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A time to gather in celebration of African heritage and African-American culture. This menu offers hearty flavors while staying heart-healthy and nutritious.

Download the cookbook:

English cookbook for Kwanzaa Spanish cookbook for Kwanzaa

peanutty african stew

Peanutty African Stew

A spicy and savory one pot dish that the whole family will enjoy. Add some cayenne pepper for an extra kick.

Makes 8 servings.


  • 1 cup brown rice (instant)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (reduced sodium)
  • 1/3 tablespoon dehydrated onion (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger (ground)
  • 1/8 cup red peppers (optional)
  • 1 sweet potatoes (2 cups, peeled and diced)
  • 1 can tomatoes (diced, 14.5 ounces, with liquid)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy, reduced-fat)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (non-fat)
  • 3 cups baby spinach (coarsely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup peanuts (roasted, chopped)
  • green onions (optional, thinly sliced for garnish)


  1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a soup pot. Bring to boil, then turn down to medium low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in peanut butter and milk. Return to gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Ladle stew into bowls and top with peanuts and green onion, if desired.

For nutrition information, please visit Peanutty African Stew at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.

squash soup

Squash Soup

Try this delicious soup with acorn squash, pumpkin, butternut squash, crookneck, or a unique variety of winter squash that you grow in your garden or can find at a local farmers market.

Makes 6 servings.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions (medium, chopped)
  • 2 carrots (medium, chopped)
  • 2 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 cup tomato puree (canned)
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth, low-sodium
  • 4 cups winter squash (cooked)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oregano (dried)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons basil (dried)


  1. In a large saucepan, warm oil over medium heat.
  2. Stir in onions, carrot and garlic.
  3. Cook for about 5 minutes, covered.
  4. Stir in the tomato puree, chicken broth, cooked squash, and herbs.
  5. Bring soup to a simmer and cook, covered, for 30 minutes.

For nutrition information, please visit Squash Soup at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.

blue corn pan bread with raisins

Blue Corn Pan Bread

This traditional Native American dish uses blue cornmeal and sprouted wheat. Many health benefits have been noted for different sprouted grains, and the ingredient can be purchased already sprouted or you can sprout the wheat on your own at home.

Makes 12 servings.


  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups blue cornmeal (yellow may be used)
  • 1 cup cornmeal (yellow)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sprouted wheat
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 8x8 inch cake pan with foil.
  2. Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add each ingredient, one at a time.
  3. Stir well until mixture is smooth and pour into foil-lined cake pan. Cover with a piece of foil.
  4. Bake for 2 hours. Bread is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

For nutrition information, please visit Blue Corn Pan Bread at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.

seared okra

Okra and Greens

Spicy and flavorful, this is an amazing side dish that doubles easily. Double up and enjoy it with a crowd during the summer months when okra is in season.

Makes 5 servings.


  • 1 onion (small, finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 1/2 packages greens (1 pound, shredded)
  • 16 okra
  • 4 chili peppers (finely chopped and crushed)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. In a large heavy pan sauté onions in oil until golden brown.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and about ¼ cup of water. Simmer over low heat, covered, until greens are tender.
  3. Squeeze lemon juice before serving.

For nutrition information, please visit Okra and Greens at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.

mock sweet potato southern pie

Mock Southern Sweet Potato Pie

Full of sweet potato flavor, this delicious pie will be a hit at your next holiday meal.

Makes 16 servings.


  • Crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups flour (all purpose)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk, non-fat
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Filling:
  • 1/4 cup sugar (white)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 egg (large, beaten)
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk, non-fat (canned)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sweet potatoes, cooked, skin removed and mashed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


  1. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add milk and oil to the flour mixture.
  3. Stir with fork until well mixed and then form pastry into a smooth ball with your hands.
  4. Roll the ball between two 12 inch squares of waxed paper using short, brisk, strokes until pastry reaches edge of paper.
  5. Peel off top paper and invert crust into pie plate.


  1. Combine sugars, salt, spices and eggs.
  2. Add milk and vanilla. Stir.
  3. Add sweet potatoes and mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into pie shell.
  5. Bake for 60 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  6. Cool and cut into 16 slices.

For nutrition information, please visit Mock Southern Sweet Potato Pie at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.