Posts Tagged "spring"

We had a lot of fun reading and cooking through Afro Vegan, a brand new cookbook out by Bryant Terry. Our full review is in the latest issue of Chickpea Magazine, but we were also given permission to share a couple recipes from the book here with you! 

I’ve been looking for a few perfect springtime BBQ recipes, and the two we picked from the book would make really wonderful sides/snacks/finger foods for a backyard cookout. We just had one of those cookouts this weekend and are so excited to cook outdoors more often. I’ll be making these for our next one!


Makes about 4 servings


  • 2 pounds small to medium red potatoes, cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons za’atar, homemade (page 15) or store-bought
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Put the potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Toss until the potatoes are evenly coated. Transfer to the lined baking sheet and spread, cut side down, in a single layer (no need to clean the bowl). Bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the za’atar, thyme, oregano, salt, and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the reserved bowl and stir well to combine.
  4. Transfer the potatoes to the bowl (leave the oven on) and toss gently until evenly coated. Return the potatoes, cut side up, to the baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Bake for about 15 minutes, until fork-tender.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and season with black pepper and, if desired, more salt. Serve at room temperature.

These potatoes are so perfectly seasoned and crispy - I’ll be making these quite often from now on.

Makes about 4-6 servings


  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced cilantro
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 ½ pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds, toasted (see sidebar, page 119)


  1. Put the chives, parsley, and cilantro in a small bowl and mix well.
  2. Put about 12 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, then add the sugar snap peas and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain well.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peas and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, increase the heat to high, and cook, shaking the pan and tossing vigorously, for about 1 minute.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl, add the orange zest and lemon juice, and toss until the peas are evenly coated. Serve topped with the chive mixture, a few grinds of white pepper, and the sesame seeds.

These are the simplified versions of the full recipes from the book, which I highly suggest checking out. (It’s available digitally and in print, for those of you who don’t want physical books.) I think his stories & recipe accompaniments are the best parts of the book, along with all of the whole foods, perfectly-spiced recipes of course.


Reprinted with permission from Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

This is one of those things I’ve been dying to try making for years, but never got around to it because it seemed hard. On the contrary, it only took about an hour out of my weekend and made the house smell amazing - and now I’ve made enough to last me a few weeks! So if you’re interested in drinking hot, sweet, spicy, complex chai, try this out and save yourself years (!) of just thinking about it.


  • 1 tsp each ground cardamom, nutmeg, black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • 1-inch piece of ginger root, sliced into medallions
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, sliced open
  • 3 pieces star anise
  • 3-4 tablespoons whole-leaf black tea leaves - we used Earl Grey Creme c/o The Tea Company
  • 3/4 cup light molasses, maple syrup, or sugar (such as sugar in the raw)
  • 4 cups boxed coconut milk (found in the refrigerated section) - we also tried canned coconut milk but found it too fatty for this drink. Almond milk would also work in this recipe. Our favorite attempt was vanilla coconut milk c/o So Delicious.

Other equipment you’ll need: a fine-mesh bag and a mesh strainer, a funnel if you’re working with small openings, also a large glass bottle with a top for storage.

If you don’t care so much about the residue of powdered spices, a mesh strainer will work just fine by itself. Use whole spices, alternatively.

Get a stronger tea by using whole spices instead of ground, and/or let the mixture steep on the stove longer.


  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a pot and turn the heat to medium. Stir to combine and let sit for about 40 minutes, partially covered, stirring every so often.
  2. Put your mesh bag (or the mesh strainer, if you’ve used whole spices instead of ground) into a large bowl and pour the tea in. Let it strain through, then pour into your storage bottle. I did mine in batches so it was easier to pour.
  3. When you’re ready to make drinks, fill your cup(s) up halfway, then the rest with a strongly brewed straight-up hot black tea. Top with a dusting of cinnamon and drink it up!
  4. If you’re using this later on, after it’s been refrigerated, just shake it a bunch of times before you pour it out - sometimes it’s even nice to use the metal mesh strainer again, just as you pour it into glasses, to strain out any lumps.

These ingredients make about 4 cups of chai “concentrate”, but you could easily just keep adding more coconut milk as you empty the pot and reuse the spices a few times. I ended up making about 4 batches total, because I love chai so much. It’s a really warming drink that is so comforting as it keeps snowing here every few days. Hope you enjoy it!