According to Whole Foods Market and Forbes Magazine, West African cuisine is one of the top ten food trends for 2020. No surprise to me because some of the best food I have had in the world was in West Africa – Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria and Ghana. Not only is the food delicious, but the diet is largely plant based, local, organic and rarely processed. You have West Africa to thank for jerk chicken, gumbo and barbecue ribs – it is the birthplace of all of our African Diasporic cooking. Bow down and pay homage.
Americans rapidly moving away from consuming gluten or wheat based breads and pastas explains part of West African food’s gaining popularity. Fonio, teff and millet are just a few of the fantastic grain alternatives the largest continent offers. I myself stopped eating as much rice as used to because organic and conventionally grown varieties alike are reputed to be filled with arsenic. In Africa however, one can find so many delicious alternatives to rice and pasta you won’t ever feel deprived. One of my favorites is Ivorian attieke, which is similar to rice but made from the fermented cassava plant. I have never seen any in the U.S. but if I find some I’ll let you know. In the mean time I made a new variation of Peruvian and Bolivian derived quinoa with classic Italian flavors. Quinoa Italiana goes great alongside White Fish in Hearts of Palm or any meat, poultry, fish or vegetables.
1 Cup Organic Quinoa
1 1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup White Wine
1 Tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken Stock or Vegetarian Chicken Stock
1 Tablespoon Organic Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
1/4 Cup Organic Broccoli
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
Dash of Ground Marjoram
Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan on high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until liquid has completely evaporated approximately 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork if desired. Serves 4 to 6.