Thaï coleslaw with peanuts

26 Jan


This amazing coleslaw is chopped cabbage, loads of chopped green onions, a good bit of cilantro and a little crushed peanuts, tossed with dressing: 4 parts lime juice, 2 parts rice vinegar, 2 parts sesame oil, 1 part soy sauce and olive oil to taste.

Great on its own as a side or light lunch, or… Make grilled lotte fillets and served with this Thaï coleslaw, mango and tomato wrapped in Marie Simone’s tortillas. So good.



Tex Mex Lasagna

25 Sep

Super yummy, very fast dinner. I would have taken a picture, but it disappeared too quickly!

In a large bowl, mix:
1 lg can black beans, drained
1 can chicken, drained
1 can corn
1 cup salsa or chopped tomatoes
1 cup plain lait caillé
1-2 Tbsp taco seasoning or cumin
Big handful chopped cilantro

Layer in a baking dish, alternating with whole wheat tortillas from Marie Simone as the ‘noodles’.

Top with shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 until bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Niébé and rice with mango salsa

23 Sep


1 1/2 cups cooked, drained beans (niébé)
2 cups uncooked rice
1 cup dried coconut
4 cups water
1 cube chicken bouillon

Combine in a big pot with a lid. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Let sit five minutes before uncovering.


Mango salsa
1 lg mango, diced
3 tomatoes, diced
2 lg onions, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Lime juice

Combine in a bowl and serve generously over the beans and rice. Add salt and lime juice to taste.

(Also good chilled the next day!)

– Local beans similar to blackeyed peas are called niébé. They can be found fresh or dried depending on the time if year. Dee-licious.

– CityDia sometimes carries brown rice.

Mom’s dill dressing

29 Apr

2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-3 Tbsp white vinegar
Pinch of sugar
Milk to thin to desired consistency


Strawberry-banana icebox cake

15 Feb

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I’ve been wanting to try an icebox cake for about a year now – mostly during hot season when I didn’t want to turn the oven on! Well, tonight was the night I finally got around to it. Two thumbs up, y’all. Next I want to try it with mango and passion fruit, but I think I’ll keep the bananas in any case since they go well with the vanilla pudding.

1 packet Petit Beurre cookies
1 batch homemade vanilla pudding
1-2 bananas, thinly sliced
handful of strawberries, sliced

Use a loaf pan for a taller dessert that you slice thinly or an 8×8 for making square servings. Spread a thin layer of pudding (still warm is fine) on the bottom of your pan. Add a single layer of Petit Beurre cookies. Add a layer of fruit, topped with more pudding. Spread the pudding out to the edges and try not to leave any dry spots. Keep layering until all ingredients are used, ending with pudding on top and some fruit as decoration. Cover and chill for at least three hours. Slice and serve!

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Homemade vanilla pudding

15 Feb

Soooo good. Way too easy and too fast to make. This is dangerous…

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cornstarch (maizena)
1 cup milk powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, milk powder, and salt. Slowly pour in 3 cups of water, whisking constantly to break up any lumps that form. Add vanilla. Bring to a boil over med-high heat and then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer and continue whisking until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

Hypermarché chili

30 Nov

Chili is one of those things that I’ve never really mastered without a seasoning packet. But tonight’s version with ingredients from Hypermarché Exclusif on the VDN in Dakar may have broken that streak!

250g ground beef
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup TVP*
1/8 cup cornmeal
2 lg cans whole tomatoes, crushed or blended
1/2 teaspoon salt or one beef bouillon cube
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-2 tablespoons chili powder (or more to taste!)
1 lg can kidney beans, drained
Mimolette cheese
Drained lait caillé nature (Ardo brand is best!)

* Textured Vegetable Protein. Or you can use 500g ground beef. But we like the mixture for health reasons and also because it makes a nice, thick chili.

Brown ground beef with garlic and onions in a pot over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, salt/bouillon, oregano, cumin, cayenne and chili powder. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add drained and rinsed beans. Stir to combine, then cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.

Mix cornmeal with some of the tomato liquid, then add to the chili. Stir to combine and simmer for a final 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with grated mimolette cheese and lait caillé sour cream‘. Jalapeños from America are optional. 😉

Emergency milkshake

13 Nov

A friend recently served us milkshakes at their house. I took one sip and thought, “Wow! They used homemade ice cream for these!” Nope. In fact, the recipe couldn’t be easier. And it’s perfect for hot season (which will end soon, inchalla) when you need an emergency pick-me-up.

(Just ignore the Starbucks cup. I know it's hard.)

(Just ignore the Starbucks cup. I know it’s hard.)

Emergency milkshake
1/2 cup whole milk powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
15-18 ice cubes
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the milk powder, sugar and water in the blender and let sit a couple minutes. Add the extract and ice cubes. Blend until smooth.

Drink right away or pour into cups and freeze until more firm, if you prefer.

Mint milkshake: replace the 1/2 tsp vanilla extract with 1/4 tsp mint extract + 1-2 drops of green food coloring.

Coffee milkshake: add stick-packet of instant coffee, like Via or Carte Noir, before blending.

Pita bread pizzas

19 Oct

When it’s this hot out, the last thing I want to do is log hours in the kitchen. Our current favorite go-to meal is pita bread pizzas. Pita bread is easy to find in Dakar as it’s made locally and sold through many supermarket chains and bakeries. (My favorite is from Layal bakery.)

photo 1You can, of course, top the pizza however you’d like. But here are a couple tips…

  • Since pita bread is light and thin, go very easy on the sauce and toppings. Use maybe 1/3 the amount you think you should. 🙂
  • Rather than baking it, just broil it for 4-5 minutes, keeping a close eye on it.
  • Eat it quickly! It’s delicious hot, but can get soggy if it sits. (But who’s going to let something this delicious sit anyway?)

Our favorite pita pizzas right now are:

Tomato paste + sprinkling of basil, thyme and oregano + mozzarella + pepperoni + parmesan

Steamed spinach + dollop of Shady Shack garlic sauce + oregano + parmesan + mozzarella

Mini veggie wraps

12 Oct

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mini pitas (these are from Layal Bakery)
chopped, peeled cucumber
cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Shady Shack garlic sauce
basil leaves

Spread the garlic sauce on the pitas. Top with cucumber, tomatoes and basil. Go to town.

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