This was the start of Japanese week! I only made two meals during Japanese week because the second meal I made was ramen, which took three days to make. That difficult meal was offset by this really easy one!

Tonkatsu is breaded and fried pork chop. That’s it, pretty easy. It’s one of the most beloved meals in Japan and there are different ways to eat it other than the way I prepared it. You can also eat it as a sandwich or atop rice and curry but I wanted something easy so I went with this. It’s a little odd that this dish is so popular that there are restaurants devoted to making it but then I read this and I understood it a little more.

I chose a cucumber salad to go with the tonkatsu instead of the traditional cabbage because cabbage gives me gas. Sorry if that’s gross but it’s life. I had a little situation with the cucumber because the recipe said to break it up by banging it against the counter top. I guess I had some aggression I needed to get out because I hit the bag so hard against the counter, it busted open. Thankfully most of cucumber stayed in the bag and I didn’t have a huge clean up.

It was a nice meal, nothing too exciting. I forgot to make the sauce that accompanies it but I used some hoisin instead. The meat was a little dry but the sauce helped. The cucumber salad was fantastic and I’ll make that over and over again next summer. Everyone liked dinner that night and I think the four year old even ate some cucumber.

Two days later, I took on ramen making. Fyi, it’s going to be a long post. Be prepared.

Recipe, Recipe


Chicken in Orange Sauce and Poached Apple

This will be a short post because I currently have a four year old standing next to me and crying because I won’t give her a chocolate chip granola bar. She was originally crying because I put her in her room after we got back from the doctor’s office, where she decided to start screaming in the waiting room because I made her put a coat on for the whole 100 foot walk back to the car because it’s a wonderful 40 degrees outside. I know, I know, I’m the worst mother ever. I make her wear a coat so she won’t freeze and then I won’t give her a sweet whenever she wants one.

Oh, now she’s crying because I made her walk back to her room. The room that is filled with about 100 books and 1,000 toys. The least fun room in the entire house.

Just call CPS on me now.

This was our second Dutch meal. I had originally planned on making poffertjes, Dutch mini pancakes, but I didn’t have time to let the batter sit for an hour before cooking for I made this instead. This was so much better than we both expected! We didn’t have high expectations of it because it’s such a simple meal, literally chicken in orange sauce. Granted the sauce was a little fancier than something I would normally make since it consisted of orange peel, Cointreau, and orange juice but I didn’t think it would be all that special. And I know that sauce doesn’t sound exotic or anything but it’s fancy for me because anything with more than two ingredients is ooh la la territory for me.

I used chicken thighs instead of the breasts like the recipe called for and I think that contributed to the flavor. The extra fat along with all the butter in the sauce made this a lot richer than I think it would have been with just breasts. Even with all the orange ingredients, it didn’t have a strong citrus flavor. I mean, you could taste it but it was subtle and I loved that. I think the brown rice also helped mellow out the entire meal. The poached apple was super sweet but eaten alongside the rice, it wasn’t crazy.

Both girls also ate this meal so big win there! The baby ate the chicken by the fist full but, surprisingly, neither was fond of the apple. I think it was the texture because they’re both used to crunchy apples.

Speaking of, the four year old passed out in her room. And I’m now eating her granola bar. I won this round!



Two weeks behind; I’m getting there!

This was the beginning of Dutch week. To be honest, I’ve never had an interest in the food from the Netherlands but we do have a friend who is Dutch and I did this for him. Hi Bob! Bob and his wife, Nicole, currently live in South Carolina but we met them a few years ago through mutual friends when they lived here in Austin. Through the years they have become some of our favorite people and I always look forward to seeing them when they come down to Texas. They usually make a couple of trips a year, one earlier in the year and then another later in the year. They came down during the summer but I had already booked the Netherlands for the winter so I told them I’d cook for them when they came back down. And that was the plan.

Well, then Nicole went and got herself a lucrative contract with a gallery in New Orleans and now they can’t travel as much. Way to go, Nicole! Of course I’m kidding, it was/is an amazing opportunity for Nicole and we are so very proud and happy for her! My friend is famous! If you’d like to check her out (and you really should!) please visit her website or The French Art Network, with whom she works. Saying Nicole is talented is an understatement and I’m constantly in awe of her work. I bow down at her abilities. I am not worthy!

But I am worthy of this meal! Stamppot was a suggestion made by Bob, who said that unfortunately the Dutch aren’t known for their food. We had other friends live in Amsterdam for a bit and they agreed, their favorite food to eat while living there was actually Indonesian. Well I had already done Indonesia so “boring” Dutch food it was.

This was far from boring! It’s really easy to make because all you do is boil and them mash veggies. A child could make this. Well, a child with a good handle of cutlery because you do have to chop up a lot of veggies beforehand. The cool thing about stamppot is that it’s very versatile. From what I gather, you just need to have a couple of root vegetables and a green and you’re good to go. I used potato, sweet potato, turnip, carrot, leek, and cabbage. Bob made a kale stamppot a few days later that look amazing so I will definitely try it kale next time. The recipe called for rookworst, which is a Dutch sausage, but I couldn’t find it so I used kielbasa. Bob suggested smoking it next time to get a richer flavor and to also use a sausage made by Salt Lick, a local barbecue place.

I ate multiple servings of this and I was stuffed afterwards. The girls did eat this as well. The four year old picked at the stamppot but really enjoyed the sausage; the baby stuffed her mouth with both. James also liked it but said it was heavy. It was but that didn’t stop me! I ate it for lunch the next day, and the day after that, and was sad when it was gone. I had planned on incorporating it into our Thanksgiving dinner but I forgot about it until later. Whoops! This would be perfect for the cold weather weare (finally!) experiencing here in Austin so I’ll probably be making this again soon. I’ll just have to make sure I go for an extended run beforehand so I don’t go into a carb coma.


Shrimp Curry with Yellow Rice and Wambatu Moju

So I didn’t catch up on my blog posting over the weekend…In my defense, it was a holiday but mostly I was too lazy to walk into the office and sit at the computer. I’m going to stop giving myself a deadline on posting because there is just too much going on and I don’t need one more thing to feel guilty about. You’re welcome, me!

This was our second Sri Lankan meal and my favorite. I was little nervous about this one because of the shrimp. I know I’ve mentioned many, many times about how apprehensive I am about cooking with fish so I won’t bother getting into that again but know, I was worried. The recipe called for tiger prawns but I didn’t bother looking for them because Gulf shrimp is sold at my nearby HEB and that meant one less shopping excursion through Austin. It seems like my laziness paid off because I was recently reading about shrimp farming and I came upon this eye-opening, if not kind of depressing, article about tiger prawn farming. Keep in mind, the article is thirteen years old so things might have changed since its publication (I didn’t bother researching if it has because, lazy) but I do know that Gulf shrimp farming is sustainable and it’s a few hours away so, yay! Good for the environment and I’m supporting Texans! This curry was sweet and just a tad bit spicy but I loved it! I actually made it the following week but substituted chicken for the shrimp and it was just as fantastic so if you’re not into seafood, just know you have options.

I loved the curry but I could not get enough of the wambatu moju, which was eggplant. The recipe called for sprats, which are little fish, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. I asked the owner of the Indian market I frequent about them and he described them as salty so when I made the dish, I added a bit more salt and just a couple of drops of fish sauce. I don’t know if it made a difference or not but it didn’t make me hate it. It came out tangy and I think that was because of the green chilies. It’s been my experience this year that green chilies are what happens when a lime and a pepper mate (because that’s totally possible) but they really are a little sour and spicy. I have yet to encounter another pepper that does that.

I had the leftovers for lunch the next day and they were as yummy cold as they were warm. I don’t remember if the girls ate this or not but I’m pretty sure they didn’t. The baby is starting to follow in the four year old’s steps and pushing things away. She still eats a lot more than the four year old but if the older one shows disgust at something, the baby follows. Great.

Recipe, Recipe

Roasted Coconut Pumpkin Curry and Yellow Rice

I’m slowly catching up with the blog and am now only two weeks behind! Progress! Thankfully this week is Thanksgiving and I’m only cooking twice for the blog so I should be all caught up by this weekend. Or maybe next weekend. Or maybe never.

This meal was prepared for the first night of Sri Lankan week. Sri Lankan food probably isn’t on a lot of people’s radar and up until four years ago, it wasn’t on ours. What changed four years ago? The oldest started attending a Montessori school run by four Sri Lankan women. It’s not like all of a sudden we were immersed in their culture or anything but we became more aware. Such is the beauty of meeting people from different backgrounds…take note new administration!

Every Thanksgiving they prepare food for the parents to take home and I always look forward to that meal. The first year it took me by complete surprise and I was beyond giddy to try what they had prepared. At the time I was working in south Austin and usually had an hour plus commute home so James would always pick the kid up from school. He called to tell me that when he picked her up, they had a buffet out and had told him to take as much as he wanted. I remember him saying he only took a couple of pieces of chicken and I exclaimed “WHY?! That chicken sounds amazing!” I was very upset and I hadn’t yet seen the food.

Side note: I was already pregnant with the baby so, you know, I was emotional and hungry.

Side-side note: I’m no longer pregnant but I’m still emotional and hungry.

I still remember that meal. It was a chicken curry, yellow rice, samosas, a veggie salad, and some sweet cakes. I loved that rice! I LOVE that rice. I look forward to it every year and always mean to ask for the recipe but never do.

Well, I found it! And I made it! And it was not as good as the teacher’s!

My yellow rice was good but it was missing something. I didn’t add the cashews or raisins because I forgot them but I don’t think that’s what affected the flavor. The cashews and raisins mostly add texture and I typically remove the raisins anyway. The recipe called for pandan leaves and I couldn’t find any so I think that’s what was missing. I know where to get pandan leaves, I cooked with them during Thai week, but I was being lazy and didn’t want to make an extra trip to the Asian market. Unfortunately my rice paid the price for my laziness. So it goes.

The curry, however, was spectacular and made up for the not so great rice. I don’t have a lot of experience cooking with pumpkin aside from making pumpkin pie and pumpkin empanadas so this was new territory for me. I mean, both of those items call for canned pumpkin but I’m not even sure if that can REALLY be considered pumpkin. I’ve cooked with many kinds of squash so I don’t know why I was nervous about cooking with pumpkin; I guess it was just fear of the unknown. You would think that by now I would be a lot more confident in the kitchen, and I am compared to how I was in January, but I still doubt my abilities. I need to get over it…Anyway, I was a little disappointed that the coconut flavor wasn’t stronger but that’s the only complaint I have about the dish.

The girls didn’t eat the curry but they did eat a lot of rice. The love they have for rice never ceases to amaze me and it also tugs at my heartstrings. I, too, adore rice so seeing how much they enjoy it is like watching genetics in work. You could argue that looking at their faces is like watching genetics work but they look more like their father than me. Although, sometimes, in the right light and with the correct scowl, it’s like looking in a mirror.

Recipe, Recipe

Taiwanese Pork Belly Buns

So after going through what I did in order to get these steamed buns, I thought “THESE BUNS BETTER BE FUCKING FANTASTIC!” Luckily they were.

Obviously I was given some weird steamed buns because these were wrapped strips of dough that I had a tough time unwrapping but they smelled amazing! I couldn’t stop sniffing them because they smelled like sweet vanilla. I don’t even like the scent of vanilla but I liked these! I just realized I probably got all kinds of nose germs on them. Oh well, maybe that contributed to the flavor!

Braising the pork belly for two hours was a test in patience because it also smelled so good and I just wanted to dig in! I think it was around the one hour mark that I was like, “You know, it’s probably cooked and safe to eat, we should just eat them now.” But I didn’t, I waited, and waited, and waited. Those two hours were painful.

But it was all worth it! The pork belly I was given had a lot of fat on it and I was worried there wouldn’t be enough actual meat but there was plenty for six buns. I also made another quick-pickle of zucchini and carrots to offset the sweetness of the meat and powdered peanuts. By the way, I might have eaten a couple of spoonfuls of the powdered peanuts. It was like mazapan, but sweeter and grainier. Who doesn’t like mazapan? It was messy due to the buns falling apart but everything worked together perfectly. If I was going to get groped for any meal, it should have been this one.

This was our last Chinese meal and I can say that it was definitely top five. Aside from the Chinese mushrooms in the Buddha’s Delight, nothing disappointed. I wish the week hadn’t been marred by the events of last Thursday but so it goes. This week we are in Ethiopia, which is another week I have been looking forward to all year. Hopefully it’s as delightful as Chinese week but less messy.


Buddha’s Delight

Up until we had the four year old, I would “cleanse” myself with a vegetarian diet a few times a year. Sometimes it would last a week, sometimes a month. The first time I did it I was nineteen and living in Uvalde and actually decided to go full vegan. Veganism hadn’t yet gone mainstream and even if it had, I was living in Uvalde so my choices were limited. I remember talking to a co-worker about what I was doing and she asked, incredulously, “What are you going to eat? Nuts and berries? Are you a squirrel?” Yes, Girl Whose Name I Don’t Remember Anymore, I was going to be a squirrel! I did end up eating a lot of nuts, fruits, and veggies and gave up after a couple of weeks. I started doing it because I wanted to help end animal’s suffering (I flippin’ wore hemp shoes, I was super dedicated to the cause) but then it got really hard and I got really hungry so I ate a burger and unsubscribed from PETA’s emails. Meh, I was nineteen, I had time to work on my convictions.

But the idea stayed with me so every once in a while, I would switch up my diet and go veggie. As alternative diets got more popular, it became easier to do. Moving to Austin also helped. My first friend in Austin was a vegetarian and I remember her taking me to Veggie Heaven, formerly on The Drag, and I thought it was the greatest place ever! All I ever ate there was their fried rice and drank their bubble teas but STILL, it was called Veggie Heaven so clearly it was.

One of my favorite aspects of switching it up was learning how to cook with new ingredients and that is mostly why I was looking forward to this meal when I found the recipe. Buddha’s Delight is a vegetarian meal. It’s traditionally eaten by Buddhists, who are vegetarians and another idea nineteen year old Melissa played with, and it’s a very popular meal eaten on the first day of the Chinese New Year. It’s part of an act of piety and self-purification and honestly, it’s much better than fasting. At least I think it is.

Traditionally it has eight ingredients but you can find many versions that have more, up to eighteen. It’s really just whatever you prefer, there is no official list or number of ingredients, and that’s probably another reason why it’s so popular. The recipe I used had eight ingredients but it wasn’t until I started chopping veggies that I realized I had forgotten one, the bean sprouts. This meant mine only had seven and it was a disaster!

It was far from a disaster.

This was my first time cooking with tiger lily buds, black fungus, Chinese mushrooms, and braised gluten. Braised gluten, you say? Yes, braised gluten. I don’t know about you but reading “braised gluten” just wakes up my taste buds and they start screaming for food!

That was more sarcasm, by the way.

When I read that braised gluten was an ingredient, I was a little skeptical. I didn’t know what it was but it didn’t sound appealing. I just imagined globs of dough and I wasn’t too far off. It’s made by washing wheat flour dough until the starch has been removed, leaving the gluten as a big, elastic glob. This is then marinated or fried and then sold as seitan. Seitan, by the way, I’d heard of so when I learned the alternative name, I was less grossed out because I know many veggies who eat seitan and don’t barf from it.

I had to soak the buds, fungus, and mushrooms before cooking them because they were all dry. It didn’t really affect cooking time because I was able to chop up the other veggies and fry the tofu while they re-hydrated. I wasn’t too worried about them, though, because I figured they would taste like grass and mushrooms. Again, I wasn’t too far off.

The end product was pretty tasty. It did have that brown “Chinese” sauce that I recently learned not everyone is a fan of. Those people are crazy. Brown Chinese sauce is fantastic! The tiger lily buds reminded of lemon grass in texture but didn’t really have a distinct flavor themselves. Same thing with the black fungus. It had the texture of a mushroom but nothing surprising. What did surprise me was that I did not like the Chinese mushrooms at all and neither did James. They were hardy and had a way stronger woody flavor than other mushrooms I’ve had. I never have a problem with mushrooms and they’re one of my favorite things to eat so this wasn’t some weird, childish dislike of mushrooms; these were just not palatable to me. I didn’t even mind the braised gluten because it just absorbed the brown sauce.

I didn’t even bother giving this to the girls, which worked out for us because it meant we had seconds and leftovers for the next day. And I was very, very happy to have this for lunch the next day. The next day was not a good day but eating Buddha’s Delight was the one shiny moment in a day full of shit. More on that later.


Arroz con Pollo

This is the third time I’ve made arroz con pollo. The first was during Costa Rican week and then during Cuban week. This is also the second time I’ve used those sentences. I am anything if not original.

This week’s arroz con pollo recipe is Colombian. I chose Colombia because one of my favorite people on the entire planet is Colombian. Hola Caro! I’ve known Caro for eight years and we met when we were both working at a property in south Austin. I was pretty sure she hated me when we first started working together but then I learned that unlike me, she takes a while to warm up to people. I’m one of those annoying people who thinks every person they meet is going to be their new best friend because who wouldn’t want to be best friends? Best friends are great! Caro, like normal humans, gets to know people to feel them out and figure out if they’re worth being let in. I will literally tell you my whole life story within ten minutes of meeting you if you ask. Sometimes I do it without even being asked.

Once she warmed up to me, which took all of a month because I’m persistent in my friend making, we became very close friends. Since then we have spent many nights drinking wine and scotch (cause we’re fancy), having M.I.A dance parties, been in each other’s weddings, and have watched each other grow into women (which is probably the best part). Our oldest daughters are three weeks apart and this November she’ll have another daughter, whom I’m still hoping she’ll name after me. The currently named Baby Eelan will be a Scorpio, just like me, and will also be born in the year of the Monkey, just like me. She’s due at the end of November and I’m not typically keen about sharing a birthday with other people but I’m making an exception for Eelan and am hoping she will come early and be born on the the second.

Even though I’ve never been to Colombia, I feel a connection to it through Caro. I had hoped to do Colombian week when she and her family were visiting a few weeks ago but they were so busy doing so much in their short time here that I didn’t bother. Up until then, Caro and her family were living in Vietnam, where she and husband were teaching ESL. They came back to the States for a month before moving to Qatar, where they will be for the next two years while her husband teaches. I was really hoping they would stay this time but the world calls and they must answer. Until then, we’ll just have to survive through FB and WhatsApp phone calls, one of which we have today. I’ve been looking forward to it all week!

So this week is dedicated to you, my CaroLINDA.

And because this week’s decision comes from a place full of love and respect, it hurts me to say this recipe did not do it for me. It wasn’t that it was bad but the meat was kinda dry. Okay, the meat was very dry. I had to boil chicken breast and make a stock, which I was hoping would help make the breast juicy, but it did not. The rice part was great and I liked the addition of the green beans but that meat was so dry! I will try to make this again though because I think I can trick the girls into eating veggies this way. The four year old did pull out every single piece of green, including peas, beans, bell pepper, and cilantro, but she did eat the rest. The baby gobbled it up but that wasn’t a surprise. Maybe next time I’ll add more broth to the mixture when mixing the chicken in with the rice and there will be a next time.

Even though this didn’t work out, I’m hopeful for the rest of the week. And maybe Caro will give me some insight into what I did wrong but I have a feeling she’ll say what I did wrong was cook with chicken. She doesn’t eat anything with feathers because, actually I don’t know why she doesn’t eat birds. I’ll have to ask today.



Beef Rezala and Bhuna Khichuri

Welcome to Bangladeshi week! Actually, it was last week but some appointments took longer than expected and it threw my entire week off. Also, weather. 

As I metioned last week, the Four Year Old became the Four Year Old last Wednesday and we planned a pool party for her the following Sunday. James just happened to check the weather forecast on Thursday and saw that there was a 90% chance of rain on Sunday.

Rain. In August. That almost never happens.

The next couple of days were spent checking the weather every four hours, sending out multiple group texts to our guests, and ultimately deciding to cancel the pool party and hosting a smaller version at the house. The Four Year Old still had an amazing time and even got a piñata, which she wouldn’t have had at the pool and it was the one thing she really wanted anyway, so yay! Birthday success!  

I learned two things from that event. Number one: I really need to buy an umbrella. I don’t know why I don’t own one but I need one. It’s been raining for the past four days and I’m tired of getting wet. Number two: I need to be more flexible. I’ve always prided myself in my time management skills and I still believe that they are essential but I need to make room for unexpected events. Too often I plan down to the minute and I get frustrated when I get thrown off. There is no reason to be so stringent because I end up disappointed and why put myself through that? Life is too short to be so annoyed with myself. 

I’m taking this week off from cooking so I can catch up on posting. I’m actually taking the week off from everything. James is home all week so instead of trying to fit in errands, running, yoga, housework, craft projects, and cooking, I’m filling it with Orphan Black binge watching with my man during the day and fun family time with the girls in the evening. I think it’s much more worthwhile than all the other stuff.

And now for the beef rezala. A rezala is a white spicy curry from Bangladesh. Yes, curries are typically a little spicy anyway but rezalas are spicier because they include whole chilies. They also get their white color from the inclusion of yogurt or milk. Rezalas are similar to kormas in that sense, however, unlike kormas, the meat is not braised. Very slight difference. This beef rezala is different in color from other rezalas due to the spices used but mine didn’t come out as red as I think it should have. My beef released a lot of water so I think that didn’t allow the spices to coat and stick to the meat as well. I was afraid that since it released so much water, it would come out tough but it was surprisingly tender. It also wasn’t as spicy as I expected it to be but that wasn’t bad because it made it more edible for the girls. And yes, both girls ate it. They also ate the bhuna khichuri, which I preferred over the rezala. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it forever, I love rice and beans! 

What I enjoyed most about the meal was being able to use two new tools. After  Indian week, where I scorched my arms from frying spices or worked my arms sore from grinding spices, I decided to invest in some tools that will make life easier. The first is a vaghar vadki, a spice roasting spoon. It’s basically a tiny skillet, about four inches in diameter, with a long handle that fries spices in seconds. The smaller diameter speeds up the process since the heat doesn’t have to be distributed to such a large area like with a regular skillet and it’s ideal for measurements under a cup. I was able to fry up the cumin in less than thirty seconds and had more control over how dark I wanted it to get. The other tool is a spice grinder, although I bought a coffee grinder but it’s basically the same thing. I’ve been using a mortar and pestle, which isn’t terrible except both my mortars have grooves so the spices often get stuck in them. This results in an uneven texture unless I put some real elbow grease into it. The grinder I bought has three different settings, coarse, medium, and fine, and it took maybe a minute to grind my spices into a nice fine powder. Technology is amazing! It was super satisfying and I wish I would have bought one sooner but so it goes.

Recipe, Recipe





We are in Senegal this week!

We chose Senegal because it’s in Africa and so far we’ve only done two African countries, Morocco and Israel. I wasn’t aware that we’d done so little in Africa until I started marking off the countries we’ve “visited” on a map of the world. We’ve done plenty in the Mediterranean, Central America, and southeast Asia but the Africa on our map is a little bare. I don’t want Africa to feel left out so we looked at the map and settled on Senegal. Well, we looked at the map for ideas, Googled the cuisine, and then settled on Senegal. We looked at other countries but their cuisines didn’t seem all that appealing or included a lot of yucca and I’m tired of eating yucca. I mean, there is only so much you can do with it, fry it or boil it, and it almost never results in something super good. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the yucca fries from El Salvadorian week but I don’t need to keep recreating them with different spices. I get it, yucca is good!

Quick aside. I use “we” a lot when writing on the blog or when explaining to people what we’re doing. Many people have asked me to clarify who “we” are and when I say that it’s James and I, they ask what exactly he does. First of all, rude. Secondly, he doesn’t have to cook to be considered a contributor.  He helps choose countries, researches meals, helps decide which recipes would work on what days due to time constraints; his input is very important. He also watches our girls while I’m cooking so I can cook with little to no interruption. That right there is probably the best thing he does to help out because those girls be cray sometimes. The second best thing he does is pay for all of this, which he does without complaint. I’m not working so he funds this entire project and doing this is not cheap. For whatever reason, meat and fresh produce are hardly ever discounted, even though they are unbelievably healthier for you than pre-packaged food, so our grocery bill varies from $60 to $200 per week. That is not a complaint, I am fully aware this is a choice and we are by no means obligated to do this, but it is a huge factor. So yes, he is a partner in this and what he does is no less important than what I do.

Now that I’ve talked about how great my husband is, let’s talk about this meal!

This meal was pretty easy to make and the ingredients weren’t hard to find at all. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it, these types of meals are my favorite! The sauce was made up primarily of tomato and peanut butter. Yes, I was curious about that because those two are not typically paired together (at least I’ve never paired them) so there was some slight hesitation about that. The recipe I used seemed to lend itself to improvisation because it was pretty lax about what vegetables to use. I liked this a lot because I could 1. use veggies I liked and 2. use veggies I could find easily. I ended up using okra and cabbage because I like okra and cabbage. Easy enough.

We all really enjoyed it. The tomatoes gave the peanut butter a little tartness which was interesting. Ginger was optional but I did use it because I love ginger. It was very present but not overpowering, which I think was due to the acidity of the tomatoes. I’m just guessing here, I have absolutely no knowledge of food chemistry. For that, you can turn to J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. The meat was also surprisingly tender for a stew, for which I once again credit the tomatoes. Tomatoes are super fruits for a reason.

This was a pretty great introduction to Senegalese food. It made me hopeful for the rest of the week.