The history of Blacks in America is a long and complicated one. The history of food in the African-American tradition is longer, but not as complicated. Slaves were given the scraps leftover from the masters dinner table. Most times, tough cuts of meat and less than desirable vegetables were handed over to the slaves and they had to make do with these unwanted parts. Of course in the grand African tradition, we made the food delicious and over the years has become a favorite cooking style adopted the world over. Who hasn’t heard of fried chicken?

Unfortunately, many southern dishes are filled with fat, calories and cholesterol. Delicious, fat, calories and cholesterol, but unhealthy nonetheless. Southern Blacks love their pig; from fried pork rinds, to pickled pigs feet and chitterlings. We will try and cook the toenails if we can make it taste good with hot sauce. As much as we all love the fried foods and the butter and the sugar, we have to be more cognizant of what we put in to our bodies. I have written a recipe that brings the best of two worlds together.

I want to focus primarily on the Sweet Potato, also called a Yam. Many of us have eaten Sweet Potato Pie or casserole or just a plain baked Sweet Potato with butter and brown sugar. All quite delicious, but I want to put a new spin on an old favorite, that will be sure to rock your face off and slap your tongue awake. BEHOLD my Sweet Potato Hash!


Serves 4

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 15-20 min


2 Large Sweet Potatoes (Peeled and Diced)

2 tbs Vegetable oil

1 tbs Butter

2 tbs Honey

1 tsp Cinnamon

6 oz spicy sausage (Pork or Turkey)

Pinch of salt

Brown the sausage in a separate skillet. Peel and dice the Sweet Potatoes. Heat a large skillet to medium/high heat. Add the oil and butter to the heated skillet. Add the diced Sweet Potatoes. Allow the potatoes to cook for about 5 to 10 minutes to soften. Add the Cinnamon and salt. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Stirring frequently. Add the sausage and honey and cook for another 5 minutes. Potatoes are done with they are fork tender. Serve with eggs and toast for a delicious Southern style breakfast or serve it along side a roast as a robust side dish.


In South America, the juice of the Red Sweet Potato mixed with Lime juice is used as a dye.

North Carolina is the largest Sweet Potato producing state in the U.S.

They are full of antioxidants.

My mother tells me they help you get pregnant. (I’m not sure how scientific that fact is)

I hope you enjoy the dish! Happy Black History Month!

Cousin Sekou’s Collard Greens

Greens are a staple in the soul food diet, and almost always a part of the black family holiday dinner table. However, the traditional recipe calls for cooking greens for long periods of time in fatty meats which kills all the health value greens can offer. After visiting my cousin Sekou in Oakland whose mother lived in Ghana for awhile, I learned that greens could be prepared in a more healthful fashion, and still retain their flavor. The recipe below is my variation of their Ghanaian recipe and requires no meat for seasoning.

Cousin Sekou’s Collard Greens


Bunches or bags of pre-washed collard greens

Palm oil (found in specialty stores) or olive oil

Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (to taste)

1 tablespoon of garlic

1 white onion, sliced thin

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes


1. Wash and shred collard greens in cold water.

2. Add one tablespoon of oil to a large pot. Add a tablespoon of minced garlic, a teaspoon of minced ginger and an entire sliced onion. Saute until onion is translucent. Add a tablespoon of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and saute 2 minutes more.

3. Add greens in batches and saute with Bragg’s, onions, garlic, and ginger until greens are wilted but still crisp and bright green, about 8 minutes. Spinkle with red pepper flakes and serve hot.