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Enjoy a Kwanzaa Feast

Although Kwanzaa is relatively new as far as holidays go — it was created in 1966 — the foods used to celebrate it are based on old traditions. The final feast of the holiday — the Karamu — showcases fruits and vegetables that symbolize the past and current growth of African culture. Old family meals are often served in order to share them with the next generation. Some of the great dishes that can be found on the Karamu table include Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, African Squash and Yams, and Fruits with Honey-Lime Sauce. To learn the recipes for these traditional family favorites,

Fresh Fruit with Honey-Lime Sauce
From Better Homes and Gardens

2 cups cut-up fresh pineapple
3 kiwifruit, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced
1 medium papaya, peeled, seeded, and sliced
1 medium banana, sliced
1/4 of a small watermelon, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 recipe Honey-Lime Sauce (see below)

Arrange pineapple, kiwi fruit, papaya, banana, and watermelon on 6 small plates.
Sprinkle with lime juice.
Spoon Honey-Lime Sauce over each serving.
Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.

Honey-Lime Sauce
In a medium mixing bowl stir together one 8-ounce container low-fat vanilla yogurt, 4 teaspoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel, and 1 tablespoon lime juice.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

1 cup olive oil
1 cup flour
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 cups minced celery
2 cups minced onion
1 cup minced green bell pepper
1 cup minced red pepper
1 cup minced green onion
2 quarts chicken stock
4-5 cans diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cayenne
2 cloves
1/2 tsp hot sauce
2-3 lbs smoked sausage or andouille if you prefer
3 lbs chicken

In a large stock pot (preferably at least 8 quarts) add your chicken and add just enough water to cover the chicken. Add some salt, pepper, garlic powder to give chicken little extra flavor.

Cook until chicken falls from bone, remove from pot and cut into uniform pieces, add back to pot.

In large heavy skillet (I use cast iron chicken fryer), heat oil and flour over medium high heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Cook approximately 10 min until it has turned a caramel color. (Some people prefer a darker roux, if so just continue cooking until desired color is achieved.)


To the roux, add all the vegetables and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add by large spoonfuls to the stockpot, stirring after each addition.

Once the roux has been added, then add your tomates, if using frozen just put them in frozen - they'll cook down. If you use diced tomates, crush them as you add them. Slice smoked sausage into 1/4 rounds and add to pot.

Allow this mixture to simmer for about an hour, and you'll have a hearty meal. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes it makes a terrific meal.

African Squash And Yams

1 sm Onion; chopped, pared & cut into 1" pieces
2 tbs Oil
1 c Coconut Milk
1 lb Hubbard squash; pared and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
2 medium size Yams or sweet potatoes
1/4 ts Ground cloves
Cook and stir onion in oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer.

Makes 6 to 8 servings


Join The Conversation
PrincessTracy PrincessTracy 9 years
Don't want the sausage gumbo, but I'm game for the other 2.
jakidoodle jakidoodle 9 years
hmmmm i love squashes...
AmberHoney AmberHoney 9 years
I was introduced to Kwanzaa (through friends) a few years agos and since then I have made several African dishes and I love them. has some good ones.
Honey-Lime Sauce sounds great. Always looking for ways to spruce up plain fruit, even if it is delish alone.
Chaoticfury Chaoticfury 9 years
Happy Kwanzaa everyone. UMOJA!!!
mamaseacat mamaseacat 9 years
I'm gonna make that fresh fruit with honey lime sauce for a baby shower next month. Thanks!!!
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
yum this all sounds delicious!
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