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Black Beans and Plantains with Rice

Black Beans and Plantains with Rice

It felt good to get back in the kitchen cooking. This was the first full meal I made since returning from Europe. The initial few days home consisted of gorging on fruits and vegetables, and wearing off my jet-lag with some minestrone from the freezer. Though, I admit, I also chowed down on some coconut chai vegan ice cream (shout out to Philly’s Little Baby’s Ice Cream) and some wood-fired pizza from Pizza Nomad, possibly my favorite pizza place in Philadelphia, for the moment at least.

Warm-weather months mean lots of festivals, flea markets and food truck gatherings in Philly, which is where I ate said pizza and said ice cream. Like I said in my first post home, I feel fortunate to have returned from Paris in the midst of spring. It’s easy to keep your mind from missing daily travel excursions when there’s so much going on in your own city. For instance, this past weekend and the first weekend being back, I hit up a food truck meetup, a kinetic sculpture derby, and an Italian Market festival going on in my neighborhood.

Yoga On The Steps Philadelphia


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Tropical Tabbouleh

I’d like to call this the tabbouleh form of Funfetti. Although, the red, green and yellow dots are all sourced from natural ingredients—AKA, you don’t need artificial food coloring to create this beautiful dish.

Once the picnic seasons arrive, my family is always churning out tabbouleh from the kitchen. Originally, we were some of the few vegetarians at friendly outdoor gatherings. My mom knew that if she wanted to fill us up on something other than the red-and-white checkered paradise of chips and cookies, she’d have to bring a substantial meat-free dish. Tabbouleh was her go-to. With at least two kids always keeping her busy, tabbouleh was one of the quickest dishes she could make. It also made use of the mint she was always yelling about for seizing all the space in her garden.

The mint is what keeps tabbouleh feeling fresh, even in the balmy, mid-summer heat that seems to have approached us rather quickly. It’s also the perfect compliment to the pineapple that gives this tabbouleh a tropical twist. I love pineapple in savory-styled dishes, and while it doesn’t quite make this one taste like birthday cake, I’d like to think it’s equally as fun to eat.

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