At Mississippi Market, we celebrate the rich cultural diversity and food and farming traditions that immigrants bring to our community. Today we’re highlighting a modern Somali recipe from our friend and member-owner, Fatima Ali.
Fatima has been a member of Mississippi Market for a number of years, ever since her friend introduced her to the co-op- it’s now her “very favorite place to grocery shop”. Fatima works as a Licensed Dental Assistant at Community Dental Care and is a Diabetes Prevention Coach at the YMCA. In addition, she studies at Metropolitan State University, where she partnered with us to write this article for a public speaking class.
I am always excited to talk about what I call “eating well to be well,” because health always starts with the things we eat. I learned to care about what I eat and how it is grown after being in the United States for couple years. When I lived back home in Africa, most of the food I ate was not as processed as in the US so there was no point in reading labels. I am glad to have the chance to continue learning about food because we live in a world that is constantly changing. We must pay attention to where our food is coming from, how it is grown and how we make it, even when we are cooking it at home.
Shopping at Mississippi Market is always rewarding because the co-op values where its food comes from, just like you and me. When you shop here, you can learn about the local farmers that supply their produce to the co-op. This helps those of us who want to eat organic food and like to purchase local food! One of the local farms that I became familiar with at the co-op is Featherstone Farm. Throughout the year and depending on the season, Mississippi Market carries a variety of produce from Featherstone Farm. In late spring & early summer, look for their red, green, and romaine lettuces. In the fall and winter, their carrots, spinach, and cabbage are in season. I made my favorite recipe with their spinach- Maraq Khudrad, a modern Somali spinach dish. Spinach is one type of produce that is recommended to buy organic, so Featherstone Farm’s spinach is fantastic because you are getting it local and organic. Spinach is also loaded with nutrients and is good for the skin and hair. As my mother always says “there are foods that are healthy and easy on the body,” and spinach is one of them.
Typically, in the Somali culture this dish is eaten in the morning with canjeero or rooti (forms of bread), but here in the States some people eat it for any meal time. This recipe is healthy and has all the nutritional benefits needed in a meal.
- 1-2 bunches of spinach, chopped
- 1 Tbsp of canola oil
- 5 garlic pieces, crushed
- 1 onion
- 2 medium size tomatoes, chopped
- 2 medium size of potatoes, chopped
- A pinch of black pepper
- A pinch of salt
- After cleaning and preparing each item, heat the oil and let it warm up.
- Add the onion and potatoes. Cook on medium heat until the potatoes are little soft.
- Add the spinach, tomatoes, garlic, salt, black pepper.
- Blended and cook until vegetables are cooked through, but not mushy. The end result should not be too thick or watery, just about in the middle. If you feel like it is too thick, add little water while still cooking. You can eat this vegetarian dish alone or as a side dish.
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