Some Healthy Food Fun:    The Wanderlust Food Diaries (of a chronic daydreamer)

A land called  "Fantasy"
    Lamu and Manda Islands,    Kenya, Africa

On the Menu The "Swahili Supper"
Music The Song "Fantasy" by Earth, Wind & Fire
Video A Quick Tour of Lamu Island by Wild Frontier's Jonny Bealby


"Every man has a place, in his heart there's a space, and the world can't erase his fantasy"
    --Phillip Bailey (from the song "Fantasy", by Earth, Wind, & Fire)

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Rewind 40 years ago, my friends are bugging me to come back outside for another game of baseball, I told them I'd be back out in an hour, as I was mesmerized by this PBS documentary on Lamu Island, and her sister island a stone's throw away, Manda Island, close off the coast of Kenya in East Africa.

I was glued to the screen, totally enthralled by what seemed to me, a "Fantasy Land". I mean, these Africans looked like me, but the similarities ended there. Everything else was different. Their clothes, their dialects, those amazingly carved doors on their houses, the kids riding their donkeys.....you know how it is as a kid, I had no idea what was going on there, and years before the term "Bucket List" came out, I said, "I'm gonna go there one day"


Oh, and I also remember seeing their food, and remember thinking, the ingredients look familiar, but the end result looked like something from another world. And I remember saying, right before running back out to play baseball , "I gonna cook food like that one day !!! "

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The "Swahili Supper"

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Piri Piri Sauce is Portuguese in origin, and popular on the African Indian Ocean Coast                                               
you can find Piri Piri at some stores and on Amazon (though most have unhealthy oils),
but for a healthy version of a
Piri Piri Sauce Recipe, Click Here                                                   Prawns Mozambique (a.k.a., Piri Piri Prawns) for recipe, click here

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Kenyan Pilau (Spiced Rice) is a rice dish of Arabic/Indian origin, adopted by the Kenyans as their own.                                     Mtuzi Wa Samaki (East African Fish in Coconut Curry)                     
(Most cultures of the world have some version of "Rice Pilauf"). Normally served with the Kachumbari below,            originated [supposedly] further South on Zanzibar Island, Tanzania,
 
The basic theme of Pilau is meat and rice are cooked in same pot Kenyan Pilau Recipe Click Here                         the old "hub" of the spice trade  Mtuzi Wa Samaki recipe, click here

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Kachumbari (Kenyan Onion and Tomato Salad) is an East African salad/condiment                               
Variations have lime or lemon juice, fresh cilantro, parsley, avocado, cucumber, Chilis or Scotch Bonnet     

peppers. It is traditionally served with the Kenyan Pilau above For Kachumbari Recipe Click Here                                                Piri Piri Wings/Chicken   for recipe, click here

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Fast forward 40 years to yesterday, as I was finishing up this article, I'm happy that I'm smart enough to realize (not to get too philosophical), that neither Lamu nor Manda Island, nor any place on the planet for that matter, is "Paradise" or "Nirvana", a person better have Paradise and Nirvana in their soul before they ever get on the plane to go to any "Bucket List" location.

But, being the amateur historian that I am, I realized that I'm still amazed by this corner of the world, because of the rich history, where so many worlds collide, modern and ancient, Swahili and British, Christian and Arabic, the crossroads of the so called "Spice Trade".... I chuckle to myself reviewing my article before publishing....because this "Fantasy Land",  just like 40 years ago, still mesmerizes and captivates my imagination :)
.

~stay healthy~

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"Sail Forth. Steer for the deep waters only. Reckless O soul, exploring. I with thee and thou with me. For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared go. And we will risk the ship, ourselves, and all." --Walt Whitman




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