, add the coconut oil and let it start to sizzle. Add onion and cook them until they become translucent, about 3 minutes.

3. Add collard greens. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until most of water has evaporated from pan.

4.  Add garlic and jalapeno peppers and let cook for an additional minute or two.  Add salt, black pepper, and coriander and enjoy…

I love to eat Gomen with lentils, curried potatoes, and Injera.  You can also serve them w/ Quinoa or Millet for a simple meal.


This week has been simply magical!  I turned 31 on Tuesday and the blessings keep coming.  From surprise breakfasts delivered to my door, flowers on my balcony, to gatherings at bars that feel like the coziest house parties—I was reminded of the beauty of my community in the city of Angels.

Today was another day filled with simple pleasures and an abundance of love.  The highlight was spending time w/ my dear friend Agazit.  We met in a Kiswahili class at UCLA years ago (I dropped it after the demands of student teaching took over while  she’s nearly fluent…yikes!), and I instantly knew I had gained another sister.  After meeting in the a.m. to organize events for Haile Gerima’s screening of Teza in LA (this September), and discussing climate change in Africa, we made our way to the kitchen (like all good Ethiopian girls eventually do.) 😎

We made a raw walnut pate, and started perfecting a flax seed cracker recipe, but our raw mango/berry pie was definitely the dish of the day!  A delectable summer dessert with absolutely no guilt involved…what more could one ask for?

Agi’s Mango & Berry Pie
Step 1: Prepare the crust:

  • 2 cups raw pecans or walnuts (or mixture of both)
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 t cinnamon (or chai spice mix)
  • 1 T lemon zest (optional)

1. In a food processor, grind the nuts until fine.
2. Add the dates and process until smooth.
3. Remove from processor and pat down into a pie pan, making sure to cover the sides of the pie plate.

Step 2: Prepare the filling

  • 2 cups fresh ripe mango
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 2 pitted medjool dates
  • Juice of 3 limes (1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 3 T  flax seed meal
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t grated ginger (optional)

Step 3: Pour the filling into the nut crust.

Step 4: Garnish the pie w/ sliced mango, strawberries, blueberries and kiwi (or any fruit you like).

Step 5: Let the pie set in the fridge for 2-3 hours (or in the freezer for 30 min if you are like me and think patience is overrated!)


As many of my friends and family know, I have a serious case of baby fever.  I am surrounded by the most adorable children on the planet, and they keep coming (9 nieces and nephews so far!).   As my big sis was preparing for her latest bundle of joy, I was in charge of preparing Telba for her, a traditional Ethiopian drink that strengthens the reproductive organs and helps the body prepare for the delivery process.  The primary ingredient in Telba are flax seeds that are roasted and then ground into a fine meal.

As I began making this drink for my sister, I started drinking it regularly and am officially hooked.   Today I came home after an amazing dance class (taught by the lovely Tatiana Zamir who the recipe is named after), was pretty hungry, and decided to be adventurous and try a new twist on Telba.

Click here to read about some of the health benefits of adding flax seeds to your diet (especially important for vegetarians and vegans who need plant based Omega 3 fatty acids).

I hope you enjoy it…and that my mother approves of all this creativity in the kitchen.

Tati’s Telba and Plantain Smoothie

  • 2 cups vanilla almond milk (I prefer unsweetened)
  • 1 large ripe plantain (the peel should be almost completely black)
  • 3 tablespoons roasted flax meal
  • agave to taste
  • dash of cinnamon, cardamom, or clove powder (or all three!)
  • ice (optional)

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and enjoy.

*To make roasted flax meal…simply roast flax seeds on the oven for a minute or two.  Turn off the heat once they start popping (especially cause you might get knocked in the forehead by a few of those jokers 8-).  Take the roasted flax seeds and place them in a spice grinder, or mortar and pestle if you are old school, and you will get a nice flax seed meal.

I love my friends for various reasons.  They keep me laughing, are down to discuss topics as diverse as cultivating equanimity and the need for a sexy pair of black heels, and most important to my inner foodie—they know how to throw DOWN in the kitchen.  This post is dedicated to my yoga sister, Sufia Toorawa.  We spent our Saturday making some amazing (if I do say so myself) vegan Jamaican patties.

Click here for the original recipe by Bryant Terry.  We made the following changes to the recipe:

  • Increased the amount of whole wheat pastry flour (no white flour)
  • Substituted sweet potatoes for the regular potatoes
  • Added 3 tablespoons of Ethiopian berbere (red pepper spice)
  • Added a dash of nutmeg

We were feeling adventurous and made a second batch with the following filling:

  • Spinach
  • Crimini Mushrooms
  • Minced Ginger and Garlic
  • Cayenne Pepper

These are a bit labor intensive (especially making the dough), but they are worth every bit of work.  We made a huge batch and put some in the freezer, but I have a feeling I won’t have to worry about freezer burn!

If you make them, please let me know how you like them, and ummm-save a sista one 😎

Thanks for leading my palate one step closer to enlightenment Suf!

One of our family traditions growing up was going to Soup Plantation.  My brothers would eat so much pizza that they had to lay down in the booths, while my oldest sister would always have a huge colorful salad.  My sister Mesk and I, on the other hand, couldn’t wait to get our hands (or spoons) on the Potato Leek Soup (with a dash of Tabasco sauce).  When I began to cut down on dairy, I thought that I would have to give up creamy soups.  But, oh was i wrong!  There are so many creative ways to create a creamy consistency using plant based products—almond or soy milk, cashew cream etc. You’ll find one of my favorite recipes for potato leek soup below.  Enjoy…


1/2-1  cup cashew cream  (depending on how creamy you want it)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts washed and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cubed into 1/2-inch cubes
4 cups vegetable stock
2-3 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves

Cashew Cream Recipe

1 cup whole raw cashews (rinsed very well under cold water)

  • Put the cashews in a bowl and add cold water to cover them.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
  • Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water.
  • Place in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover them by 1 inch.
  • Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth.


1. Heat a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat and add the oil.

2. Add the leeks, onion, and sea salt and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onion begins to turn translucent.

3. Add the garlic and stir well. Cook for 1 minute more.

4. Add the potatoes and vegetable stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook 20 minutes.

5. Add the Cashew Cream and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes.

6. Remove the soup from the heat and use a blender to blend the soup in small batches with the fresh rosemary.  Very important-do NOT fill the blender more than 1/3 of the way!  Believe me, ending up with delicious hot soup all over your counter and forehead is not fun 😎

7. Pour smooth soup into a heat-proof bowl and continue until all of the soup has been blended.  I like my soup chunky so I only blend about 3/4 of it.

6. Transfer the blended soup back to the original soup pot and warm over low heat until heated through.

Serves 4 – 6.

Serve hot with garlic bread and enjoy…

This weekend I had the pleasure of watching Black Orpheus on the big screen (much love to the Light Nights crew!)  When I thought about what to name this potato salad, I had an image of my tastebuds doing a jiggy samba number…so, paying homage to Orfeo seemed fitting 😎  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


  • 3 pounds small white potatoes
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 cup Vegenaise (found at Whole Foods)
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped Kalamata Olives (optional)


Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.

In a small bowl, prepare the dressing: whisk together the Vegenaise, mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarters and place them in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. Add the celery and red onion, olives, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. You may want to add more Vegenaise at this point if it is too dry.  Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

At our last woman’s circle gathering, I was so excited to try this wonderful salad prepared by Saehee.  I’ve already made it twice this last week, and I think it will be a definite addition to the holiday menu. Here’s my take on her delicious recipe.  Try it and let me know what you think…


3 T Balsamic Vinegar

2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 T Raw Honey/Agave Nectar

Dash of salt and black pepper


1 package of Organic Mixed Baby Greens

2 persian cucumbers (diced)

1-2 tomatoes (cut into wedges)

1 avocado (diced)

1 cup pomegranate seeds

1 small bunch fresh mint (torn into small pieces)

Toss the salad with the dressing and enjoy!