Eat

  • Just One Gursha

    Written by Mahlet Yared

    Just One Gursha

    Mahlet Yared is a consultant, entrepreneur, and vegan cooking coach originally from the Silicon Valley. Mahlet received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School. After leaving the corporate legal world, Mahlet founded Just One Gursha with the mission of spreading love through plant-based food and culture. Mahlet is based in Miami, Florida and coaches clients on food mindset, plant-based ingredients, and cooking process, while incorporating practices of joy, gratitude, and cultural appreciation.
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    For most of my life, I loved food, but it didn’t always love me back. I constantly “managed” a sensitive stomach, which meant keeping Pepto Bismol and Tums in my medicine cabinet and continuing to try foods from around the world, praying they wouldn’t upset my stomach. But in my last year of law school, I was tired of simply “managing” and wanted to thrive. I asked myself when I felt like my body was truly thriving and there was only one answer: Orthodox fasting season.

    As a first generation Ethiopian-American, I started to observe the annual Easter fast at the age of 12 and even as I eagerly awaited the holiday to feast on my favorite meat dishes, a part of me always knew I felt better eating vegan. When I realized I had been sabotaging my own stomach all these years, I decided I wanted to feel better all the time and establish healthy habits before the next stage of my life, especially as I was finishing up my last year of law school, preparing to study for the bar exam and become a first-year associate at a law firm.

    Veganism transformed and elevated my passion for food. 

    I unlearned and relearned how to be a better home chef than ever before, while enjoying the same global cuisines I have always loved. While mainstream veganism looks like salads and smoothies, my veganism is spicy, complex, and looks more like misir, aloo gobi, ful medames, tallarines verdes, and tacos de nopales. As I studied for the bar exam and started working at a law firm, I started to find more joy in my culinary creations, sharing them on my Instagram story, and getting messages asking for recipes.

    Then i failed the bar exam. twice. two of the best things that ever happened to me.

    It allowed me to remember my initial intention when I went to law school: to start a business that helps people. While I was transitioning my career path, I launched Just One Gursha as a place to share delicious, vegan recipes inspired by cultures from around the world. “Gursha” is the Ethiopian practice of hand-feeding a bite of food to a friend, family member or other loved one.

    By offering Just One Gursha, I wanted to invite people to try a new plant-based recipe, learn some cultural food history, and create a space for real cultural appreciation of food. 

    A year later, Just One Gursha has grown into a diverse foodie community and a business where I teach busy, young professionals how to cook easy and delicious plant-based foods. I coach clients on food mindset, ingredients, and process, introducing people to practices of gratitude, food conservation, and spiritual energy in our food.

    Food is the essence of how we fuel our best lives and we are all worthy of thriving, not managing or getting by.

    When we cook and feed each other with love, there’s nothing we can’t do.

    For those hot summer days when you want something sweet, but don’t want to heat up the house with your oven, this simple and indulgent No Bake Vegan Cheesecake is the perfect treat. Cheesecake has origins in ancient Greece and was believed to be a good source of energy for Olympic athletes, so treat yourself to a delicious slice of sweet energy this summer!

    No Bake Vegan Cheesecake

    Ingredients:

    2 8-oz. containers of vegan cream cheese (I recommend Miyokos or Kite Hill)1 tbsp vanilla extract
    2/3 cup sugar
    1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
    1/3 cup lemon juice
    1 1/2-2 cups graham cracker crumbs*
    1/3 cup vegan butter (melted)
    1/4 cup sugar

    Optional Strawberry Glaze:

    1 lb. frozen strawberries
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 lemon (juiced)

    *to easily create graham cracker crumbs, I use a rolling pin to crush the crackers while they’re still in their plastic sleeve

    Instructions:

    1. In a large mixing bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, melted vegan butter, and sugar.
    2. Pat the crumbly mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
    3. In a high powered blender, blend the cream cheese, vanilla extract, sugar, melted coconut oil, and lemon juice. Blend until you have a thick, creamy consistency.
    4. Pour the thick mixture onto the chilled graham cracker crust and set in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but ideally overnight.
    5. Before you serve it, you can make the optional strawberry glaze. In a small pot, ass the strawberries, sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring the pot to a boil and then simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes until a thick glaze starts to develop. Pour over cheesecake and serve or serve cheesecake and glaze individual slices as desired.
    6. Store this cheesecake in your fridge for up to 5 days (or freeze for up to 6 months) and enjoy with your family and friends!

    Follow Mahlet on Instagram. Try more vegan recipes at justonegursha.com 

  • Bartaco

    Written by Naome Seifu

    Welcome to Atlanta – my forever home. 

    One of my favorite places to eat is Bartaco. 

    One of my favorite places to eat is Bartaco. Let me give you a glimpse of the delicious food and incredible look the restaurant has.

    Once you enter and put your name down for a seat, which is first come first serve so come prepared to wait for a little, you enter a really serene vibe that the restaurant has to offer. 

    Every time I go, there’s always different kind of people so you know they cater to all types. Anyone can go! 

    Now, let’s get to this menu and the INCREDIBLE food! Take a look at what the menu looks like down here. You write down, with a pencil, what it is that you want and how many tacos you would like to eat.

    Clearly you can see that there are so many options. I usually get the fish, pork belly, and duck taco. 

    This time I went, I got 2 fish tacos and 3 pork belly tacos. These tacos are full of so much flavor and zest. I could eat this every day if I could. You don’t feel heavy, which is very important to me. I don’t want to feel uncomfortably stuffed. You get the right kind of fulfillment with the tacos here. I would also recommend ordering their special taco for the day. The second time I went, I loved the taco. It’s different every time. I suggest you get one of those tacos and treat yourself.

    Their drinks are pretty incredible too. 

    Being someone who does not like the taste of alcohol, I’m hard to please when it comes to cocktails. I always want to order a drink for the aesthetics of the meal – don’t judge me! This time of course I did, but I got my waitress’ advice on what I would enjoy that wasn’t too heavy alcohol.

    The drink is the Reviver, made with Martin Miller’s Gin, cucumber, mint, mango nectar and lime juice. 

    I think she added a bit more juice for me to give me that balance. That goes to show you that the service there is also really great.

    Let me not forget the salsa and guacamole they serve. Their guacamole is most definitely overpriced, but if it is your first time going there then I would say get it!

    As you can see, the portion size is small but it’s still tasty! The salsa roja which is darker salsa was not my favorite. It had an interesting tang to it but the salsa verde was top notch. It was perfect dipped with chips. Again, this does not come with your meal and is a bit over priced so order with caution.

    Every time I go home to visit I try to take a visit to my favorite place, Bartaco. 

    Make sure you take a visit to Bartaco in Atlanta, GA. This place I WILL ALWAYS LOVE. sO MUCH FLAVOR, CREATIVITY, AND GREAT VIBES! 

  • Shakshuka

    Written & Made with Love by Ryan Kelley

    Ah, shakshuka.  

    I adore this dish in all its simplicity and robustness.  If you’re unfamiliar with its pronunciation, it may not roll off the tongue quite yet, but upon the first bite, you’ll instantly want to make it a staple in your arsenal of recipes. If there ever was such a meal that could arouse the palate in a way that both embodies the comforts of home and enchantments of something curiously foreign, shakshuka is it.

    What gives this dish an even greater edge is that it’s deceptively easy, sharable, quick to whip up–and guess what? It’s vegetarian, too! So, you can enjoy this meal guilt-free and without over-exertion.

    Hailing from north Africa and popularized in Palestine and Israel, this dish is traditionally enjoyed for breakfast in regions across the middle east.

    However, shakshuka can be savored at any time of the day. I like to have mine for dinner, typically accompanied by a loaf of challah bread, a spring salad with oil and vinegar, and a Pilsner or a pale ale.  

    This rendition of Shakshuka includes feta cheese, shallots, and dill, just to add a bit more depth and flavor to the dish. 

    However, the joy of cooking and more importantly, satisfaction of enjoying the fruits of your labor, comes from the fact that you are free to edit to your liking! Some like to add spinach, harissa, meatballs, or additional aromatic herbs. The takeaway is this, as long as it is good for the soul, that’s truly all the matters.

    I hope you love this dish as much I enjoyed sharing it with you. 

    Bon Appetit! 

    Ingredients:

    • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
    • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 shallot, minced
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
    • 1 teaspoon dill
    • 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes (no salt)
    • ¾ teaspoon salt, more as needed
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
    • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)
    • 5 large eggs
    • Chopped cilantro, for serving


    Steps:  

    • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
    • Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until the onions have caramelized and the peppers are soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and shallots, and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute. Pour in crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper; simmer until tomato sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in crumbled feta.
    • Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with dill. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

  • Oohhs & Aahhs’

    Written by Naome Seifu

    This place by far is the best soul food restaurant I have ever came across in the DMV area. It’s called Oohh’s & Aahh’s.

    Located in Washington DC right off U Street and its second location on Georgia Avenue, Oohh’s & Aahh’s gives your soul a quench that it so deserves.

    There is almost always a line outside because let’s be honest people – the food is incredible, and everyone wants a taste. There is an upstairs that is very small, but you can go up and be seated. There you will be served and can eat. If it’s super busy, I usually just get my food to go and wait in line.

    Either way, you better get your food and be blessed! 

    When I order there, I almost always get the fried catfish, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and on occasion I’ll add-on a piece of cornbread.

    You really can’t go wrong with anything that you order at Oohs & Aahh’s. 

    Pictured above are the incredible yams and macaroni and cheese side dishes. For my meat selection, I got lemon pepper wings and fried catfish. This is what you call the dinner special which ranges around $25.00. One person cannot finish this on their own so splitting this with someone makes the cost reasonable and the satisfaction perfect.

    Now these collard greens – they are out of this world. 

    Especially if you add hot sauce to them. Oh, my goodness. These collard greens are incredible. I naturally love greens to begin with. We have a popular Ethiopian dish that is made with greens. This just makes me loves greens even more.

    These lemon pepper wings insanely make my mouth water. I honestly haven’t figured out how they create the sauce for these wings, but I’ve seen once where they shake the wings in what I think is a lemon sauce. The taste is of lemon and pepper but also a bit of a sweetness is added to it as well. I can go on and on but right now I’m drooling and need to figure out how I’m getting there in the next hour.

    Go visit Oohhs & Aahhs. You won’t be disappointed. 

    Make sure you take a visit to Oohhs & Aahhs in Washington D.C. I give this place 5 stars! Make sure you go with patience and an empty stomach with someone to share your meal with. 

  • Milk & Honey

    Written by Naome Seifu

     We’ve All heard of the “Land of Milk and Honey.” 

    I think I found it – right on Baltimore Avenue in Maryland.
    Chef Sammy’s Award winning

    1/2 lb. Shrimp and Grits is so delicious.  

    It’s so savory. With every bite you taste the grits, jumbo shrimp, turkey sausage, tomatoes, scallions and incredible – cooked to the T, cheese grits. You think it’s all done until you taste the Cajun Cream Sauce. If you go to Milk and Honey, make sure you come with appetite if you order this!

    If you have a sweet tooth, get you some Vanilla Cognac French Toast of ‘oh my goodness. 

    It’s labeled for “adults only” because the dish has a kick but a kick your taste buds will never forget. You get fruit on top as well as cognac caramel sauce. It’s so good.

    And if you want one more dish that will change your life – order the Jumbo Smothered Chicken and Biscuits 

    The chicken is a deep-fried chicken breast over biscuits with egg and cheese. This dish also comes with Cajun Cream Sauce.

    Make sure you take a visit to Milk & Honey In Maryland. I give this place 5 stars! It’s a great brunch spot that does require at least a 2 hour wait but trust me – after you sit and eat these delicious delights, you’ll agree it was worth the wait.