A plant-based Ethiopian lunch

When I was planning camp menus, one of the campers’ mothers mentioned that her children enjoy some of the milder vegetarian Ethiopian dishes. It was the perfect opportunity to try some of them, particularly because I just acquired a used copy of Teff Love, by Kittee Berns, via Amazon. Because Silver Spring has the highest concentration of Ethiopian businesses in the Washington area, I had no difficulty finding a source of special spices and both domestic and imported injera, the spongy, sour teff flour pancake used to mop up mouthfuls of stews and salad.

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Photos by Megan Meinberg Photography

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I especially liked the seasoned oil we made, called ye’quimem zeyet, using some Earth Balance buttery spread and vegetable oil. I’ll be using the remainder as a exotic component of stir fries and for finishing grilled fish.

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Split peas in a mild sauce, stewed cabbage in a golden tomato sauce, and apple tempeh salad rounded out our platter.

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These were definitely novel tastes for everyone, but they were inviting.

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Eating with you hands! On the floor! How cool is that?

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We finished the meal with chocolate-coconut sorbet, from The Perfect Scoop, by David Leibovitz. Although the campers enjoyed it, I wouldn’t make it again. This was the second camp where we tried the recipe, and both times the chocolate never really blended with the rest of the ingredients.

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Ladybug and Holly loved all the attention from the campers. Today they seem low key, as though they are just saving their enthusiasm for when the kids come back again.

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