Posted by Sandra Zhao on

There was once a time when our idea of "salad" extended no further than an avocado and a spoon, but flash forward a few years (and a few olympic-sized satchels of quinoa from the "aughts"), and we're proud to say that things have gotten pretty tasty around here!  Join us on our technicolor journey of culinary exploration; we've been cooking up a storm!

Sandra's Squash / Spinach (Squach?) Salad

These are guestimates! Use how much/many works for you, it's flexible! This serves 2 hungry people as a meal, 3 medium hungry or 4 with a main.

4 cups spinach

1 delicata squash, sliced in 1/2" rounds (leave the seeds)

1-2 cups cooked chickpeas

1 heaping tsp curry powder

1 generous tbs raisins

Olive oil

Sherry vinegar (red wine or apple cider vinegar also work!)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place the squash rounds and chickpeas in the bowl, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and curry powder. Arrange everything on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 mins (until everything is browning and crispy). Place the raisins in a small bowl and just cover with sherry vinegar. Let sit until you're ready to assemble the salad. In a salad bowl, dress the spinach with a glug of olive oil and dash of sherry vinegar, plus salt and pepper. Once the squash and chickpeas are ready, add them to the salad bowl along with the pickled raisins (you can just dump the whole bowl vinegar and all), and you're ready to eat! As with most things, feel free to add a dollop of yogurt or a fried egg to make it even more festive!

Kenyan-Style Kachumbari

This classic salad from the Rift Valley is a simple but zingy addition to any meal. Personally, we love it with grilled snapper, lime and chapati!  While it's typically a tomato-based salad, we like to add cucumber, cilantro and chili as well for additional crunch. Click here for the one of our favorite kachumbari recipes!



Carrot Turmeric Chapati

Here in Nairobi, chapati is served with almost every meal, and this carrot/turmeric twist pairs perfectly with both salads above! Here's a fail-proof carrot chapati recipe that we think you'll love. Now I guess we could say: "That's a wrap!" 





Carrying on with our food theme, if you're looking for delicious, single-origin spices that are equitably traded, look no further! Sana Javeri Kadri founded Diaspora Co. to create a radically new vision of the spice trade, and she is knocking it out of the park! What we love about her Instagram page is her openness about the ups and downs of her business journey and of course, the wonderfully savory recipes she shares. (How do they stack up against "Squach"™ ⬆️ ? You be the judge.) 


Sung completely in the Cameroonian language of Bassa, singer/songwriter Blick Bassy brings the unlikely pairing of cello and trombone to his bluesy, bossa nova influenced style. With a focus on such universal themes as the need for heroes and the relevance of history, it's a strong album sung softly that will resonate with us all, especially right now. 


WHAT WE'RE READING// In Bibi's Kitchen by Hawa Hassan

Named one of the best cookbooks of the year, "In Bibi's Kitchen" chronicles the delicious stories and recipes gathered from bibis (or grandmothers) from eight African nations, many of which are at the backbone of the spice trade (including: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Eritrea). Pick it up, meet these amazing women, and start your culinary tour de force!



We're frequent listeners of the podcast "Code Switch", because it explores themes of race and culture fearlessly, with broad curiosity. Their recent episode, Finding 'A Perfect Match', tells the story of two close friends who both suffered from the same aggressive form of cancer. After years of treatment, one lived and the other didn't. And while many variables factored into what happened, the woman who survived considers what role race had played in the outcome. 

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