How to have the blackest Thanksgiving EVER: Your guide to a Pan-African feast
To help bridge the gap between the Motherland and the U.S.A, I dressed the table with Mudcloth imported from Mali and sweetgrass flowers from South Carolina. These items add a handmade element to the table setting, and the sweetgrass flowers are a fun parting gift for your guests.
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The traditional Thanksgiving turkey (pictured above) gets rubbed down with heat and spice from a Jamaican jerk marinade for Jerk Smoked Turkey. My recipe for Vidalia Onion Upside Down Cornbread (also pictured above) is strikingly beautiful, moist and delicious. Get the recipes for those HERE.
If you like your greens vegan, try my Sweet and Sour Braised Rainbow Swiss Chard from my blog SweetSavant.com. This dish gets lots of color and nutrients from rainbow chard and sweet red peppers. Get the recipe HERE.
I was lucky enough to get permission from Senegalese Chef Pierre Thiam to share his incredible recipe for Ndambe Cakes (Crispy Black Eyed Peas and Yuca Cakes) on my blog SweetSavant.com. You can find this delicious, vegan recipe HERE or in his book “Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes From The Source To The Bowl.”
I’ve had many rice dishes in my day, but NOTHING like this amazingly beautiful Zanzibar-inspired Mango-Curried Black Rice from HeyDipYourToesIn.com. Get the recipe HERE.
I’m going to give you sweet potatoes TWO WAYS because I can never get enough sweet potato. Both dishes can double as a side dish or dessert!
First up is this Twice Baked Sweet Potato Pudding from Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Marisa Moore. Get her recipe HERE.
Next up is this gorgeous VEGAN, gluten-free Sweet Potato Soufflé from HealthierSteps.com. Ginger and cardamom add a unique flavor and pecans add crunch. Get the recipe HERE.
It’s time for dessert, and this Mango Plantain Tart from Eclectic Thought Catalog is a great place to start. Get the recipe HERE.
What’s Thanksgiving without a little pumpkin? This Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake with Coffee Buttercreamis a fantastic way to end the meal. Indian spice blend Garam Masala gives this cake it’s warm flavor notes. Get the recipe HERE.
Here’s one word of WARNING for you before you go trying all these new recipes...your Auntie WILL complain. She’ll complain that this isn’t the way she makes her greens or that the turkey is too spicy. Don’t worry about it, she’ll get over it. Try something a little different and introduce your guests to a few new flavors. Have fun, and make the holiday your own!
Demetra Overton is an Atlanta based personal chef, food, home and travel blogger at Sweet Savant. I put the “OOOO” in “good food”. She the wife of an architect and mom to teens. Reach out to her on Facebook, Twitter , Instagram and YouTube ...she likes to talk