Thanks Giving #3

Thanks Giving #3
Appreciating Wontons
So I was staring at a package of wonton wrappers that I snagged for half-price. I had no idea they would teach me that I have enough. At first I did not think so. However I had no will to go to the grocery store. So I made a broth featuring lemongrass stalks that I had been growing, but was about to toss because they were dry. Then I spied carrots lurking in the fridge.. Ditto chicken thighs. So chop, chop goes the chicken. I added some green onions, also from my garden. Wrap, wrap goes the won tons.It has been awhile since I have cooked with wontons. I dropped them into the lemongrass broth. While I started of thinking I had nothing, last month I made one of my favorite dishes ever. And it all started with a marked down package of won tons. Sipping the soup was very calming and it was very filling and it so made me appreciate what I have. And what I have is delicious.wontonsoupweb

Thanks Giving Countdown: #1

I certainly would need more than a month to say thank you for all the good things in my life, but I will take this month of Thanksgiving to attempt to do exactly that.

In The Family Way
I want to say thank you for my whole family. Fortune has certainly smiled on us and there have certainly been sorrows.My immigrant parents have forever inspired me. My bros have both worked my nerves and have been my biggest cheerleaders. What I am thankful for the very most, in this whole wide world, is my family.

Tasty Wonderful African Recipe: Indiwo za Mpiru Wotendera | MUSTARD GREENS WITH PEANUT SAUCE Recipe

copyright Nozizwe 2014

“We will be serving elephant ears.”

That’s what I told a former boss was going to be on the menu after I invited him to my college graduation after party. When I told him that African food would be served, I thought I saw a glimmer of fear in his eyes so I could not help myself from embellishing upon what was going to be a delicious, if not exotic, menu.

The kicker is that this knowledgeable newsman actually believed my flippant response.

For the record, while I have seen elephants in Africa, I have never eaten one. In fact, my mother, Alice Princess Msumba Siwundhla, Ph.D., raised me to be a vegetarian. As we grew up, all of her children’s plates were filled with nutritious food, including many recipes that originated in my birthplace of Malawi.


One dish was my particular favorite. And if you can believe it, it actually involved vegetables. Mustard greens no less. But when my mother combined the mustard greens with tomatoes, onions, hot peppers and peanut butter, the end result was a plate filled with all kinds of tasty wonderful.

Maybe it was the fear of elephant ears that kept that boss from showing up at my party.

He was not the only one who found it hard to grasp the concept of the  tasty wonderfulness of African food. I remember trying to tell classmates about what I considered to be a culinary delight. They just could not get the part about adding peanut butter to anything else but a PB & J sammy.

Oh what they were missing. I was reminded of my favorite African dish this week when I came upon a bunch of fresh mustard greens at the grocery store. One dollar and fifty cents was quite the bargain for my trip back to my bountiful and blessed childhood. My mother’s recipe has been shared numerous times over the years. I let the cat out of the bag when I shared the recipe with the New York Post.

Subsequently the Mustard Greens with Peanut Butter recipe has been shared multiple times–and we didn’t even know about it until afterwards–via numerous outlets, including the Seattle Times, the Black Family Reunion Cookbook and In some instances my mother did not get a mention. I want to make sure that my mother gets proper credit here. I thank her for making me, a very picky childhood eater, like vegetables. Do not be surprised if the tasty wonderfulness of these mustard greens have the same impact on your family.

Mustard Greens with Peanut Butter | NDIWO ZA MPIRU WOTENDERA

1 lb. fresh mustard greens or spinach
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp. peanut oil
1 shallot, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
5 or 6 scallions (green onions), chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes or 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 c. organic creamy style peanut butter
1/4 c. water
1 cup rice, cooked
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
Wash greens well in cold running water, making sure to remove all traces of grit or sand. Remove tough bottom portion of stem (4-5 inches in mustard greens, 2-3 inches in spinach depending upon how mature the greens are if you substitute Popeye’s favorite food).
Tear greens into bite sized shreds.

In a saucepan, boil 1 cup water with salt. When water is at a full rolling boil, add greens. Cover and reduce heat; simmer for about 3 minutes, or until tender.

Add tomatoes and onions. Uncover and simmer until vegetables are tender, stirring continuously for another 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt (if needed), pepper (s) and Tabasco.

Combine peanut butter and 1/4 cup water, stirring until smooth. Stir in peanut butter mixture. Simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve each portion with 1/4 cup rice.

Serves 4

Star Points

  • You can easily substitute other greens if the mustard variety are not available. One of my brothers insists that I serve this basic recipe with cabbage for Thanksgiving. Other worthy substitutes are spinach and collard greens.
  • While my mother prefers creamy peanut butter, I go for the chunky variety.
  • My aim is eat as much as possible when it comes to fresh food. However in this case be sure to remove the tough stems. You can get away without doing that with spinach,but the mustard greens leave you not choice.
  • IMHO this recipe tastes even better when it is served as leftovers.
  • Consider serving with brown rice. Either or, if you add atwo teaspoons of turmeric you will up the pretty factor and it will also boost your health.