A Quarterly Newsletter                                                                                    Summer 2016
Summer Greetings from Oldways!
 
Transitions All Around!
    
 
We have transitions and exciting news to report with the Oldways African Heritage and Health Program.  As so many of you know, Sarah McMackin decided that motherhood is too exciting, and she left Oldways to be at home with her healthy baby boy, Eamon Thoreau Sean McMackin, born in early May. We are missing Sarah and her great enthusiasm, and honor and thank her for her great work in building the African Heritage & Health program from the ground up to great nationwide results.

Transitions also mean promotions.  Sade Anderson is now the Program Manger for the African Heritage & Health Program.  Sade's commitment and passion over the last two years working with Sarah make her the perfect person to move the program to even greater success.   Sade is grateful to all who have supported the program for the last four years, and hopes that everyone will continue to support us, collaborate with us and share us with your community.

To work with Sade, we've brought a new star onto our team as our new Program Assistant and Office Manager, Johnisha Levi (pronounced Ju-nisha)! Johnisha has worn many hats throughout her life and brings a wealth of skills and resources to the African Heritage and Health Program. We are so excited to have her join the team! Read her first blog post "Confessions of a Program Assistant" here.  
 

ATOAH Update 
Image result for tulane university logo
Amazing Collaborations: Old and New 

Our Amazing volunteer teachers and Ambassadors have continued to host wonderful class series nationwide! To date we have hosted 345 class series serving approximately 3,500 participants! All due to our incredible instructors! Alone the Ambassadors have reached over 800 people with ATOAH classes and additional AHH community health outreach events/opportunities. GREAT work! 

The African Heritage and Health Program entered a new collaboration this summer with The Prevention Research Center School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine of Tulane University! Tulane will utilize A Taste of African Heritage curriculum as a basis of a health study, which will help us show the impact on physical health the program is having on individuals and communities! 

Thank you to all of our sign-ups, current teachers, Ambassadors, partners and continual supporters! Oldways-African Heritage and Health: A Taste of African Heritage Program would not be possible without you all!  

  Want to Show off Your Cooking Skills? 

The Oldways African Heritage & Health Program has been offered an AMAZING opportunity to help create an exciting new book, Africana Soup Stories: Black Women's Recipes for Heritage and Health. The book, edited by Dr. Stephanie Evans of Clark Atlanta University, will be a collection of soup, chew, chili, chowder, and gumbo recipes that bring to the fore Black women's storytelling and culinary leadership. We will be partnering with several organizations, including the Black Women's Health Imperative in Washington DC and the Center for Black Women's Wellness in Atlanta, as part of a mind, body, and spirit womanist wellness research project.

You are ALL invited to submit a chapter and recipe to this forthcoming book by August 1. Oldways-ATOAH will be writing the introduction. Additional information about the memoir project can be found online here; please email submissions to: Dr. Stephanie Evans at contact@professorevans.net. Part of the proceeds will support the Oldways, A Taste of African Heritage cooking program and encourage healthy nutrition to enhance wellness. We look forward to reading your food stories! 

Photo credit www.jehancancook.com
 
 



AHH Health Study: Tradition Promotes a Longer Life!

In each newsletter issue, we share one scientific study that reinforces the importance of the African Heritage Diet and of eating more like the old ways. 
 
 
Research continues to demonstrate that people who live by tradition increase their life span and decrease their risk of lifestyle and diet-related diseases. Scientists at the School of Health and Sciences at Cleveland State University studied 37 elders from Ethiopia, Belize. The scientists studied the (1) philosophy, attitudes, and outlook; (2) lifestyle practices; and (3) dietary and nutritional practices of the study participants. Based on their research, they concluded that the "traditional ways of taking care of the body, mind, spirit, and environment," practiced by the elders, enhanced chances of a longer, better quality life. The study results accord with A Taste of African Heritage's message that eating a heritage diet results in tangible health benefits. 


You can read the whole study here as well as other African Heritage Health Studies at Oldways.  

The Chef's Corner 
 
We are pleased to spotlight a contemporary chef who is working to bring greater awareness of the rich culinary traditions of the African Diaspora.
 
Photo credit www.pierrethiam.com
 
Chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Pierre Thiam grew up in Dakar, Senegal. After studying chemistry and physics, he moved to New York, where he was soon lured into the vibrant, hectic, creative restaurant world. He worked his way up the kitchen ranks from his first job as a busboy, and eventually opened two of his own restaurants, Yolel, and Le Grand-Dakar Restaurant.
 
Chef Thiam has written two cookbooks on Senegalese cuisine, Yolele! Recipes from the Heart of Senegal, and Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl. He now owns the catering company, Pierre Thiam Catering, and teaches cooking classes at various venues. He is also focused on his role as culinary ambassador in order to introduce the flavors of Senegal to a wider audience. In partnership with the West African Research Association, Chef Thiam is hosting culinary tours to Senegal that will teach participants about the history, religion, economies, aesthetics, and biodiversity of West Africa; they will learn to prepare signature dishes such as ndole (a stew made with bitter greens and peanuts) and thiebou jenn (a paella-like fish, rice, and tomato dish).
 
To see Chef Thiam in action, check out Season 7, Episode 6 of CNN's Parts Unknown, where he takes host Anthony Bourdain for a communal meal at his aunt's house, and teaches him about teranga, the Senegalese brand of hospitality.  
 


 
 
The Spice Rack 
 
Spices and herbs are key to building flavor and reducing the amount of sodium needed to season our food, which decrease incidents of high blood pressure.
In this  issue, we take a closer look at GINGER
 
Fresh ginger, in its fresh form, is knobby, gnarled and hand-like, with a thin brown skin that covers a pale yellow interior. It is a rhizome, a plant stem that grows underground. Ginger's name comes from the Sanskrit word for "horn root," due to its appearance. Ginger is used in a variety of forms around the world: slice it or mince and use it fresh, or add a sprinkle of the dried, ground spice to your cooking as a flavor enhancer; it can also be pickled (you'll see this served with sushi), or crystalized and candied, as in many baked goods.
 
The compound gingerol lends ginger its characteristic pungency or peppery quality that warms the tongue in a pleasant way. If its heat reminds you of chili and black pepper that's because gingerols are relatives of chemical compounds found in chili (capsaicin) and pepper (pipperine).
 
Ground ginger is quite concentrated because of a chemical transformation that occurs during the drying process, so if you are substituting it for fresh, you might want to try to 1/8 teaspoon of ground for 1 tablespoon of fresh. You'll also find ginger in a variety of spice blends, including Jamaican jerk marinade. Jamaican ginger is sweeter and more delicate; introduced to the island in the early sixteenth century, it's considered some of the finest ginger. 
 
As is the case with many other spices, ginger has been used medicinally for thousand of years in many cultures. It's used to treat a variety of ailments, including colds, nausea, arthritis, migraines, and hypertension. 
 
 


  What We're Reading . . .  


The Ghana Cookbook by Fran Osseo-Asare & Barbara Bata is a love letter to Ghanaian cuisine. Osseo-Asare began writing cookbooks to teach her Ghanaian American children about their rich paternal culinary heritage. She teamed up with Bata, an accomplished Ghanaian caterer and cooking instructor. Part 1 of their book explores essential seasoning and preparation techniques and includes helpful hints on stocking a North American pantry with staples needed to cook Ghanaian food in a serious way. Part II features recipes for variations on "light" stock-based soups, ATOAH favorites akara (black-eyed pea fritters) and jollof rice, cassava cookies, and more.  

The New Agenda of Black Chefs in America: Chef Therese Nelson, founder of Black Culinary History, sits down for a fascinating Q&A with six black chefs and participants at this June's Iconclast Dinner Experience at the James Beard House. You'll get a glimpse into their creative processes, learn how culture has inspired them, as well as hear how they hope to nurture the next generation of chefs.

Any books, blogs, or articles that you'd like to share with us? We'd love for you to post on our Facebook page


African Heritage Dine-Around-Town
Oldways knows that one of the easiest ways to dine out healthfully is to choose cultural restaurants that serve traditional world cuisines. Whether African, Caribbean, Indian, or Japanese, cultural restaurants tend to offer the widest variety of vegetables, beans, whole grains, meats, and spices prepared in deliciously dynamic ways.

Every newsletter edition, we put the spotlight on three African heritage restaurants from our Dine-Around-Town list, describing the traditional features of their menus and perhaps inspiring you to try making some of these cultural dishes at home. This season we are featuring restaurants serving cuisines of Ethiopia, located on the East African Coast. 
  


Salt Lake City, UT
At Mahider, herbs and spices imported directly from Ethiopia preserve the native traditional flavor of the dishes. Start out with a sambusa, a flaky pastry filled with either lentils or vegetables. Then try some gomen, (chopped, steamed collards seasoned with garlic, jalapenos and spices) that will satisfy your greens craving. Mahider also prides itself on offering a traditional coffee ceremony with 100% Ethiopian coffee beans. When in Salt Lake City, stop by! 
 
Louisville, Kentucky 
Gather around a meson, a round tall woven wicker basket set with a platter of food, to partake in a communal meal at Queen of Sheba. The vegetarian combo, which consists of misir wot (lentil stew simmered in onions, garlic seasoned with turmeric and herbs), atakilt (sliced cabbage, onions, and carrots in a mild tomato sauce), and gomen wot (collard greens, onions, and potatoes) is popular with diners. Melkam Megeb! (Enjoy your meal!)


 
Tuscon, Arizona
Amanuel Gebremariam opened Zemam's as a tribute to his mother, Moma Zemam, and her cooking. The original restaurant (there are now two locations) still retains the small and "cozy" atmosphere beloved by its regular customers. Veggie samplers offer you a choice of three of the restaurant's many vegetarian dishes, including yemisir wot (brown lentil stew with onions, tomatoes, and green peppers), foussulia (string beans and carrots simmered in tomato sauce), and gomen alicha (carrots, cabbage, and potatoes in a mild sauce).
 
  
 

Oldways African Heritage Recipes 
The most powerful call to action to improve the health of African American families and communities: Get cooking! To help families put the African Heritage Diet Pyramid on their plate, here are three delicious, healthy recipes that take their cues from African roots. 

Click on the title below to go to the Oldways recipe.


Black-eyed peas have long been symbolic in African American culture and cuisine. This salad, an update to an Oldways classic, requires no cooking, and its crisp, bright flavor will liven up any table.   
 

Lentil Curry Stew
This hearty vegetarian stew calls for Kabocha squash, a sweet winter squash of Japanese origin. In the summer, substitute thin-skinned summer squash like zucchini, chopped, and add it at the end with the lentils. Serve the stew over a bed of fluffy whole wheat couscous. 

This mildly sweet oatmeal alternative comes together in minutes for a satisfying, nourishing start to your day. 

The work of the African Heritage and Health Program would not be possible without the generous support of the Walmart Foundation. 
Walmart Foundation